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Sunday, October 30, 2016

A Day Trip for post # 700

     Cindy likes to save some vacation time in the Fall to do nothing major...just a little something each day in South Carolina. Except for transits on I-95, neither of us have spent much time away from the coast. I did have a few trips to/from Ninety Six as a volunteer driver for a cancer patient undergoing a clinical trial at MUSC in Charleston a few years ago.

     Cindy had read about a site on the National Register of Historic Places commemorating the Revolutionary Battle of Eutaw Springs. Concord/Lexington it's not, but it was the last major battle in the Carolinas just six weeks before Yorktown. In early 1781, MG N. Greene was attacking the fortified, British-held, village of Ninety Six. As British reinforcements, under Col. A. Stewart, approached Ninety Six, Greene headed north into North Carolina. When the reinforcements withdrew toward Charleston, Greene returned and encountered Stewart's near Eutaw Springs. On 8 Sept. there was a pitched battle with musket and bayonet between equally matched foes of about 2,000 men each. Gen Francis Marion commanded the infantry forces for the Continental Army. Although the British won the day, they still were forced to withdraw to Charleston having lost a quarter of their force. The British "Southern Strategy" was in ruins and they were confined to three weakened strongholds: Wilmington, Charleston and Savannah. On 19 Oct. was the decisive victory at Yorktown.

     We wandered around the place on the southern shore of Lake Marion and absorbed an assault of voracious swarms of mosquitoes. I can truly say that I left some blood on that battlefield. Having now "Been there...done that", we drove to Holly Hill, the home of Yankee left fielder Brett Gardner and Sweatmans Bar-b-que.

     You should notice a few things in the pictures above. The place has been open for nearly forty years while only being open two days per week. It is an old, metal roofed home with some repairs needed..except that the repairs would undo the ambiance. The picture is taken across the hood of my '86 Corvette. The perceptive reader will note that I took the picture from the passenger side. They serve buffet style with no doggie bags allowed. It is $12.00 for one pass through the line and $15.00 for all you can eat. As you'll see below, it's a paper plate/plastic fork sort of place.

     Again, a perceptive reader will notice the absence of tomato based sauce. Here the barbecue sauce is mustard based. Both camps have their fierce aficionados. This was very good, but I still prefer Tim and Kansas City. When we told the hostess where we were from, she said that she had customers that made the hour+ drive up from Mt. Pleasant every weekend. Tourism literature affirms that this is one of the best places to find the authentic Carolina Barbecue.
     As you saw in the title, this is the 700th time I have posted to this blog. It has covered an eclectic set of adventures, large and small. To those of you readers who have followed through most of it, I offer my thanks and appreciation.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Miscellaneous Topics

     This morning Durelle was out in the back yard doing some minor yard work, and Mocha was with her. In a few moments, while Durelle wasn't looking, the dog disappeared. She yelled in to ask me if Mocha was in with me. She wasn't. I soon spotted her in our next door neighbor's yard with which we share a four foot, wooden picket fence. As Mocha was nosing around, she discovered that a pair of pickets were loose at the bottom, so she pushed them aside and went exploring. We retrieved her and put her inside while I repaired the fence. Does she look contrite?

     I don't think so, either. By the way, we have subsequently learned that her name is not related to color. Rather it is an amalgamation of her parents' names: Moose and Dakota.
     While she was out back, Durelle took a picture of a blossom on our local weed that we have repeatedly cut down. The plant is locally called a Confederate Rose. The Latin name is hibiscus mutabilis

      Another local critter showed up on our side of the pond this time.

     I took the picture from ten to twelve feet. I estimate that he is a six footer or perhaps a little more. These guys are another reason that our yard is fenced.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Meet Mocha

     Not only are we back, safe and sound, but we have a new golden. Below is a shot of Durelle and Mocha as they met for the first time.

     This is the passing of the leash from Sharon to Durelle. The other lady in the picture is our neighbor, Vanessa, who arranged the match. Sharon is moving into an apartment that does not allow dogs. Mocha is ten. Durelle spent some time with her in the back yard. It took her an hour or so to finally relax.

     We got home Sunday. The governor said wait until Monday, but we were in the middle of a congested I-26 eastbound. We had no damage. Matthew went easy on the coastal properties (relatively speaking), but the rivers are swelling over their banks even pretty far inland. Mark did a great job of driving the bus here, and with both Cindy and Mark working, the bus was unloaded in less than a day. Durelle and I take two or three days.
     We are starting to catch up on Doctor's appointments. I see my neurologist next Thursday. It's clear to me that my neuropathy is getting worse. I am looking forward to finding out what, if anything, can be done.
     Here's one more shot of Mocha.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Nearly Home

     We have hunkered down in a large KOA in Wytheville in southwestern Virginia. We will proceed straight south through Charlotte on I-77. In Columbia, SC we will pick up I-26 eastbound into Charleston. We thought we might be able to sneak in behind the storm on Saturday, but we chose to play it safe and wait until tomorrow. Mark has done a great job of chauffeuring this bus. Here we are in a convenient pull-through site with full hookups. It has enabled us to relax and deal with a lot of NCAA football as well as several loads of laundry.

     We plan to get home tomorrow with a drive of 325 miles. Mark's scheduled flight back to NH is on Tuesday morning. He does not know yet if the hurricane will have rescheduled it. A wonderful ancillary benefit of Mark's driving us south is the many hours of visiting time that are normally so hard to come by.
     So, what is the status of my knee? The arthritis makes it very painful to transition from sitting to standing. Once up, I can maneuver around pretty well with a cane. The neuropathy, which has degenerated this summer, makes walking with balance difficult. And the spinal issues make it difficult to stand for any length of time. The three of those afflictions combine their overlapping symptoms to reduce my mobility to nearly zero. I'll be seeing an assortment of doctors over the next month to see what the options might be. I really have no intention of turning this into a medical blog, but I will keep friends appraised of my status from time to time. Meanwhile, I'll insert another picture of our ten year old Allegro bus which turned 61,000 miles yesterday.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

A Pause for Matthew

      We have paused in our son, Mark's, driveway as we wait for hurricane, Matthew, to clear out of the Charleston area.

     The current plan is to leave the Nashua area tomorrow, do a couple of 400-mile days and get within a day's drive of Charleston. Then, depending on the weather, we will head home on Saturday or Sunday. He has a ticket to fly back Tuesday. Although the storm has slowed, it is making a welcomed right turn away from the coast. We have full tanks of water, fuel and propane; so we are completely flexible. We will end up with a pleasant, three-night stay here instead of the planned two.
     Of course, Durelle got another canine fix with their dog, Leo.

     The trip to Nashua from Maine on Monday was a different experience riding in the passenger seat. I did get to take a few foliage shots through the windshield while moving. Mark was very comfortable with the driving experience.

     We recognize how fortunate we are as retirees with a motorhome. We can adjust our schedules to work around natural disasters with ease. AND we have a son to do the driving when it is required.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Comin' About!

     There is an 85 year old windjammer called the Timberwind that offers day sails and Sunset cruises out of Belfast harbor. We have never done it but many have. Friday evening we were observing the end of the day and of the month, and we watched the vessel come out into the bay and turn around to return to dockside. It is not carrying a full load of passengers as it was earlier in the summer.

     It is a short trip out into the bay where it turns around and heads back to the dock. From where we sit we cannot hear the classic command, "Prepare to come about", but we can see it happen.

     And there we are heading home. Speaking of heading home, Mark, David, and Brielle are here. "Let the packing, begin."