What a tremendously perfect, overwhelming, enlightening, educational, glorious day. My mind is whirling from all I’ve seen, learned, and experienced that it will take days to sort through it all effectively. It’s late here in South Carolina so I must keep this short ~ workshops begin early at Haven Conference in the morning ~ but I just had to take a few moments to share three fun things I’ve learned during my first time in South Carolina these last two days.
- Live Oaks. Oh my goodness, these are my new favorite tree. I had no idea. When you read stories about southern kids climbing out their 2nd story windows onto tree branches and meeting up with friends? Live oaks. When you see those pictures of a tree fort built big enough to host an air bnb? Live oaks. I could photograph them all day long, in any light, in any location. I want to climb on them, drink my coffee on a bench under them, watch the squirrels play tag for hours in them. LOVE. Last night, after driving all day from Atlanta, I took a much-needed walk around the neighborhood and took these pictures. 2. South Carolina Trees Sing. This is one of those completely unexpected, don’t-know-unless-you-live-there phenomenons that at first scared me. I noticed it the first time when I stopped at the state line to take pictures near the visitor center. As soon as I climbed out of the car, it sounded like I was hearing that electric hum/ring you would expect while standing near a power plant, but much, much louder, and eerily similar to the sounds crickets make. All I could think as I stood perfectly still under those enormous trees was that whatever made that crazy sound up in those branches must be enormous. But after a little asking around I learned the sound comes from southeastern cicadas. And cicadas, dear readers, are LOUD. They sing in these southern trees all day long and into the night. Matter of fact, the trees are singing very, very loudly outside my window right this moment. It’s constant. South Carolinians simply don’t hear it anymore. But for newbies like me, it’s an amazing, unexpected regional phenomenon about which I had no idea. (Please forgive me, but I am going to post a photo of an insect…a cicada, to be precise…on my home design blog now. I assure you this will not be a regularly occurring event.)
3. Family history matters. There is a lot of history in South Carolina. Both houses and families go back many, many generations. Matter of fact, my B&B hostess told me one is not considered a native South Carolinian unless his or her family has lived here for at least three generations. Which causes me to ponder: If my great-great grandfather had lived in a house like this on Charleston Harbor with prime views of Fort Sumter back in the day, I suspect a few of us would have stuck around Charleston to raise our babies, too. I mean, look at that trim and those windows!
(Okay, so it’s very pink and in the middle of renovations, but STILL.)
And lastly, because this great guy represents to me the humor, graciousness, and warm friendship I have continually encountered in this beautiful state, I must post a picture of Alton the Visitor Center Guy. Alton saw me walking around with my camera and joked that he thought I was there to photograph him. So of course I told him that as a matter of fact I was, and would he please pose for me and give me his name? He simply asked that I spell it correctly if I ever got the photo “published.” 🙂 So here you go, Alton. Thank you for making me laugh, and for being the first to welcome me so warmly to South Carolina.
Tomorrow, I return to Haven Conference (I haven’t even mentioned the mingle and mentor meet-up we did tonight where I saw SO MANY people from blogland that I’ve followed for years!) but that will have to be in another post.