Changes in the Wind

Did I read that right?  The thermometer that registers the temperature from the Way Back Garden said 56 degrees this morning when I came into the Morning Room for my coffee.  Yippee!  I love cooler weather!! It also said that it was 72 degrees inside...way too warm to light up the fire. Drat.

Still, outside the wind was blowing in from the northeast for a change, rustling the leaves that have fallen...not necessarily because of the approach of Fall; more probably because they just were too hot and tired, trying to hang on the trees here at the end of Summer. The Tulip Poplar trees are the biggest contributors to the mess on the deck at the moment.

So what to do, on this day of no appointments?  I decided to finish up my Fall garden planting. Yeah, I know...most people did that several weeks ago.  Since my life has been in flux since June, though, I guess I can be forgiven for not following the seed planting calendar exactly in 2011. 

Mr. T had already cleared, weeded, and tilled several rows for me, so I got busy planting the seeds and onion sets I'd gotten yesterday from Soviero's Tri-County Garden Center (my fav).  I now have peas, beets, 4 kinds of leaf lettuces, collards, 7-Top turnip greens (grown only for the greens...:), and onions.  It can begin raining any time now.

This weather is a bit odd for September, to be sure.  But I'm not whinging about, not me.  I'm too excited about getting to break in Mr. T's birthday present, a new outdoor fireplace!  Noooo, I'll take unseasonably cool weather over, say...a hurricane any day.  Especially since we got our vacation at the beach in between the hurricanes (Irene and Maria) and the dip in temps.

Charleston and Food...
a Great Combination!
We had a wonderful, relaxing, regenerating week in South Carolina.  Missy M, who has been working night and day on a work-related project, joined us as we headed to Charleston, one of our all-time favorite cities, last Sunday.  We got checked into our room, then made our way to the Charleston Crab House for dinner.  We did a little shopping in the Market area, then went to the Battery to complete our mini-tour.  Unfortunately, Knit! was closed, so no knit-shop shopping today.

The next morning, we turned north on US 17 toward Myrtle Beach, our destination for the week.  Along the route, we stopped in Georgetown, SC for lunch at another fav, The River Room. 

Missy M checks out the menu at
The River Room in Georgetown, SC
This restaurant has great food...and a fantastic view of the river dock and harbor (see photo, right).  We were fortunate to get a window table, so we got to watch the boats...and the clouds...on this beautiful special day.  You see, it was both Mr. T's birthday and Labor Day...a holiday in every sense of the word!

Back on US 17, we stopped to shop in Pawleys Island Shoppes, the home of the original Pawleys Island hammocks.  We got our "shabby chic" T-shirts/sweat shirts...and tried to go to Island Knits, only to find it, too, was closed.  What's going on here?  Was Mr. T calling ahead??  Ah well...

Enough already.  Let's see some sand and ocean, for goodness' sakes!

We made it to Myrtle!

Just a few more miles north, we came to our destination, The Hampton Inn and Suites, on the South Ocean Boulevard in Myrtle Beach.  Never been here before, since we usually stay away from the craziness that can be MBSC, choosing saner Litchfield to the south.  But, we thought it would be OK since things change around Labor Day...the official end of Summer around here.  And, we were right!

This is a fabulous place!  We had a large room on the 11th floor, with two comfy queen beds, a fridge and microwave, and a balcony looking out on the ocean...complete with two rocking chairs!  There are 4 pools, 2 lazy rivers, and a whirlpool on the property, and the beach access is easy-peasy:  walk out of the door on the lower're there!  Comfortable areas, indoors and out, with rocking chairs and hammocks to read those beach-books (or, in the case of Mr. T and Missy M...those Kindles and iPads...:).  They had a two breakfast areas to service all the rooms in the two towers; full breakfast is provided in the room rate.  And the very best part?  Didn't cost a dime...nope, nada...all on Mr. T's Hilton Honors points.  I love a bargain, don't you?

Sunrise over the Atlantic...
last morning in Myrtle
 It was exactly what we all needed. That photo (right) of the sunrise over the Atlantic, taken on our last morning, says it all.

And, I am happy to report that we did finally find a knit shop that was open:  Knitting Up A Storm in North Myrtle Beach.  Stopped by on our way out of town.  Two of us loved of us chose to wait in the hot car.  Bet you can guess who is who.  I got this yummilicious yarn called Cocoon by Rowan in colorway Seascape...which I thought would help me recall a warm, beach day when there's snow on the ground; it's an 80/20 merino wool and kid mohair combo.  They had a free pattern for it that I am using to knit a braided cowl.  So far, so good!

Gardening. Travel. Knitting. Good times with family. Sounds like things are back to normal.  Well, maybe not "back," but certainly on their way.

It helped to have reclaimed the front bedroom as a guest bedroom, setting up the bed where the hospital bed used to be; sorted and donated most of Momma's hanging clothes; and cleaned and cleared the front bathroom...all of which I was able to do before we left on vacation.  And, when we got back to HPNC from SC, Missy M tackled the chore of sorting the dreaded jewelry drawer.  She found several of Nana's things she wanted to keep, so that did my heart good.  Now, the only big chore left on the list is "finish cleaning out the dresser drawers"...and I know I can handle that one soon.

It's been six weeks today, and I still think about Momma several times each day.  About how much she would have loved going to the beach.  About how she would have wanted to turn the fireplace on this morning, even if it was too warm in the house.  About how she would have been excited that it was football time again...and that the Braves are probably going to see some post-Season action.

The difference now is that I am noticing many, many more smiles and fond memories...far, far fewer tears and sad thoughts.  The bereavement counselor is right:  it IS a process, and everyone's experience in dealing with the changes is different.



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