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The spring chickens and the 16-point buck

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By Lee Scott

Like many Baby Boomers, my spouse and I still think of ourselves as spring chickens. Our brains say one thing, unfortunately, our bodies say something else. This became evident to us on a recent trip returning home to Beaufort. We left around 1:00 in the afternoon and knew that it would be about an eleven- hour drive. Of course, the journey would have to include frequent rest stops for our two dogs. Since we had not done a drive quite that long for a while, we agreed early on that we would alternate driving every two hours in order for the driver to rest between shifts. But as the day went on and the sun started to go down, we recognized that we were going to have to alter that plan and make it one hour shifts. The spring chickens were starting to slow down. Finally, we got to the exit for Beaufort off I-95. And if you are familiar with the highway from I-95 to Lady’s Island, then you know it is mostly a long stretch of emptiness except for downtown. Even the Marine Corp Air Station is dark.

Well, I sat there drinking my coffee and my husband reached for his coke when it happened. There in the middle of our lane stood a 16- point buck looking like the proverbial deer in headlights. (My spouse argues this point saying it was just a big deer.)

“GLUB, glub, glub” I yelled choking on my coffee as my spouse jerked the wheel into the suicide lane completely missing the animal. Afterwards with the adrenaline still soaring through our veins and trying to catch our breaths, my husband asked.

“Why didn’t you say deer?” I responded, “I never call you dear.” We both laughed letting the tension ease out of our bodies. I personally thought that my “Glub, glub, glub” was appropriate for that moment considering my startled condition. We agreed that the encounter had woken us up sufficiently to finish our journey home. But the spring chickens were definitely dragging the following day and we both acknowledged that we had been lucky the night before. Despite what our brains tell us, we are not spring chickens anymore. Eleven hour journeys are too long for us and that 16-point Buck just lucked out that night. Lesson Learned.

On the water

in Cherimie Crane/Contributors/Voices by

By Cherimie Crane Weatherford

Loading my most precious cargo into our boat heading out for a day of all that Beaufort has to offer the irony wasn’t lost, even on me. What was once a simple decision has now become an art form in essential packing, snack creating and strategic sunscreen application. As her chubby little feet hurriedly scamper down the dock and her eyes widen with anticipation of even a glimpse of a dolphin, I can’t help but think back.

I would be hard pressed to find one salty soul that was without an ‘on the water’ story. Impossible it seems for life to escape moments lent and memories created by our fascination with being where the wild things are. The pull is unmistakable as we gaze out into the remarkable canvas that is Beaufort, South Carolina. Perhaps human nature is to go where we aren’t naturally suited, to tame and to claim anything that fails to require our power, our attention or our control. Regardless, every single one of us has a story that began, enhanced or ended on the water.

Somewhere around ten years ago my story began. Weary from all work and no play, suffering from being new in a tightly knit town, I received an invitation to celebrate Memorial Day on the water. Having no plans and no tan, I failed to see benefit in declining. It was as if I was seeing my new town for the very first time. How did I not know that the sun danced in silver shoes across the meandering river? How had I been blind to the vast shades of green climbing up and down the sea grass? How had I lived in this treasure by the sea, never seeing her crown jewel?

Worries lessened as land distanced itself along with the hustle of life created for the hustle itself. My senses delighted in the most stunning displays of art. It was that day I went from moving to Beaufort to actually living in Beaufort. My feet sank in the sand, my hair whipped in the wind and my address was cemented in the place that water meets land. Beaufort became home.

While being in awe of Mother Nature boasting her most intricate quilt of sand and sea, another salty soul appeared. With careless hair and curious glare, a barefoot, sun drenched fisherman made his introduction. Little did I know my “on the water story” would lead to chubby feet scampering down a dock. There is no escaping our fascination and fondness of all that lies beyond and below. Beaufort is the perfect place for story beginnings as the water flows through them like chapters towards an end. It is impossible to ignore the effect of such a phenomenon. We are surrounded by it, intrigued by it and often submerged in its effect, one way or the other.

As the days lengthen and the hems shorten, may you too, find yourself on the water. Whether at the beach, a weather worn dock or from the bow of a boat, let the silver shoes dance and the seagrass bend. Fly your flags high as we remember those that sacrificed so that our toes can dangle, our skin can warm and our stories can continue on the water. Happy Memorial Day Beaufort, South Carolina.

Cherimie Crane Weatherford, owner of SugarBelle boutique, Real Estate Broker and observer of all things momentous and mundane lives on Lady’s Island with her golfing husband, dancing toddler and lounging dogs.

Cherimie with her daughter, Mary Eleanor.
Cherimie with her daughter, Mary Eleanor

GRITS and GRINS

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By Lee Scott

The Island News recently featured a story about the Beaufort History Museum’s tea party celebrating strong Lowcountry women – G.R.I.T.S. (Girls Raised in the South) who changed history. After reading the article, I realized that I am not a member of the G.R.I.T.S. Instead I am a member of the G.R.I.N.S. – Girls Raised in the Northern States; and there are distinct differences in the two groups.

First, G.R.I.T.S. tend to be much softer than we G.R.I.N.S. Maybe the difference is the rural nature of the south versus the populated cities of the north. When you are here in the Lowcountry, with the sounds of birds and frogs around you and it just not necessary to be loud and boisterous. However, when you are in the north, surrounded by the noise of trains, planes and automobiles, well you just have to talk louder.

There is also the difference in the weather which impacts our cosmetics and clothing. G.R.I.N.S. tend to wear more make up because it helps to protect our skin from the cold. G.R.I.T.S. prefer less makeup because of the heat and humidity. (Although lipstick is a staple in any self- respecting G.R.I.T.S. handbag.) As for the clothes, northern girls tend to have large collections of coats and boots. Southern girls own numerous sweaters and multiple pairs of sandals. We G.R.I.N.S. have lots of wool hats whereas the G.R.I.T.S. collect sunhats.

But there are similarities in the two groups. We are all like mother lions protecting our cubs when someone is attacking our family or friends. G.R.I.N.S. will go out in the snow and shovel a walk or slosh through the rain to help a neighbor. While G.R.I.T.S. have been known to pull on a pair of waders and trudge through the marsh to pull out the family dog from the mud. G.R.I.T.S. can get down and dirty as the well as any of the G.R.I.N.S.

Whether born in the north or the south, we are all daughters of the Revolution, of the Union and of the Confederacy; we are descended from indentured servants from Europe and slaves from Africa; we are immigrants and new American citizens. And whether we are Iron Maidens or Steel Magnolias, the G.R.I.N.S. and G.R.I.T.S. are still sisters, connected through our love of our God, our family and our country. Now, all I need to do is explain “waders” to my northern friends.

That beautiful still voice often tells me the things I don’t want to hear

in Awakenings/Contributors/Health by

By Susan Stone

There is a lovely Scripture that reads; “Be Still and Know that I am God.” It is my mother’s favorite quote from the Bible. For it is in the “stillness” that we hear a voice different from our own.

Recently a young man came to see me from Tennessee to go on his Vision Quest. Traditionally, a vision quest takes place in a natural setting. The Elders place the participant in an isolated area, surrounded by a twelve foot circle of salt (for protection). They may take a blanket and water with them, but no comforts of any kind. No pillow, no tobacco, no phone, no journal, no nothing. For three days there is only you and your surroundings. The participant does not know where the Elders are, only that they are safe and will be guarded during the quest.

Then the battle begins…the battle with EGO. It usually begins with; WHAT WAS I THINKING?!? THIS IS TOO HARD! I’M HUNGRY, I’M ITCHY, I NEED TO TALK! Did I mention you must also take a vow of silence? The whole point of going on a quest such as this, is to separate the voice that taunts you from the voice that guides you. If we cannot free ourselves from the tyranny of our egos, we are doomed to be bullied by it for the rest of our lives.

As long as I have been doing this work and teaching others to love the stillness, I still hear the voice that says; WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE? YOU AREN’T SMART ENOUGH TO DO THAT. YOU SHOULD HAVE TAKEN THAT JOB. WHY CAN’T YOU BE LIKE EVERYONE ELSE? The difference is that today I recognize that voice as ego and I tell it to go away. It does not tell me the Truth. It replays old tapes that I heard from others or told myself. It is the voice that used to rule my world. Not anymore. This getting control of your ego is tricky business, because both voices sound just like you!

The voice that guides me is smarter than me. It always comforts me. It never chides or insults me. That beautiful still voice very often tells me things I don’t want to hear. Like; forgive that person for she is hurting and needs your love. Or, when I think I can’t afford to be generous, I will hear; you can’t afford not to be. The voice of ego loves to make excuses. It will give you every reason in the world for not following through with that which is for your highest good.

Vision Quests, although they should never be attempted alone and unsupervised…a mini-quest is perfectly safe. If you are dealing with a persistent ego, you may give this a try. Set aside one hour to be still and silent. I recommend going into a windowless room, turn off all lights, lay or sit in one place for just one hour… in the darkness…alone…in complete silence. You will be amazed at how quickly your ego will start screaming at you! It will do everything in its power to convince you that you are crazy for even trying this. The tantrum it will have will be almost deafening. Don’t worry, it will calm down. And when it does…a bliss you have rarely known in your life will come over you like a soft wave. You will hear a different voice congratulating your courage, a soft voice that will bring you comfort and peace.

Tornadoes, floods and reply all

in Cherimie Crane/Contributors/Voices by

By Cherimie Crane Weatherford

I have been blessed to be able to find morsels of personal success in the nooks and crannies of even the most cluttered circumstance. Untangling problematic situations is a skill I have acquired throughout my career. Quick wit, slow judgment and prompt apology are all objectives I have perfected masterfully through painful trial and error. Having no formal business degree, the school of live and learn has offered me an equivalent experience.

Coming from the Deep South natural disasters are not only common occurrence, but expected once the seas of life become calm. Between tornadoes, floods and striking storms, Southerners grow strong in resilience and heroic in recovery; however, there is one disaster Mother Nature bears no responsibility nor offers any reprieve. It shatters windows, cracks foundation and leaves a wake of destruction unrelenting in reach. It discriminates not against position, purpose or pride. In the business world it is referred simply as the Reply All button.

Often I wonder if it was a cruel joke created to tempt turmoil in the hallways and boardrooms or if it was thought to offer convenience. There is simply no escaping its wrath. Either you find yourself in an endless saga of irrelevant inclusion or even worse, you rattle off your best venomous rebuttal only to realize all is not your intended audience. The stroke of a seemingly innocent key leads to an unmistakable cringe followed by ineffective wail directed towards the device guilty of obeying the command then ultimate acceptance that you may or may not need to seek new employment and/or an alternate address. Similar to rising waters, falling trees and howling winds, the Reply All takes no prisoners, leaves an unmistakable mark and requires extensive clean up.

No doubt titles have been changed, drinks have been made and mea culpas eloquently created all to the credit of the enigmatic Reply All. All, in fact, doesn’t always need to know. I too have suffered this feat. Self-inflicted pain has a tinge all of its own. My name is Cherimie and I too, replied all. I suppose it is our yin to the yang of convenience. With good comes bad, with ease comes difficulty and with humans come unimaginable faux pas. Lessons learned are often scars earned. The smoke will settle, the winds will calm and I will never hit send without triple checking again.

Cherimie Crane Weatherford, owner of SugarBelle boutique, Real Estate Broker and observer of all things momentous and mundane lives on Lady’s Island with her golfing husband, dancing toddler and lounging dogs.

Donating blood

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By Lee Scott

When I moved here two years ago I met a woman who volunteers at Blood drives. Prior to retiring, Sue had worked as a NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) nurse for 28 years. Now, she is still helping out in the healthcare industry by volunteering and drumming up business for the Red Cross.

Sue is also very persistent. She has a pleasant southern voice that sounds easy-going, but her voice changes and the passion comes out when she talks about blood drives. I have used every excuse I could think of with her over the years to not donate blood. It never stopped her.

“I have bad veins.” I would say. “No they look okay.” she would reply.

“I do not like pain.” “You’ll be fine.”

“I don’t drink orange juice.” “No problem we have apple juice and cranberry juice.”

Well, after two years of listening to her, I finally decided to consider donating blood. But first, I wanted to do some research. I typed into the search engine: “Why I should not give blood.” But all that kept coming up were the good reasons for me to donate blood. According to the assorted blood donation sites, the main reason to donate is because it saves lives. In addition, there is a need for blood all the time. Turns out that the blood bank needs to get filled regularly because it gets drained regularly. Sounds like a typical bank account.

I also discovered that you get a mini-physical. They check your blood pressure, your hemoglobin, your cholesterol and your pulse rate. Surely, that must be worth something for some people. But the best reason to donate blood came from Sue herself. One day she said, “We have a lot of people who need blood. What if it was someone in your family in need?” Fine! She got to me with that one.

So I made my appointment to give blood. There were lots of people sitting around that morning smiling as they relaxed afterwards. They carried their “I gave blood” stickers, bottles of juice and crackers. And at this particular drive, the donors received t-shirts. I also found out that some people donate multiple times a year. So stop giving excuses. Sue has heard them all. Sign up and just do it. Remember, the life you save may be your own or the life of a loved one.

Ease your mind with meditation: here’s how

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By Brittney Hiller

What is meditation? Meditation has shown to reduce stress and anxiety, lower blood pressure, and create ease in the practitioners’ life. Meditation is simply, a moment for you to create space in your life that will encourage and enhance awareness as well as creativity.

{Doesn’t that sound YUMMY?}

As a yoga teacher, I practice meditation in many different forms, from transcendental (which has been deeply studied by Dr. Herbert Benson and taught to students at Harvard University), to visualization meditation. Recently, I have had the pleasure of speaking with many students whom have wanted more meditation in their life.

Here is ONE quick way to jumpstart your meditation practice, TODAY – like, right now. {yup, now, now}

For two minutes (you have two minutes), turn off Facebook and Instagram or the TV and voila’ you have created two minutes. Now, comfortably sit upright, perhaps in a chair or on a pillow on the ground. If you find yourself at a desk, perfect! Face your computer and begin with this easy step.

Place your index finger to your thumb. Now we are going to rotate out our fingers with our thumb, therefore the rotation looks like so,

Thumb to Index finger

Thumb to Middle finger

Thumb to Ring finger

Thumb to Pinky.

You got it!

Now with this rotation we are beginning to empower the brain to think actively, which is GREAT for creativity! The fun begins here, where you can create a mantra, a repetitive and uplifting phrase such as
PEACE BEGINS WITH ME.

See how we have four places with our finger to put in four words, and then repeat? Awesome!

Create a mantra that suits you best.

TODAY I WILL RELAX

I AM HAPPY TODAY

PEACE BEGINS WITH ME

I AM AT EASE

MY DAY IS GREAT

{You’ve got it now}

With each rotation of your fingers, you place a word.

Breathe slowly and deeply with each round and give yourself 2 minutes to do this. As I often encourage, truly notice HOW you feel before and then after. It is a small gift for you today, but I hope you take the moment and ‘Treat yo’ Self!’

Witnessing acts of kindness around town

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By Lee Scott

This past week, I went into the grocery store to pick up a few things. Of course, the ten items on my list suddenly turned into 25. As I finished placing my groceries on the checkout counter, I noticed the woman behind me only had a couple of things.

“Go ahead,” I said “You don’t have much.” “Thank you!” she responded. After she checked out the cashier started to ring up my items. As she was scanning my groceries she said, “That was nice of you.” “No problem.” I said. Then she continued. “Last week, there was a woman buying her groceries and she didn’t look like she had much money. The woman in line behind her said, “Let me buy your chicken and ground beef for you”. The cashier said the young woman was thrilled and thanked the other woman.

I was taken aback as I listened to this story, but even more surprised when she added, “I see this kind of stuff all the time. People just doing nice things for other people.” I was mulling the story over as I walked back to my car and thought that I wish our politicians could talk to this grocery store clerk. It might bring their confidence level in America back up.

Later, as I was relaying the experience to my spouse, I started to think about all the other acts of kindness that I have received and witnessed since I moved here. For example, that person in line that coughs up some change when you don’t have any or the folks who buy coffee for the military personnel at City Java or the person that waves your car into line in heavy traffic.

But the lady who bought the chicken and ground beef will stick with me for a while. Because I remember being a young wife and mother living on a tight budget. Those were the days when I knew fifty ways to prepare ground beef for dinners. It would have been great to have someone pay for part of my grocery bill back then.

The next day, I went back to the store to ask Tonya, the Manager for the cashier’s name. Oh yes, that’s Kristina and she is right, “It happens all the time!” So good for you, lady at the Food Lion; that young woman will remember you forever. And good for Kristina for relaying that story.

Vitamin see: foods rich in vitamin C may help slow cataracts

in Contributors/Dr. Mark Siegel, MD FAAO/Health by

By Dr. Mark S. Siegel

What do grapefruit, broccoli and strawberries have in common?

They are foods loaded with vitamin C, which could help slow cataract progression, according to a British study.

Cataracts are a clouding of the eye’s lens that happens naturally with age. The condition is the leading cause of blindness in the world, according to the World Health Organization.

Researchers from King’s College London examined data from more than 1,000 pairs of female twins to see what factors may help keep cataracts at bay. They tracked intake of vitamin C and other nutrients from food and supplements. They also recorded how opaque the subjects’ lenses were at around age 60, with a follow-up on 324 sets of twins about 10 years later.

Women who reported consuming more vitamin C-rich foods had a 33 percent risk reduction of cataract progression over the decade, according to the study. Their lenses overall were more clear.

Although we cannot totally avoid developing cataracts, we may be able to delay their onset and keep them from worsening significantly by eating a diet rich in vitamin C. The researchers noted that the findings only pertain to vitamins consumed through food and not supplements.

Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant. The fluid inside the eyeball is normally high in a compound similar to vitamin C, which helps prevent oxidation that results in a clouded lens. Scientists believe more vitamin C in the diet may increase the amount present around the lens, providing extra protection.

Because the study was done in twins, the team was also able to calculate how much of a role genetics versus environmental factors play in cataract progression. While environmental factors, such as diet, accounted for 65 percent, genetic factors only accounted for 35, indicating that diet and lifestyle may outweigh genetics.

The study, “Genetic and Dietary Factors Influencing the Progression of Nuclear Cataract“ will be published this June in Ophthalmology, the official journal of the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

El Diablo is rolling again

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By Lee Scott

It is that time of year again. My husband’s eyes widen in anticipation knowing that he can go and retrieve “el Diablo”. This is the name I gave our twenty-four-foot RV the first time I saw it eighteen months ago. It has distinctive red and black markings and can be seen from a mile away. We keep it at a storage unit not far from our home, but when it comes back to our neighborhood to get packed for a trip everyone notices. My poor neighbor Beth who has a perfect view of my garage is keenly aware when we are leaving on another trip. Even my new neighbor Elaine said “I see that Diablo has come home.”

El Diablo
El Diablo

El Diablo is only about the size of the average UPS truck. I tell my spouse that if he gets bored with retirement, I am sure he could get a job delivering packages. But because of her size, I enjoy driving her too. We tell people that we bought the RV to go off and see the USA, but the truth is we bought it because of our two old dogs. It is easy to travel with them in an RV. They can stretch out on their beds, drink their water when they need it and besides most of the RV parks allow dogs.

El Diablo has many good qualities. Besides being conspicuous in a crowded parking lot, she is also small enough that we can drive her just about anywhere. Her fuel consumption is not as bad as some of the larger RVs and she was not so expensive that we feel guilty staying at a “Pet friendly” hotel when we want. She has a small kitchenette, a queen size bed and a little bathroom with a tiny shower that my “big guy” aka husband refuses to climb into no matter what.

We have also discovered that having all of our clothes in one place when we travel is nice. Yes, el Diablo is not as fancy as some of those Class A RVs that you see on television. You know, the ones that the movie stars and football players own. She cannot even get admitted into some of those really nice RV campgrounds. But at night, when the lights are out and the only sounds I hear are the loud snores coming from my three traveling companions, el Diablo feels like home.

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