16 February 2007

I drive to Augusta, GA every year to visit my sister and her family. Usually we hang out, shop, go to the pool, etc. One year we spent almost a week at Kiawah Island, SC. I had been there once before, and loved it. The sights and sounds as you approach Kiawah are right out of a Pat Conroy novel of the SC low country. I just love it. If you ever get the chance to go to Kiawah, go. It's wide beaches, Spanish moss, magnolia trees and palms are just beautiful. I thought it was the most wonderful place I'd ever been to. A colleague of my brother-in-law's owns a home in Kiawah and we had plans to stay there when I visited 2 years ago. A few days before our trip, he called to say his son was going to use the house and, well, sorry. We were all hugely disappointed. My BIL frantically called all his medical colleagues and asked if anyone owned a beach house anywhere. Finally, a dentist he had met at a conference said he had a house in Edisto Island and would be happy for us to use it. As we drove there, my BIL warned us not to expect the opulence we knew at Kiawah. He said it could be a small cabin. We had no idea what to expect. The road leading to Edisto was much like the one leading to Kiawah. There's one 'main' road that goes through the island. We turned off of that onto a narrow tree-lined road. From there we traveled down a dirt road to be met with the sight of a grand home. We were so happy! The couple who own it were as gracious as anyone I've ever met. They gave us a tour of their home and told us the history. The point of land the house was on had been in Susalee's family for 6 generations. They used to farm indigo, then cotton, then rice. Now it's tomatoes, cucumbers and pine. One of her cousins lived further down the creek in the old plantation house. Other cousins had homes along the creek. We got in their boat, and we met the cousins at their docks. Susalee and her husband live in a house they built a few years before. All the heart pine floors were from trees on her land. The books in the cases highlighted Edisto Island, and her ancestors were in all of them. Susalee and her family moved to New Orleans when she was a child, but she spent every summer on the Island. She had a display area with the memorabilia from when she was a Mardi Gras Queen, from her cotillion, etc... We just couldn't believe all of this. Susalee and her husband fed us a supper of tomato pie and salad, then were off to their home in Charleston. Edisto Island had all the things I loved about Kiawah, but I had never experienced anything like the creek. The house is on the banks of a freshwater tidal creek. I had never heard of this before. The tide changed direction twice a day. During low tide, the water was only a few feet deep. We'd have to wear sneakers because of the phluff mud. The kids loved playing in it. They'd try to sink in it. They'd slide in it on their belly's. At high tide, the water was about 10 feet deep. We were told that what you do on the creek is 'float it'. We'd get in the boat and my BIL would motor up or down the creek, depending on the direction it was flowing. We'd travel about a half of a mile, and jump into the water with our floating devices. The water temperature was very mild. We would just float along with the tide till we made our way back to our dock. It might take an hour. We'd float through channels of water separated by the sea grass. We would do this a few times a day. Every morning we'd catch crabs. As soon as we'd lower the line with bait, a crab would grab it. We'd have 6 or so lines going at the same time. We had almost more crabs than we could eat. We went to the beach twice, but it held little appeal after life on the creek. We even saw dolphins in the creek. My sister and I spent lots of time on the porch. We read all the books about the family and the Island. The kids played games every night. There were no TVs, no computers. The family that owns the house never rents it. They were so kind to let us share their wonderful home. We would love to go there again. I will never forget it.


Dave said...

Sometimes the unexpected is often the most memorable. I have a special place to go on Lake Erie. I wrote a post a few months back about it. The memories that I have from there are, at times, most memorable.

The photos you took really seem to do it justice.

By the way... I am amazed at how many things in your top 100 are similar to me ... even the one's I did not mention...

Take care! :-)

Billy said...

Cheryl, the pictures are just gorgeous. I have never been to Georgia. Looks like so much fun!

Amanda said...

A great post, it sounds like a really wonderful place, and the pictures are just beautiful.

Ryan said...

Loved the story. Sounds/looks like a great place, i especially enjoyed seeing pics of our family... but onw question. Why are you never in any of them?

KathyA said...

The photos of Edisto are so wonderful! I could almost smell the pluff mud.

Also, your list is so neat and comprehensive....I don't think I could come up with 100 details about myself. Brava!

Cheryl said...

dave I'll have to look for your Lake Erie story. I felt like this place was a gift that I'll always have. About having things in common...it shows that we're all connected.

abbagirl It was the most fun. When I first saw that water I couldn't imagine jumping in. I would have missed out had I not.

amanda Thanks. It was so beautiful there that there were no bad pictures.

ryan Could it be because I'm never without my camera? I love looking at all the family pics.

Anonymous said...

Wow, what a beautiful place! I wish I could have joined you!

The next great American novel could be written there,


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