Tuesday, February 21, 2017

My son came for a visit...

 Yesterday, my son, his wife and I cruised out to Fort Sumter, a reminder of the Civil War that then divided our country.

It had been many years since I had taken the tour boat out there at the mouth of the harbor in Charleston.

This was toward the end of a 5-day visit my son Chris and his wife Stephanie had made.

They live near San Diego and this was Steph's first time here in the south.

She was eager to see the national monument.

 One feature I remembered was the NPS staff asking
 the visiting tour people
 to assist in the lowering
of the HUGE American flag.

She explained we needed to work together to fold it many, many times, into the familiar triangle shape.

The uniformed National Park ranger warned us to be careful and hold it tight or we'd have to stop and start all over again.

It was a moving patriotic moment, involving many ethnicities, men, women, and children in a spirited joint effort.

I liked the joyful "team" feeling as we all worked together for a common cause.

It all turned out well. 

Then,  we all headed toward the dock and the boat that would carry us back to shore.

It was a perfect way to end the day.

Ours was the last tour and staff closed down the museum and other parts of the fort, and made it secure for the night.

They came aboard the tour boat and rode with us back to the mainland.

I had noticed signage on board that offered cold sodas, bottled water, and snacks available on the way over.

On the return trip across the harbor, beer also now was offered for sale.

Respect for the monument. I liked that.

(Click on the photos and links for details.)

If it's been a while, consider taking the cruise out there on a sunny afternoon.

Thanks for tagging along on a vacation day with my family.

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Thursday, February 09, 2017

How about a HURRAH for Hanahan city workers!

So, the GOOD news is the City of Hanahan dislikes trash piling up on its streets.

The BAD news is the rundown and neglected house next door to me has just been sold and all of the trash, broken furniture, saggy couches and rubbish was hauled out and dumped curbside.

There was so much discarded debris
that it overlapped into my front yard.

The new owner apologized and tried to shift it all back in front of his property but I still had stacked grimy mattresses and broken furniture out front.

This all happened on a Sunday afternoon.

The regular trash pickup day for stuff like this is Thursday but I was doubtful the truck would even slow down when it saw this smelly heap!

Not that I would blame them.

For the next few days, people would stop, pick through the rubbish and even take away some items.

Garbage pickup in my neighborhood is Tuesday and I was hopeful they would see this as garbage but, no, the truck continued on its rounds, lifting garbage cans and emptying them.

My neighbor's woeful trash dump remained where it was.

I had seen city trucks come by on Thursdays to pick up old tv sets and other "strange" discards.
Only a few more days for refuse relief. Sigh.

But, Wednesday morning - normal trash pickup day,  I heard the truck stop out front.

Could it be?

Yes! I came out with my camera to capture the moldy moment.

The crew even stopped to wave when I shouted a heartfelt Thank You!

(I think the lady-in-red was another grateful neighbor who was pleased to see the remains no longer was remaining.)

Anthony, in the red cap, has been a city employee for 11 years and said they really appreciate when a citizen takes the time to thank them for their daily/weekly chores.

As they hefted a sad-looking couch into the powerful maw of the truck, it took only two bites to crunch it to kindling

I shouted, "Did you check the couch for loose change?"

We all had a laugh as they crammed more items into the gaping rear of the hungry truck.

Actually, they had picked up and tossed the mounds of smaller piles a few minutes earlier and shouted they'd be right back for the bigger items.

And the mattresses were the last to go.

They tidied up the area and, with a wave, turned the corner, heading for the next house to be relieved of it tossed items.

I make a point to have money in envelopes ready to hand to each member of the trash crew around Christmas time.

Every year. 

 My dad often would place a cold 6-pack of Pepsi on top of stacks of his discarded wood scraps, especially on hot, humid days. 

He'd wait until he heard the rumble of the approaching truck to take out his cold thank you. 

Maybe they remembered him.

(Click on the photos for more details.) Thanks for stopping by.

My street is looking good again - much neater. I look forward to watching the progress as the formerly decrepit house next door starts to take shape.

Happy in the 'hood.

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Thursday, February 02, 2017

The Mind Is A Wonderful Thing To Change....

As already related, I sat down with Realtors to start steps to move from my long-time, 2-story home, into something smaller and all on one level.

It's called "downsizing" and often happens as one gets older and is living alone.

They researched and said my house would probably sell for $175,000 and I should net about$155,000.

So I started boxing up a lot of clutter that had accumulated during almost 20 years of living here.

Strong young men were hired to lug the many boxes downstairs for storage under the original 800 sf house.

My folks moved from the peninsula in 1962 and immediately my dad added a 50' x 20' workshop downstairs. That was this carpenter/cabinet maker's money-maker.

The Realtor sent over their "staging" lady who would advise me on what to remove or change so they could take photographs to show my place in the best possible manner.

She liked what I had done around my computer desk by removing and storing things but said the cat's 6-foot tall "Condo" climbing and scratching post had to go.

Cats don't deign to explain WHY they do things we don't understand but she was clearly miffed with its removal.

That might have been my first clue about the wisdom of selling this large house that my dad had bought and expanded.

Oh, sure, by removed things, I now showed a lot of open counter space in the oversized kitchen.

I don't "cook" very much - more of a defrost and microwave kinda chef - so that appliance stayed as did my toaster oven.

The Keurig coffee-maker remained because that is where every day begins.

With a large variety of coffee cups, which now were stored out of sight in cupboards.

The Realtor who was going to advise me when I became a "Buyer" (after selling my house) suggested we go take a look at an 1130 sf duplex in nearby Tanner Plantation.

It was a single story and in matchless condition, with a modern array of fashionable colors.

The living room even had a cathedral ceiling.

But, it did not have a garage nor a screened patio out back.

And, as I walked around inside I realized the total floor plan was about the size of my dad's downstairs workshop.

I would leave behind most all of the upstairs 2,000 sf of house I now have.

Three spacious bedrooms, 2 baths (one with a giant shower with 6 heads and tankless water heaters for endless hot water), two living rooms, a huge 21' x 16' kitchen, a large computer room and an even larger tv media room, a carport and a 35' x 10' wooden deck across the back with ceiling fans over the seating areas. YIKES.

And, I liked the new minimalist look of the house that I had worked hard to de-clutter.

So I alerted the Realtors I had had a change of heart. I would stay in The House That Dad Built and cope with stairs if and when my legs started to rebel.

I began the very selective process of bringing back upstairs items I now have stored downstairs.

Not cluttered and stacked haphazardly, but neat and organized.

Before things had slowly evolved, had piled up and had become messy. This was looking at my home with new eyes.

I plan to stay here a long, long time.

A few select framed photos are back up on the walls and the cat is happy to see her Condo is back where it belongs.

When I heard the Realtor's "stager" mention my bedroom was large enough to accommodate a king-size bed, I moved my queen across the room.

It too looks new to me.

(Click on the photos and links for more details.)

This has been a moving experience for me...without the hassle of actually moving.

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