Friday, August 11, 2017

BEACH TRIP (flash fiction)

[Well, I didn't get into Fall/Lines, so I post my latest flash fiction here.]

The last thing said before she died was, “I want to go to the beach.” At eighty-eight and hospice bedridden, she delivered a poorly-timed request. Anna Maureen Anderson seldom strayed from the southern upcountry during her many years of midwifery. Most people simply called her Auntie Mo, because she never seemed to stop moving. She’d made a few trips to Atlanta and Gatlinburg; twice to Charleston, though she never got close to the shore. Otherwise, she spent her time ministering to women and babies from the Georgia and North Carolina borders to just west of Columbia. Nearly five hundred souls showed up at her funeral; a lovely pink pine box laid deep to the strains of her favorite gospel hymns. About the closest she was going to get to the Atlantic Ocean was a manicured plot in a small cemetery that straddled the Broad River. Or so we thought.
Rain came like a Biblical curse that October. A thousand-year flood, they said. We had barely begun to cope with her loss before a jet stream shot straight into South Carolina like a sodden spear. We’d never seen anything like it, not even Hurricane Hugo. Some areas registered more than twenty inches in less than five days. And as water drained, rivers swelled. A flood gauge on Gills Creek was destroyed in rapids and more than fifteen people perished, many trapped in their cars. Dams failed and roads were swept away. The whole country watched as we were washed downstream.
While the deluge destroyed, no one actually saw Auntie Mo escape. It took several days to survey damage before anyone noticed her plot was empty. A miniature rectangular pond amidst a forest of headstones, hers not yet delivered. None of her nearby rest-mates had fled. Two onlookers said they remembered seeing a clay-smeared casket riding a surge down the Broad, and several eyewitnesses recalled a similar scene near the dam break alongside the State Museum in Columbia. One wonders what denizens of Congaree Swamp must have thought, as it surely passed through their domain. There were no reports from Lake Wateree or the Santee.
A few days later several people called 911 to report a pink casket caressing the curves of Folly Beach. It was gone, however, by the time a county employee drove out to retrieve it. Later there were sightings at Hunting Island, Hilton Head, and Tybee---but no one could corral the wayward woman. One person claimed to have seen a pink crate race by Daytona. And then she was gone, forever. The authorities think she probably sank somewhere in the Atlantic surf, though I’d like to think she made it to the Bermuda Triangle. But you never know. She said a few times that she would have liked to visit Copacabana.

Saturday, July 29, 2017


Chimo spent a week at camp in the NC mountains. Likely his last BSA summer camp, unless he works at one. Herewith some pictures from the troop.

Friday, June 2, 2017


It was a great night of music. Here is pic of me with my friend and neighbor Sarah with main stage as background. Mark took the pic. I still had clothes from court earlier, so don't look as casual as I felt.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017


Today Joey graduated from Flora High, and it was a nice celebration. No one, it seems, observed the request for decorum, but what the heck. I was so proud to see him stride across the stage. Tonight we went to COWBOY'S for Brazilian style dinner. We had a nice time. Herewith a few picks, the last from the restaurant.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017


A perfect petal
softly curved, caught by a
painter's eye observed.

Sunday, May 14, 2017


Courtesy of Barbara Luksik.

Monday, May 8, 2017


Tonight Joey was awarded his Eagle Scout. Herewith a few pictures, more to follow soon.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017



I'm awakened
by two competing haiku,
fighting in my head.



Every morning
two Canadians fly by
honking their hellos.

Sunday, April 23, 2017


Attended Joey's A. C. Flora senior-year JROTC Dining Out event on Saturday night. Posting here two pics, but might have some more soon.

Monday, April 10, 2017


Chimo and I walked all over Charleston a few weekends back, but alas we didn't take many pictures. Here are two that I managed to capture. The second is a picture of a sailing ship, with Fort Sumter barely visible in the background, taken from Battery Park.


Joey was awarded the National Sojourner's Award for his JROTC unit (which also won the district award as best unit). Unfortunately my shots of his presentation did not come out too well, but I did get a few, presented here, of him before and after the event.


Herewith a few extra shots from Chimo's trip to Dupont in North Carolina. These pictures were taken by Chimo.

Sunday, April 2, 2017


In 1993 I had a Lady Gamecock center in my class, a delightful person, and she invited me to attend one of her games. I had never really considered it before, but I went and had a great time, and have attended games ever since whenever I could, even when our teams struggled. It has been such fun since Dawn Staley got here. I have met her and she was really nice. We don't reach this pinnacle often, so this championship is really special. And it was wonderful to see the guys play their hearts out too. And yes, I got teary eyed.

Saturday, April 1, 2017


Joey practiced this morning, then presented colors twice at separate events, for his ROTC battalion. Which, by the way, won the award for best JROTC unit in Richland One.

Monday, March 27, 2017


Chimo hiked and camped in Dupont National Forest in North Carolina this weekend. A few shots of the boy.

Sunday, February 26, 2017


Chimo and I went for first roadtrip of year to the Revolutionary battle site at the Star Fort in Ninety-Six. It is also the site of the first southern casualty in the war, which I didn't know before. The national park is pretty well kept, and they are finishing updates. We walked the loop and also a side trail. Was fascinated by the sunken road. I would like to have seen some archaeology underway and a museum. The weather was perfect, if not a little breezy. We were going to check out Newberry, where I held my first college teaching job, but at last moment decided to see Greenwood, where I had never been. Unfortunately their museum and art center closed at around one. On a Saturday? Weird. We had a nice southern lunch, which Chimo much enjoyed. Drove back home via Edgeville. We enjoyed driving, chatting, and listening to my song list.