Family writing

There’s a First Time for Everything

On Monday, my mother called me to ask if I wanted to ride down to Bennett’s Point with her. She wanted to check on the place down there and cut the grass. She hadn’t been in a month or so and wasn’t sure my brother had been recently. After I rearranged some plans for Wednesday, I told her I’d go. As usual, I packed the necessities, including my camera gear. My gear IS a necessity!

We arrived at our destination only to discover that water was standing in the front yard and the back  yard. There would be no grass-cutting Tuesday afternoon!

We did go “sightseeing” Wednesday afternoon. We took Highway 17 toward Beaufort, drove through town on Carteret Street, crossed the drawbridge to Lady Island, circled around through Port Royal and headed back toward “home.” The camera was in the back seat the whole time.

This may be the first time I made the trip to Bennett’s Point without taking the camera out of the bag. There are NO pictures of the trip.

There are memories.

My mother is 83 years old. She is still in excellent health. SHE did the driving!

We talked. We remembered Daddy, who passed away three years ago this coming August.

We “solved” the problems of the world.

These latter things are not unusual. Because we lived way out in the sticks, I did not have a clutch of friends my age to hang out with. It was just me, my sister (who is eleven months my junior), and my brother (five years younger), and my parents and my granddaddy on my father’s side. Daddy worked out of town on construction sites for the M. B. Kahn construction company out of Columbia, so we spent our time with him on Saturdays and Sundays. Saturdays were “farm” days—working with him in the garden or the hay field. Gosh, I’ve hauled enough square hay bales to fill several barns! On Sunday, after church, we played, usually riding the horses all over Richland and Newberry Counties where Daddy owned land. Those rides often took us past the Counts place, and we would have to stop and visit with Mr. Pid, Ernest, and Willie Counts. Mr. Pid was elderly, and it delighted him for Floyd and his young’uns to ride up to see him. But Mama was more than a parent; she was also our friend and our confidante.  I never understood those girls I met in college who proclaimed loudly (usually after long, heated phone calls on the pay phone in the dorm hallway) that they hated their mother. Seriously?

Mama is still my friend and my confidante. She is my rock.

So, even though I did not get any pictures of this trip, no physical record of the road trip, I have the memories. Perhaps we’ll get another chance to go back together, just the two of us, and do more sightseeing and rambling to see what this glorious state of South Carolina is all about. And maybe there will be a second trip with no photographs. That’s okay. There are memories. There are precious times.

There will be no regrets.

Photo Projects

Thursday Thanksgiving—Picture Spring

There are some days that are just made for giving thanks, and today is one of them. The meteorologists in our area are calling today an Alert Day because we will probably have some kind of severe weather this afternoon. Right now, it’s breezy and partly cloudy. The sun peeps out every once and a while, just to let me know it’s still there behind the light gray clouds.

I ran outside this morning for just a little bit to get some images of some of the wild things blooming. I think I am resigned to the fact that I am not a gardener. It’s not that I have brown or black thumbs; I certainly don’t kill everything I plant, but I have no sense of gardening. But I do love beautiful flower gardens. I could (almost) live in a botanical garden—if it weren’t for this thing called pollen.

Saturday, I stopped at a newly relocated, reopened garden shop and bought some tomato, pepper, and herb plants as well as some flowers to put in my planter by the bird feeders—red ones, orange, dark blue. I can look out my living room window and see them, bright and colorful, joyfully bobbing their heads in the wind.


I wonder how many children today can boast that they sucked the honey out of honeysuckle flowers. I know I did when I was a child, and I showed my own children how to do that as well. I wonder what the health professionals would say about doing that. What kind of diseases did I open myself up to by sipping that sweet nectar? I remember standing before those vines with my cousins Virginia, Franklin, and Janet, and my sister Elaine, picking the flowers, pinching off the ends, and sucking the nectar. I almost pulled a few this morning to do that very thing. I hope I haven’t gotten too old to enjoy simple pleasures.


This morning, one of my sons sent me a face book message early with good news. It is always such a joy to know that my children still want to share their news with me.

During this month, my project is to make images of spring. I will be sharing these images off and on. I am also collecting prints in a handmade journal. I will probably be posting some images of the journal and describing the techniques I used later on. I’m still in the assembling stage.


Photo Journal

Making New Memories

I know I’ve written about Daddy quite a few times, about how he has been such a rock for our family. It’s been eight months since he passed away at the age of eighty-eight years old. Last month, he would have celebrated his eighty-ninth birthday.

I spent the weekend with my mother, who will be eighty-one next month, at the family’s “retreat” in a small coastal community called Bennett’s Point in South Carolina. It is a place where time seems to have stood still for a while. Oh, there is a paved road, a volunteer fire department, several small churches, and quite a few new houses with all the modern conveniences, including satellite TV and Internet. The Baldwin family still runs B&B Seafood, even though St. Jude has come in as a distributor of seafood to local venues. The Billie B, a shrimper, still docks at the landing, as well as a couple of other trawlers along Mosquito Creek (aptly named, I might add).

My brother and his family also joined us for the weekend. While they went out on their boat fishing and riding around, Mama and I took walks, visited with friends, went “sight-seeing,” and read the days away. In the evening, we gathered for supper. James and I shared memories of our childhood and a few of the adventures we had. We remembered going to Owensboro, Kentucky, when Daddy was the sight superintendent for the construction of an addition to a Holiday Inn there. James is five years younger than I am, and I wasn’t sure he would have the same memories I had. He did remember going on a tour of one of Kentucky’s distilleries and swimming in the pool at the Holiday Inn. He also remembered seeing the Delta Queen travel through the locks on the Ohio River as the grand old lady made her way to New Orleans to have her steam engines converted to diesel power. We both remembered the old steam calliope playing as it entertained the spectators who sat along the bank of the river as well as the passengers on the steamer. It was an evening of laughter and of tears, too, because we missed hearing Daddy’s take on those events. What stories he would tell!

I don’t go to Bennett’s Point often, but I find it a place of peace and restoration and remembrance.




Bennetts Point church