Tuesday, August 10, 2010

My Mom, The Boat Captain

My Amazing Mom:

While recently visiting with Mom, she had arranged for us to go to dinner with some family friends. After our dinner, they announced that they'd like for us to take a ride on their boat on Lake Hickory, NC. Mom was very enthusiastic about this adventure, but little did I know that she would end up being the boat captain! She was so excited to enjoy the experience of driving a boat for the first time at age 83! God bless her. She is the most caring, loving, and inspiring person that one could ever have the privilege of knowing. I can't wait to see what she has on the agenda for my next visit!!

Huntington Beach State Park:

I know that in prior blog posts, I have promised to offer information on various wonderful places in the Grand Strand to take long walks for the exercise that we need, and I had referenced Garden City Beach in one post. This time, I am featuring Huntington Beach State Park. As you leave Murrells Inlet on Highway 17 South, the entrance is on the left before you reach Brookgreen Gardens. One really has to watch for the entrance sign, as traffic is swiftly moving along at 55 mph +. As we enter, we cross a popular bike path and then continue to a booth where fees for park use are collected. Passes for the parks can be purchased, and I discovered on a recent trip to the library that Horry County libraries are no longer selling the passes as they have in the past. It will now be necessary to purchase the pass for full price at the park. It's still a bargain, however. For the number of times I go there to walk, or even for use at Myrtle Beach State Park, where I'll pull into the parking lot in the middle of winter on a chilly day just to sit for a few minutes and observe the waves rolling into shore and the birds in flight, it is well worth the price. I definitely get my money's worth a zillion times over.

Anyway, once we have passed the booth, we drive very slowly across the causeway. On the right side is a sand bar where alligators frequently gather. Some days, there are no sightings during the causeway drive, and one day I counted seven gators! At the end of the causeway, one has a choice--turn to the right or turn to the left. A turn to the right takes you to a parking lot that is perfect unless it is a summer weekend afternoon, which can be crowded. This location offers a gift shop and indoor restrooms, which is a HUGE plus. It also is the home of the remains of Atalaya, the Moorish-style winter home of Hyatt and Archer Huntington. You can't miss it, and guided tours are frequently offered, and there is a minimal charge.

This is a 2,500 acre park with unspoiled, non-commerical beaches. If you walk from the jetty on one end to the first house you encounter at the other end (North Litchfield), you have walked three miles. They also offer coastal kayaking, a 2 hour guided tour of the salt marsh. Walking this beach, especially during the off season, makes you feel like you have landed on a special island without a building in sight--until you reach the first beach house in North Litchfield. It is truly one of my favorite walks, even in the heat of summer. I walk along the edge of the water, which is refreshing in spite of the temperatures. I highly recommend this walk, and you can discover more about this location at http://www.huntingtonbeachsc.org or by calling (843) 237-4440.

Never Say Perfect:
I have finished the editing process of reading a chapter of my new novel to Fred each night, but in doing so, thought of a few more incidents I would like to add, and need to smooth out a few areas. It's something that you just can't rush. You have to work with it, set it aside for a few days, and return to the project with fresh eyes and perspective. I look forward to the day when I can hit SAVE and know that I am truly finished with this particular book and can move forward with all of the other projects that are in various stages of completion. You will be the first to know when I am ready to make my first attempt at seeking an agent. I plan to take you through every step of this process, as you'll be able to follow along the path of Never Say Perfect right here in this blog. So you'll want to stay tuned!

2011 Memoir Preservation Cruise to Bermuda:
Plans are being finalized! The cruise will be from Baltimore to Bermuda on October 1, 2011 through October 6, 2011 on Royal Caribbean's Enchantment of the Seas. You'll sail with me and have your choice of workshops to enjoy during days "at sea." It will be an opportunity to meet others who are either writing their life stories or are just there to kick up their heels and tour scenic Bermuda. Call Kate Jensen, CruiseOne-Myrtle Beach with cruise questions at (843) 294-9904 and feel free to call me at (843) 215-4676 with workshop questions! A $100 deposit will be due 12/7/10 and final payment on 7/23/11. Prices vary with choice of cabin, so call Kate today. Don't take your stories to the grave--preserve them! Learn how to easily do this while you cruise the Atlantic!


Ecclesiastes 3:1 There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven:
a time to be born and a time to die.....

In memory of Peggy Jones, who passed away Monday, August 2, 2010, following a long battle with cancer. She's at peace and singing praises with the angels, arms lifted high! She's home.