Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Charleston...When I grow up...

Our family trip consisted of a very short trip all the way down to the coast. We had never been to this side of the ocean and it was a treat.
We arrived in Charleston and headed straight for a plantation. Knowing which one to hit was the tricky part. We had talked to others who have been there, looked online and at ads as we decided which would be most interesting to our family.
Well it finally came down to this. We were closest to Boone Hall and since it was so widely advertised..Including being on american idol and several other movie sets we decided on this one.
We learned a lot. I am always very drawn to the Victorian era.
It's good to be reminded that the books and movies depict much of it in romantic ideals but really there was a lot of hard work done. Kitchens had to be detached from the house. Many times the kitchen would burn down several times a year. Plumbing and running water was not the norm.
The boat house. Where people of Charleston would travel by ferry to get to this particular Homestead. Our guide told us it would take around 12 hours to get here from Charleston..Which is now about a 15 minute drive.
And worst of all... many of the beautiful structures, roads, fields were built on the backs of slave labor.

[caption id="attachment_2392" align="aligncenter" width="742" caption="Gullah...The language , the food, The African people."][/caption]

A wonderful monologue this lovely lady did for us. She gave us a great picture of life for her people on the plantation.
She told us how the slaves would use songs to send messages to each other. The root doctors and the natural remedies they used. How the slave would eat off the masters table from a trough. They were timed and so they would eat as quickly as they could until the second shift of slaves would get their turn. She explained that the master would let them eat low on the hog..this included things like the foot.Which is why they are known for making foods such as pickled feet. "But now, she said...We eat high off the hog".
The house pictured above would sometimes house numerous families. They weren't allowed to have church weddings so they would jump over a broom stick on the thresh hold of the house to signify their union. Whoever landed first was the boss of the house. The term "I worked from can't see to can't see" meant I worked from before sunrise to after sunset.
As I listened and walked through the slave houses I couldn't help but wonder what people were thinking. Treating other humans as less than who God had created them. His precious possessions.
This truly is a dark spot on our nations history.

The tree lined lane was planted by a son of the owner years later. There were so many old beautiful trees.
How small does the little one look?

[caption id="attachment_2394" align="aligncenter" width="1024" caption="Micah and Sophie in the hobbits house"][/caption]

We enjoyed this very much. And after about a 3 hour tour and sweaty backs we headed down to look at the coast...We also visited Fort Moultrie....

[caption id="attachment_2409" align="aligncenter" width="1024" caption="My boys."][/caption]

Yes...please don't look down the barrel. It makes me nervous.
They crack me up~
After we drove around on Sullivan Island, and Saw Ft Sumter, we traveled across the bridge to downtown Charleston for seafood.
We ate stuffed hush puppies at Fleet Landing. It was recommended to us by a local. We sat out with the birds and the heat. But seafood is always better on the deck.The waitress suggested the Shrimp n Grits...
After this we decided to head for our hotel. As we passed the Battery our mouths fell wide open. It really was something to see! House after House, street after street of the most gorgeous houses! With porches and flickering lamps. Rod Iron fences and beautiful landscaped court yards. Wide trim with Large welcoming front doors and porches.We were amazed that even at night many doors stood wide open.
Cobblestone streets and brick of all breeds. It was just fantastic. The architecture was so extravagant.

The next morning we woke to rain. Rain all day. We went to the market downtown to acquire some goodies. It's so interesting to me what my children choose. It gives me a window into who they are. Malaina took the longest...In fact, all day. She finally settled on a sun dress that she liked. Jalen Saw what he wanted instantly. It was $30 over the allotted cash prize given by the Father. He didn't care. He said he'd pay the difference. It was a Knife that had a stand and a sheath. Micah saw a rock with a Gecko carved in it and wanted that. Sophie...A small sweet grass weaved basket and a Fancy Oriental style fan. All went over the allowance given except for Micah. He, for the most part, is a saver. In Fact he had $2 left over.This is the old slave market which is now a museum.
After eating lunch at the Crab House with the upside down Sign we headed out to the beach. It had stopped raining long enough and it was plenty warm enough to play in the ocean.And I had to once again tell myself to breath.I used to love the ocean with the kids. I sat on the shore and watched and decided I was going to try to understand what had changed. I LOVED big waves all the way up through my 20's. Now I felt completely different as I watched the water crash on the shore. As I was pondering I heard yelling coming from the ladies beside us..."Watch out"! I looked over to see this little Crabby pants scurrying around...They had dug him out of his hole. After he was safely back in his hole I went back to the thoughts swirling in my head.. And then it hit me. Of course! I had once again forgotten when this changed... 6 yrs ago when Sophie was 2 we lost her for a few minutes on a very crowded Siesta Key. Jason had been sitting closer to the water with the boys and Sophie building something. I was about 10 feet away on the blanket with Malaina. Sophie decided it was time to take a walk. When we realized she was gone we both went into full panic mode. The threatening ocean was just steps away and we weren't sure how long she was missing. I was sure she had been overtaken by the water. I ran into the ocean desperately trying to find her..I remember scanning the vast shoreline to see if there was a bobbing head. I screamed...Has anyone seen my baby? I was frantic..It felt so surreal! A few moments later...which felt like hours...the crowd helped us spot her..she was headed off the beach away from the water. OF course I wanted to leave as I clung to her crying.
Tears streamed down my face as I thought of the emotion of that day. Jason wisely had strongly encouraged me to go back the following day...He knew if I didn't I would never return.

So even now...that emotion fills me.

I always say...I just want to bring you all back home with me. So Please be careful.
Remembering That Jesus has his eye on them where ever they go helps me through the times when worry wants to crowd out peace. Asking his presence to overwhelm the fear is what helps me relax. I do enjoy the water. Especially from the shore. With my kids beside me...building sand castles.

Some of the Observations and Lessons I learned on this trip...

~ Prejudice is an ugly sin no matter who it's against.

~ We teach with our words...We LEAD with our lives.

~ Never set a mouse trap and then leave on Vacation!

~ There is a shortage of good grits and biscuits in the North.

~ BoJangles rocks the house! It's Bo time!

~ The Ocean is dramatically noisier than the Mountains are.

~ It seems fittin to talk with an accent at about the Kentucky line.

~ My husband is an amazing sacrificial human being and I love him!

~ Hotel rooms with 4 growing children have become smaller.

~ I'm not gonna lie I am thankful not to wear petticoats in 97 degree weather!

~ Someday I would like to catch shrimp down in the river behind my house.

~ Our God is a magnificent God. The majesty of his creation overwhelms my senses~

~ Boiled peanuts are growing on me.

~ In my garden the weeds grew like thunder while the flowers drooped..How does that happen?

~~ There is no place in the world like home. (even with the yummy smell of dead mouse :()

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