Charleston, South Carolina and the Buick Enclave Graceful but Stately, the Enclave and Charleston Are a Class Act


 

IMG_5327.JPGDearest Readers:

Below, is a story I wrote for Buick Magazine in 2009. Discussing the beautiful, luxurious Buick Enclave, I wanted to share it. Hope you enjoy!

 

 

Embraced along the southeast coast of the Atlantic Ocean lies a historical, romantic city with a European flair and zest for style. Charleston, South Carolina has some of the oldest architecture in the United States, surviving the Civil War, earthquakes, and hurricanes. Charleston is a striking city filled with Southern hospitality, arts, culture, festivals, architecture, gourmet cuisine, and the luxury of the finer things in life.

The ambience of Charleston and the features, design and style of the Buick Enclave have much in common. Driving along East Bay Street in the luxurious Buick Enclave, this amazing vehicle is designed for anyone who enjoys comfort, luxury, and sophistication. Like the City of Charleston, the Buick Enclave has a classic design. The rich, comfortable interior of the leather seats adjust easily to a contented position with lumbar support. The dash is reminiscent of a jet with lapis blue gauges, and everything is placed conveniently within easy reach of the driver.

Graceful but stately, elegant and charming, like the City of Charleston, the Enclave and the city are in a class by themselves. Cruising along the bumpy roads of historical downtown Charleston, the ride is smooth, noise level virtually non-existent. The Buick Enclave is magical. The well-designed stature of the Enclave appears to drive itself. The Enclave has a turning ratio that allows ease in maneuvering the vehicle along the tight parking places and garages of the city. Buick Enclave is the car for dreamers, Generation X, the younger generation of today, baby boomers and the young-at-heart. Designed as a ‘crossover’ this sleek, sweet machine hugs the road, embracing the streets of Charleston, making driving a comfortable experience, not a chore or something to dread. Passengers riding in the car enjoy first-class seating, with Smart Slide second-row seats and cargo carrying convenience.

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Considered One of America’s Favorite Cities

Charleston is one of America’s favorite cities to visit and many residents have stated they moved here because they fell in love with the beauty, charm, and hospitality during honeymoons, reunions, and family vacations. Charleston offers an amazing selection of restaurants, museums, accommodations, shopping, festivals, entertainment, and lowcountry culture for all to enjoy and appreciate. Shag is the preferred dance at all festivals, and locals are happy to teach this easy beach dance to everyone.

Spoleto Festival 2009 is scheduled for May 22-June 7 featuring a variety of arts, music, and culture for all to enjoy. Considered one of the world’s major festivals, Spoleto began in 1977 and has become a tradition to Charleston and the world.

Described by many as “Little London,” the Holy City of Charleston contains an amazing assortment of architecture reminiscent of Europe. The church steeples of St. Michael’s Episcopal Church and St. Phillips Episcopal Church are landmarks that decorate the skyline, giving Charleston the well deserved term of endearment as the Holy City. In downtown Charleston, the architecture of Rainbow Row consists of 18th century Georgetown architecture with brick and stucco painted in a rainbow of pastels.

An impressive tribute for the Holy City is the recognition of Charleston as the number two top destination in America. The charming city has achieved this honor for sixteen years from readers of Condê Nast Traveler magazine. Seven percent of the top 100 hotels are in Charleston, including Charleston Place Hotel, Wentworth Mansion, Market Place Pavilion Hotel, John Rutledge House Inn, the French Quarter Inn, and Planters Inn.

Charleston is a City with a Cosmopolitan Sophistication for Gourmet Cuisine

While touring downtown Charleston, deciding where to stop for lunch or dinner might be a challenge. Charleston provides a cornucopia of restaurants to choose from, with a variety of seafood, specialties, fresh vegetables, sushi, and Lowcountry cuisine. While in Charleston, you must try She Crab Soup. Consisting of a crossover of bisque or chowder, She Crab soup was created in Charleston by William Deas, a Charleston slave and butler. She Crab Soup is such a popular dish that many restaurants offer it as the soup de jour. Locals prefer just a drop of sherry added when serving this Charleston lowcountry soup.

 Hominy Grill

Hominy Grill, located at 207 Rutledge Avenue, opened in 1996, serving lowcountry dishes that keep Charlestonians coming back for more. The atmosphere is simple, a three story building that was a barbershop, the ground floor of Hominy Grill has butcher paper covering the tables. Southern in cuisine and charisma, a local favorite is the shrimp and grits; and who can resist Chef Robert Stehling’s signature dessert, buttermilk pie. Enjoy dining on the outdoor patio and take your camera to capture artwork by local artist David Boatwright. His painting of the Grits Lady has become a popular site.

Charleston is the Place for Ultimate Desserts

Looking for a great place for dessert in downtown Charleston? Among the favorites of locals in Charleston are Kaminsky’s at 78 North Market Street and Peninsula Grill, 112 North Market Street. Kaminsky’s is rustic in charm, Southern in delicious desserts. Kaminsky’s prepares desserts fresh every day. The menu has specialty coffees and a variety of dessert martinis, including chocolate martinis. Order the local favorite, “Kamini’s,” a delicate sampling of homemade flavors, or order the carrot cake. If these just desserts do not tempt your taste buds, try the cheesecake. After shopping at the Market or on King Street, stop by Kaminsky’s to enjoy coffee and dessert while you watch the horse drawn carriages and pedestrians stroll along the popular Market area.

Peninsula Grill and the Ultimate Coconut Cake

Imagine a dream dessert of coconut cake complete with twelve layers of pure indulgence. Peninsula Grill’s specialty dessert the Ultimate Coconut Cake has been described as a ‘little piece of heaven,’ by the New York Times. Chef Robert Carter has made a name for himself and Peninsula Grill with his signature dish. Covered with coconut and vanilla, the Ultimate Coconut Cake has received accolades in several magazines. The cake consists of pound cake, laced with toasted coconut. The recipe for this award winning masterpiece dessert is one handed down from Executive Chef Robert Carter’s grandmother. Recognizing the cake was “one of the best layer cakes he ever tasted,” he refined the recipe, introduced it to the Peninsula Grill, and in 2003, offered it via Federal Express overnight delivery.

Charleston Place Hotel and Charleston Grill

Charleston Place Hotel is located in the heart of historic Charleston at 205 Meeting Street, within walking distance of Market and King Street shopping, art galleries and restaurants. Charleston Place was ranked one of the “Top 10 Hotels in North America.” Charleston Place has the architectural style of a 17th-century residence and the conveniences of modern life. The Italian marble lobby has a signature Georgian Open Arm staircase and a 12-foot crystal chandelier as the focal point.

Located in Charleston Place is Charleston Grill, recipient of many accolades including Mobil Four-Star, AAA Four-Diamond and Distinguished Restaurants of North America. Chef Bob Waggoner joined the Charleston Grill in 1997. Nominated by the James Beard Foundation for Best Chef in the Southeast, he received an Emmy for his show, “Off the Menu.” His professional expertise and passion for food have contributed much to the success of Charleston Grill.

The Buick Enclave and Charleston Stand Out

Cruising in downtown Charleston, the Buick Enclave has sleek designs similar to the solid architectural design of Charleston. Architecture around the town is classic Georgian, Federal, Greek Revival, Italian, and Victorian. Gardens and courtyards compliment the stately homes South of Broad, the Battery and Rainbow Row. Driving the Enclave along Church and Meeting Street reveals the Colonial era. Many of the wrought iron gates in the city were designed by Philip Simmons, the ‘Charleston Gatekeeper,’ a world-renowned blacksmith and a Charlestonian.

A daytime excursion in the quiet tuned cabin of the Buick Enclave should include a visit to America’s first museum, the Charleston Museum. Located at 360 Meeting Street, the museum preserves the history and culture of Charleston.

Plan a day excursion to downtown Charleston in the Buick Enclave and visit the Aquarium, or take a ride to Fort Sumter. The South Carolina Aquarium is located at 100 Aquarium Wharf on the Charleston Harbor and a great place to learn about sharks, river otters, and the Sea Turtle Rescue Program. The Aquarium is a perfect site to take photographs of the Arthur Ravenel, Jr. Bridge and Patriots Point. The Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge towers above the Charleston skyline with a pedestrian and bicycle lane. Additional daytime excursions could include a visit to Magnolia Plantation and Gardens, Charlestowne Landing, Middleton Place, Boone Hall, Irvin House Vineyards, the Charleston Tea Plantation and so much more.

Like Charleston, the Buick Enclave stands up to the challenge of a luxurious crossover. Delivering a ride that is poised and polished, it exemplifies an elegant, classic car. The Buick Enclave is one sweet automobile to drive. It could easily become a new form of hospitality for Charleston, the new breed of Southern Belles and everyone who appreciates the finer things in life.

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Barbie Perkins-Cooper is a freelance writer who loves the journey and exploration of travel and health. She works full-time as an editorial photojournalist and has published numerous articles and photographs for regional, health and beauty and travel publications including the Travel Channel. Barbie resides in Charleston, South Carolina with her husband, Phil and three precious pups. She is the author of Condition of Limbo and Career Diary of a Photographer. Visit her website www.barbieperkinscooper.com

IF YOU GO:

Charleston Convention and Visitors Bureau, http://www.charlestoncvb.com/

Charleston Grill, http://www.charlestongrill.com

Charleston Museum, http://www.charlestonmuseum.org

Charleston Place Hotel, http://www.charlestonplace.com

Charlestowne Landing, http://www.charlestowne.org/

French Quarter Inn, http://www.fqicharleston.com/

Hominy Grill, http://hominygrill.com

John Rutledge House Inn, http://www.johnrutledgehouseinn.com/

Magnolia Plantation and Gardens, http://www.magnoliaplantation.com/

Market Pavilion Hotel, http://www.marketpavilion.com/

Peninsula Grill, http://www.peninsulagrill.com or http://www.coconutcakes.com

Planters Inn, http://www.plantersinn.com/

South Carolina Aquarium, http://www.scaquarium.org/

Spoleto Festival USA, http://www.spoletousa.org

cropped-arthur-ravenel-bridgeWentworth Mansion, http://www.wentworthmansion.com/

PARENT TO PARENT…CARE GIVING IN AMERICA


IMG_0620_editedHolidays of 1997

During the holidays of 1997, my life was extremely busy until a shocking reality forced me to readjust my schedule, to make time for a new, unsuspecting emergency when my father needed me the most, during his illness.  I was stepping into a new chapter of my life, green and naive of the responsibilities I would endure.  The roles of life were reversing, and before the Christmas holidays of 1997 ended, I learned about new duties while serving as the primary caregiver to my beloved, headstrong, and courageous father, Walter W. Perkins.
On December 9, I sat alone at the hospital waiting for the results of an endoscopy, feeling confident my dad would be okay.  I flipped the pages of a magazine while waiting for the test results.  When his doctor approached, I realized from his body language and the look in his eyes he did not have good news to report.  When he whispered esophageal cancer, I screamed. Standing in the corridor of Roper Hospital, my entire body shook. This cannot be true. It must be a mistake. My dad is a tower of strength. Nothing gets him down. Nothing!
Later, I regained my composure, while the hurtful words of cancer echoed in my head.  How could this be?  I pondered the diagnosis.  Dad would need chemotherapy and radiation.  I did not know if he would agree to the treatments, realizing that if he found the courage to fight such a dreadful cancer, he would become dreadfully sick.  According to the doctors, chemotherapy could help, or because it was so toxic and potent, it could kill him.
The prognosis was not a positive forecast.  The oncologist estimated that he could live possibly six months; nevertheless, he was not able to retain food now and was malnourished.  He needed a feeding tube, to pump nutrition into his stomach.  If he did not respond and maintain food soon, he would probably be dead within two weeks from malnourishment.

My heart palpitated as I realized my role model, mentor and advisor of life was terminally ill with a dreadful disease, and I was helpless to stop it.  My father was my guiding light of life, always strong and healthy.  Now, he would fight the battle of his life, and I did not doubt that I would be by his side for the duration of his illness.  Our roles in life were reversing, only this time, I would become the caregiver to my devoted, charming, and loving 82-year old father.

I was not sure I was ready for this challenge, but I knew I would not allow him to fight the disease without me.  Although I failed to understand the correct definition of a primary caregiver, I would learn, and change my lifestyle schedule to be by his side.  Realizing the nightmarish roller coaster ride I was on was a wake-up call I hope never to experience again.

I was a proud, energetic, fulfilled woman of the baby boomer generation, the generation designated to babies born during the years of 1946-1964.  I was involved in a demanding career, relieved that my son was grown and living on his own, planning to get married soon.  Now, it was time for me to do what I wanted to do until I realized my father would need me now, more than he needed anyone in his lifetime.  I was the parent to my parent.

LIFE WAS SPINNING, OUT OF CONTROL
I accepted the challenge, never understanding how the cycles of life were spinning uncontrollably while I slowly stepped into the dreadful middle age years, stepping into a new chapter of my life as a caregiver.
Americans of the baby boomer generation are aging.  Approximately one of four American households are involved in some form of caregiving.  The number of primary care providers is diminishing because many family members live far away or cannot become involved. They work. They have careers. Demands. No time is left for cancer and caregiving.  Where does this leave the elderly?  Who will feed them, dress them, and provide for their needs and companionship?  Who will see that their medical, financial, and personal needs are met?

In America, hospital and long-term care is skyrocketing.  Medicare will not cover the needs sufficiently.  Only a small amount of American families can afford private nursing home care or long-term medical care.  Approximately 36% of primary caregivers are over the age of 65.  As the baby boomers reach senior citizen status, the elderly population is projected to increase significantly and will require physical, emotional, assisted living and special needs.  Although the majority of caregivers are usually women, many of these women must juggle a full-time job and children still living at home, while managing the care of an elderly parent.  These demands can lead to physical ailments, including depression or burn out.
I was under the impression that Medicare would take care of the medical needs of my father, along with the elderly.  I was sadly mistaken.  Medicare would not pay for his prescriptions unless he was hospitalized; and if he needed long-term care, Medicare would only cover twenty days.  Fighting for his life, Dad worried about the bills, along with how he would afford the expense of cancer.  He was encouraged to file for Medicaid.
While the toxic brown bag of chemotherapy dripped into my father’s thinning veins, I realized I had to take charge of his life, at least for now.  Although I did not feel emotionally strong enough to endure the horrors of filing for Medicaid, I knew I had to become his voice, his nurse, and advocate.

I made an appointment to file for Medicaid. The process to file is a three-hour process where the social worker asks questions dating back to my paternal grandparents and great-grandparents. Since my parents were divorced, I had to find the divorce papers and other documents proving that my father was not a wealthy man.

 

LIFE WAS SPINNING LIKE A WHIRLPOOL
I adjusted my schedule, missing weeks of work, along with months of sleep.  When I visited him, I smiled while struggling to camouflage my emotions.  Dad was so weak and nauseated from the chemotherapy, he failed to notice, and I was thankful.  I wore myself out physically, almost to the point of exhaustion.  My emotional life was spinning out of control, trapped in a whirlpool I could not escape.

Returning to work after a nine-day absence, I had a meeting. During the meeting, I fell asleep, so exhausted I could not find the strength to work. I prayed for God to give me strength to survive.

To my surprise, I found an inner strength within myself, focusing on my father’s medical, financial, and physical needs.  We developed a closer relationship, and although we never discussed how it felt for him to suffer a terminal disease, I still remember his poignant words to me during one hospital visit.  He reached for my hand, whispering, he said, “You know, Barbara, cancer is not contagious.”
Tears filled my eyes as I turned my head away so he could not see me crying.  “I know, Dad.”  I kissed him on the lips, telling him I loved him.  I was proud to be his caregiver, and I was thankful he had confidence in me.

Emotions were pouring out of me so I rushed to the arboretum at Roper Hospital. Opening the door, I discovered no one was around. I sat down, wiping the gushing ocean of tears from my face. I rushed to the balcony. Opening the doorway, I closed it and started screaming. At first, just a whimper of screams. Listening to the traffic along Calhoun Street, I realized no one could hear me, so I let the fears, tears, and heartache of Dad’s illness escape. Afterwards, I realized I felt better.

PRIMARY CAREGIVER SUGGESTIONS
If you serve as a primary caregiver, be good to yourself.  Find time to be alone, while juggling the demands of caregiving, even if it means you must close the door for a bit of privacy for only a few minutes.  Make the most of your days, especially while caring for your loved one.  Take charge of your life.  Do not feed the doubts, or listen to the negative aspects of your new lifestyle change.  Repeat to yourself that you are taking life one day at a time, and make the most of every day, even if it is a dark and dreary day.  Be thankful for your blessings and the days that you and your loved are sharing.
Learn to speak up and fight for your rights, and the rights of the terminally ill, or elderly person you are caring for.  Watch for signs of depression, in yourself and your loved one.  Some of the symptoms of depression include: inability to sleep, inability to concentrate, and a mind that constantly races, especially at night, sometimes referred to as circular thinking, lack of appetite, irrational behavior, crying, or irritability.  I was in denial of my emotions, unable to see the warning signs.

DYING WITH DIGNITY
While serving as a primary caregiver, encourage your loved one to be strong, to fight for life, and to be courageous.  Let the person you care for make some of the decisions.  Most of all, open your heart, your mind, and share your love.  Never leave your loved one without a touch of affection and the simple words I love you, because you may not have tomorrow to express those affections.  Discover the rights of the elderly.  And when the time comes, allow your loved one to die with dignity, if that is his or her wish.
Search on the Internet for caregiving issues, publications, and become an advocate about elderly care.  I found numerous websites, and I read them passionately late at night, when I could not sleep.  Stand up for your rights, trust your instincts, and support your loved one’s wishes.  Make the most of every day, without making excuses for mistakes you make, appointments you must cancel, or demands you can no longer meet.  Become familiar with the Family Medical Leave Act, and do not allow others, especially co-workers or a boss, to intimidate you.

After I missed so many days of work, my boss met with me, wanting to know why I wasn’t dedicating myself to work anymore. Suddenly it seemed I was not efficient at my job and I appeared not to be dedicated to working so many hours, including weekends. I cannot give my all right now, I said. My priorities are my family, not my job.

One month later, I resigned, taking another job with ‘flexible’ hours and compassion for my situation.
Walter W. Perkins died on July 6, 1999, and although I am no longer a caregiver, I still consider myself an advocate for elderly care, especially where the rights of residents of nursing homes are concerned.

During the many nights I failed to sleep, I wrote CONDITION OF LIMBO,” a memoir based on the stressful experience of serving as a caregiver, and the lack of assistance for terminal illnesses. Published in 2001, the book discusses many of the issues my father and I experienced while he desired to die with dignity.

NO ISN’T AN OPTION

During Dad’s illness, I never took no for an answer, and I learned everything I could about Medicare, Medicaid and the rights of the elderly.  I wanted to be the voice my father could not be because he was so gravely ill and frail.  I have no regrets, and I am proud to say my father was my top priority in life, during his illness, and residency in a nursing home.  Although he died while I was walking into his room for my daily visit, I know that he knew I loved him, and I was devoted to him.  He was my life, and now he is my shining star.  A few days before he died, he reminded me to make the most of every day of my life, and I still strive to live life to its fullest, remembering his wisdom, his love, along with the passions he held for others.

LIFE AS A CAREGIVER

You, as a caregiver, or a baby boomer, could be the next family member to walk into a nursing home or a hospital, while your loved one is dying.  Live for the moment, hoping to see the sunrise and sunset of a new tomorrow.  Never forget to share your love and special times with the terminally ill or elderly.

After the death of my father, I fell apart.  As I dug my way out of the darkness of despair, I realized I was lost in a world of depression, unable to confront my emotional well being.  It was my darkest moment.  I managed to join a grief therapy session, while I learned to accept his death.

WAKE-UP CALL

Watching my father battle the debilitating disease of esophageal cancer, as he struggled to maintain his dignity, gave me a wake-up call I will never forget.  Now, I make the time to search for flowers, rainbows, birds and butterflies  and I enjoy the little things in life while enjoying life’s effervescent sunrises and sunsets.

PROUD TO SERVE

Be proud to be a caregiver, while serving as a parent to your parent, and never look back!  Life is too short to be trapped into a spider web of despair and regrets.  We must remember to make the best out of a problematic situation, feeding the decisive moments, while forgetting the negative and hopeless feelings we as caregivers experience.  We must educate ourselves about caregiving.  We must trust our instincts, and know that what we are doing is not a sacrifice, but an act of unconditional love while we learn to adjust and place our needs aside.  We are sharing and teaching, and growing into the citizens and family members that we need and desire to be.  We must stand up, not only for our rights but also for the rights of those who we love during their hour of need.  With the support of our families, friends and other caregivers, we are building memories to cherish for the rest of our lives.
May God bless caregivers, the family members, and loved ones we care for; and may we as caregivers continue to find ways to improve the lives of the ones we love and want to remember — one day at a time!

 

https://www.amazon.com/Condition-Limbo-Barbie-Perkins-Cooper/dp/1588511774

 

What Exactly Is A Good Ol’ Boy?


Dearest Readers:

Silly me. I thought the year 2018 was a portion of the Twenty-first Century. Not exactly where non-profit organizations are concerned.

I’ve dealt with non-profits for years, volunteering to write and serve as the editor for many of their publications, including newsletters. To be respectful here, I will not name the non-profits I’ve worked for, but there were many. My newsletters won awards for a military non-profit, for a not-for-profit school, and a few more organizations.

During my years as volunteer editor, never did I get compensated for any of the publications, research and writing, editing. Not even a you did a good job from several ‘good ol’ boy’ organizations.

Every newsletter I created had to be approved by the powers that be, aka the good ol’ boys. This delayed the process, but I didn’t mind. If someone complained to me that their newsletter was late, I referred them to the ‘good ol’ boys.’ After all, they had the final word.

On one occasion, I submitted a newsletter for ‘approval’ only to be told I had to remove the news about a soldier getting killed in Afghanistan. He was a resident of South Carolina, but not a local for the publication. I was told to remove his story. It wasn’t ‘newsworthy…’ And why not, I asked?

The reply I received was “You only need to write about our area, not the State of South Carolina.”

A soldier who lived in South Carolina died fighting for our country, but we should not share the story of his bravery, courage and loss? Isn’t this America?

Silly me. I was under the impression in America we could voice our opinions and tell the story. To say the least, I was flabbergasted!

Censorship!

Humph! Let me rethink ‘censorship:’ Censorship, the suppression of words, images, or ideas that are “offensive,” happens whenever some people succeed in imposing their personal political or moral values on others. Censorship can be carried out by the government as well as private pressure  groups.

https://www.aclu.org/other/what-censorship

As a writer, I do not believe in censorship. After dealing with the “good ol’ boys” I chose to resign as the newsletter editor. It simply wasn’t worth wasting my time on a bunch of “good ol’ boys” who wanted everything ‘their way, or the highway.’

I’ve had more opportunities to work with non-profits since that time. So far, all of them approaching me wanted me to work for free since ‘a freelance writer doesn’t get paid.’ How dare them!

What? More ‘good ol’ boys.’ I believe it is sad when so many organizations want everything their way and they refuse to listen to the opinions of a professional writer, or members of their organization.

I must admit, the publications they’ve written and published are always filled with typos, improper grammar,  and mostly writing that makes an impression. A BAD impression!

So, here’s to the ‘good ol’ boys.’ It really is sad when they refuse to move into the 21st-century!