When and If Hurricane Matthew Comes to the Lowcountry…


Dearest Readers:
Within 24-36 hours, we, in the low country, will know what our chance of meeting Hurricane Matthew is. Here’s what I predict. As most of you know, Charleston, SC is the ‘number one city in the world.’ No doubt, a Chamber of Commerce statement. Yes, it is a beautiful city. Antiquated!!! And I’m not certain IF the city has decided to get with the program and join the 21-first century!
If the hurricane is predicted to hit our coast, I imagine a ‘mandatory evacuation’ will finally be whispered. Remember — we have ’42 families moving into the low country daily.’ Well…we’ve had growth. Amazing, nightmarish growth…New construction is built almost everywhere – however, only roads leading into the subdivisions are made. Our dignitaries cannot make decisions about building additional roads. Their comments are “No money. And If we built new roads, where would we put them? Good question. Excellent observation…but why can’t they make a decision about I-526, or additional roads? Demolishing trees certainly isn’t hard since they completely destroy most of the trees in every new subdivision now. When I moved to Charleston, I was impressed how trees were saved. Not anymore!
If we use Highway 41 to evacuate — we will be parked right on the road when Matthew arrives. I’ve had that happen before in 1999. During that ‘mandatory evacuation’ we moved 57 miles in nine hours! Can you imagine holding your bladder for nine hours? I saw men walking into the woods of Highway 41. I wasn’t about to do that! And, I doubt if men could walk into the woods now – due to the area now filled with new subdivisions, shopping, and other suburban developments. Incidentally, I should mention when my husband was released from work to evacuate – so was every employee in Charleston. I suppose you’ve never read about these nightmares in infamous Charleston, SC — have you? Yes, a beautiful city – unable to handle the traffic hurricanes create when we are finally told ‘this is a mandatory evacuation.’ Yeah. Right. Charleston, what orbit are you on? Face reality! Mandatory evacuation is not possible!
If we have a ‘mandatory evacuation,’ we will not join that parking lot! We will gather our things. Our friends – the best four-legged kind – and we will stay in the hallway of our home. Reportedly, if it hits the coast of the low country, it will be only a category 2 storm. We’ve been here at home for those before. Remember last October?  We had the ‘hundred-year-storm,’ as the dignitaries called it.
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View of the Charleston Harbor and Arthur Ravenel, Jr. Bridge
In reality, it was a tropical storm/mini-hurricane.’ Not my definition of it, but one of the appraisers when I filed a claim and was told “You are not covered!”
Yes, I cancelled that policy and all the policies I had with that insurance company. Never again…Lesson Learned – the expensive way!
So, I am here to let you know – IF Hurricane Matthew comes to town in the low country, we will remain here in our home. Yes. The power will probably be cut off, just like Hurricane Hugo. I will go to the grocery store to get a few non-perishable items we can eat, along with our precious family friends, and we will be fine.
I’m praying my home will be fine. It took us four months to get our beautiful roof replaced in February, 2016. Interior construction from the damage we had during that storm wasn’t completed until May 28, 2016. On May 31, Phil had reverse shoulder replacement – which created another storm I never want to experience again. A physical, emotional roller coaster ride for both of us.
I am staying tuned in to the Weather Channel, and local weather reports, praying this storm will die down for our world. I’m beginning to hate hurricanes. The lightning. Winds. Rain…RAIN…AND MORE RAIN…create only one thing – a time to appreciate life and be thankful for the little things in life.
Hurricane Matthew we do not want you to be another traveling companion or tourist in the low country. Why don’t you move out to sea and disappear! You are not welcome here!
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Cypress Gardens Still Closed Due to The ‘Hundred Year Storm.’

Rainy Days…Rainy Nights…Will Charleston, SC EVER See Sunshine Again?


Dearest Readers:

As I glance outside at the window by my desk, I see gray skies…Raindrops are dripping slowly to the ground. Trees are covered with so much moisture, they almost lose their color. The mimosa trees drip with a grayish color as if to say they are sick and tired of this rain and don’t want to see or feel anymore! Pine trees are leaning over a bit. These pine trees are the seeds I planted after Hurricane Hugo, so the two that grew are just a bit special for me. My husband gripes about them always saying he plans to cut them down. Pine trees are reminiscent to me, reminding me of my childhood in Georgia. How frightened I would become while laying on the grass, noting their height and strength. I always feared those pine trees might pop and fall on top of me. Nevertheless, pine trees are prevalent in Georgia. I remind my grumpy husband that we lost five trees in our yard after Hurricane Hugo. Again, he grunts knowing that IF he cuts those trees down, he will have to deal with me – an unhappy woman sad that her little children of trees are gone due to his selfishness. We have three mimosa trees in the back yard now – planted from seeds from the hands of Mother Nature. How I love those mimosa trees, although today the branches are leaning down. Perhaps they weigh a bit too much now from all of this monsoon rain. Perhaps later, I will slide my rain boots on and walk outside, just to touch the tree branches I’ve watched growing from a tiny seedling to the height of 20′ – maybe a bit less. I’m much too short to measure them! I want those precious trees soaked and probably curious from the hands and moisture of Mother Sunshine to understand I still love them, and I want them to flourish. All in time. I am hopeful this monsoon rain will end soon…and just when I think I might see a bit of relief, I glance outside again to see sheets of rain. My yards are so wet I would not dare to walk outside in my stiletto or pump high heels. No doubt if I made the attempt, my feet would stick in the sandy moisture and pull me downwards. I don’t want to get soaked or dirty. I have a thing about dirt under my nails, but enough about that.

Last week, the rains began – at least I think it was last week. On Wednesday, Tammy, Sara, Chris and I walked the Arthur Ravenel, Jr. Bridge. It was a humid, gray morning with only a slight breath of wind. Walking up the first incline, I struggled with my breath, stopping several times to use my inhaler. I encouraged the girls to go ahead.
My asthma is leaving me a bit short-winded today. Go ahead, I’ll be fine.”

I stopped several times, just to catch my breath. I counted the lamp posts, telling myself that If I made it to the last lamppost at the first twin towers, I would rest, and I did. Still, I pushed myself, anticipating the approaching rains. I am proud to say, I accomplished my walk – but it appeared to take me forever. Thank you so much, silly asthma. How I wish I did not have asthma, although it is something I have battled all of my life.

For me, there is something magical I feel while walking the bridge. DSC_0033

While walking — sometimes it appears I am crawling, up the first incline, I feel as if God is pushing me, guiding me, telling me – take just one more step. You can do this! And so I do. I believe it doesn’t matter how long it takes. All that does matter is I am taking baby steps to my health. I am accomplishing something I’ve always said I would do “One Day,” after the bridge opened in 2005. I see walkers, runners, bikers, strollers, and I’ve seen a few walkers walking dogs (you do realize dogs are not permitted on the bridge – don’t you?) On one morning, a dog left a calling card. I missed stepping on it by just a few baby steps. Honestly, some people love to break the rules, don’t they!

I suppose you could say I believe in breaking rules – sometimes; however, I am considerate of others. I do not take my dogs on my walk. Accomplishing that bridge walk is something I take extremely seriously. I don’t want interruptions. Now that we have about three to five women walking with us, we all move at our pace. We don’t compete. We encourage, and If one of us gets behind like “slow poke Barbie” a nickname I’ve given myself — we text to make certain all is ok. These women are the greatest! Did I mention one of them is a high school friend from — let’s say — a few years ago in another town? Her name is Melanie. In high school, we were not close friends, and that is all my fault. When I was in high school, the only thing I wanted was to graduate and leave my childhood home. I failed to make close friends, only wanting to get out of Bibb City and the traumas of my youth.

Now, a different place. A different time. A different woman. I am proud of the woman I have grown into in my adult life. Gone is the wallflower. Gone is the child afraid to speak up. Replaced by someone who speaks her mind, believes in herself and is proud for the small accomplishments I have achieved. Finally, I can smile, look in the mirror and say, “Hey woman…You’ve got this! You is smart. You is determined, and you Is a better person for breaking that mold!” Thank you, God!

So today, I suppose is a day to reminisce…to ease the gloominess of all of this rain. A day to erase all of the past, or should I say — a day to WASH the past away!

Glancing out my window again, the rain has stopped. I am confident it will start again. I’ve lost count as to how much rain we’ve had, but I imagine it is close to 15 inches, possibly more.

I imagine the mosquitoes will be increasing now, along with the disgusting mold, mildew and ragweed. Wouldn’t it be nice IF the ragweed was washed away. I think I’m looking forward to a day where I awaken to the sunshine peeping thru the windows. I am so sick of all of this rain.

It is time for all of us to smell the flowers…inhale the scent of fresh rain…and to move on with our lives.

If It Wasn’t For Weight Watchers….


Dearest Readers:

As you probably know, I am a Weight Watcher. As a ‘weight watcher,’ I lose slowly — EVER SO SLOWLY! I have weekly weigh-ins where I cheer, and I have many weeks at weigh-in where I want to scream…beat myself up…run into a brick wall…or — QUIT! But — I cannot do this. Beating myself up – like I did as a child — is not healthy for me. Getting depressed and quitting – just isn’t who I am now. Years ago, I quit things that challenged me. Now, as an adult — at least I think I am — I like a challenge, and for me, Weight Watchers is a challenge.

Today, thanks to a beautiful, encouraging friend I am back to a wonderful, intimidating and fun challenge — walking the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge!

A few years ago, I briefly discussed the bridge:
To those of you who do not know, “The bicycle and pedestrian lane is 2.7 miles long (14,400 feet), measuring from Patriots Point Road to East Bay Street. Measuring only the part that is on the bridge structure, the walkway is 2.4 miles long (12,750 feet). Most of the bridge is limited to a 4.1% maximum slope. On the Charleston side of the
main span, the long approach is a 1.8% slope. On the Mount Pleasant side, there is a section three-tenths of a mile long that has a 5.6% slope.” http://www.cooperriverbridge.org/bike.shtml

When plans for the bridge were in the discussion stages, a high school group got involved, suggesting adding a pedestrian, bicycle lane. I am so happy those plans were included in the bridge plans. Now, the Arthur Ravenel Bridge is one of the favorite spots for active walkers, runners and bicyclists to work out. Speaking only for myself, I find it invigorating just to walk on it. You must remember, I am asthmatic. Exercise, stress, and illness activate my asthma. Today, I forgot to pack my inhaler – in the event I had an attack. On Monday of this week, I had an attack – thanks to my mini-schnauzer, the oldest of our pets. He chose to ignore the command of ‘stay’, darting out to the road. I rushed after him, and he ran faster. The little brat! A police officer drove by, stopping to get Sir Shakespeare Hemingway. On the way to the house, my asthma kicked in, so I must be careful. Nevertheless, I refuse to allow asthma to stop me. As a child, I was told I could not run or play or dance, like the other kids because I had asthma. I listened. Grinned, and danced my way outside. Stubborn? Independent?? Opinionated??? Wanting to do things MY WAY????? You betcha!

I’ve always believed in breaking the rules. After I had accomplished my first adventure on the Ravenel Bridge, I walked it two to three times weekly. For those of you who have Fitbits, the incline records the steps, floors, miles and active minutes. Today, I paid attention to these records when I got home. I moved on 16 floors today. Walked for 50 active minutes, for a total of 3.66 miles, and I had over 7,000 steps recorded before 10:00 am. Today, I will surpass my goals to walk for 10,000 steps, 30 minutes active. I cannot wait to share this information at Weight Watchers tomorrow.

When you walk the bridge, you feel like it will be an easy journey. For those who haven’t walked it, or those who are not accustomed to walking, it might be a bit difficult; however, since I am a walker, and I walk the treadmill, today’s journey was not as difficult as it has been. My friend, Melanie did fine too. You must remember, as you begin the journey up the bridge, it continues to incline. Remember – Charleston, SC does not have any mountains, so we in the Lowcountry are accustomed to walking the ‘Lowcountry!’ The bridge has a 4.1% incline. Many people who have walked the bridge say it bothers their legs, but it didn’t for me, and Melanie tolerated it well too. I think she and I will be good walking buddies!

Now, that I am home, I feel inspired. There is something so special about getting outside to walk. The sun beams down onto your skin. The breeze kisses your face, and the walk gets your entire body moving. Arms are swinging. Legs are moving to the beat. Your heart is beating while the breeze conditions your body to keep moving. I didn’t mention the view, and it is spectacular. You look down to see the view of the Charleston Harbor. Perhaps you see a ship or a cargo ship floating by while the breeze refreshes your face. This is Charleston, SC. A Holy City where we do our best to enjoy this life we are given. God has given us a beautiful, historical city to enjoy the lifestyle we so enjoy and new friendships to cherish.

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Friday Reflections…


Dearest Readers:

If you follow my blog on a regular basis, you will know I haven’t written much in this column in about two weeks. Last week was truly the week from Hell for me. Beginning with suspected car problems where the technicians replied, “The engine light wasn’t on when we checked it…” Of course, that is a typical response from men to a woman at a service department…now, isn’t it — WOMEN! They were slightly mistaken. The engine light icon returned, and on Wednesday, it took over three hours to get it repaired. Of course, the main reason it took so long is due to the fact my car warranty was purchased with the car ($1549.00) at Car Max. Still, I am furious with Car Max; however, I will go on record to say that the service tech at Dodge possessed an amazing amount of patience with them — JUST — to get the warranty approved. Thank you, Dodge…and NO THANK YOU…to Car Max!

But — that chapter is closed and I am pleased to share that the repair that I had to pay for in the amount of $477.21 has been compensated to me – minus the $100 deductible since I DID NOT USE CAR MAX FOR THE REPAIR… Heck, I could not get Car Max to return a phone call, or the Mouse Lady to acknowledge me! Can you detect my frustration with Car Max???

Enough about Car Max! I suppose this post should actually be Friday frustrations, instead of Friday Reflections; however, since I am a person who looks for the positive in life and not the negative, I will do my best to reflect with a positive attitude.

While I am reflecting on Friday and this week, I would like to share that I was finally able to attend my weekly Weight Watchers meeting yesterday — the first meeting I’ve attended in four weeks. I confess, I anticipated a weight gain of 3 or 4 pounds and was a bit happy when I had only gained .06! It was wonderful to get back to my REAL life again. This reflection proves to me that I cannot complete my Weight Watchers journey alone. Like someone with an addiction, I must attend weekly meetings to share my ups and downs with all. I confess, I think the only reason I did not show a weight gain of four pounds or more was due to the fact that I have worked out on the treadmill every day since last Saturday. It was suggested at the meeting for me to ‘shake up’ my exercise routine a bit, so this week I will go for an extended walk — on the Arthur Ravenel, Jr. Bridge, and I will return to walking my dogs again. I’ve been slack about walking my dogs ever since we lost my precious Shamey-Pooh. The last time I walked the dogs on our three-mile journey someone actually stopped me to inquire where the ‘beautiful silver dog was,’… when I replied that he died, they apologized and I burst into tears.

Undoubtedly, there has been a black cloud over me for a few weeks, or maybe it is the full moon returning; nevertheless, this week started off — shall I say unpredictable. Monday afternoon, Phil and I left the house a few minutes after 5pm, headed to the Coastal Carolina Fair. What would normally take about 30 minutes was at least 1.5 hours. We arrived at the fair at about 7pm. Never did Phil get annoyed about the traffic and we had a great time at the fair. Little did I know how things would change within 24 hours!

For those of you who do not know – My husband has PTSD – Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. If you do not know what it is like to live with someone with PTSD — count your blessings! Tuesday afternoon when Phil returned home from work, he had a strange look in his eyes. I know that look well — PTSD! Within 30 minutes, we were fighting. I cannot recall what set him off, or me off – but our fight continued. I decided to shut myself away in the bedroom. That night, I broke our rule – a rule made when we were newlyweds…the rule of “never going to bed angry, or without a good night kiss!”

Wednesday – we had the same scenario. No matter what I said, we could not stop the fight. Listening to someone is difficult with him. I approached him carefully, telling him ‘we need to talk.’ When someone has PTSD communication does not exist. Every time I said I needed to talk to him, we fought. The real kicker was when Phil shouted to me that I was exactly like my mother. Yes, he does know the right buttons to push! I exploded although with a calm, diplomatic voice letting him know that I was ‘nothing like my mother!’ Never did I behave, or deceive him in the manner my mother deceived my father.

I gathered my dogs and off we went to the bedroom. I pretended to be asleep! No kiss. Nothing! Breaking the rules continued. I should add, Wednesday, Phil called me several times. No doubt, he wanted to end this scenario on the phone. I stood firm.

Thursday morning, after Weight Watchers, I had lunch with a close friend from Weight Watchers. As I was leaving the car to meet her, my cell phone beeped with an e-mail. From Phil. Subject – Peace! He said he was tired of fighting…recognized that at times he could be difficult, only that is not the word he used! And he was sorry. I phoned him. Fight over.

No, I was not refusing to take the first step to end this emotional battle, but when you live with someone with PTSD there does come a time when you must be firm so they can see the issues related to PTSD. I’ve had several friends ask why I tolerate his behaviors and mental treatments. My reply – simple –he is the only person who has ever loved me. He rescued me when I needed rescuing. If you’ve followed my blog for a while, reading my issues with my mother and the domestic abuse of my family, then you must understand. When someone grows up in such an environment, never do you anticipate a life of love and peacefulness. Never did I EVER see my parents hug or kiss, so — due to LOVE(??) that is why I tolerate such behaviors. I do recall my parents shouting and I shall quote:
Mother – expressed to my father: “I hate you…You no good Son of a B—-!”

Dad’s reply: “I wish I never married you!”

Mom’s reply: “I hope you die soon…”

Those cruel expressions echoed in my ears as a child, and they still echo in my ears. Once you live in an abusive family situation, you never forget it!

Maybe that is why I strive so hard to be positive. When I hear others gossiping, ridiculing others, I say something positive about the person. Maybe that is why I’ve lost “friendships” because I do not wish to gossip about others. I do not function well with gossip or negativity. As a child, I recall my mother dragging me to the beauty shop in Bibb City, GA where she would sit for hours gossiping about women, men and the couples within the village of Bibb City. I hated these moments and would rush outside, or sit with my head covered with one of the bubble hair dryers so I would not hear their shrewd gossip. Women can be so dangerous and cruel. I suppose those ‘toxic stories’ made my mother feel better about herself, and I do recall saying to my mother, “God don’t love ugly.” My grandmother’s favorite expression! My mother’s response, “You shush your mouth, you stupid girl!”

Later in my life, I focused on a new definition of STUPID!
S – Sensitive
T – Tenacious
U – Unique
P – Passionate
I – Imaginative; Independent; Intimate
D – Dignified; Dependable; Desirable

Perhaps for today, these are my Friday reflections. I am hopeful next week will be a positive, happy week for me, and for you. What are your Friday Reflections?

Friday Reflections…Finding My Strength To Be The Best I Can Be…


Dearest Readers:

Yes, today is Friday. A day to reflect and appreciate life. A day to give thanks and be thankful for another great week of life.

If you are a regular reader of my blog, you will recall I am on a Weight Watchers journey. Thursday is my weigh-in day, so reluctantly, yesterday, I went to the meeting, anticipating a weight gain of three or four pounds. Why? You might say? Well, although I hate to admit it, I binged. Until Tuesday, I found myself going to the pantry to eat — of all things — peanut butter. I still do not understand what was going on with me, and why I was craving and eating that stupid jar of peanut butter. I do confess to the habit of checking my weight daily, and I work out at least five days weekly; nevertheless, I craved that peanut butter like someone who would never eat peanut butter again.

When I arrived at Weight Watchers and weighed, I read my weigh in card, realizing I had only gained one pound. Rejoice! After all, it’s the little things in life that mean so much to us, especially someone on a Weight Watchers journey.

I looked at my leader, sharing with her my week. Much to my surprise, she did not ridicule me or shame me. That is what is so great with attending the meetings at Weight Watchers. Never do we get shamed or ridiculed. We receive encouragement, even when we
“fall off the wagon,” just like I did this week. I did share with Kathy, my leader, that on Tuesday, after having a serious discussion with myself, I tossed the peanut butter jar into the trash. Thank goodness!

If you are considering a Weight Loss program, I would like to encourage you to join Weight Watchers. I joined in March 2011. For me, it has been a slow journey, but I have stuck with it, even when I miss a meeting, I force myself to continue this journey, especially this week.

What makes Weight Watchers work? For me, I believe it is the meetings…the encouragement and support we receive, even when we have a bad week. During those bad weeks, many people simply give up and quit, only to return to a meeting and rejoin months later…after gaining weight. I embrace all of the members who return and I am happy that they chose to come back. I have made a commitment to myself to continue this journey, even IF it takes me the remainder of my life to reach my goal. Never have I discussed my ‘goal weight’ — but — I do have a goal weight in my mind, and I will reach it. Meanwhile, I continue the journey. Walk on the treadmill, and on the bridge, and I work out. Sometimes, I glance at myself in the mirror and stare for a moment…Remembering WHO I was before losing 35 pounds…and WHO I am now. My “arms are smaller, along with my legs. My hips have “shrunk,” according to my husband, and my face doesn’t have the fullness it had before.

Never shall I forget the first day I walked into the Weight Watchers meeting. Never did I establish eye contact with anyone. I was too ashamed of who I saw in that mirror. Now, when I walk in I am greeted — just like others, and I embrace the new me.

My Friday Reflections for today could easily be a whipping session for myself…beating myself up…like I have previously. Today is a new day…a new beginning…a new step…a new journey…a new life…and so I embrace it while being so thankful that Weight Watchers has changed my life. I am more confident and proud of who I am becoming, as I step out into this journey called life.

For me, Weight Watchers is a bridge of strength and pride while I take the baby steps to grow into the woman I’ve always desired. A woman full of pride and strength, just like the Arthur Ravenel, Jr. Bridge in Charleston.

What about you? Do you have Friday reflections to share? I’d love to read them!

Sh-h-h…Listen to the Mesmerizing Sounds of Quiet, and Fog Horns…


Dearest Readers:

Morning has broken and when it did, I cringed. My head was pounding with another dreadful sinus headache. Glancing outside, I noticed this morning was covered with another blanket of thick fog. If you read my post from yesterday, you will recall I planned to walk the Arthur Ravenel, Jr. Bridge today. That will not happen. Charleston is expecting severe thunderstorms today, so I will not take a chance…not with these headaches. Today will be a treadmill day!

Listening to the sounds of quiet, I hear fog horns in the distance, along the harbor. Oh, how I welcome those musical sounds. The long hum…hum… Sometimes, there are five fog horns sounding. Other times, there are three. I can just picture the ships gliding along the harbor. Hum…Hum…Hum. Hum…Hum…Hum…Hum…HUM! Those musical notes are so delicious to hear.

Suppose I’ll hop on the treadmill now, to beat this headache out of my head. Have a great weekend, readers.

Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge Is Still Closed…


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Dearest Readers:

How are you enjoying these incredible winter storms? I find it interesting that the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia is having temperatures in the high 60’s while the USA is freezing in many locations, including the mild climate of Charleston, SC. Early Wednesday morning at 4:00am, our signature, landmark bridge, Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge was closed due to the inclement weather — ice on the bridge. Today, it is Thursday, my Weight Watchers meeting day and the bridge is still closed; in fact, according to Governor Nikki Haley, it is the only bridge in South Carolina that is still closed.

What is the problem? Why can’t this bridge be opened. SIMPLE! The bridge has two diamond-shaped twin towers with approximately 128 cable stays. On the cables ice is falling onto the bridge. Would you want your car to be at risk due to unguided missiles falling from the cables? I think not. Two weeks ago we experienced this ice situation. Engineers and the SCDOT decided to open the bridge because if and when the cable stays thaw out, the ice will fall away from the roadbed. NOT!

After the bridge opened, the ice thawed, dropping onto several cars. Some of the windshields exploded. One woman reportedly suffered an eye injury when shattered glass fell into her eye. Thank God no one was killed! I can only imagine the lawsuits that will occur.

And so, we the residents of Charleston, SC await to hear the bridge has opened again. Many people are furious about the situation. Well, I’ve said it for years, and I will continue to say it here and in public — the antiquated city of Charleston, SC needs to build more bridges. We are having an amazing growth spell in Charleston now, but with growth we need more roads and that just isn’t happening.

According to news alerts I receive, the bridge is still closed at this moment, due to the ice falling from the cable stays.

I have lived in Charleston for many, many years. I haven’t seen many new roads built, and I doubt they ever will, but we definitely need more bridges. The only way out of Mt. Pleasant into Charleston is thru the I-526 highways, or if you take the back roads, you can travel on Highway 41. Just make certain you have plenty of gas because it is a long way to travel, just to get to your destination. Or, if you are in a hurry — just face the reality of the situation…You are in Charleston, SC — where things move at a slower pace. Yes, I love the city and the beauty, but we really do need to modernize and build more roads.

Somehow I doubt it will happen. People here are still fighting over the cruise ships in the harbor. So, fellow residents if you are looking for a way to cross the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge — just stay home, or take the Charleston Water Taxi, http://www.charlestonwatertaxi.com/

You will not be disappointed. The view from the water taxi is spectacular!

The Arthur Ravenel, Jr. Bridge Saga…


Dearest Readers:

My last post discussed briefly the issues we endured in Charleston, SC during our ‘winter storm.’ If you recall, the ice on the Arthur Ravenel, Jr. Bridge was an issue…one the engineers did not believe would be an issue. Statements were made that the ice would melt and not fall on cars. Damage to cars was not an issue — to the engineers.

DUH!?! I ask you, must one have an engineering degree to have just a bit of common sense???

Living in Mt. Pleasant, I drive across the Arthur Ravenel, Jr. Bridge almost daily and I hated that it was closed for such a long time, but I did consider that ice on the cable stays might be an issue. Others disagreed with me; however, when the ice began melting and falling from the cable stays, my theory was 100% correct. http://www.live5news.com/story/24599717/ravenel-bridge-shut-down-as-ice-falls-from-diamonds

When the breaking news about the falling ice was reported, cameras on the bridge showed viewers how large and dangerous the ice was. Reportedly, drivers dodged the ice, while other drivers were not so lucky! Photographs revealing shattered windshields and damaged cars demonstrated the danger better than any reporter could.

I phoned my husband who was back at work for the first time since the crippling winter storm. I suggested that he would probably be in another traffic jam on his drive home since the authorities appeared to be scratching their heads about when the bridge would reopen. “Let us use our common sense, people…If the bridge is losing icicles, is it a good idea to reopen until certain the ice has stopped dropping?”

Duh!

I do hope the engineers, SCDOT, and the authorities learned something about the bridge. Yes, it is beautiful. An amazing landmark for our beautiful city; however, when we have a rare occasion of ice and snow, those cables do freeze and it takes a bit of time for them to drop or melt from the cable stays. I doubt there is a de-ice that could be used. Those cable stays are not exactly easy to heat. Let’s not consider using a blow dryer! Mother Nature must do her job to allow the ice to melt. Perhaps next time a freak but beautiful winter storm comes our way, the authorities will remember the icing issues and keep the bridge closed UNTIL all the ice is melted. We are fortunate that a driver was not killed! Just picture it. You have a car with a sun roof. Ice crashes from the cable stays onto the sun roof. Would the driver actually survive this? I doubt it. The ice would be a missile exploding onto the sun roof, or windshield. We were blessed that God protected the city. All the engineers need is a bit of common sense while recognizing that no one can predict in what direction those icicles will drop. There are approximately 128 cable stays on the bridge. Next time, our city must be prepared. Yes, closing the bridge is an inconvenience; nevertheless, Charleston is not exactly a city known for bridges, or convenience along the roads. It took 10 hours during the last hurricane for my husband and I to drive 57 miles out of the city when we were told we must leave. Yes, I said — ten hours, to drive 57 miles! I love living in Charleston, but I do not like how this city does not plan for the future regarding traffic issues. If you move to Charleston, you must consider when we have storms, we are not as prepared as we should be.

Today, I am happy to report is a beautiful day of sunshine. No doubt the groundhog will see his shadow. Who cares! The weather in Charleston will change. Spring will soon arrive and all will be beautiful again. As for the bridges — only Mother Nature can control them or predict any dangers along the way. Happy and safe driving, Arthur Ravenel, Jr. Bridge drivers!

Br-r-r-r-r…But Baby It’s Cold Outside!


Dearest Readers:

But baby, it’s cold outside! It is Thursday morning. Normally, I rush to my Weight Watchers meetings on Thursday mornings; however, this Thursday morning is the exception.

Why?

Simple. I live in Charleston, SC — a city that markets itself as a city with ‘a mild climate.’ Mild climate? Are they nuts? It is 26 degrees outside this morning. My yard is still covered with spots of snow. Icicles are still on the mimosa tree. Yes, baby…it’s cold outside!

For two days I’ve been inside the house striving to stay warm. Occasionally, I walk outside to feel the crisp, cold weather on my face. When it started raining with ice in the rain early Wednesday morning, I walked outside to feel it on my face. I wasn’t certain if it was rain, or ice, but when it dropped onto my head, I felt the ice. For two days, my husband has been home from work due to — ‘in-climate weather.’ Tuesday, nothing happened. Wednesday morning — excuse the expression, but all Hell broke loose and the City of Charleston was crippled. We, the residents of Mt. Pleasant, were crippled effective Tuesday evening at 8pm when the Arthur Ravenel, Jr. Bridge closed. Moments later, the other bridge leading us out of Mt. Pleasant, the Don Holt Bridge, was closed.

“The City of Charleston is all but crippled now,” I said to myself. “Only in Charleston!”

Yesterday, I strove to write, only staring at my computer screen instead. I could not understand why the bridges were still closed. ‘Couldn’t they clear the roadbeds?’ Regardless, the roads to and out of Mt. Pleasant are crippled — still this morning. What an interesting day this will be!

Yesterday, since my husband was home I recognized that he would interrupt my thoughts, my chores, my busy-ness constantly — and he did! Once, while staring at the computer screen, he rushed to my desk. A look of panic on his face. At first I thought ‘oh my…is he having a heart attack?’

Nope. All is fine with his heart. To those of you who do not know, or understand my husband, let’s just say — he is blessed with a technical mind. Common sense? Definitely lacking.

Yesterday, his emergency was due to a lacking of common sense. My husband is named Phil. As a child, it appeared to my observations that EVERY boy I met named Phil was either a geek, or a nerd! You guessed it — I married a “Phil,” and named my only child “Phillip!” DUH!

Let me explain the scenario of yesterday. Phil rushed to my side, asking if I had a ‘moment.’

“What now?”

“Can you take these tiny tweezers and see if you can get something out of my ear?” He held the tweezers that looked more like a small jewelry tool to me.

“What have you done?”

“I was cleaning wax out of my ears and something broke off inside my ear.”

“Let me guess. You used your eye glasses again, didn’t you!”

Mr. Gifted Technology just doesn’t get it. Never do you use the tip of your eyeglasses to clean your ears!

Phil grabbed his car keys. “Where are you going?” I asked.

“I’m certain the bridge is open now. I need to get my ear checked.”

“Arthur Ravenel Bridge is still closed. You will not be able to get out of Mt. Pleasant.”

Phil ignored me, and off he went. About thirty minutes later he returned home. No medical facilities were open, and all of the bridges were closed still. He could not understand why the Ravenel Bridge was still closed. OK…Allow me to explain.

The bridge is a twin tower structure, with cables! Wouldn’t icicles form on the cables? Yes, they could clear the roadbed, but do we actually expect someone to clean the cables, clearing them of the icicles…and IF a car drove over this bridge now…what would happen IF an icicle fell onto the car? Wouldn’t it work like an unguided missile?

Just my observation, as a writer. You must understand…Mr. Gifted Technology thinks women do not have common sense, or brains! I’m happy to announce, HE IS MISTAKEN!

At 3pm, the announcement was made that the Don Holt Bridge was open for traffic now. Phil decided he needed to get the tip of his eyeglasses out of his ear. He kept asking me to go with him. At 5pm, we left, driving across the Don Holt Bridge to I-26. Still, Phil could not understand why the signature bridge, Arthur Ravenel Bridge, wasn’t open. I decided to keep my thoughts to myself about my theory. He would never agree with me!

When we arrived at the VA Hospital, everyone got a bit of a kick out of Phil’s reason for being there! Using the tip of your eyeglasses to clean wax from your ears???

Yep! It makes sense to me…NOT!

And to think, this man is a computer whiz! Whenever neighbors or friends need computer service, Phil is the one they call to fix the problems. He is gifted with computers and can always repair the problems I have with mine. Common sense???!!?

Well, let’s just say, anyone who uses the tip of the eyeglasses to clean their ears needs a bit more in the common sense area! Eyeglasses are prescribed to assist eye sight, not to clean the ears.

Phil is home again today. Due to the parking lot of traffic on Don Holt Bridge, he cannot make it to work. When he called, he was told, the power was out at the office, so just stay home.

Joy! Another day with a man who insists on using eye glasses to cleanse the ears. I can only imagine what will happen today. We still have snow on the ground. The Arthur Ravenel, Jr. Bridge has been closed since 8pm Tuesday night, and If I attempt to write, I am certain I will be interrupted again. I think the next time we have a threat of a ‘winter storm in Charleston, SC’ I will escape. I’ll keep that little secret to myself!

Welcome to Charleston, SC — tourists… A city with mild climates? I’ll let the snow birds and tourists debate that statement. I’m still looking for spring!

Losing, the Weight Watchers Way!


Dearest Readers:

Today is always the day — for my ‘weigh in’ with Weight Watchers. How did it go? I suppose since I am totally exhausted from lack of sleep — again — awakening at 2:00am, turning the television on, thankful that I can now record “Designing Women” and the “Golden Girls,” I watch several episodes while Father Time ever so slowly ticks, ticks, tick-tocks, the night away. Last week I did not go to the meeting. I was much too tired due to lack of sleep and another migraine headache. Let’s just say, I’m not a fun person to be around when I have a headache.

Recognizing that if I do not get myself to the meeting I will have the tendency to slack off, I force myself to get to the meeting. This has been a good week, not just because I anticipated a good weight loss. It’s been a good week because I am working out more often, walking on the Arthur Ravenel, Jr. Bridge and I am using the treadmill. So, this week, life has been good.

Arriving at the meeting, I hop on the scale. Minus 1.8 pounds this week, and I have finally broken that silly plateau that I was on — for seven months. Those seven months were a true test for me. Was I really determined to stick it out and continue following Weight Watchers?

The answer is Yes! Even when I didn’t lose, or gained a bit, I kept telling myself —
This I Do For Me!
Even If I Gain, I’m Still Following Weight Watchers
I Am Making New Friends – All to the Credit of Weight Watchers
Healthy Eating, the Weight Watchers Way is The Only Way!
Just Move – Walk…Use The Treadmill, Work Out…Simply Because — IT WORKS!

This week, while cleaning my husband was home. As he watched me doing the household chores, he kept looking at a part of my body – only this time it wasn’t my chest. “You know,” He said, “Your butt is getting smaller!”

I placed the dust cloth on the table. “You mean, you’ve actually noticed?”

Coming from him that is truly a compliment. He is quick to look at other women, especially when their booties, or boobs attract his eyes.

Turning back to the housework while my husband continued to be a couch potato, I was pleased that he noticed, a bit annoyed that he never offered to help with housework. Yes, my husband is from the old school — the Archie Bunker school, I might add!

No wonder I am such a feminist!

I have come to terms with the reality and pride of what I am accomplishing with Weight Watchers, and my Thursday morning meetings really start my day (and weekend) off with a bit of strength and newfound confidence! I am proud that I practice a completely new lifestyle now, and I’ve discovered that when I share with others that I am doing Weight Watchers, they are supportive. That was another reality check for me.

When I joined Weight Watchers, I did not share the news with others. Two weeks after joining, I finally announced it to some friends, and they are always asking me how it is going…am I still doing Weight Watchers…how much have I lost…and does it really help to join Weight Watchers?

I have had a couple of friends who joined after I did. One lost weight quickly, but then she lost interest. I haven’t asked her if she has put the weight back on. I strive to be sensitive to those issues, recalling the many, many years when I was so sensitive about my weight gains…losses…gains…haven’t we all struggled in that respect. Another friend joined Weight Watchers On Line. At first, she lost quickly, then she stopped. She confessed to me that she had given up and was cancelling her membership.

Perhaps I persuaded her to go to a meeting. At first, she was apprehensive. “I don’t want others to know how much I weigh.”

The meetings are confidential. No one can read the scales. You don’t have to be ashamed…we have all been there!

She went to a meeting, and I do believe she is still going to the meetings. She lives miles away from me, so we don’t get to see each other in person.

Today, it felt good to return to Weight Watchers after missing last week. Soon, I will tip the scales with a 40 pound weight loss. I’ll be so happy when that day arrives. I will probably meet with the leader then to decide what my goal is. I have a number dancing inside my head, but I’ll not share it — yet! Just know, for me — and perhaps for others, Weight Watchers is truly the key to losing weight and keeping it off. “Weight Watchers, because it works,” Jennifer Hudson says, and for me, I can truly relate to those words. As I watch the pounds, inches and clothing sizes decreasing, I finally gave myself a gift I haven’t shared with anyone.

Stein Mart recently had a full-length mirror at a special price. All of my life I have wanted a full-length mirror. Each time I thought about buying one, I talked myself out of it, because I had too many bumps on my body…I didn’t want to see myself in a full-length mirror, but this time, I found the courage to buy it. One afternoon while dressing to go to karaoke, I tried a new short skirt on. I looked in the floor-length mirror. Much to my surprise, I heard a voice say, “Girl…you’re looking good!”

Is that really me in the mirror? For the first time since losing my father in July, 1999, I felt proud of myself and the image looking in the mirror. I cannot wait to reach goal and see the image again!

For me, Weight Watchers is my new lifestyle change. I am eating healthier now. I actually enjoy fresh fruit again, and I have learned that when I am fulfilled, I stop eating. My husband says I eat like a bird now…compared to his appetite, I suppose that is true.

Next Thursday is the Fourth of July, Independence Day. Regardless what I eat on that date, I will enjoy every taste of the delicious foods and fruit I eat. Weight Watchers will be closed on that date, and I doubt that I will attend a different meeting. I’ve gotten to know the people at our meeting and I enjoy chatting with them. Who cares if I don’t attend a meeting next week. I’ll still be loyal to Weight Watchers.

“Why?”

Simple…because Weight Watchers Works, for me…and for millions! And now, I’m off to attempt a nap. If sleep fails to captivate me, I’ll just hop on the treadmill, and fight with my mini-Schnauzer, Hank. He totally believes the treadmill is his big toy.

Enjoy your week, readers and remember — “Weight Watchers, because it works.”