"When you're safe at home you wish you were having an adventure;
when you're having an adventure you wish you were safe at home."
Upon leaving Charleston we had a bit of a debate about heading straight home or going a little out of the way to see Beaufort, SC. The only thing I know about Beaufort is that this is where The Big Chill and the Great Santini were filmed. It was hard for me to pass up a chance to see and take a picture of this house but I left the decision up to Sweetie the driver, who was beginning to look a bit weary.
[The Big Chill House as seen through the locked "Private Property" gate.]
One of the reasons I call him Sweetie is that my love seems to read between my unspoken lines and decide what I would decide if I wasn't so indecisive! Beaufort was quite a place. It oozed southern, charm. The houses were huge and to die for. Think big! Think, two or three story with shuttered windows, great big porches, moss covered oak trees sitting for years on huge lawns. Think ladies wearing cotton eyelet dresses, large sunbonnets, sipping tangy lemonade. Think Magnolia blossoms, azalea bushes and red bud trees.
I say I don't know what my soul yearns for and that's why I feel so stuck when I think about moving into the future. Today, I think I heard my heart say, "I'm home." I think maybe I was a Southern belle in another life. In this life there is no way I could afford such living. To be sure, however, it was divine to drive around and see how the other half live.
While I was browsing post cards in the visitor's center, Sweetie was looking at entertainment brochures. He handed me one that took my breath away. It was for a place called Luther's. Seriously, what are the chances? Without further ado we pointed the car in that direction. Known for great burgers and beer we had a delicious lunch. I thought about ordering a Manhattan on the rocks in honor of the man who shared the name of the proprietor. Instead, I said a silent "I miss you, Dad" and raised my Pepsi toward heaven.
[Odd or God?]
I don't know if I believe that Dad was watching over us. That seems a little woowoo. But then what are the chances of us being so far away from home, in a little beach town and finding a lunch place with my father's name? Was it a sign? If so, of what? Maybe a slow and gentle way to break me back into the idea of heading home.
Six days and 600+ miles later here we are - home again. Sigh.
It's not that I don't want to be home. I've always believed one of the best things about a vacation is pulling up into your own driveway and feeling a sense of relief, of knowing you belong somewhere. My worry is that this house holds so many memories, memories I can't run from even if I wanted to. I don't know where to start incorporating the old with the new.
[Magnolia Tree #25.
Not sure what the number means or why the trees were marked.]
Maybe I should take my cues from the trees I saw on the trip. One was reported to be 500 years old. My goodness, in that span of time this country was founded, split apart, and reconstructed. Houses were built and destroyed by hurricanes and rebuilt. People lived and died yet their histories live on. I don't know what the future holds for Sweetie and I. I do know, though, there is a future. I need to rely on the roots that have been planted, and let the new buds blossom on branches that reach for the sky. It sounds like a plan that might just work. For now, I need to take a shower and crawl into my own bed. The cats are anxious to tell me what went on while we were gone. And I'm anxious to listen.
In one of my wildest fantasies, I've thought it would be neat to travel around the US in a motorhome, going wherever the mood suggested, taking notes and writing a travel journal. It is not an original idea and better writers than I have already done it. I'm not sure Sweetie and I are necessarily the long distance traveling kind, though it might be different if we took our home with us. I've enjoyed writing about this trip. I hope you've enjoyed traveling with us. The only think you missed was the smell of Pine Sol in gas station bathrooms (when you gotta go you gotta go) the ridiculous traffic, scarfing up the miniature bottles of shampoo and an ancient cassette tape (can you believe it?) of some Southern guy telling stories that made Sweetie guffaw with laughter and made me look at my darling as if he'd lost his mind.
Wishing for you the comfort of the place you call home,