Thanks for joining us on our new blog, thanks to Jayesh Mitha, a hugely talented web designer and IT wizard who moved the blog from its old platform to this one. If it hadn’t been for Jayesh, I’d be writing this on my old electric typewriter and sending this out by snail mail. Jayesh, you are an IT Rock Star.
It’s been a long time since we have been to a music concert, but when I saw that country superstar Carrie Underwood was set to start her Denim and Rhinestones Tour in Greenville, SC, I decided to splurge and get really good seats. Younger readers may not understand this problem… I ordered “VIP Pit” tickets, thinking that the seats would be right in front of the stage, where an orchestra might be for an old-fashioned classical music concert. Little did I know that this was where die-hard fans stand for four hours to get the best look at the performers. Well, it all went well, mostly because of the energy Carrie radiated and the fans reflected, but also because the Arena sold bottles of wine (in a plastic decanter with lid for safety purposes) that were allowed throughout the Arena. Carrie was spectacular, and we were very glad that we had the close-up front view from The Pit.
A side note… I was very impressed with Carrie’s outfits, and made the mistake of suggesting that My Lovely Bride might be interested in finding some like them… “And what’s wrong with my current wardrobe???” Smack!!!
While in Greenville, we toured the charming downtown riverfront – it had been neglected for decades when a 4-lane bridge was built over the river. In the late 1990s, some brilliant people got the bridge removed and the entire area developed with restaurants, bike and walking paths, etc… it is one of the nicest downtowns we have ever seen!
Just north of Greenville we found Furman University with a beautiful campus surrounding a lake, again with walking trails and modern buildings. Nellie and Rusty enjoyed waking there – they got to bark at several local dogs… What Great Puppy Fun!!! Sigh…
On the road back home, we passed this semi pulling a trailer with three enormous tires – not sure what they were for, probably either mining or earth moving equipment … in any case, the equipment for which they were intended is undoubtedly classified “Very Manly”.
I recently had a small, very minor cancerous mole removed using MOHS surgery. It was easy peasey, some local anesthetic, one pass with a scalpel, check it out in the lab, and out the door with a Band-aid over it. Two weeks later, back to have it checked out. This time the dermatology tech wasn’t a cute 25-year-old female nurse (Darn!), but a former US Navy hospital corpsman who had served with the US Marine Corps in combat in Afghanistan. I looked at his impressive ribbon bar and Eagle, Globe and Anchor on the paddle that the Marines had given him and knew that he had been not only an integral part of that unit, but also was highly thought of by the Marines he tended to when they had been wounded in combat. I mentioned that he must spend some time in the gym, and he modestly said, “Yessir, I was benching 295 this morning.” I asked if I could get his photo, and he stood quietly against the wall with his hands crossed in front of him. I said, “Come on, Doc… gimme a good flex!”
Recently we enjoyed the company of friends from The Villages, FL. Bill and Gayle Hancock also spent some time in the Navy… Bill is a retired three star (Vice Admiral) and Gayle has done everything Navy wives are famous for, including short/no notice moves around the world, raising kids and taking care of households during 6-9 month long ship deployments, and some wild escapades like jumping into the open window of a moving train in Japan… Life as a Navy Wife is Never Dull!!!
Another friend here in Hilton Head visited our boat recently. Candace Blair is a former international investment banker/broker, who made a small change in life to become a yoga instructor and sound healer. She and Suzanne get together regularly for gong sessions and cacao ceremonies, and beach walks. Candace is the reason we have stopped at the Memphis Drum Store so Suzanne could acquire several hand hammered Paiste gongs. (And yes, I really enjoy it when I sit in on “gong baths” … it is really a spiritual experience, with sounds like humpback whales interspersed with booming crescendos that take your breath away.)
Candace joined us on a recent boat trip to Palmetto Bluff Plantation, near Bluffton, SC. She had a good time – here she is at the wheel, steering us down the May River toward Hilton Head. It was the first time that she had experienced steering a trawler.
We were preparing to commission our trawler Gratitude this week, and while looking through some old boxes of boat gear, found the courtesy flags we flew when visiting foreign countries aboard our sailboat Liberty. Flags from Canada, France, Bermuda, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Greece, Montenegro, Croatia, and Turkey brought back many memories, mostly pleasant but a few sad to remember.
So, here we are at the commissioning of our boat Gratitude into the South Carolina Yacht Club fleet. Suzanne is breaking a bottle of champagne on the starboard anchor. She did a splendid job, and I wisely did not tell her that if it didn’t break on the first “slam”, it was very bad luck… in any case, it went very well!
We have been enjoying delightful October/early November weather here in South Carolina and have gotten out on several bike rides. We usually wear our Dachshund jerseys. Suzanne gave me mine years ago, with Rudy on the back and Gretchen on the front. Last year I got Suzanne one with Rusty on the front and Nellie on the back. This optical illusion of Rusty in two dimensions is very cool!
Nellie just asked, “Hey, Dog Dad, I want my picture in the blog, too!” So, here is The Pack, sending all our Faithful Readers Love and Sloppy Puppy Kisses.