Down the Lane: Memories lingering of trip south

Published 9:54 am Thursday, September 13, 2018

By Sue Staton

Those who read my column last week know I traveled back to Myrtle Beach with my friends who came to Winchester for the Daniel Boone Pioneer Festival to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

I shared about my trip to Brookgreen Gardens in South Carolina last week.

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I have always bypassed Charleston on my way to Myrtle Beach. I always wanted to go there but never took the time to stop.

My friends took me there this week and I spent a day enjoying the city and learning some of its history.

I liked the uniqueness and southern charm of the city.

I also enjoyed seeing the rainbow row houses on East Bay Street. It is near the place where the three-story building believed to be the first apartment house built in America stands.

I saw many other old homes and their architecture along Charleston Harbor. Many of these homes date back even before the Civil War, which I find interesting in itself with so many old southern homes being burned to the ground.

I liked viewing the Arthur J. Ravenel Jr. Bridge and riding across it. The long cables that run from the bridge give the bridge a different look than most other bridges I’ve seen.

I had a great time going through the market place and seeing the many places where the Carolina sweet grass baskets were being made and sold.

My friend Terry jokingly told me as we entered  this market goes all the way to Savannah. It was a long one, I have to admit.

I was amazed how vast the number of craftsmen making these expensive baskets were. Though I would have loved to come home with one, I never expected them to be so expensive.

I did purchase three of the sweet Palmetto roses. They were reasonably priced, and unlike the baskets, took only minutes to make.

The legend behind the roses is that southern ladies made the roses, and as a member of the family went off to war, they were given a rose to take with them to remind them of the love they had at home and to keep them safe.

Today, these roses are keepsakes symbolizing everlasting love. However, to say I fell in love with the baskets and roses would be an understatement. I can not seem to get my mind off them.

Also very prevalent in the area stores were the bags of grits. I noticed there was white, yellow and mixed grits. When I went to purchase a bag of grits I chose the mixed, but my friend suggested I get the white since it would be creamier. She has lived there for some time now and I figured she knew much more than I did about purchasing grits.

As soon as I got home, I made a grits and shrimp dish from a Charleston cookbook that turned out delicious. The grits were, in fact, creamy.

One day my hosts took me to Pawley’s Island. There is a little shopping village there. We went into one shop and a gentleman was making hammocks. I had never seen this done before. I asked him if he was doing macrame, when he invited me to come in to the area where he was working and show him what I was talking about.

I did some square knots and some half knots to show him.

He asked me if I would like to make something and of course I answered, “yes.” He formed a loop by braiding some heavy rope and then added 10 long pieces that when doubled, equaled 20 strands.

I watched as he showed me what to do with the two outside pieces and was told to pick up two less each time. I ended up making a neat hanger than resembled a V shape. I was so excited and it actually made my day in Pawley’s Island.

I did not realize it, but I also made his day. He said he would keep the piece I made him and he knew his niece would love it. He told me, “You show me something. I show you something.”

He then asked me if I wanted to make my friend one of the hangings and when I said yes, he quickly gave me the roping to do so. It was so much fun.

I handed him a few dollars for showing me. He was reluctant to take the money and said I did not have to do that but it was worth the fun for me to do so.

Finally, I got to Myrtle Beach. My friend’s son lives in one of the beautiful homes on stilts overlooking the ocean and we went there one night. Then I finally got on the beach one morning.

The funny thing was I went to Myrtle Beach and totally forgot my bathing suit at home.

Terry and Sue’s sits on the Waccamaw River. I would have been happy to have stayed right there at their home and enjoyed doing nothing.

I am happy I got to go to the places I did, but their home is so inviting. Out every window of their home they have a beautiful view. I counted about five areas with tables and chairs and couch areas where you could sit and eat or just enjoy doing whatever. They have a balcony upstairs over looking the river and screened in porches that do the same thing.

It is so peaceful there. I have been given the invitation of an open door there so I am definitely going back to stay longer next time.

Thank God for friends who have enhanced my life so much.

Sue Staton is a Clark County native who grew up in the Kiddville area. She is a wife, mother and grandmother who is active in her church, First United Methodist Church, and her homemakers group, Towne and Country Homemakers.