Discovering Augusta

I wonder if it’s as steamy in Augusta today as it was Friday. It was one of the last Fridays I’ll get to enjoy being off for a few weeks, and I couldn’t let the hours slip away doing the usual things like homecaring (sounds better than housework), shopping, running errands, grading assignments, and so forth.

 

DH had already made plans to play golf with some buddies, so the day was mine…eight hours to do exactly whatever I wished and whereever I wished to do it. After a little internet work so assuage my workaholic conscience, I headed to a local beauty shop where a friend of mine was having a book signing. Her name is Clara Vincent, and she’s 79 years young. I LOVE IT! She’s an inspirational lady, and the name of her book is Faces I Remember. Check it out at amazon.com or authorhouse.com. I enjoyed chatting with her and leaving with my own autographed copy of her book. Sure hope I’ll still be writing and having booksignings at 79.

 

As an aside, many years ago Clara told her daughter Kathy, also a friend of mine, something that I’ve always remembered. It’s a simple statement that sums up love, giving, sacrifice, and all the other good things associated with mothers. (Sure hope Hayden is reading this.) “As long as I have a biscuit, you’ve got half.” I liked it so much that I’ve stressed it with my own children and husband.

 

I then headed out for Augusta, a city only a little over 100 miles from where I live, and yet I’ve never visited it. On my to-do list is the commitment to visit at least one new town per month. “Why do you want to go there?” my sweet husband asked. “There’s nothing in Augusta except some golf courses.” What can I say? He’s a guy.  I had fun just browsing in the different antique shops and ended up buying some small juice glasses decorated with yellow palm trees. How unique is that? Have you ever seen any? I didn’t think so.

 

I also found an old framed botanical print of May that looks perfect in my foyer; it serves as a reminder of our May wedding several years ago and the vows we made. In that interesting shop, I also conversed with a lady who’s never turned on a computer; nor has she used the GPS in her Lexus. My assurances that if I could learn, she could learn fell on deaf ears. Leaving with my May print, I sauntered out to find a quick lunch. Choices, choices. I ended up dining at the Blue Moon Café and then walked over for a quick look at the River Walk before heading for the Augusta Mall. I wanted to walk around it, but the blazing sun and excessive heat shouted, “No Way!” Maybe next time.

 

Using my trusty GPS, I drove out to the mall and passed some interesting and scenic places including the Medical University of Georgia, the Veteran’s Hospital, and some lovely tree-lined neighborhoods.  The mall looked inviting, but since time was short, I opted to go in TJ Maxx instead and came out with a few goodies, prizes for my new contest on the website. Puh-leez check it out at www.jaynebowers.com and participate in the contest that ends on August 15. It’ll be fun for you and me. You get to reflect on the topic and write about it, and I get to read your entry.

 

Shopping complete, I punched “Home” on the GPS and headed east. Sure wish the lady in the antique store and all others who don’t have or use such a marvelous piece of technology will consider getting one. We love Jill, the name of our direction giver. Home at last, DH and I watched The Kite Runner. It was enjoyable but unsettling. We’re so fortunate to be living in the United States (understatement)!

 

Sometimes it’s easier to take the path of least resistance and stay in your own safe but narrow environment, but we all need to venture out and see what’s out there. Because of that decision, Friday I got to “rub shoulders” with a new author, meet someone who’s never used the internet or a GPS, walk the streets of a beautiful city with a great downtown parking arrangement, see sights I’d never seen, buy some unique juice glasses, and get the feel of Augusta.

 

Hmmm. Wonder what’s next. Suggestions anyone?

Independence Week

I know I said that I was only going to post once per week, but I must share a few quick thoughts about some of the events and observations from last week, the week of Independence Day and a time in which DH and I had the opportunity to travel to Myrtle Beach for a few days. I LOVE walking, reading, and dining right on the edge of the continent. It’s awesome.

 

Among other things, the most important activity we engaged in was unwinding. This was the first vacation we’ve taken in quite a while  in which our calendars were relatively free. There were no mandatory tee times, scheduled shopping excursions, or timed dinner dates. We managed to sandwich those things in with the relaxing, reading, and beach walking, but they weren’t our primary activities.

 

One of the highlights was watching the variety of people who live in this great country of ours, a land choice above all other lands. From our vantage point, we saw people of many colors, shapes, and sizes. One day while watching an Asian couple delightedly walking along the surf holding hands and laughing, I remembered a Fourth of July image from years past. My husband and I had gone to the beach early in the morning to jog before the sun bathers and picnickers came along. It was around 6:30 in the morning. As we made our way along the beach, we were both startled (because it was so early) to see a Vietnamese family huddled together on some steps leading from one of the boardwalks. They were staring at the ocean, and I couldn’t help but wonder about their thoughts. This was/is their country too, and the 4th is as much about them as it is about all of this nation’s diverse population.

 

Other fun memories are:

  • Reading two books, the favorite being Grace Eventually by Anne Lamott.
  • Dining out with Paul and Amanda at River City Café (love those peanuts and souvenir cups!).
  • Going to a Pelicans game with Paul and Amanda and enjoying the high spirits of those around us.
  • The fireworks on the 4th. From the Sands Ocean Club where we stayed, we could see them up and down the beach…what a sparking sight.
  • The variety and number of people who shared the fireworks with us.
  • The music from Annie’s Attic that floated up to our room.
  • Collecting shells.
  • Hearing the squeals and laughter of children.
  • The fireworks display after the Pelican’s game. Even the loud, beer-drinking crowd in front of us was shushed and awed by the close-up fireworks and the music in the background. I’ll always remember those moments sitting with DH, Paul, and Amanda as we watched the brilliant display and listened to “Living in America.”
  • Free donuts at Dunkin Donuts after the game.
  • Visiting with Elizabeth in her darling home on our way in and out of the area.
  • Going to church in Myrtle Beach on Sunday and reconnecting with some fabulous folks. More on this later.

 We loved our time on the strand. We also loved arriving back at our home sweet home.