We recently returned home from a trip to visit my folks in South Carolina. While I've never lived in S.C., my parents and brother have for about 20 years. We don't get to visit nearly often as we'd like, especially over the last couple of years with the economy limiting our travel quite a bit. The kids and I finally were able to head for a visit last week.
The rural area my folks live in is always a change of pace for my fast-moving kids. For starters, the only internet available in their home is dial-up! (Ok, that impacted me more than the kids!). They live in a log cabin home on 50 acres of wooded property with the Blue Ridge Mountains visible from the yard.
Grandma and Grandpa’s house is filled with lots of interesting critters, both in and out. The kids enjoyed playing with their three dogs, but they also visited with the two (domestic) rabbits, not to mention the lizards that are not common to our neck of the woods. Thankfully there were no scorpions or bats on this visit! My mom is also a fairly new beekeeper and they watched her collect honey one day.
Aside from the critters, there is just a lot of interesting “stuff”. Though I sometimes worry that my parents will one day appear on the show Hoarders, I have to admit that the décor in and around the house is quite interesting. It is impossible to take it all in at once. My mom is particularly a fan of the old and unusual. My daughter decided to borrow my camera one slow afternoon and “pretend to be creative” while she browsed Grandma’s things.
Some of Grandma’s “stuff” actually provided some entertainment, too!
After looking at a strange contraption in the guest bedroom for several days, my son finally asked my mom what it was. To imagine that this was the iPod of the olden days!
Of course, we didn’t stay around the house the whole time. We visited Caesars Head State Park on the mountains. On the way up, we stopped at this huge rock, which is decorated with graffiti. If you are brave enough to go to the very edge, you can see where people have rolled their junker cars off the edge. Might I add that *I* didn’t see any cars. Note how far back the photographer is standing. <grin>
If you use your imagination, you’ll see how the park got its name.
Do you see Caesar in the side of the mountain? It looks like he needs to shave his beard of greenery.
A favorite part of this park is the Devil’s Kitchen. It isn’t for the claustrophobic, but it does provide a nice shady spot away from the summer heat. Given that, I don't know how it got its name!
Another interesting site we visited was a small vacant lot in the middle of a residential area that my dad recently acquired in a tax auction. After his purchase, the county informed him that there is a slave cemetery located on the property. You would have never known if you weren’t told, but sure enough there is a small wooded section, about 50’ x 30’ that has plain upturned stones as markers throughout. Some of the stones were smaller than the others, and we wondered if these might mark the graves of children. Unfortunately, I didn't have a camera on me. Visiting it brought up emotions of sadness. My folks were thinking of contacting a historical society to see if they might be interested in the property.
And lastly, the night before we returned, we were treated to a local theater performance of Shenandoah. My theater-loving kid especially enjoyed this.
We definitely had a very enjoyable visit and it reminded me that we need to do so more often. My kids talk on the phone to my folks quite a bit and they see them once or twice a year when they come to visit us when traveling this way. But, it isn’t quite the same as going to visit Grandma and Grandpa on their turf. Hopefully we won't have to wait so long before our next visit.