Back to Business

Our feet were on the floorboards no later than 7:30 a.m. this morning. Because tomorrow is American Thanksgiving we determined to shop for the few things we needed sooner than later in hopes of avoiding the expected last minute crowds at the grocery stores.  Normally we launch ourselves onto our bicycles at the start of the day.  But today a combination of sore muscles and competing urgency persuaded us otherwise. The altered agenda did not of course distract us from having breakfast.  Between slurps of hot, black, strong coffee I gobbled up a box of blackberries.  To get rid of leftovers, I had slices of lemon/tarragon chicken with two pieces of cheese.  Then I washed it all down with low-salt chicken broth.

Our first stop was the upscale Fresh Market where we bought our targeted “Ultimate Crab Cakes” which do in fact warrant the bravado.  Fresh Market also stocks another thriller, lobster macaroni packaged in a very compelling white, fluted porcelain dish. We pushed our little carts curiously among the congested aisles of exotic goods, relishing the prodigious extravagance and contemporaneously observing the fashions and quirks of the equally singular clientele.  One 30-ish woman had an extraordinarily large “diamond” ring which she might have passed off as real had she not overdone the accompanying bangles and rings. By contrast a well-groomed sylphlike teenage girl plainly clad reeked of money and tradition. The remainder of items on our short list included fresh fruit and vegetables, always guaranteed to satisfy.  We then went to Harris Teeter for other standard household and pharmaceutical items including large quantities of Perrier and S.Pellegrino. Naturally we drove our new car between these destinations. I never tire of the fine machine, admittedly my heart’s desire.  It relieves me no end to crow that I am escaping salt and snow. The boulevards, avenues and parkways lend themselves to a shiny car, sunlight dazzling in the caverns of sea pines, palmetto trees, live oak and hanging Spanish moss.  For me it is a Hollywood dream come true, the pristine environment, the glamour of endless sunshine, a universe of gated communities and perfect maintenance.

By 11:30 a.m. we were back home and the groceries were unloaded. Moments later, my face varnished with some tropical smelling Coppertone spray, I climbed onto my bicycle and headed for Tower Beach where through the narrow avenue of the boardwalk I projected myself onto the expanse of sea and sand.  The beach was utterly spectacular!  The tide was very far out and the beach was exceptionally wide, flat and dry.  There was however a strong headwind. It blew wisps of sand over the face of the beach. As refreshing and invigorating as it was to feel the natural elements it was an achievement for me to continue cycling into the wind.  I struggled to get to Beach Club.


But I had to quit before I got there. I exited at the closest boardwalk and rejoined the bike path to Coligny Park. After the usual pause there to check my email and the children, I wound my way along Pope Avenue to William Hilton Parkway then northward to Burke’s Beach. The monotony of William Hilton Parkway was relieved by the mansions at Singleton Shores. I am perpetually intrigued by these structure. They calmly regard the sea grasses waving in the broad marsh adjoining the Ocean dunes.


The sunshine was radiant and I felt compelled to attempt to capture the views with my camera.  I didn’t have any luck.


Getting home from Burke’s Beach was a mockery of exercise.  I hardly need have pedalled at all, the wind was so powerful.  There were families of people coming from the opposite direction, pushing their bicycles and baby carriages, bent into the wind, their loose clothing fluttering like distraught sails. I however just flew past them! It oddly requires experience to learn the secret of harnessing the wind on the Island!


It was about 2:30 p.m. when I regained the condominium.  I mechanically dragged myself poolside where I threw myself onto a lounge chair in the direct sunlight.  Another gentleman not far from me was doing the same thing.  I am certain we both resembled old fogeys in a nursing home, lying there asleep with our mouths open and occasionally snoring. The bike ride takes it out of me, I need the recuperation. When I awoke about 45 minutes later I was alone by the pool. I toddled back to the apartment.  The sun was already descending on the horizon. Our evening ceremony of dinner and a movie was about to begin.  We’re always able to find some improving diversion on Netflix.  I especially appreciate the independent films which distinguish themselves as being more intellectually provocative than commercial.


A boat of sunset tourists putted along Calibogue Sound.