Letter No. 2

Dear, I thought I’d drop a line
The weather’s cool, the folks are fine
I’m in bed each night at nine
P.S. I love you

Billy Holiday

My iPhone just made a very uncommon noise and suddenly lit up with “Emergency Alert Tornado Warning in this area til 4:15 PM EST. Take shelter now. Check local media. -NWS“.  There was indeed truth to it.  The rain and wind picked up remarkably within minutes, blasting its reverberations like windswept sand along the face of the lagoon at the rear of our property.  The threat appears however to have passed as quickly as it arose.  An instant calm has returned to our neck of Sea Pines Plantation and I no longer wonder where I am to take shelter in a sea level residence which like any other here hasn’t a basement.

These “Government Alerts” on the iPhone are part of the Settings which include “AMBER Alerts” and “Emergency Alerts”.  My first experience with the alerts was several weeks ago when my iPhone startled me late one evening with a police-style alert that someone in a red Ford Mustang had just abducted a child from the custodial parent.

As today is Sunday we indulged ourselves in what over the years has become a bit of a tradition  – going out for breakfast.  At home we normally do it at the Golf Club; here we have recently chosen Palmetto Bay Marina overlooking Broad Creek.  This time however we went to “Gruby’s New York Deli” which we stumbled upon yesterday.  We both had eggs, lox and onions with a bagel.  And strong, black coffee.  All good!  We contemplated converting to Judaism but perhaps without being “practicing” converts and not having to go to Temple.  It was admittedly an ephemeral whim.

Afterwards, while in the same mall, we went to Fresh Market to get some groceries.  This store is very much like Fresh Fruit at home, often carrying more of the high-end products than one normally finds in a regular grocery store, things like “Oysters Rockefeller”.  I especially like the McClure’s Pickles (garlic and dill spears).  I bought two jars of pickles.  They’re so good with a tomato and cheese sandwich!

We were back home shortly before 11:00 a.m. The weather forecast was for rain beginning at 2:00 p.m. this afternoon but the sky was still clear at that point.  So we hopped on our bikes and proceeded to the beach at Beach Club.  Luckily for us the wind was at our backs as we headed north to Marker 97 at the Singleton Beach Road breakwater which normally circumscribes our daily cycling venture. Here we doubled back and immediately felt the strength of the opposing wind which we had hitherto blithely disregarded.  Life’s like that I find; you never fully appreciate how good you’ve got it until it’s gone!  And the support of the wind when it is in your favour is almost unnoticeable until you turn against it.  There has to be another lesson there as well!

In the result we eclipsed our usual routine by diverting ourselves from the exposed and wide open spaces of the beach into Palmetto Dunes at Marker 74A.  Palmetto Dunes is the oldest plantation on the Island.  It has a palpable difference from where we are at Sea Pines Plantation.  Palmetto Dunes has more in the nature of a “cottage” feel to it even though many of the homes are large.  In addition to having one of the Island’s superior restaurants (Alexanders) there are also two lovely beach hotels, Omni and the Marriott (where in the past we have visited the spa for massages and steam baths).  We noticed a bike rental shop which carries the lovely spoke-wheeled tricycles I have lately noticed on the beach.  The proliferation of tricycles is unique this year.  Not sure whether it speaks to changing demographics or whether it is merely a cycling fad.  They’re spiffy I have to say!  And if one is inclined to cycle to the grocery store there is ample space for carriage of the provisions.

We wound our way along the paths onto William Hilton Parkway then along Pope Avenue to Coligny Park where we customarily stop to avail ourselves of the free WiFi service to check for emails.  That duty performed we were shortly back into Sea Pines and safely home. We had been away for almost exactly three hours. We are now doing what any civilized person does on a Sunday afternoon, watching TV, peering out the windows, tapping on the computer, fussing in the kitchen and soon to be playing my electronic keyboard!