Making Good Stories

“Is this crazy?” Stacey asked.

“Not at all,” I said.  “Besides, it’ll make a good story.”

“And you gotta live in order to have stories to write,” Stacey said.  So she called the number.  The woman on the other end – an actress in one of Stacey’s favorite childhood movies – said of course she would love a visitor.  Really?  Well, okay then.   So we got directions and took off for her nursing home.

We found the woman in the afternoon singing group.  She wasn’t about to leave that, so Stacey and I waited in the living room for 45 minutes while they sang songs they all knew – most of which I didn’t.  Lucky for me, there was a community puzzle out as well.  I pieced together a couple birds while Stacey sang along.  A lover of old movies, she knew most of them.

After the singing session was over, we followed as the woman’s personal aide wheeled her back to her room.  Stacey and I visited with her for a spell then Stacey got a picture with her.  With that, we got in the car and returned to Kiawah Island.

We hadn’t started the day with the intention of visiting the former actress.  We simply decided to take a day trip to Charleston – it’s a mere 45 minutes from Kiawah.  We parked at the visitor center and took off on our separate paths.  Stacey walked all over town – the art museum, a couple galleries, a recommended restaurant for lunch.   In the four hours we were apart, I only made it three blocks.  When’s the last time I took that long to get anywhere?  I’m not usually one to dawdle.  But have been enjoying slowing down a bit –  taking my time, seeing where the day takes me, spending hours playing with settings on my camera.

The ironwork under the front porch of a historic home caught my eye.  So I took the straight on shot first (blah)…..

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Then, I got in there, played with some settings, and got something I liked much better:)

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Then the fence across the street caught my eye.  After quite some time I figured out I liked the light better on the other side, so made my way over there to take these…

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Turns out that fence was surrounding the Second Presbyterian Church.  I got down on my back to take a couple pictures of the door.  They didn’t turn out like I wanted, but I had a lot of fun trying.

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Behind the church was a cemetery.  Before the battery got too low on my camera, I caught this on the side of an old tombstone.

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And played with the “vintage” setting on my camera….

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Camera battery low, I headed out to do some more exploring.  Spent a good bit of time checking out someone else’s photographs of Charleston in a shop along King Street.  Turns out the girl stretching a canvas behind the counter took half of them.  She and her father are in business together, so we talked a bit about her craft and her business.

Then I was off to meet Stacey.  At the time, I had no idea I’d spend my afternoon in the nicest nursing home I’d ever seen.  While I had been dawdling, Stacey had remembered a kind act this actress had done for her many years ago.  So she started to inquire about her, knowing she had at one time lived in the area. After enough asking around, someone knew someone…and off we went.  I’d love to share more details, but we were warned by another of her visitors not to let too much out “so people don’t come looking for her.”  Honestly, I’d never heard of her.  But apparently there are plenty of people out there who would come visit if they knew where to find her.

Learning New Things

They literally stopped me on my morning walk – the yellow daffodil blooms vibrant against a deep green hillside.  I pulled my cell phone out of my jacket pocket to take a picture.  I’ve wanted to take a photography class but haven’t made it a priority yet.  In the meantime, I’ve been playing with the settings on my phone.  Changing the “Exposure Level,” I’ve learned, changes the amount of light – though I don’t know what setting this would be on my actual camera.  Today, I learned I have both black-and-white and sepia options.  Playing around, I got some shots I’m actually quite proud of!



I came home and decided to tackle the leftover roasted chicken in the fridge.  The book I just finished (Kitchen Counter Cooking School) inspired me to make my own chicken stock for the first time in my life.  It’s very simple, and a whole lot cheaper than buying chicken broth (much less sodium, too!).  I yanked the leg to separate it from the rest of the chicken and stopped cold – look at that knee joint!  Glistening cartilage at the end of the femur, the ACL I just tore staring me right in the face.  I don’t think I’ll ever stop being fascinated by anatomy.  Anyway, my stock now cools on the front porch and smells delicious.