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Countertop Review

This time last year I was packing up our house to prepare for our down-to-the-studs renovation in our kitchen, family room, and master bath as well as the addition of a screened porch. The family room wasn't originally part of the plan, but that's a post for another time. The kitchen was where I really had to plan and scheme, and, yes even fret, to stay in our footprint and budget and to get the function and look I wanted. I love a challenge like this, though, so despite some occasional frustration with my client (aka me! ), I enjoyed the process. A key "want" of mine was honed marble countertops. There are dozens--maybe hundreds--of blog posts, articles, and showroom sites that compare various types of countertop materials and their pros and cons. I read most of them and took notes from a lot of them in the months leading up to our start date. One of the most helpful things was visiting a sweet friend's kitchen, where I was able to ask questions about cleaning, a

Stone’s Throw

Across a small inlet to the south of Isle of Palms lies Sullivan’s Island, one of my all-time favorite spots.  Unspoiled by any beachside development, Sullivan’s remains pretty much the same as I remember it being when I was a child.  IMG_2294The island has a beautiful, wild-looking beach sprinkled with dunes and golden sea oats.  With a few jaw-dropping exceptions, the houses on  Sullivan’s are real weathered beach houses—the kind where wet bathing suits hang over porch railings, where tiny aluminum foil sculptures stand in for missing Monopoly pieces, where tomato sandwiches are served for lunch  and crab and sweet corn are on the supper table every night.
There is a tiny—and I mean less than a block long—commercial district, which includes some good restaurants,  one of which is Poe’s Tavern.  Based on Son1 and Lovely Girlfriend’s recommendation, we decided to check it out one afternoon.   Named for American author and poet, Edgar Allen Poe, the tavern features some amazing burgers and, as a bow to Poe’s notorious vice, a huge list of beers and ales.  IMG_2248Often cited as the originator of the literary genre of horror, Poe enlisted in the U.S. Army as Edgar Allen Perry in 1827.  He was 18 at the time, and was sent to his post at Fort Moultrie on the southern most tip of Sullivan’s Island.  Poe spent a little more than two years at Fort Moultrie, where he wrote “The Goldbug,” and several other lesser-known short stories.   One of the Mister’s more colorful relatives told the Mister and his cousins that they were all related to Poe.   Hmmmm.  IMG_2246Personally I see little resemblance. IMG_2244  To read more about Edgar Allen Poe’s life on Sullivan’s Island and in Charleston, take a look at the Literary Traveler.american-s-carolina-flags Fort Moultrie, where Poe served, was an active fort through the American Revolution, the Civil War, World War I, and World War II.  The National Park Service has done a wonderful job interpreting the fort’s history through on-site recreations,  a small museum and a film shot by my mother’s cousin, photographer Tom Gray.IMG_2250The original fort was built of palmetto logs, which because of their incredibly fibrous trunks turned out to be surprisingly effective in absorbing enemy ammunition.moultrie1Many who see the South Carolina flag believe that the state symbol is little more than a plug for the state’s lovely beaches with a palm tree and a crescent moon. 
In fact, the symbol is the palmetto tree, which represents Colonel Moultrie’s heroic defense of the British fleet on June 28, 1776.  DefenseofFortMoultrieWhat appears to be a jolly crescent moon is meant to recall a piece of  armor, called a gorget and worn around the neck, hanging from a chain .  Opinions vary as to whether Carolina soldiers actually wore this protection, but most scholars concur that a gorget/crescent was a decorative element on the soldiers’ caps. gorget2 The flag’s ground, which is not quite navy blue, is the color of Moultrie’s men’s uniforms.    IMG_2253
It’s also one of my favorite colors, especially when contrasted with one of the fort’s weathered interior walls. Middle took this photo, and I have to admit I kind of like it.  It’s almost enough to make me forget it was 97 degrees, and that boys (even older ones) can spend a long time exploring forts. 


  1. That's a wonderful photo. Yo look both beautiful and full of character.

  2. look at how beautiful you are! if you
    ever see one that good of me, then it
    isn't me!

    i can still remember reading "the tell
    tale heart" with my heart thumping
    right along. :)

  3. Y'all are too kind. This photo is a happy accident of nice lighting and an angle that miraculously makes my chin and neck look taut, which sadly they are not.

  4. Fab photo of you! Love the tunic. I've been wanting to visit Sullivan's Island for some time now. This makes me want to go even more!

  5. What a great photo... I must echo everyone's sentiments!

  6. That is a stunningly beautiful photo of you and the idea that one of your sons captured it makes it very special; and I am sure it will always be for him too.

    My Mom - may she rest in peace - lived in Charleston for about 10 years and also had a beach house on Folly Beach; I always loved visiting Sullivan's Island. I am reading "South of Broad" right now & LOVING it while missing all of Charleston's considerable charms.

    Have a wonderful long weekend!



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