As promised, here’s the brief day-by-day rundown of our trip to Ireland. I’m only going to include the time that I was there. My brothers went out a couple of weeks early and saw sights up in Dublin, Belfast and further north. I came out for the last part of the trip.
It’s a story that’s been told to us many times by our father. Nearly 240 years ago our ancestor, William Taylor, Sr., loaded his family onto a ship called The Earl of Donegal and sailed for Charleston, SC. They left Belfast in 1767 and landed in Charleston in 1768. William was given a land grant for 350 acres in Laurens County. He donated a few of those acres for Rocky Springs Presbyterian Church.
The first home I can remember was on a farm that had once been part of that land grant. As children we scrambled over the rocks and stream that gave the the church its name. We would wander through the old cemetery and see generations of Taylor ancestors, starting with my great-grandfather and going back from there. With so many of our ancestors close at hand, it’s no wonder that our family developed a keen sense of genealogy. Continue reading “Taylor Invasion of Ireland”
We’ve been making more trips than usual down to Florida. Laura’s been trying to help out with her elderly mom, so we’ve been heading down as often as we can. Amy had to give a talk in California, so Laura flew down before the weekend, and I drove down and joined her after my Chorale concert.
Since we’ve been making so many trips down this way I decided to bring a kayak down and leave it so that I wouldn’t be hauling one back and forth. I decided to take the Wilderness Systems Pamlico 145 tandem that I have. We can use it as a tandem boat, but if I push the front seat back it works well as a solo boat. Continue reading “Quick Trip to Florida”
The past couple of weeks have been a blur. I realize that I haven’t posted anything in that time, which is unusual for me. While lots has happened, it’s been in bits and pieces that didn’t seem like they needed, or weren’t quite read for an entire blog post. Those events include the following: Rambling … Continue reading Busy Spring Update
Street photography is photography that features the human condition within public places and does not necessitate the presence of a street or even the urban environment. The subject of the photograph might be absent of people and can be an object or environment where the image projects a decidedly human character in facsimile or aesthetic. (Wikipedia)
It just so happened that my brother, Stephen’s birthday fell on a Wednesday. We both love to go to the Pickens Flea Market, so it was the perfect opportunity for me to take him out for breakfast, then for a quick jaunt over to the flea market.
While the main purpose of the trip was to spend some time with my brother on his birthday, my ulterior motive was to use this as a test run for gathering ambient audio for an upcoming podcast. As always I had my cameras with me, but I also had two portable recorders with me.
This week is Spring Break for Furman. Spring Break doesn’t have much meaning for me since I’m now retired, but Laura has had a busy term now that she’s chair of Furman’s Chemistry Department. She needed the break, and wanted to check in with her mom, so we headed down to her sister’s house in Florida. Of course, this happened with a car loaded down with camera gear, paddling gear, and my favorite kayak strapped to the roof.
The trip down on Saturday was uneventful. There were lots of other spring breakers headed south, including some from Furman. I think one spotted my FU on the side of my kayak (which stands for Furman University, and not any other perceived meaning) and gave me a thumbs up. It was also bike week in Daytona, so we passed LOTS of bikers. Continue reading “Spring Break in Florida – Part One, Kissimmee Prairie”
The Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday weekend seems to be the perfect time for exploration. Leaves are gone from the trees so you can see hidden buildings better. In our area, usually the weather is cool, but mild. More importantly, some of my fellow explorers are off work and able to join me. Even before I retired, this became one of our weekends to ramble. Often it was with my brother, Houston, or fellow explorer Alan. This time, for 2015, it was both.
Alan has been trying to track down family history through his great-great-grandfather’s diary. David Wyatt Aiken was a Confederate veteran, and later served as a US Congressman. Aiken was born in Winnsboro, so we decided that would be one of our stops on this ramble. We also found several old churches and schools along the way through Newberry and Fairfield Counties – plenty to keep us and our cameras busy. Continue reading “MLK Weekend Ramble 2015, Part 1”
A few weeks ago Facebook user Tim Bray posted an intriguing photo on the Abandoned, Old, and Interesting Places in South Carolina group. The photo was of a statue on the grave of “Little Earle” Martin, located in the Laurens City Cemetery. As I read Tim’s descriptions of his visit, I realized that even though I’d grown up in Laurens County, I had never visited that cemetery. It was high time to check it out, and that opportunity finally came on Friday of this week.
All week the sky was a hazy shade of winter. Friday was the first clear day to lighten our moods in quite awhile. Makes sense that we’d go on a cemetery ramble. That wasn’t our first intent, though. Sister Glynda had just returned from Florida visiting grandkids. She had stayed at our house the night before, and I drove her home that morning. The heat had been off while she was gone, so we decided to go for a drive while the house warmed up. Laurens is only ten miles from Gray Court, so it looked like this would be the perfect time to visit. In addition to the Laurens Cemetery, we explored some family history, and even found another old school. Continue reading “Laurens Cemetery Ramble”
As has become my tradition, I have made calendars as gifts for my family. This is my eighth year of doing this. The photos usually come from the previous year, but not necessarily. I keep an album of calendar potentials, and sometimes pull from those if I don’t have something seasonally appropriate.
When I started this way back in 2006, I was using Qoop to create the calendars. They have long since gone, and for the past couple of years I’ve been using Lulu.com. I like their layouts, and I get a bit more room to add captions. That just wasn’t possible with Qoop. Because Qoop didn’t allow much room for captions, it had also become my tradition to do a blog post with a description of this year’s photos. Captions or no, I decided I’d still do a post on the photos, with a behind-the-scenes story.
2014 has not been an easy year. We lost my mom, and Laura’s mother has had serious health issues. I’m still trying to adjust to retirement, and Laura is trying to adjust to new work challenges. Even so, we were able keep some of our holiday traditions, and it was a good thing.
A Wright Family Christmas
I’ve already written about the difficulties with our time in Florida. I had begun my time down there with the Solstice Paddle, but there were multiple other kayaking trips. Usually I managed to get out on the water at about 9:00 am. At this time, the incoming tide was ripping from south to north, with an accompanying wind. My usual route was to paddle against the current, then come back with the wind and tide.