First Light Paddle 2016

First Light Paddle-58

We have built up several New Years traditions over the years. If we’re at home, we have a fondue dinner on the Eve while watching the year roll in. The morning rings in with a breakfast casserole and mimosas. We watch the Rose Parade (per instructions from the Californian in the household) while taking down the Christmas tree, and have nachos while watching the Rose Bowl Game.

That’s a normal year. However, the past couple of years have been anything but normal. Last year I started the year by myself as Laura had to be with her mom. I took the opportunity to watch the sun rise from the highest point in South Carolina, Sassafras Mountain. This year I was in Florida for New Year for the first time ever. Since I had missed my usual Winter Solstice Sunrise paddle, I decided to do a First Light paddle. Continue reading “First Light Paddle 2016”

Greenville Poinsett Christmas Parade 2015

Greenville Christmas Parade 2015-134

I have distinct memories of Christmas parades when I was growing up in Laurens County. Parade units would assemble on Fleming Street and march around the square. We would usually take up our spots on the corner in front of the old Winn Dixie. The smells of cigarette smoke entwined with sugary cotton candy pervaded the air. I remember the vendors – piles of inflatable crap, some related to Christmas, and some not. These came only with the aforementioned cotton candy, as well as other goodies such as candied apples.

So, with these memories, Laura and I headed out to meet Chip and Anna to enjoy watching the Greenville Christmas Parade with their little ones. Continue reading “Greenville Poinsett Christmas Parade 2015”

Thanksgiving Wrap-up

Avalon Beach-001

Wow. November is gone, and now we’re on our way into December. The depth of my writer’s block increases. I’ve only made two posts all this month, and one of those was a copy-and-paste job. Maybe I’ll get out of this slump, but we’ll have to see.

I think I’ve realized that I don’t have to write a documentary-styled, viral-ready article for every post. This blog used to be just that – a blog of the random stuff I encountered. I decided to get back to that, just so that I’m writing again on a regular basis. So, expect more of the mundane, with an occasional gem sprinkled in. In that vein, I’m starting with Thanksgiving, even though it was exactly a week ago as of this writing. Continue reading “Thanksgiving Wrap-up”

Ellenberg-Oliver Ramble

Siloam Baptist Church
Siloam Baptist Church

Earlier this summer my cousin Brent Baker contacted me about some family history sites. His mother, Judy Oliver Baker, is my first cousin, and they were wanting to visit home sites and graves for the Ellenberg-Oliver family.

I sent Brent a map of locations I knew about, and he and his mom set off. I would have loved to have tagged along, but that was during the time that Laura and I were in Florida. Brent was kind enough to send me his write-up of the trip and share some photos on his Amazon Cloud Drive. I told him I’d be happy to post his information here, even though I wasn’t able to go with them. Continue reading “Ellenberg-Oliver Ramble”

Taylor Invasion of Ireland – The Rundown

Doolin Countryside-003

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.

Stephen has shared his photos from that part of the trip, and I guess I could snag their journals. However, I’ll leave it to them to tell that part of the tale. Continue reading “Taylor Invasion of Ireland – The Rundown”

Taylor Invasion of Ireland

Taylor Brothers find a home

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”

Quick Trip to Florida

Indian River Paddling

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”

Busy Spring Update

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 at the Pickens Flea Market

Pickens Flea Market-015
Pickens Flea Market

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.


I did get some audio, but the real treasure was the opportunity for candid street photography afforded by the flea market. Continue reading “Street Photography at the Pickens Flea Market”

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