2017 Gallabrae

2017 Gallabrae Scottish Games at Furman-42

NOTE: I’m running a bit behind with the blog posts and I’m trying to catch up. This was from last weekend. Also, this is the first post since making some changes to the site, so I’m hoping this goes smoothly.

The Scots were back in town! That meant parades, weird music, weird athletics, and even weirder food. This year we participated in the Great Scots Parade, as we usually do with the Upstate Minis, and I made the Saturday trek up to Furman to see the games. Continue reading “2017 Gallabrae”

Corporate Music

Taylor-Caddell Band

If you Google the phrase “Coporate Music” (as I did) you get links to royalty-free music clips with an industrial/business feel. Either that, or you get links to diatribes blasting mass-produced pop music. However, my use of the word “corporate” is more like how we use the phrase “corporate worship“, an act of cooperation in the production of music. Over the next couple of weeks I’m going to have several posts about such corporate acts of music, from organized groups to spontaneous jam sessions. Continue reading “Corporate Music”

The Ephemera of Life

Ephemera of Life 1

Closing out the various properties that belonged to my parents has meant going through boxes and boxes of things we’ve discovered in attics, closets, the garage, and anywhere else someone might hide a box of junk. Most of it is just that – the sort of stuff you save because you think you have to. Some of it looks like trash, but can contain some real nuggets of insight. While probably meaningless to anyone else, to us these bits of paper have revealed another side of our parents, including concerns and other thoughts often unbeknownst to the children at the time. Even though Mom’s been gone for two years now and Dad for five, it’s been like getting to know them and at the same time mourning them all over again. The process has been fascinating, and I thought I’d share some of the discoveries we made while sifting through the ephemera of their lives. Continue reading “The Ephemera of Life”

Amazing Grace

2010 0930 26

This past Tuesday night my Aunt Grace Ellenberg passed away. She was 95. The older sister of my late mother, she led a long, amazing life of adventure that defied the expectations set for a young farm girl from Ninety Six, South Carolina. Grace was a teacher and world traveler, a complex person with a profound Christian faith coupled with a keen intellect and desire to learn. Continue reading “Amazing Grace”

Banjo Therapy

Tom with Banjo

Last winter we discovered that Laura’s mom responds well to my banjo playing. Her memory returns and she claps along. I’ve started bringing it every time we visit, and despite my limited skills she seems to like it. This Thanksgiving has been very difficult, with Mrs. Wright battling infections as well as Alzheimer’s While the banjo hasn’t worked miracles, it has brought some relief. More importantly, I’ve discovered that this therapy isn’t limited to Mrs. Wright. Continue reading “Banjo Therapy”

Paddling to Jack Island

Indian River and Jack Island-4

Ever since we first discovered it nearly 30 years ago, Laura and I have enjoying coming to Jack Island. Jack Island State Park and Preserve is a 340 acre island on the Indian River side of North Hutchinson Island. Trails circle the island and cross it. There is a birding tower on the river side of the island. This was the first place I discovered the thrill of “hunting” birds with a long telephoto lens, and that capturing them in this fashion was just as satisfying (even more satisfying) thank actually shooting something. We try to come back to the island as often as we can when we’re down this way.

Jack Island isn’t very far from Amy’s house. However, I’d never been there by boat. I think I might have paddled past it on one of my extended trips, but I’m not sure. This time I had a goal. I was going to paddle until I found the birding tower. That way I could truly say that I had paddled to Jack Island. Continue reading “Paddling to Jack Island”