As much as we enjoy home life, sometimes we get the urge to get away and to do things for which we haven't the facilities here at home. Snow, for instance. (It turns out that sometimes there is, in fact, snow.) And white water. Or maybe lightly frothed Green water.
Camping on the Edisto River used to be a favorite way to spend a weekend, but the efforts to reintroduce and to protect the alligator have made it irresponsible to keep a dog on a sand bar over night. And who could be hard enough of heart to load up the tent, hitch up the boat, and drop the dog off at the kennel?
We occasionally make a trip that, even though we have a great time and always mean to go back, turns out to be a one-off. So far Linville Gorge fits that folder.
We try to make it to the State Fair every year, if we can. There are the same things to see and eat every time, but just enough changes to keep us coming back. And the occasional life-affirming experience.
One reason we don't get around to repeats on some of the fun things we've found is that so much of our travel and leisure time is taken up with stuff that we just can't give up. These are things that we do every year, or more if we can. We've made them such a part of living that we start to take for granted that they'll always be there, but we still look forward to them with excitement every time, and every trip seems like something new.
A Beach Disaster, not for us, but in our hearing
And a year would not be complete without at least one trip to Saluda, and better three or four.
There's the old family house in uptown Saluda. It belongs to Aunt Altha now, who has saved it from ruin with new roofs and floors, plumbing and appliances, hostas and a pen for the dogs to stay in.
There's always a lot to do in Saluda, what with cooking and eating and such. We even get to take in the occasional parade. In 2003 we didn't just take in the parade, we took it on and took it. In 2009 the parade truly went to the dogs. There are antiques to browse (our dining room and porch tables and chairs came from Landrum and Tryon shops) and streams to explore. When the weather's warm and the water's up we can go tubing on the Green.
Just down the mountain from Saluda is Lake Lanier. A fine place for a Fourth of July family get-together.
Sometimes we can get away without going very far. Old Stoney, the backhoe, gets us a membership in the hunt club and we get to use the hunt club's river.
Mr. Haney takes us for the fun part.
Even closer, the S.C. Draft Horse Association has a Plow Day on our neighbor's field.
Other people are blessed with old tractors, too. Richburg, '08
I play in politics a little from time to time, too.