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A random collection of rants, reviews, and miscellaneous thoughts on everything from instructional technology to local restaurants.
Wednesday night is ghost night in the Taylor-Wright household. That’s the night Laura’s favorite paranormal shows come on TV – Ghost Hunters, Haunted Collector, and the latest, Deep South Paranormal. This particular Wednesday, though, we had something different in mind. We were going ghost hunting ourselves. Specifically, we were going to see the Blue Ghost Fireflies, Phausis reticulata. We had the privilege of seeing the blue ghosts a couple of years ago. Turns out that was another Wednesday night when we would have been watching Ghost Hunters, too. That would not be the last coincidence on this particular trip.
Our friend Joyce McCarrell arranged the outing and sent us the invitation. We met with her and the others that were going at the Cafe at Williams Hardware. Our host for the evening was Ann Tankersly, and we would be following her up to her property near River Falls. In all, there were nine of us heading out to see the Blue Ghosts.
Stephen struck up a conversation with Robert’s girlfriend, Sharon, and she told us about a weekly gathering at Robert’s place. This past Monday neither of us had Chorale rehearsal or other engagement, so we decided that we would head up and check it out. Continue reading ‘Perryville Pickin’ and Grinnin’’
This was a Second Saturday, and I was supposed to be joining my partners in crime at Lowcountry Unfiltered for a jaunt down to Harris Neck Wildlife Area. However, due to lots of factors I won’t go into now, I wasn’t able to join them. Even though I couldn’t make that trip, I was still in the mood for an exploration, even if it was a short local trip. Houston came up from Georgia, joining Laura, Glydna, and me for an excursion into the Dark Corner.
It was Houston who had proposed the venue. He had looked a map of Upstate South Carolina recently and saw lots of spots that he had never visited. We decided it was time to erase those deficits.
We first took a quick detour by Jungle J’s Hats and Knives. We could have wasted most of the afternoon just trying on hats and looking at knives. As it was, I still came away with a new hat. I tried on several that looked really good, and it was hard to choose just one, but I behaved.
From Jungle J’s our route took us through the back roads north of Taylors and Greer. Eventually we took Milford Church Road to Highway 101. Since we were close, I decided to head down to Gilreath Mill. There we encountered a wonderful surprise. Continue reading ‘Dark Corner Ramble’
A couple of months ago I was contacted by the art director for WNC Magazine asking if they could use some of my photography in an upcoming issue. Specifically, they wanted to use photographs from a trip I took with the Greenville Canoe and Kayak group on the French Broad River through the Biltmore Estate.
With everything that’s happened over the last several weeks I had completely forgotten about it. Today I received a copy of the magazine and was scratching my head as to why I had received it. Was it because I subscribed to SC Wildlife or Canoe and Kayak Magazine, or because I had attended some activity? Then I realized what it was.
The photos appear in an article about a paddle-a-thon to raise awareness of issues about the French Broad River. The Save the French Broad Float is a 10-day float from Rosman to Hot Springs. The float starts June 15 and goes through June 25. Sounds like a great trip, and it starts the week after I finish up in Spart 5. Tempting.
Anyway, here are the full versions of the two photos that they used…
…and they even credited them appropriately. Good times.
Retirement. That’s not a word one necessarily hears at my age. But, here I am. As of the end of June I will have completed 28 years in education in South Carolina, and I have decided it’s time to retire. Taking into account unused vacation time, my last day in our school district will be June 14. Actually, it will be June 13, because that’s our first 4-day week of the summer.
This all happened rather quickly, and it still doesn’t seem quite real yet. I’m still coming to terms with a very flexible schedule and what that means for all the projects I’ve been trying to juggle outside of work. There are book projects, music to write, photos to take, rivers to paddle, ghost towns to explore, and blog posts to publish. I won’t go lacking for things to keep me occupied. I might even get back into choir directing or decide to find some other job, but I won’t be in any big hurry.
In the meantime I’m assessing my post-retirement tech needs. I’ve upgraded the cameras in the past year, somewhat in anticipation of this date. I have my iMac at home, but my Kindle, iPhone, Macbook and iPad belong to work. I’ll have to turn all of those in. I don’t feel a great need for an iPad, but I do like having an e-reader. I may look at the Kindle Fire. I just replaced my aging Android phone with an iPhone to match the one from work, so I’m good there. Now I just lack the Macbook. That may have to come next.
Long, long ago, when I was taking an education course at Furman on Human Development, I read that often an adolescent’s first encounter with mortality comes when they decide upon one career. By the time someone reaches my stage, at the end of one’s career, that sense of mortality is ever-present. I know I’m still very young to be retired. However, it’s been a rough three years, with family deaths, deaths of friends, and serious health issues in our family. I was on a video conference call with a colleague just today, and the thought when I saw myself on the monitor was that I look old. Either this job has aged me, or I’ve just not been aware of the passage of the past 15 years as a school administrator. Those same years would have passed even if I’d stayed in the classroom. Who knows how I might have looked, though.
So, new horizons, and new opportunities await. The next six weeks will pass quickly. Then it will be time to do some rambling.