Sunday, November 27, 2011

There's No Place Like Home

There's no place like home.  I feel like Dorothy ... it was a lovely week in a little corner of Paradise, but I was so glad to get home to my own bed last night!  Apparently Mitchell was, too.  There is still an occasional snore coming from beyond the bedroom door.

We walked on the beach and watched the kingfishers fish.  We strolled and enjoyed the peace of the marshes.  We ate, we drank, we laughed.  The Colonel and Dora visited us for part of the week and we ate and drank with them.  Laughed a lot with them.  We even slept late and took naps, but still arrived home tired from the road.

We did small business shopping all week.  The best was a shop that sells only olive oils and flavored vinegars - The Oilerie.  You can taste everything before you purchase and then they decant it and seal it like a bottle of wine (no wonder I love that place!) and label it like a wonderful gift - one you give to yourself. 

There are lovely galleries and craft shops on Hilton Head, and clothes (of course).  So many wonderful restaurants that the difficult part was choosing just one per night!  And, actually, an excellent outlet mall.  We hit the latter on the way onto the Island last weekend and never went back.  I'll pass on Black Friday, thank you very much!

The best part of the week, tho, was exploring an old cemetery where we spent two days documenting the gravestones.   Located overlooking a marsh and deep within a gated community, this is one of the most peaceful places you could hope to visit.  The Colonel got interested in genealogy a number of years ago and spent significant time  tracing his roots.  When he discovered how useful tombstones were to that research, he also got involved in a neat project to document tombstones to help others find information on their family members and ancestors.

Find a Grave is a website where thousands of cemeteries all over the world are documented with photos of individual headstones and as much information as possible is posted about the people buried there.  The Colonel has posted more than 14,000 photos over the past few years.  Which brings us to Talbird Cemetery on Hilton Head.

It is an African American cemetery that dates back to the middle of the 19th century (or earlier) and contains more than 300 gravesites.  It is still in use today.  A gentleman who lives nearby has taken on the project of keeping the cemetery mowed regularly and cleared of undergrowth.  He is also trying to reset and repair toppled and broken stones. 

We spent two days photographing the individual stones, which The Colonel will now post to the website in the hope that others will be able to use that information.  We are now looking for information on two other old cemeteries that we might try to document next year.

We spent two lovely days in the fresh air, but ended up thankful that we could do something [ok, something rather odd] that will be helpful for someone who can't come to South Carolina and do it alone.  A Thanksgiving well spent!