The first couple of years, our trips felt like extended visits. But these last few years, the trips have felt more like stays in an island home.
We were on the island when the Weather Channel predicted that the Carolinas were in the track of Hurricane Matthew. We made the trip back to Ohio last week, but a piece of my heart has remained in the Lowcountry. This brought me to reflect on how this vacation paradise became our home-away-from-home.
This past year, I felt I had found a home-away-from-home when...
- a neighbor came to our back door and invited me to join her at the complex's pool.
- we heard a, "Hey, neighbors" from the same neighbor when hubby and I were visiting a local store,
- a visitor stopped and asked for directions to the Piggly Wiggly... which caused us to smile and remember when we weren't able to find The Pig.
- I could successfully navigate the traffic circles, drive to all my favorite haunts without a map, and approximate the time it will take to arrive at various destinations.
- I was able to get my very own Beaufort County library card and joined the island branch's book clubs.
- friends made at the library's book clubs and a local card making group greeted me with huge smiles when I reconnected with them last September.
- I didn't feel the need to play tourist and take pictures at my second Humane Society Dog Walk. Instead hubby and I simply participated as walkers, joining up with a couple of our neighbors.
- a worker at our favorite hamburger joint started to know us by our order and made sure we were getting rewards points for our visits.
- a worker at my favorite movie house on the planet told me there would be fresh popcorn in a few minutes and personally delivered it to me in the theater.
- we know the Kroger frozen waffles are in the unlabeled case... the case that hasn't been labeled for years.
- we are starting to remember the channel numbers on our Hargray system and know the names of the local news anchors
- hubby potted some plants for our back patio... and a second neighbor offered to care for our plants whenever we are back in Ohio.
- this same neighbor called us here in Ohio when he was in immediate need of a working refrigerator and asked if he and his wife could use ours.
This past week, I knew I had found a home-away-from-home when...
- I kept going back to our computer on Friday and Saturday to see how our island was faring in the storm.
- my eyes welled when looking at posted pictures and videos depicting storm damage.
- my thoughts keep returning to our island neighbors and friends... offering thanks knowing that they are safe.