Monday, March 1, 2010

March-IN on Lake Murray

31 March, Wednesday - Woe is I. No sleep ... nada wink. The cleaning women appeared yesterday while Cynthia was lunching with friends... expecting that we were moved out. We erred on the date of departure and the owner was expected that very afternoon. They graciously let us stay another night while we shifted into high gear. Don't tell anyone - but the recycling stack accumulated to a car full. After packing furiously all day (and SHE was already packed!!!) we took a break to dine at Bonefish Grill with Donna and Greg and unload stuff to be stored at their house. It was a LONG night but we finished loading the car at ten AM. We won't get far tonight. Sleep is sorely needed.

28 March, Sunday - Dawn's delight: a deer feeding outside the rear entry door. The Lizard Thicket Gang grouped for breakfast - including Vince, Mary, Ed (Mary's brother visiting from PA) and Dick. After non-stop FUN we walked three miles with Dick 'in the hood" then onto visit Ma-maw - Elizabeth's 93 year old mother. The winds whipping across the lake are very strong - white caps - high water. Thunderstorms predicted but only light rain has fallen. Made it to Greg's and back home again without getting wet. Cynthia over-functions: she is packing her bag for Italy (departure from Boston ONE MONTH away) in addition to packing for our departure to Washington, D.C./Philadelphia and Boston Thursday.

27 March, Saturday - Mary Lou was overjoyed that Cynthia found her mother's side of the family back 12 generations. We RACED running errands - stopped to see Clark and Elizabeth's HO train show. It was a fun and gorgeous day - delightful weather.

26 March, Friday - Donna and Greg joined us for dinner at Ruby Tuesday's fine salad bar. With such a limited diet we tend to think about food a WHOLE lot. Cynthia tried to renew the Florida drivers license online but a new photo was required necessitating a trip to Florida! Aaauuggghhhh! She placed a phone call to Key West DMV explaining we were leaving for Italy - and going to Florida was not in the plans, couldn't a photo be taken here, notarized and mailed to FL? The friendly clerk said, "Sorry but the photo has to be taken IN FL IN the DMV office by the expiration date of the birthday - and when is that birthday"? Cynthia had a flash recall: May 12 2011. NEXT May. Whew.

24 Mar, Wednesday: Temperatures hit a warm 81 degrees. The decision to drive to I-Hop in Columbia was good: the egg white veggie omelets are humongous. Cynthia is back from Texas; laughter once again fills this house near the end of Amick's Ferry Road near Chapin, SC. Birdie watching is fascinating with the new binoculars and Lake Murray in the background; high water: the lake is up a foot or two and drowned the campfire ashes. Transcribing the voice recorder of my 2008 Appalachian Trail hike is proving motivating & interesting. My trail name is "Shakedown Cruise" on I'm making good progress on projects, but our departure date of 1 April is approaching like a locomotive.

22 Mar, Monday: Light rain precluded sleeping outside - but the evening inside was indeed lovely after a delightful dinner at Zorba's. We awoke early and continued work on long neglected correspondence. Smooch Smooch made a calendar to keep us notified of important dates: renew driver's license, motorcycle insurance, and OH... not to miss the flight to Rome from Boston.

We depart SC 1 April for Washington, D.C. - meet Larry in D.C (genealogist cousin with the DAR) and stop to see Jim S. (did you read that Jim???) - and onto Philadelphia Lutheran Seminary to meet with the archivist regarding Dr. Craig's vast colonial record collection - and visit with Rev. Joy to process wedding plans (Smooch Smooch is buried in 17th century wedding theme ideas! - Ron need to just shows up). From PA we drive to Boston to see the doctor about cartilage injections in the knee - then back to PA to index and catalog records returning to Boston for DTYD at MIT - and departure for Italy - 28 April - 20 May - returning to PA for several weeks working on the archives - possibly attend the MIT reunion in Boston early June.

After lunch at Zorba's we went to the gym for a workout and returned to the computer station. The wind and waves are high today - cooler temperatures prevail for a few more days.

21 Mar, Sunday: again. I'm up at 3:30 after we slept outside again - too hot to sleep indoors without turning on the air. The clear starry sky with sounds of waves washing against the shore was most pleasurable. Looking forward to fish & grits w/ Daves Insanity sauce for breakfast with Greg & Donna and Clark & Elizabeth. Best news is that projects are getting done; Whew. Departure date of 1 April is suddenly nigh.

18 Mar: Smooch Smooch with son Jon on Lake Conroe. She who posts photos posts: Atta boy, Ron! I am so proud of your labs! Way to go!

A new Featherlite open utility trailer (model 6810 - 4.5 x 8) now replaces our closed 6x10 we sold two weeks ago. We sure hope there is room for the motorcycle after loading all the boxes of cute shoes.

17 Mar: Smooch smooch returns from Texas in an hour; we are both excited. More excitement, lipid results: LDL cholesterol-51, HDL cholesterol-72, triglycerides-41, total cholesterol-131, Liver and kidney function-normal - wonderful. It was sooooo nice to sleep all warm & cozy outdoors after getting the down sleepy bag out of the car (too bad I didn't do that on the first cold night). Photos are absent since Smooch smooch left her post. Scroll down to see a nice sunset. To see more pics, you will have to look at previous posts or the web albums (see sidebar). Broken links on both websites are now fixed, Trailjournals (see sidebar) updates moving along nicely.

14 Mar: Why OH why didn't I check the temperature before starting the motorcycle at 7:20am. At 40 degrees without gloves, my fingers got very, very cold very, very fast. Breakfast at Lizard's with Greg & Donna, Clark & Liz, and Dick was enjoyable as always (fish & grits w/ insanity sauce for me). I've promised Gheng Gu Shui to waitress Susan to help with her injured thigh. It was enjoyable to have a low stress day w/ Greg & Donna while updating my address spreadsheet. Terrific to talk with Aunt Eleanor, Kenneth & Jewell (93-year-olds), Pete, Marjorie, and Ed. Reassuring that Art & Joann have kept the phone # although the area code has changed. Only 176 more phone calls to make to clean up the addresses.

12 Mar: Too bad I started riding in to Irmo without first checking the weather; it was no fun riding in the drizzle. Breakfast at Lizard's was welcome; it was a surprise to NOT be hungry after fasting for the cholesterol tests and walking. Busy day fixing broken links on the Ron Beatty web site.

11 Mar: Smooch Smooch is off to Texas for her plug in the butte, so I'm home alone on Lake Murray in Chapin, SC for a week. It was a chore to analyze the land records for the Bankstons in Spartanburg, but it looks like several properties were never sold.

6 Mar: Transcribing the voice recorder notes from 2008 promises to be fun & educational. Read all about it on - trail name "Shakedown Cruise."

5 Mar: Up at 3:30 am to work on projects before towing the Featherlight trailer to Charlotte to sell. Mapquest allowed me to pick a route over back roads mostly east until we can get on I-77. Looks like lots more fun than Malfunction Junction at rush hour.

4 Mar: Smooch smooch & I drove the Lexus in to Irmo this morning: she enjoyed the chilly walk with Dick & Jim & I and even seemed to enjoy our banal banter. After mediocre egg white veggie omelets at IHOP, we entertained the staff at Triple-A by posing for International Drivers Licenses (trip to Tuscany approaches in May - thanks again Janie). All the odds & ends in the trailer had to be removed and oil stains cleaned off the floor. By the time we waded through teenage traffic past the high school to the Fitness Center, the parking lot was somewhat filled. We exercised for an hour and feasted at Zorba's in Chapin on our usual salad, salmon and wine. Sunset was again beautiful, and we were in bed by 8:30; another day without progress on genealogy or other paperwork projects.

3 Mar: After the morning walk, Jim & I pushed while Dick piloted his Blazer out of its wallow in his front yard. The concrete truck was delivering installment two of his driveway, but we drove off to Lizard's for coffee and breakfast - a welcome change to the usual quick good-byes. Today's project is to start transcribing the voice recorder I used during the 1550 miles hiking the Appalachian Trail. The voice recorder controls are cryptic like so many marvelous new electronic toys. First fright = it played a recording from mid-hike in May, then played only static. Reading directions (Yes, desperate!) indicated that there was a hold button (still static) and volume control. What a relief to actually hear my first recording, but we went to exercise instead of transcribing. We imbibed a bit too much this evening - oh ohhh.

2 Mar: It was a warmer ride this morning, 34 degrees at 8 am. On this anniversary of the first day of hiking in 2008, I opened a new account on for the transcription of my voice recording from that 1550-mile hike.

1 March - Monday Morning's Magnificent Moment...
mere seconds after a gaggle of geese did a Blue Angel take off - an awesome sight! The motorcycle ride to Irmo was chilly, 32 degrees, but the BS while walking with Dick and Steve is worth it. We drove to Irmo again late afternoon for Smooch Smooch's "girl time," a pedicure and manicure before dinner at Ruby Tuesday. The computer fit somewhat comfortably on my lap in the drivers seat but the steering wheel had to get involved at times. The labeling on a "buy one get one free" coupon implies that you have to purchase two entrees, and it finally dawned on me that we'd save money if we both ordered entrees with salad bars instead of splitting and entree and paying full price for the second salad bar. The hostess enlightened us with terrific news: with "buy 1 get 1 free," the second salad bar is free - it counts as an entree. We saved nine big bucks.

There is lots of wildlife on this lake: some duckies are wild and fly off at our approach, but one set of three recognize that our appearance brings food; they respond to our hailing quacks with non-stop quacking encouragments. The songbirds, cardinals, and blue jays empty the feeder in a couple of days and present a kaleidoscope of color and activity. A red-headed woodpecker survived flying SPLAT into the door leaving behind feathers pasted to the glass. At night the coons rip at the feeder for food so we've learned to bring it inside to safety. The deer are cute but present a night-time driving hazard; tonight there was an impressively large herd of eight grazing in the roadside ditch. Sometimes I'll see them during my morning ride into town. This is a long, narrow, remote peninsula so it seems peculiar that so many deer live here.