South Carolina Trip

Home from South Carolina. We left Friday morning early when there was a reasonable chance that tropical storm Isaac would turn into a hurricane and hit Florida but it was still too far away to really count on it one way or the other. We figured we could keep an eye on it and if necessary, cut the trip short and get home – it’s a 7 hour drive. So we’re glad we decided to make the trip since the storm never came close to hitting Central Florida. We did drive about half the trip home in fairly heavy rain – from Savannah to Barberville or to be more accurate, until we got about 10 miles from Barberville. I was anxious to see how much rain had accumulated in the gauge over the weekend and was blown away to see only 1/2”. That was it. So much for getting any lake replenishment from Isaac.

We really enjoyed the trip and got to see the whole Sheronick clan quite a bit. Everyone is doing well. Lindsay and Charles bought a new/old home in the University (Winthrop) neighborhood and are fixing it up perfectly. Charles recruited Ali, Kassem, Aaron, and his dad to tear down a hill that consumed most of the back yard and put up a monster of a retaining wall. You can look at the job, which seems to be 90% complete, and tell it’s the kind of project that, had you known, you’d never have started in the first place. Visualize a sloping hill 10-12′ high, stretching lengthwise across the entire back yard, 35′, sloping to house level over 30′ or so. Then remove that 35‘x30′ section. I tend to think in cubic yards since I have lots of experience with yards of fill dirt and would guess there was at least 150 cubic yards – 8 truckloads. Then think about the retaining wall that has to hold back the rest of the hill. They used 8”x8” square posts, probably 16′ long sunk 4‘deep on 4′ centers. The cross planking was 4”x6” for the bottom 4′ and 2”x6” for the next 8′. I can tell you from personal experience building the dock, handling lumber that size is incredibly difficult and back breaking. But I think it really enhances the property and basically adds a back yard. I checked it out from a sunlight perspective, and it would be a perfect place for a garden. We had a wonderful lunch there are solved all the world’s problems while sampling/depleting Lindsay’s wine collection.

On Sunday all the kids came over to Nancy and Ali’s and we had another great lunch – Ali grilled salmon and we emptied the last of his keg of craft beer. That part of the day broke up about 4pm so there was plenty of time left to hit their favorite brew pub. I think I drank more (and better) beer this weekend than I have cumulatively in the past 12 months. It was just a great day and a great weekend.

Got up this morning and jumped on the garden for a few hours. The butternut seeds I’d planted last week had all germinated and four of the tomato plants started a few weeks back were ready for transplanting. The goal is 12 by the end of Sept. Those will be converted to spaghetti sauce designed to carry us through June. I have 3 sets of pole bean trellises and decided to get the beans planted on one of them. My plan is to plant the other two in intervals of two weeks so the last should go in about mid September. I’m going to do a 20′ row of bush beans also so between the pole beans and the bush beans, we should have enough beans to carry us through the winter until next bean season. I also planted the first of the fall zucchini. Same story – plan to have 3 bushes and will stagger the follow on plantings in two week intervals. That’s the fall planting. Winter stuff will start hitting the garden in mid October so nothing going on there. If the weather cooperates, we’ll still be picking fall stuff in December along with the winter greens.

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