Blog, SoCS

SoCS – What Once Was

Linda Hill has just completed another year of SoCS! Congratulations and thank you for all your hard work making these prompts available to all of us. I wish you and your family a happy and healthy New Year, Linda. Want to join in on SoCS? Head over to Linda’s blog to get the scoop on how to participate.

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “new/knew.’” Use one, use both, use them any way you like. Bonus points if you use both. Enjoy!

Thursday, before we left Charleston, we decided to drive by the location where my husband’s mother had her condo. First a little background.

Mom lived in an area known as West Ashley in Charleston. This place brought her the greatest joy and the most pain of her life. When she moved back into Charleston, she chose and decorated her condo with pride, having no way of knowing what would lie ahead. She loved to entertain and we visited her there often.

Charleston itself is only 3ft above sea level. Stormwater runoff and drainage has always been a challenge, especially considering how much the city has grown in recent years. (It is estimated 33 people per day move to Charleston.) Add to that the fact the city is surrounded by bodies of water, well, the flooding potential is great.

Things went well for years. Then new subdivisions were built behind Mom’s subdivision. So many houses, condos, etc., all to support the increased demand for housing. Was the drainage implemented by the city’s urban planners designed correctly and was it adequate?

One night, they went to bed, and the next morning woke to find at least a foot of water throughout the condo. This was the first of four floods she experienced and this one was the least impactful.

All in all, Mom survived four floods on her property. Each time the damage was worse, and the losses more. They had to be rescued at least once by the fire department. The flood waters rose quickly. Every time it rained, she paced the floor wringing her hands in fear. The high water mark was 36 inches from the floor.

When the condos were new, I wonder if someone anticipated the future and was hushed or if they kept their concerns to themselves. I wonder if the city planners knew when they approved the inadequate drainage and authorized new construction in such a low lying area what the flooding potential was.

These floods broke her. I have vivid memories of sitting in her front yard in lawn chairs while a lifetime of belongings were paraded out in front of her, an 84 year old woman, for her to approve them being thrown into a dumpster.  Very little of her belongings could be salvaged. Flood waters are not clear water, they are dangerous and contaminated water often containing gas and diesel, raw sewage, bacteria, and pesticides. It was heartbreaking.

Eventually after years and years of fighting, FEMA and the city bought all the properties and demolished them – it was not enough money to find a new place to move, though.  Mom got her settlement the month she passed away. A sad end to a long and heartbreaking fight.

Now, other than the broken lamppost and the abandoned electrical boxes, you would never know anyone ever lived there.





Blog, throwback thursday

Throwback Thursday #70 – My How Time Flies

We got home from Charleston last night and I was just too tired to write. It was a busy two days filled with family and fun. I skipped the movie (3 hours of Avatar) in favor of spending time with our daughter while our granddaughters, their Dad, and Grandpa donned their 3D glasses and ventured into Pandora.

Tell me what you loved about 2022.

I will be honest, it seems like just one long year since the pandemic began. 2022 did see the further relaxation of restrictions. I spent time with my family in Florida and here as well which was a blessing. Getting on a plane again was odd, but so worthwhile to spend time with family.

Do you have regrets?

I try not to regret the decisions or actions in my life. If anything, I do regret not pushing my doctor earlier on about getting the MRI on my knee.

What did you lose?

Even with the relaxations, there was still time lost with family. Hubby had a long stint with Covid in January and we had several family members who had Covid this year. I lost some of my mobility which is never a good thing, but things could always be more difficult, couldn’t they? I lost the ability to go to the gym like I once did and that has been something I miss.

What did you gain?

I gained perspective. I gained some weight. I gained even more respect for the health care workers and the school teachers who have stuck it out.

What was your greatest accomplishment?

Regaining and strengthening relationships.

How was your balance between happiness and sadness?

I didn’t experience a lot of sadness, but I still felt somewhat isolated. Very little travel and seeing family and friends still seemed lacking. I think the balance was okay, but neither happiness nor sadness really tipped the scale.

And lastly, what are you happy to leave behind and what do you look forward to?

I am hopeful we can put a lot of the political unrest behind us in favor of a more sane society. I am hopeful we will continue to put more of Covid into the past and move forward as a more health conscious society,

Of course my greatest joy that I look forward to the most is the arrival of our seventh grandchild (a grandson) in May! 

Anything more you want to add?

The last few months of 2022 have caused me to put my blogging on the back burner at times. I hope that I can get back on a more regular schedule after the holidays. I love this community and wish you all a happy, healthy, and productive New Year.

Blog, throwback thursday

Throwback Thursday #70 – A Year in Review

Here we are closing in on 2022, hopefully looking forward to what the new year will bring. Preparing for a new year often entails looking back over the past year.

So, today, we are throwing back only one year.

  • Tell me what you loved about 2022.
  • Do you have regrets?
  • What did you lose?
  • What did you gain?
  • What was your greatest accomplishment?
  • How was your balance between happiness and sadness?
  • And lastly, what are you happy to leave behind and what do you look forward to?
  • Anything more you want to add?

I am in Charleston visiting family, so I will respond later today when I get back home.

I wish you all a wonderful wrap-up of 2022 and hope you have lots to look forward to in 2023. No resolutions for me. Just moving forward one day at a time.


A Little Rudolph Trivia

Did you know Rudolph was the brainchild of a Montgomery Ward’s copywriter?

Follow the link to read the entire story.


Courtesy of the Library of Congress.