Monthly Archives: August 2013


The August Break 2013, Day 24


The August Break project is meant to give writers a time away from words and an opportunity to dive into the visual world around them.

This break is almost over. Day 24.

Has it been enough?

Will I be able to start writing and blogging daily on September 1?

Words have been swirling around in my head. Complete sentences. I have scribbled ideas down on any scrap of paper to capture them.

I have always heard that when you lose one sense, the others become stronger. I guess it’s the same with creative expression.

I’m looking forward to the first day of September…let the words begin!

Edisto: Old School Beach Vacation, Part Two

The second half of our week away at Edisto Beach was just as great as the first half. The weather at the beach held out for most of the week. Unfortunately our friends in Charleston were not so lucky and one friend who was expected to join us was stuck in town. In the end we hosted lots of friends–and loads of God sons! We are truly blessed.

Now, back to the real world…

Click here to see part one of Edisto: Old School Beach Vacation


Not all sunshine

Not all sunshine


Sweet George

Sweet George

Morning ninja moves

Morning ninja moves

Sea turtle nest


Where are they?

Where are they?

img_2953 (1)

sea oats



Impromptu picnic below stairs

Impromptu picnic below stairs


The race

The race





Boys / Photo by James McKinney



Good bye

Good bye

img_3142 (1)

Packing up

Packing up


Until next summer

Until next summer / Photo by Michael K. Smith, Aug 2013

All photos are by Amy Watson Smith unless otherwise indicated (August 2013)

Ravenel Bridge to Charleston

The Changing Nature of Nature

The August Break 2013Day 19

When I left my home in Mount Pleasant this morning the sky was blue and the sun was out. As  I headed across the Ravenel Bridge to downtown Charleston, I was surprised to see that the sky over the city was really dark.

Ravenel Bridge to Charleston

Ravenel Bridge to Charleston

I love driving across the bridge when the sky is so dark. The white cables on the bridge really pop.

Island popping

The gray sky turns the green on Drum Island chartreuse.

Once I hit the Crosstown and turned on to Rutledge Avenue the rain started.

Bottom drops out on Rutledge

At the next stoplight, the rain came down harder but the sun was shining. I had to put back on my sunglasses.

sun and rain

A few blocks further down Rutledge Avenue, the rain slowed to a stop.

downtown Charleston

Two blocks away the rain started again.

New Street

Heading back across the bridge, I had to put on my shades again and turn on the windshield wipers.

Bridge home

Back home in Mount Pleasant–only 30 minutes later–I was back in the sun and no rain was in sight.

Classic Lowcountry weather.

Edisto: Old School Beach Vacation

The August Break 2013, Days 10-14

A week away at Edisto Beach, South Carolina with family and friends–old school.

Edisto Beach 1

Trio of teens

A trio of teens

Trio of teens up close

Trio of teens totem

Teen totem

Edisto Shag

Afternoon at beach followed by the shag. Classic Carolina.

The Girls

Boiled peanuts, wine and girl friends…

Water station

Edisto tap water is only good for cooking grits.

Water station 2

Reverse osmosis water at the fire station


Water play

Water play 2

Shark Week is Scary

Shark Week is scary.


Edisto beach view

Wake up teenager

Only these two can wake this teenager with out getting hit.

Shark boy

Shark boy ready for the beach.

I Hart the Beach

Godbrother Godsister

Beach view

Edisto Beach 2





Storm approaches

Time to go

Clouds gathering

Vegetable stand

Cheating on tomato pie

Always moving

Take flight

Apparently everyone on Edisto goes to the Piggly Wiggly when it rains

Apparently everyone on Edisto goes to the Piggly Wiggly when it rains

The Cost of Costco

The August Break 2013, Day Seven

I went to Costco yesterday to buy things for our week at Edisto beach (South Carolina) next week.

Cost of Costco

Surprise. I bought a lot of things not on my list.

Surprise. The bill was really big.

This is why I don’t go to Costco very often.

I looked over the receipt when I got home and realized that it wasn’t as bad as I thought initially. Once I subtracted the items that are really for home, the bill was a third less. Then when I considered that I was buying food for seven days, three meals a day plus snacks for 6-12 people (and some are teenagers), I realized that it was really about $7 per person per day. Okay. Not bad at all–a bargain in fact. I feel much better.

We decided to rent this beach house for a week because we wanted a place to relax before the busyness of fall set in. We also thought that since Edisto is only an hour and a half from Charleston that it would be a great opportunity to invite our friends down to enjoy a day or two before the end of summer. Thankfully a number of friends have accepted our invitation and we will have a variety of people in and out all week long. We can’t wait!

I guess the cost of Costco is not so great after all.

By the way, I will be making delicious Edisto tomato pie. Click here for my recipe. I imagine shrimp and grits will be on the menu as well. Naturally we will be picking up our Geechie Boy Grits from our dear friends Betsy and Greg Johnsman at Geechie Boy Market and Mill on Edisto Island. Click here, here and here to read more about them.


A Guilty Pleasure: School Supply Shopping

The August Break 2013Day Six


School supplies

School supplies for a high school junior

Ahhh, . . . buying school supplies. This has always been my favorite end-of-summer activity. When I was in elementary school, the first day of school was always the Tuesday after Labor Day (not these days– in the South at least). I remember going to the Ben Franklin and getting everything on the list, crossing items off as I put them in the buggy. Once home I would spread everything across the living room floor lining things up, categorizing like items, writing my name carefully across each notebook and folder (I guess I was a geek at the time). Every year or two I would get a new lunch box. My favorite was the puffy plastic one featuring Josie and the Pussycats that I got in second grade. I still remember the way it smelled when it was brand new (and the awful smell of stale peanut butter sandwiches and apples later in the year).

Yesterday I went school supply shopping with my daughter. It’s not that I am trying to rush things. It’s just that we are going to the beach next week so when we return there will only be a couple of days before school starts. And of course you never want to wait too late or you won’t get the notebooks you want or all of your favorite pens will be gone. Besides, the process of “getting organized” for the new school year takes some time. You’ve got to color coordinate, write your name, add things to your calendar, . . . . I guess this is something I passed on to my daughter.

This year is different however. My daughter is entering eleventh grade and her school doesn’t give out supply lists. I guess they expect you to know what you need at this age–how you want to organize things. She didn’t get as much joy out of shopping this year either. There was a level of anxiety present that I have never seen before. I think reality has hit her hard. The fact that she is a junior, that she has a very rigorous academic schedule, that she has to prepare for and take the SAT and ACT, and begin getting very serious about college preparations. By the time we left the store, she was practically having an anxiety attack.

An hour later with all of her supplies spread across the den floor, she calmly labeled and sorted and color coordinated . . . and I think I caught a glimpse of a little smile growing across her face.