Karen and I vacationed in Charleston (4/30/13 - 5/3/13).

We toured an aircraft carrier and a submarine... saw some artistically downed trees near the ocean... walked along the Battery... went to a combination birthday and graduation party in a house in the woods with some fine dogs and Episcopal priests... did the requisite walk on the beach. Coming back we saw a lovely flower in a quick stop parking lot. One morning standing by a tidal creek near our motel I saw the rising sun stain the water pink. We picked strawberries.

Here are the best pictures and some images that stuck in our heads.

Day 1 - Packing

Karen packed the car with stuff and I made fun of her noting that women always do this then remembered that men always use the stuff that women pack. (On the last day Karen used her first aid supplies to repair my ass, torn after slippery AllStars slid on the slippery wooden steps to the parking lot. This was not unseemly. Karen is a health care professional.)

Day 1 - Ships

Getting to the ships we drove over an artistic suspension bridge.  Later, when I asked her about the first image of the harbor that came to her mind Karen said it was the ships stacked with containers - an endless procession coming from overseas somewhere to the Charleston harbor, to trucks to trains to trucks to warehouses to shelves in WalMart.

On the aircraft carrier Yorktown we negotiated steep ladders between countless levels, then explored a maze of corridors and rooms, ending up on a huge hanger deck with vintage airplanes at one end and a catered party with white linens and wine at the other end. In the endless corridor at the center of a submarine I realized that the watertight doors not only keep fire and water from spreading but people from getting out.

The young men who lived and died in these ships are just out of sight.

Day 2 - Dawn

I woke  up early to do clumsy Tai Chi in the dark in mud, disturbing a crane in the process. The rising sun stained the creek like diluted blood. The odd little church across street from motel seemed to deserve a picture.

Day 2 - Charleston

We did the requisite walk along the Battery, viewing big old house, meeting some people who nodded and spoke, and others who looked away with haughty awareness. An older woman with a stylish straw hat sat on a bench in the Battery reading  a book and acknowledged us with tasteful regard.

Day 2 - Trees

We saw fallen trees by the ocean along a pristine beach that was said to be the way beaches used to be. I had a silly argument with Karen's step-brother David (he is a semi-retired Episcopalian priest) about a simple route to keep me from getting lost.

Day 3 - Strawberries, Voodoo Art

We picked strawberries from a roadside field, putting some in our bag and eating some on the spot. Karen shot a picture of voodoo art that is designed to keep things happy

Day 3 - Ocean, Party

We walked the beach at Edisto, holding hands for mutual support, abraded by sand blowing knee high. We discussed pelican behavior - is it the product of parental guidance or natural selection? Sitting on a quieter section of beach we analyzed the pattern of waves. A pod of porpoises headed down the Edisto River toward open ocean.

That night following the priest's directions - as he promised, I did not get lost - we attended his son's combined birthday and graduation party (from a college that teaches not only liberal arts but traditional building techniques). There was another Episcopalian priest and his wife and the exuberant classmates of David's son about to embark on whatever trek it is that young men embark on - feeling wonder, sympathy and  apprehension at their journey. Sitting in David's book-filled office I discovered a book on aggression that I read a long time ago. Karen seemed to think I ought to read it again.

Day 4 - Returning

All the way from Charleston to Charlotte the road swarmed with nasty traffic. Karen discovered a lovely flower growing in a crack in the parking lot of a roadside quick stop.

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