From The Lowcounty To The Upstate

From The Lowcounty To The Upstate

From the beach to the mountains, there is so much to learn.
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I spent the first eighteen years of my life (and a significant part of my adult life) in the Lowcounty area of Charleston, SC. Summer was a great adventure growing up along the banks of the Stono River. I lived in a small neighborhood at the foot of the old Limehouse bridge; A swing bridge that turned sideways to let boats go through. There were only about 20 houses in our neighborhood. There was a dirt road leading off the main highway that formed a circle of about 1/2 mile. There were houses on the main river, houses on the inner circle with just a view of the water, and just off the circle was a small extension of the circle where my house stood. We had a dock in the back yard on the main canal that led to the river. The lots that were not developed were thickly wooded areas filled with trees and wildlife.

The tides played a big part in planning our day. At low tide, only pluff mud and fiddler crabs were in the canal. We occasionally braved the mud to chase the fiddler crabs as our feet sunk into the thick black goo. The tide had to be about half in before there was enough water to swim or get in the old john boat. High tide in mid-afternoon was the ideal. We would be in/on the water from lunchtime until dinner. In the evenings, we would shrimp or crab from the dock.

We loved the woods. They were filled with honeysuckle vines. We would sit and pick the honeysuckle, gently pulling the stem to get the tiny bit of nectar on our tongue. We picked wild blackberries and ate them on the spot. We were yet unaware of all the things in our world that would soon prove to kill laboratory rats. The woods were filled with tics, red bugs, spiders, and more but we rarely encountered any problems. We did come across snakes a few times but always out ran them. We loved catching Daddy Long Legs and fireflies. We would sit and dig in the sandy soil and find shark’s teeth. We had several small jars filled with them. We were always filled with awe as we thought that our homes were once covered with water and sharks.

I am going to miss Lowcountry. I am now living in the Upstate area. The Lowcountry is designated as such because many areas are below sea level. The Upstate gets its name from - well, being up at the top of the state.

I am still discovering the differences between the Lowcountry and the Upstate. The first thing I notice is that unless you are in Greenville during rush hour traffic, it is not nearly as congested here. Drivers don’t seem nearly as aggressive as they did in Charleston. There are also at least a dozen ways to get anywhere. Most of the ways will lead you along two lane roads with a variety of farms and animals such as cows, goats, sheep, cows, horses, and more cows.

The weather here is a bit milder. It isn’t nearly as humid as Charleston. The winters will bring more snow than I am used to seeing in the Lowcountry. I am excited to see the changing colors of the leaves this Fall this year. The Upstate is very close to the mountains. Ashville is less than a two hour drive. That means the beach is four hours away. No more day trips to the ocean.

The biggest difference living in the Upstate will be leaving my friends and some family in Charleston. Charleston will always be “home” in my heart. I will always be drawn to the smell of pluff mud and sounds of the ocean waves. I have already begun to see the beauty of the Upstate and the lakes. My daughter and son in law are moving here as well and my best friend and her family live here so I already have a start on my tribe here. I am excited to learn more about my new home here in the Upstate.

I would love to hear your ideas about favorite places or things to do in the Upstate!

Cover Image Credit: Carriage Properties

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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A Poem: My Mother

In honor of Mother's Day, that was on the 12th, here is a poem dedicated to my mother.

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To the only person who can be my mentor, friend, and leader at the same time

To someone who would make me read my own books before bedtime

And puts everything down to make sure there is a smile on my face

To the person that I find impossible to ever replace.


Somehow you are always right even when it seems wrong

And when the worst does happen, how do you still manage to stay so strong?

I'm not only impressed but inspired by you

Knowing that somehow you'll always know me better than I do.


When I'm frustrated and annoy you, you simply try to understand me

Because you have always told me that even when you can't understand, plain acceptance is the key

You have listened to all my laughs, heard me cry, and felt my emotions like they were your own

You are the only reason I am joyous and the security I need to know that I am never alone.


To the only person who has truly taught me how to live

And watched me grow and make mistakes yet still knows how to forgive

Because that's who she is, certainly not like any other

There are many women but none like my own mother.

Happy Mother's Day!

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