Thursday, April 23, 2009

Octavia loses her first tooth.

Once upon a time there was a princess named Octavia who lived in a magical kingdom far far away from Grandmas and Grandpas. She made a wish that she could move closer to the ones she loved. All the fairies in the land gathered together and counseled. One fairy said she would use her powers to move Octavia's kingdom closer to the ones she loved, but it would require a sacrifice of the princess. She would require one of the princesses magical teeth, that way she could give a little part of herself to the land and the people she had to leave behind. And it would always be a part of who she became, and the land would grow more beautiful than ever because it had a been touched by her. So the day came that the little princess had to leave her tooth behind. The little Princess was frightened of the pain that would be involved in loosing her tooth. In the end she was brave and gave her little tooth. She tried out replacement teeth, but nothing seemed to fill the little hole in her mouth. Her mommy assured her that a new tooth would grow in the little lost tooth's place. The little princess asked how her mommy could know this. Her mommy told her because sometimes we have hard things happen to us, and sometimes it takes a little piece of us, but in the end it is all a part of growing up. And after a while where the little tooth once was a stronger tooth grows. And so the princess finished crying--then she dried her tears and put the tooth under her pillow for the beautiful fairy to come and retrieve. Thankful for all that helps us grow stronger. (Just one more for Julie, hope you have a blast at girls camp!!! I wish I could go.)

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Seeing South Carolina through our rearview mirror

Well it is official. Chad has to be in Oakland, Ca around the May 1st. We are very excited, and Chad is ready for a new challenge. As we are leaving so soon, we felt it would be best to see South Carolina Grandma Doris style. For those of you who don't know what that is, it is to cram as much into the time you have as humanly possible, by the end of the week both kids had thrown up, but we saw it all darn it!! We started at the zoo of course. I have become quiet the zoo connoisseur, I have been to six different zoo's in the last two years, all with my Mom. This zoo wasn't huge like the San Diego, it didn't have amazing sea life like the Tacoma, it was more comparable to Hogle and Woodlands Park--seriously a zoo connoisseur, I could write who's who in the zoo world. It was more exciting than any other because the kids got to take a pony ride, and Tavi found a caterpillar. The next day we went to the capital building where my Dad and Kaleb found out all about why South Carolina has Palmetto trees everywhere. Did you know in the revolutionary war the British Navy came against Fort Moultrie, a little fort built of the spongy palmetto tree wood. They shot cannon after cannon at the fort, but the cannon balls either bounced off, or went right through without damaging the structure of the building. The South Carolinian's actually sent one of the soldiers outside the fort walls to collect the British cannon balls fired, (Yeah how would you like to have drawn the short straw on that one?). Then they heated them up and fired them right back at the British. The capital building was beautiful, and it was fun to learn about the noble role it played in the foundation of this country. Next (Same day mind you) we went to a museum. There were some really cool displays on the civil war, and what was happening in the South at that time. That evening (Yes, still the same day) we went to Camden. This was the largest city in South Carolina at the time of the revolutionary war, many of the founding father's stayed there, including George Washington. Camden was occupied by the British and saw many Patriot's executed. All that was left of this was a lot of old graves and the stump of an old oak tree. There was the grave of Agnes of Glasgow. She stowed away on one of the British ships to find her love that was a solder for the British army. She died right before she found him and is said to be haunting Camden still looking for him. Apparently as far as ghost stories go, this is one of the most famous. Good thing there are no such thing as Ghosts, and if you talk to Tavi this is our story and we are sticking to it. The next morning we had an Easter Egg hunt, then we headed off for Folly Beach in Charleston SC. It was beautiful, and despite the cold, and Kaleb learning about sharks over the past month, we waded in and had a blast. That afternoon we went to Market Street in the historic district in Charleston and entered long old brick structures that spanned the length of the streets for a few blocks. As we wandered around from lines of booths, I suddenly realized that where tables full of cheap trinkets now stood a hundred and fifty years ago people had been auctioned off the same as if they where cattle. I couldn't catch my breath hardly, and all around me I wondered how no one else even noticed this--I wondered how people could go on with there business as usual while standing on the place where families were torn apart--children where taken from their mother's and would grow up under task masters. I wondered if mother's were praying that their babies would be bought by the kinder masters, by merciful owners? I sat contemplating this while local art, spices and beaded jewelery sold all around me. I don't mean to be a cultural snob, I don't mean to disresect anyone, but in my humble opinion that market place should be turned into a museum of tolerance, like the one in LA. Could you imagine a solemn place where a person could go to reflect on humanity instead of a bustling market? I can see that South Carolina isn't ready for such innovation yet, but someday when the good people I have met here feel like they can talk about it without giving offence on either side, perhaps. The rest of the evening we spent at Fort Moultrie, walking around the symbolic Palmetto trees. The next day we went to Fort Sumter. This is an island fort were a Major Anderson removed his troops to after Abraham Lincoln was elected President of the United States, and South Carolina was the first state to secede from the union. Major Anderson held up in the fort while the newly formed government under the Confederate President Jefferson Davis was elected into office, and South Carolina demanded he and his troop leave immediately. Anderson waited for reinforcements from the federal government, but the newly formed confederates of South Carolina formed a blockade and Anderson was cut off from the rest of the Northern troops. This is where the first shots of the civil war were fired. Anderson held up for two days while being fired upon in every direction by the southern troops. When the American Flag was shot down he reattached it to a pole and raised it again. He fought with six canons against four different forts firing on him and finally after his gun powder caught fire he had to get his troops out he gave in. He took the American Flag with him, and he and his troop all made it safely to New York, but the civil war had begun. After we went to Fort Sumter, we went to a Plantation. We saw were the slaves slept in little shacks and we got to hear about the Gullah, which is the African American Culture in South Carolina and parts of Georgia, the low country. This was very cool. This Gullah woman told us a story in the language of Gullah, then she told it to us in English. The moral of the story was freeing in her own words-- just because someone dumps on you doesn't make them your enemy, just because someone is kind to you doesn't make them your friend, and if you are patient enough the winds of change will come and you can dust yourself off, stretch your wings, and learn to fly. The plantation house was beautiful and a credit to architecture inside and out. We went home from Charleston exhausted. But, I am so glad we got to really experience South Carolina, even if it was through our rear view mirror. And as David has promised us Sunday dinner, California here we come.