Reasons to be thankful this year in the South Carolina Lowcountry:
▪ Bluffton oysters.
▪ The new Lowcountry Oyster Trail.
▪ Hurricane Irma spared us, as it passed this way as a mere tropical storm after slamming other places and scaring us to death. We hunkered down, battened down the cliches, and rode it out with great thanksgiving. Just a year earlier, we saw what could happen when Hurricane Matthew leveled thousands of trees and flooded many homes.
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▪ The big red buoy that bedazzled Hilton Head Island with magic this fall. Irma’s tidal surge swept the U.S. Coast Guard buoy away from its life of drudgery directing traffic eight miles at sea, swooshing it onto the sandy stage of South Forest Beach. There, it bathed in a spotlight of love and affection. A flood tide of people of all ages came to get photographs with the buoy. But its fling ended in the bed of a low boy trailer, which hauled it back to work. Now we can imagine that the safety warnings of its faithful flashing light spell out in code: What happens on Hilton Head stays on Hilton Head.
▪ The Hilton Head coyotes, Okatie wild hogs and Beaufort armadillos are still letting us live here.
▪ People now sell actual Thanksgiving dressing, and for that matter everything else for the table. I’m thankful we don’t have to eat the glue that is the so-called dressing I make.
▪ And speaking of odd substances, we should always remain thankful for the boiled peanut.
▪ We may be newcomers, but not when it comes to Thanksgiving. We had people settling here long before the big party at Plymouth Rock. And our settlers didn’t wear patent leather buckle shoes and dunk flirty women.
▪ We no longer have to drive more than two blocks in Beaufort County to get to a Dollar General store.
▪ We still benefit from the productive lives of two people inducted this year into the Hilton Head Island Hall of Fame: business leader John F. Curry, and educator and pastor Isaac Wilborn.
▪ Bluffton Self Help celebrated 30 years as a social services safety net, coming a long way since it was operated out of the trunk of founder Ida Martin’s car.
▪ The Children’s Center on Hilton Head marked 50 years of providing preschool education, primarily for working families who pay as they are able. It was early proof that newcomers to Hilton Head would give back to their new home town.
▪ The Hilton Head Rotary Club also celebrated half a century of being fair to all concerned.
▪ Beach nourishment on Hilton Head, even with the passing of a tropical storm, again glued together the golden goose for Beaufort County’s economy.
▪ Marsh tacky races still draw a crowd.
What’s on your list of things to be thankful for?