adventures in the low country final installment

If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world. ~J.R.R.Tolkien~

The Bulldog Graveyard Ghost Tour where we stood on a circular stone facing the harbor and experienced an unexplainable phenomenon when we spoke.

Visiting an art gallery across the street from Magnolia’s restaurant where we had a dickens of a time shaking off the sales woman who was persistent that she wanted to sell us a thousand dollar painting.

‘MA’AM, WE ARE REALLY JUST ADMIRING THE FINE WORK HEAH 
UNTIL IT IS TIME FOR OUR DINNER RESERVATION OVAH THEAH.’

The evening we went to see the movie ‘Something Borrowed’ which, if you haven’t seen it, you should.  I give it two thumbs up.  Darn cute.

The afternoon we fed birds and squirrels in Battery Park overlooking the harbor, enjoying the warmth of the sun, being wholly in the moment, and getting rid of these gawd awful cheese bisquit-like crackers that were nothing they were purported to be.  Please note in a blind taste test, the squirrels preferred the animal crackers 6 to 1.

And most of all, the awesome company and the moments of laughing so hard I thought I just might pee my paints (and get rid of all those hard-to-remove stains, thank you 1860’s ladies of Charleston).

PAUSE FOR ANOTHER SIGH.

Okay.  Ready?

st. phillips cemetery, situated in the french quarter of charleston which is the oldest part of the city.

Being a huge fan of history, a previously undisclosed fact about myself (cough), we scheduled not one, but two visits to the
St. Phillips Church and Graveyard.  Who else but yours truly would go on vacation and wander through tombstones?

AND ENJOY IT.

Now. I feel it necessary to momentarily digress to impart just one more bit of newly-learned trivia to you.  Question:  Do you know the difference between a graveyard and a cemetery?

LAWDY, I DIDN’T.

Well.  Apparently a graveyard comes with a church; a cemetery does not.  Do you suddenly feel smarter?

MISSY, I SHOHLY DID.

As part of our Bulldog Graveyard Ghost Tour experience, we ventured into the St. Phillips Church graveyard about 8:30 one evening.   Our tour guide, who was remarkable in every way other than his terribly weak flashlight, told us tales of presumed dead people being locked in crypts while actually still being among the living, as well the poor folks who had the undesirable task of trying to piece together the graves after the graveyard was heavily shelled during the war.

‘BUBBA, I GOT TWO HANDS HERE AND ONE FOOT.  WHATCHA Y’ALL GOT?’

Sad, but true.  It is dubious as to who is truly buried in each grave and whether the headstones are actually in correct placement to the identity of the deceased beneath them.  In fact, once they’d shuffled around the skeletal remains taking care that, as best they could, each grave had two feet, two hands (side note:  I just typed two heads.  And yes, I chuckled.  Very sacrilegiously).

MY APOLOGIES.

Anyhoo.  Once each grave was deemed to have the requisite two feet, two hands, one head, etc. the remaining ‘leftover’ headstones were leaned against the graveyard walls, several deep.  And they still rest there today.

All kidding aside, the graveyard was a very somber place, and we viewed it with the utmost reverence for the deceased.  The headstones dated as far back as the early 1700’s which was incredibly surreal.   What gave us most pause was the sobering multitude of children’s graves.

Three graves in particular are forever embedded into my soul.

The first crypt entombed the bodies of three young brothers ranging in age from three years old to ten years old who passed, one after another, over the course of a ten-day period.

The second was for a 13-year old boy, the inscription of which read that he had accidentally drowned while bathing in the river.

The third was for a family that lost four children, all under the age of five, over the course of 18 months.

AS A MOTHER, I CANNOT FATHOM SUCH AN IMMENSE LOSS.

It is well documented that childhood in the 1700’s and 1800’s was a precarious venture and that many children never made it to adulthood.  It is one thing to know this. It is quite another to see it.

And on a last note about the graveyard, a disproportionately large percentage of the inscriptions on the headstones and crypts described the deceased women as Godly women above all other virtues.  I wondered if, in a time when life was incredibly risky and unpredictable, people clung to their faith for strength or whether they were faithful to God because death was so ingrained into their daily lives and they sought the comfort of believing their loved ones … and children … were in a better place.

HEARTBREAKING.

magnolia's 'uptown and down south cuisine'

And after all that there’s really no easy way to segue into the balance of this blog about dinner at Magnolia’s.

BUT.

I shall attempt to shift gears as sensitively as possible.

So.  We supped at Magnolia’s Restaurant not once, but twice while in Charleston. It was the deliciousity of the pimento cheese spread and Charleston flatbread appetizer that reeled us in for a second round. WHY SUZY, WE CAN’T LEAVE CHARLESTON WITHOUT MOAH OF THAT SIMPLY MAH-VELOUS PIMENTO CHEESE.  HEAVENS NO. One meal I ordered …

… the next …

Do you note a trend in my selection?  If Magnolia’s pimento cheese is sumptuous enough for flatbread, why let’s just try it on beef. SWOON. And for the first time ever, I had a taste of collard greens.  Peppery with just the right amount of bacon fat, I wondered why I’d wasted 48 years of my life Collard Green-less. AMAZING. Speaking of amazing, at the end of our first roll into Magnolia’s the waiter popped by our table inquiring about our satisfaction with the pecan pie and coffee. YES, WE SPLIT DESSERT THERE TOO.  OINK. But.  Back to Billy the Waiter.  After he assured himself we were completely and utterly satiated with the fine cuisine, he asked us if we knew a Mr. Man From Up North. WHY BILLY?!  SUH, THAT MAN IS MY BOSS. Seems Mr. Boss called the fine establishment of Magnolia’s and put our dinner on his credit card.  WHAT A GENTLEMAN, SUZY.  THAT MAN’S QUITE A GENTLEMAN. I remain stuffed-to-the-gills yours,Beezus Lollitrop

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