Wow! November, Halloween is over and we are at the threshold of the Holiday Season. Our friends to the North, like us, are busy preparing for the season, and unlike us have already experienced a blast or two of winter weather to remind them of things to come. While we have experienced some cool spells and some less than average temperatures here in the Lowcountry, overall the October weather has been perfect. The first few weeks of November are always special times for me since moving to Charleston. It was Veteran's Day weekend back in 2006 when my family came to Charleston on a fact finding mission to look at schools, homes, and job markets first hand. We had been playing with the idea of relocating somewhere in the Lowcountry, and had looked squarely at the Bluffton area for months, but the area surrounding Charleston kept popping up on my research radar, and while we were very familiar with Bluffton from our many years of vacation at Hilton Head Island, we decided to take a look at Charleston before making a decision. I booked a suite at Wild Dunes on the Isle of Palms and as we rolled down I-26 past the North Areas of Summerville and North Charleston and approached the merge onto I-526 we were greeted by the deep blue not a cloud in the sky look of November in the Lowcountry, a day much like today, sunny and upper 60's. Well the experience ended up being similar to new car shopping, as soon as the dealer gets you into the convertible with leather seats and surround sound the minivan with optional luggage rack just doesn't seem so exciting. Charleston ended up becoming the convertible on the lot beside the minivan with genuine imitation wood grain trim on the dash.
After a bit more insight into why November has a special feel for me here in the Lowcountry let me get back on track to why this time of the year is so special not only to me but also to people like Eva Amurri, the daughter of actress Susan Sarandon who was married this past weekend in Historic Charleston. For me, the first of November marks the start of the winter golf season, a reminder that Thanksgiving and Christmas are just around the corner and the Holiday Festival of Lights at James Island County Park will soon be in full swing much to the chagrin of my good friend and co-worker Rick who lives in the James Island neighborhood and has to deal with the nasty traffic that invades his domain during the light season.
While most of my friends from up North have finally stopped talking about their stroke of luck by hitting it just right and having the perfect weather week during their annual summertime week at the beach (they just don't realize that every week is pretty nice here) and have begun to look online for houses and cottages for next year's pilgrimage, we are looking forward to those late fall and early winter walks and bike rides on the sand at Sullivan's Island or Folly Beach. Of course, back yard oyster roasts and enjoying a hot cup of coffee wrapped in a blanket on the back patio in front of a nice fire in the chimnea after spending the day Christmas shopping under the palms on King Street are pretty special too. It's true, to really understand what it is like to live in an area that many consider "vacation land" you have to spend some time here outside of traditional vacation time. Like in November for instance.
When the sky is just a little more blue
When the sunsets are a little more romantic
When the Confederate Rose in my backyard is blooming
And looking forward to the Camellias in January
I am feeling pretty lucky today, From The Land of Palm Trees.