Traveling is good for all sorts of things -- relaxation, sleeping in, great meals, new experiences--and very hard on the pocketbook, the waistline, and a steady production of blog entries. On balance, I like it, even if it does not allow me much time for deep thinking and profound comments. For tonight you'll have to settle for some random thoughts.
*Visited a Union Army cemetery. After the Civil War, it apparently was taken over by local freedmen. Many of the stones are obviously hand-carved -- some spelled oddly, or with backwards or lopsided letters. But what really mystifies me is that instead of flowers, many of the graves were decorated by old, sun-bleached conch shells. Obviously there is symbolism behind the gesture, but I have not found any explanation. Anyone know?
*Hunted down the location of a cotton/rice plantation and discovered that there is nothing left of the fancy house, not even a foundation. Nothing but the bases of two chimneys from slave cabins on the premises. What does that say about the things that last and those that fade away?
*Spent some time walking on a sunlit beach, accompanied by flocks of seagulls and sandpipers, who strolled along with us, totally unafraid of human contact. We joked with other beachwalkers about herding birds, but I worry about their tameness. How dangerous is it for their long-term survival if we have destroyed their natural fear?
*Called home today when no one was there to make sure our answering machine is functioning correctly. I couldn't resist leaving a message for the cats, knowing that they often alert to a phone call. But what must they think to hear our voices coming from out of nowhere?
*Finally, got some very good news today about a prominent sponsor for the launch of my next historical novel on the fall. I can't talk about it yet, but I'm also having real trouble containing my excitement! So hard to keep a secret that you want to shout from the rooftops!
*As a "next morning" postscript, weatherman just announced that our high today will be 76 degrees. But there's a major cold front moving in tonight that will lower our temperatures into the 60s. Aw, shucks!