Back in 2000, I was looking for a grad school. Nearly a year of pipetting at Sequenom, Inc (while cool and interesting work....as well as some awesome co-workers)....my wrist informed me it was time to go back to school. I found you, Charleston, I found you.
August 2001, I moved here and started working on my Master's in Environmental Science (or as I joked with my students, my Master's in Tree Hugging) at College of Charleston. I did my thesis work studying the dolphins along your coast (even published it here!). I finished my degree and I worked here. You supported me, Charleston, at NOAA as a contractor and at First Baptist School as a chemistry teacher.
I fell hard for you Charleston, I fell hard. You were the perfect city in my mind....far enough south to have mild winters but not Florida getting hammered by nearly every hurricane going by. So perfect that I have lived here for nearly 12 years....the longest I've lived in any city since I graduated high school and left for college!
Having moved from California where if something better can be built, the old is torn down and to make room to build the new, I really noted and enjoyed the oldness of the area. I've absorbed the history here. The historical homes (even taught Chemistry in the basement of one), the horse drawn carriages, the ghost tours, plantation tours, sweet grass basket makers (I do love my basket!)....I could go on.
Then there is the natural history of the area (a personal favorite), Bulls Island with its nearly untouched nature; Dewees Island with the coolness of its sustainability; the dolphins I have seen frolicking about in the rivers, harbor, and along the coast; pluff mud (I could probably get by without the marsh fart though....); Francis Beidler Forest and the untouched bald cypress tress; the Angel Oak (oldest living organism this side of the Mississippi) your aura.....I love being enveloped in it; all your majestic live oak trees (even the two in our yard dropping acorns all spring)....I could go on.
Then there are your bridges....bridges, bridges everywhere. The kiddo's would ask me how long to get to ______, I'd reply we have to go over # bridges.....made the drive a little more fun... Who can forget the OLD Cooper River Bridges....no wonder Charleston is called the holy city....you had to say a prayer that you would make it over every time!
Oh, dear Charleston, your food. First class. While I am still not one to indulge in sweet tea and boiled peanuts, I do enjoy the locally grown fruits and vegetables....I will miss you CSA. I fell in love with your pimento cheese (seems it is not a proper luncheon without you!). EVO, Sesame, EVO, Mustard Seed, EVO.....I may just miss you the most! While I am not a big beer drinker, the hubby will miss your local brews and growler fills....Coast you just might be missed the most by him.
Speaking of the hubby......I met my hubby here, in this city by the sea. As well as welcomed my two babies into the world here. The world though....it is calling my name. It is waiting to be discovered....so Charleston, I bid thee farewell. I wish you the best. I will come back to visit you, so this is not so much as a good bye but a see you later.
|Photo by Teresa Rogers, Charleston Portrait Photography|