Day 3 of this trip started off very much like day 2 – a quiet breakfast (grits instead of oatmeal) and a long (1.5+ mile) walk on the beach, in the opposite direction of course. I really enjoy walking on this beach and would probably do it most days if I lived here. It’s a very spiritual experience. When we first started out, the beach was quiet, except for the waves. There were only a small number of other people on the miles long expanse. By the time we neared our path to leave the beach, that number had swelled and we were passing the beach “exercisers” on a regular basis. The one that made me feel sad was the woman who had a cell phone glued to her ear both when we passed her on our way out and when we passed her again after making our u-turn. Sad, because she was not really enjoying where she was at that moment – in her head she was definitely someplace else. I tried to enjoy where I was that very moment.
We made our way back to our room and balcony. I have found a profound peace and stillness in this place. All the concerns and needs that were crowding into my head the previous couple of weeks have just drifted away like so much mist over the ocean.
After a quiet late morning of reading, listening to the surf and such, we opted to go out for lunch. We chose the Hilton Head Diner because it had been well patronized when we had passed it before. What a hoot! When we got there, there was a wait for booths, but the lunch counter was half empty. We asked the hostess if we could sit at the counter (far be it from us to waste a perfectly good lunch counter!) and she said sure. So we settled ourselves down beside some dishes that were still waiting to be cleared and waited. And waited. And . . . finally, a very busy lady who obviously took her job seriously, asked if anyone had helped us yet – and had the grace to be appalled when we said no. Let me tell you, she got those dishes cleared in no time flat and tried to take our order. The menu in the computerized register didn’t jibe with the menu in our hands. She entered what appeared to be my eggplant parm with a veal cutlet and my husband’s tilapia parm. Then we sat and enjoyed the entertainment until our food came. No, I don’t mean the Professional Bowlers Tour that was on the TV over the counter. I mean the staff. The teenaged girls who did as little as possible. The middle aged women – some of whom worked their butts off, others who set a good example for those teenagers. The banter was great – the come backs of women who really like each other but have been working together a long time, so that tease and nag and mildly chide. Although I had not been to church this morning, I had prayed on the beach. In case that wasn’t enough, one of these woman was kind enough to toss in a bit of witnessing to Jesus now and then. Not overbearing or obnoxious – just enough to make me think she knew Him.
When our food came, it wasn’t exactly what we had ordered. Mine was veal parm instead of eggplant parm with a veal cutlet. Still, close. My husband’s was pretty far out in left field. Instead of tilapia parm, he got deep fried tilapia. I won the bet – the one that said his meal would be further from the order than mine. So when the waitress asked how everything was, we told her it was great, even if it wasn’t exactly what we expected to get. This is where I decided that perhaps she had been in the service. She took my husband’s plate back to the chef to find out what the problem was. She wanted to know because she wanted him to get what he had ordered and so she wouldn’t “look the fool” next time she needed to place that order. She brought the item out shortly and we all laughed that the tilapia parm had to be ordered either as sole or as veal parm with tilapia. Say what? Our bill came to $36 and change, including tax. I gave our waitress a $20 tip. Not because I have a lot of money or because I wanted to show off. I did it because she had gone above and beyond to get us what we wanted, without negative attitude or bitchiness.
We really enjoyed this meal. The food was very good and so was the entertainment. After eating, we decided to take a short drive down one of the less developed roads on the island (it would have been difficult to go too far on an island that’s about 6 x 12 miles). We just wanted to see a bit more than the beachfront. We did. It was a great dichotomy of residences. There were some obviously pricey mansions and slightly less pricey but very nice homes. And then there were the trailer parks. Some of the trailers were well kept, some reminded me of trailers I’d seen or visited on the rez. Very poor – in the midst of all the obvious wealth on this island. After all, the folks who work in the diners, restaurants, hotels and such need a place to live too. It made me wonder if it might be worse to live in those conditions while being in the center of wealth than it is to live on the rez, where most people are on the same footing.
The next stop was the Piggly Wiggly. If you don’t live in the south, you may not recognize the name. Piggly Wiggly is a supermarket chain. We picked up a couple of snacks for the evening and went back to our room. The rest of the afternoon passed quietly, with naps, reading, sitting on the balcony listening to and watching the ocean as the tide came up and generally, . . . well, relaxing.
Evening was much the same, although my husband did get to see some hockey. One of the “major networks” covers an NHL game from time to time. He got lucky enough to catch it. Made his day!! I got to watch Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. Good show. I had seen the 19 year old blind, physically disabled son who makes beautiful music on the news before – ABC’s Person of the Week, I think, with his dad, who takes his college classes with him and even pushed his wheelchair in the Univ of Louisville (KY) Marching Band. He is an inspiring, articulate young man of whom his parents can clearly be proud. Hats off to Patrick Henry Hughes!!!
After some additional reading and computer work, it was off to bed – trying to banish the thought that tomorrow was the day we had to pack up and go home.