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The last few nights in Kiawah were just about the most beautiful that I’ve seen in a long time. There was a Cheshire Cat smile crescent moon over the starry salt marshes as we drove back to the island after a day shopping in Charleston, and the air was just cool enough to remind you that it’s the holiday time.

Lunch at the Sweetgrass café again this year before our two families parted for opposite poles: us to the north, them back to Atlanta. I swear, those hominy grits are the best that I have ever tasted, no question. We didn’t make it home quite as soon as planned, due mostly to a detor to Brookgreen Gardens, a “refurbished” old plantation sight on the Carolina coast just south of the ugliest place on the face of the earth, Myrtle Beach. Lowcountry nature and the live oaks dripping sphagnum moss are indeed beautiful, and it’s hard to mess up what’s already there in the landscape unless you tried really freaking hard.

Brookgreen tries really, really hard. All of the buildings’ and fountains’ and walls’ architecture is circa 1920, pure art deco (one of the tackiest movements in American art, as far as I’m concerned…and difficult to pull off): piles of bricks covered in now-flaking concrete. Eeeew. Plus, it’s supposed to house the finest examples of ‘American representational sculpture’ from the past 150 years. Uuuh, did I miss something, or did reputable artists stop doing photo-realistic pieces about a century ago? Plus, the sculptor/owner’s husband is a “poet” who liked to write in a neoromantic style with lots of internal rhyme and heavenly metaphors. Dripping with sappiness, thank you. It was a neoclassical revival about a century too late. I mean, I could almost understand if it were people from Byron’s time doing this stuff, obsessed with Diana and Hermes and Pegausues, and whatnot, but it’s not. It’s from the 1940’s. A throwback of a throwback, all done in lead, aluminum, and bronze. No, thanks, I’ll skip it next time.

Thus, we did not arrive at home until well after 1:00 am, making today a day of unpacking, rearranging room, sneezing and watery eyes from dust raised as a result of said processes, and of course, Fake Christmas. Alex should be home soon, and she had better hurry her ass up, because I’m ready to eat the hot and sour soup that I just made, and open presents at last =).

Happy Holidays, all.

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