THANKSGIVING, ART & A FLOTILLA

I am sure most people are busy with Thanksgiving preparations, or looking forward to sharing the day with family, friends and loved ones. But don’t forget to be thankful for those family members, friends, or even acquaintances who are alone. This time of year can be a bit sad for them. Give thanks for their presence in your life by including them in your celebration. Invite them to share the day in your home, or take a plate full of Thanksgiving goodies by their homes and spend some time with them.

The day after Thanksgiving, of course, has become known as Black Friday, and the day after that as Shop Small (or local) Saturday. Please remember when you are planning your holiday gifts that a gift of art is a gift from the heart and it helps to sustain the artists who made it. There is a number of places in Brunswick County, NC where you can shop for original art. One of them is the annual Smith Island Art League Thanksgiving Show, which will be held on Friday and Saturday, November 24th and 25th, at the Bald Head Island Association Center in Bald Head Island, NC. Browsing is welcomed as well.

Flotillas are some of the loveliest of parades – parades on the water – that are held during the holiday season. The first flotilla of the season, the Ocean Isle Beach Flotilla, will be held on Saturday, November 25, in Ocean Isle Beach, NC, beginning at dusk. This flotilla will include a party afterwards as well as an auction to benefit a local Brunswick County charity.

If you decide to skip the shopping on Friday, you can take the kids and head on over to Wilmington, NC – just across the Cape Fear River. There you can enjoy the Battleship NORTH CAROLINA Battleship Ho Ho Ho. This event promises to be interesting and fun for adults and children alike. Be sure to take your camera for greats pics.

Santa at the Battleship

WINTERFEST

In Southport. NC. it is extremely rare for us to see snowflakes falling from the sky – much less snow on the ground. But no matter, the Winterfest celebration always begins in early December here. Christmas at the Amuzu is already in full swing having begun on December 3. Not to worry – you have not missed it. There are three more shows you can attend – on December 10, 12 and 13.
Today, December 9, from 3 PM until 6 PM, you can stop by the State Port Pilot Annual Cookie Contest at the Southport Community Building where you will find tables of yummy cookies on display. You can get some great ideas for your own Christmas Cookies and vote for your favorite as well.


From 5 PM until 7 PM, children ages 4 to 10 who have registered will enjoy Supper with Santa’s Elves held at the Southport Parks and Recreation Department next to the City Gym.
On Thursday, December 10, you can take your chairs and blankets to the Fort Johnston Museum Garrison Lawn, grab a cup of hot chocolate, make yourselves comfortable and watch the movie, Polar Express, from 5:30 PM until 8 PM.
On Friday, December 11, starting at 3 PM, you can enjoy the Costumed Tour at the NC Maritime Museum at Southport led by a Victorian Lady, a Civil War Soldier, or Stede Bonnet, the Gentleman Pirate. Beginning at 5:30 PM that same day the kids can take part in the Light up the Night Christmas Fire Engine Parade which begins at Waterfront Park. The parade ends at the Southport Fire Station where the kids can visit with none other than Santa Claus, himself, and enjoy some goodies as well.


Saturday, December 12, will be the big day for Winterfest, 2015, with a line-up of activities all day long. You might want to begin your day at the
Friends of the Library Book Sale to be held at Southport Realty (727 N. Howe St.) from 9 AM until 12 Noon. The Winter Craft Festival on the Fort Johnston Museum Garrison lawn will also begin at 9 AM and will run all day until 4 PM. From 10 30 AM until 12 Noon, the Southport Parks and Recreation Department will hold a Santa’s Workshop next to the Southport Gym. From 2 PM until 7 PM, you can enjoy Old Brunswick County Jail Tours. Also, from 2 PM until  PM, you can participate in the incomparable Christmas Tour of Homes – a self-guided tour that will take you through some of the most beautiful old – and new – homes in Southport, NC, all decorated for the holidays.
And, finally, the event we have waited all year to witness again: starting at 7 PM, the Southport Christmas Flotilla.

 

GRATITUDE

This morning I sat propped up in bed drinking my hot cup of tea and watched the moon set over the marsh. Read that sentence again. There is so much more in it for which to be grateful than the words say. Tomorrow is the day we celebrate the tradition of thankfulness. I think it is a good tradition, whether it is based on truth or myth. It is a yearly reminder to us to share our lives, ourselves and everything we possess with friends, family and other sentient beings every day. However, I am not a preacher and this is not a sermon – just food for thought. I wish you all a lovely Thanksgiving day and share with you some ideas for an enjoyable weekend.

Speaking of being thankful, you are invited to join the Southport Beautification Committee on Friday at 6 PM for a thankful celebration of support for the Bring Back Our Boats Christmas Wreath Project. The gathering will begin at the tree lighting at BB&T and a party will follow at the Southport Community Building in Southport, NC where you can enjoy treats, food and beverages.

SCB 1

Skip Black Friday and go instead to the Smith Island Art League’s Thanksgiving Art Show held at the Bald Head Island Association Center on Bald Head Island, NC. The show will be held Friday and Saturday from 10 AM until 5 PM.

In Brunswick County, NC we like to hold our Christmas parades on land and on sea. The first flotilla of the holiday season, the Ocean Isle Beach Flotilla, is coming up on Saturday night at Shallotte Point beginning in front of the Inlet View Bar & Grill and ending in front of Sharky’s Restaurant in Ocean Isle Beach, NC.

VOLUNTEERS HAVE HAPPY HEARTS

Many people see Easter as a new beginning and some people also see Spring as a new beginning. Anytime is a great time to begin anew, but these events seem to give impetus to us when we need a little nudge. The new life around us stirs our inner being. We look for things to fill us beyond the beauty around us. In Brunswick County, NC we are blessed with beauty and we celebrate it in so many ways. One way we can celebrate it is to be a part of it and to help in giving it to others. Volunteering is a giving of self and a receiving of so much at the same time. We can meet new people, make new friends, enjoy the work we do, fill our empty days and become happier with ourselves in the process. In Brunswick County, NC you can easily find volunteer opportunities in your area of interest. Opportunities abound in human services, children’s services, the arts, historic preservation, community development and animal welfare. Here are just a few of the opportunities in which you can participate and fill your life to the brim:

The Oak Island Lighthouse in Caswell Beach, NC:

(http://southport.insiderinfo.us/volunteer/historic-community-development/friends-of-the-oak-island-lighthouse/profile/)

Oak Island

First Tee Brunswick County in Shallotte, NC:

(http://southport.insiderinfo.us/volunteer/children-services/the-first-tee-brunswick-county/profile/)

Sea Biscuit Wildlife Center, Oak Island, NC:

(http://southport.insiderinfo.us/volunteer/animal-care/sea-biscuit-wildlife-shelter/profile/)

MLK

The Arctic cold has come and gone here in Brunswick County and has made us appreciate even more the mild winters we have here. Though it is raining today, a lovely soft rain, it is a comfortable 60 degrees. The warm winter days have found people on the beach again: walking their dogs, fishing, relaxing in the sun or just walking. As one person said to me as she passed: “It’s just too beautiful a day not to be outside.”

One of the events that is celebrated at this time of year every year is Martin Luther King Day. This day celebrates and shows appreciation for the life of Martin Luther King and his nonviolent struggle for racial equality. Dr. King was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 for his nonviolent  protests and marches.  He was assassinated in 1968, a violent end of a nonviolent life. He was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal and you can see a memorial statue of him in the National Mall in Washington, D. C. All of us who were alive during his time remember him, whether we knew him personally or not. His “I Have  Dream” speech lives on as the anthem for the Civil Rights Movement.

There are celebrations in his memory throughout Brunswick County, an example being the one held in Southport which begins the Sunday before the holiday with a parade. Following the parade a youth oriented program is held, which includes performances and presentations. On Monday morning a round-table breakfast is held. The breakfast includes a speaker and presentation of the annual Walter Welsh Award, recognizing the recipient’s work in promoting racial harmony, tolerance and understanding. Anyone interested in participating can get more information by calling (910) 457-5144.