A FULL WEEKEND

This weekend in Brunswick County, NC brings all kinds of opportunities for enjoying yourselves. Starting on Friday, from 10 AM until 2 PM you can take part in Oak Island Earth Day in Oak Island, NC at Middleton Park. Music will be emanating from the St. James Community Center in Southport, NC, on Friday evening at the Black-Tie-Optional Gala.  For another kind of musical fun on Friday evening, you might want to take the Bald Head Island Ferry across the water to The Village Chapel in Bald Head Island, NC. Beginning at 7:30 PM, the Friends of Music concert will feature the silent movie, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, accompanied by Michael Britt on the organ. What fun!

Saturday begins with the Oak Island Lighthouse Run in Oak Island, NC which includes  Phlock After Run Celebration. You might want to take in the Plant Giveaway in Leland, NC beginning at 10 AM and/or mosey on down to Shallotte, NC for the Bash at the Beach. This car show will be held at the Home Depot Shopping Center where you could also get in some shopping. On Saturday Evening HOOF (Helpers Of Our Farm) and Greenlands Farm will host Art Gala Fundraiser in Bolivia, NC from 6:30 PM until 8:30 PM at 668 Midway Road SE. Tickets are available at hoofnc.org. “The evening’s festivities will include a meet and greet with a few HOOF animals, gourmet farm charcuterie, a silent art auction, and live music. Wine and beer will be available for purchase, 100% of wine sales benefiting HOOF, thanks to JP Bourgeois for his kind donation of the wine. Come and meet new friends as we all enjoy the wonderful world of art and celebrate the connections HOOF brings within your community.” On Sunday, you could head to Brunswick Forest in Leland, NC for the Brunswick Forest Veterinary Hospital Hound Hustle. This event benefits the Brunswick County Animal Services.

A YEAR FOR GIVING

Most people when they see the word ‘giving’ think of money. And many people literally have no money to give. Many of us are struggling – not all of us financially. Many times money is not the answer. Giving of yourself can mean so much,  yet it can be so easy as well as self rewarding. Give a smile. Give a hand to hold a door. Give the gift of helping. Help someone to load groceries into their vehicle. Take the empty grocery cart back to the store – use it. Let someone pull out into traffic in front of you. Smile at and talk to children. Be patient with those in line ahead of you. Offer to help your neighbor. A person living alone might not ask for help, but sometimes you can see when they need it. There are so many little ways you can make a big difference in someone’s life.

Another wonderful way of giving is the gift of time. There are so many groups that really need your help to give to the community in which you live. Whatever your interest, you can find a way to help in that area – whether it is cats, dogs, knitting, golf, greeting people, literacy, education, children, culture, art, wildlife and more. Here is a list of some of the groups in Brunswick County, NC that would love to have your help.

Brunswick County Literacy Council, Inc.

Brunswick Family Assistance Agency

Hope Harbor Home

Sheltered Treasures 

Blankets with Love

Communities in Schools of Brunswick County

The First Tee Brunswick County

Providence Home of the Family Emergency Teen Shelter, Inc.

WAVES4K.I.D.S.

Brunswick County Arts Council 

Brunswick County Intercultural Festival

Brunswick County Habitat for Humanity

Friends of the Oak Island Lighthouse

North Carolina Maritime Museum at Southport

Smith Island Museum of History

Southport Visitors’ Center

CHASING THE BALL

Dogs and balls go together like, well, like balls and dogs. There’s nothing your dog loves to do more than chase and retrieve a ball – except maybe sleep. They would do it for hours if your arm did not give out. But, if you think about it, they are not much different than people. We chase balls on football fields, on volley ball courts, on baseball and softball diamonds, on tennis courts, on basketball courts, on soccer fields, on pool tables – even on the beach.

In Brunswick County, NC, the most popular place to chase balls is on the golf course. Due to the moderate weather and the number of public golf courses to be found here, golf ball chasing enthusiasts can do their chasing year round. For variety, you might try a different course every time you play golf. Check them out here:

Bald Head Island, NC:

The Bald Head Island Club

Boiling Spring Lakes, NC:

The Lakes Country Club

Oak Island, NC:

Oak Island Golf & Country Club
Oak Island Par 3 Golf Course at South Harbor

Ocean Isle Beach, NC:

The Big Cats Golf Courses at Ocean Ridge Plantation

Shallotte, NC:

Brierwood Golf Club
River’s Edge Golf Club & Plantation

Calabash, NC:

Brunswick Plantation and Golf Resort
Crow Creek Golf Course
The Pearl Golf Links

Carolina Shores, NC:

Carolina Shores Golf & Country Club

Holden Beach, NC:

Lockwood Folly Country Club

Sunset Beach, NC:

Oyster Bay Golf Links
Sandpiper Bay Golf & Country Club
Thistle Golf Club

Leland, NC:

Cape Fear National at Brunswick Forest
Magnolia Greens Golf Course

Bolivia, NC:

Carolina National Golf Club at Winding River Plantation

PETS

Pets take many shapes and forms, from ferrets to snakes to hamsters, but the most popular pets are still dogs and cats. They are by far the easiest to care for and, if treated well, can become like family. When you have pets, it’s important to think of them as family. You would never keep a member of your family on a chain outside, nor would you leave him or her behind when you move. Yet some people do treat their pets this way. If these pets are lucky, they will find themselves in no kill shelters where they may be adopted by someone else who will treat them well. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. Feral cats are a case in point. When cats are left on their own without having been neutered, they reproduce in the wild and their offspring become wild. I would like to suggest if you are considering adopting a pet that you don’t get it from a puppy farm or insist on a pure bred animal. There are so many loving animals in shelters that need homes. Even a feral cat can become a loving pet. I trapped one 15 years ago and had her neutered – then found that I could not turn her loose. She was definitely wild (I had to keep her in a large cage in the beginning and wear welder’s gloves to handle her). She became my indoor cat – constant companion and friend for 15 years until she died earlier this year. There are shelters in Brunswick County, NC where you can find any kind of cat or dog and there is a feral cat club as well where you can help to prevent the proliferation of feral cats in a humane way. Check them out here:

Paw’s Place Dog Rescue in Winnabow, NC: (http://southport.insiderinfo.us/volunteer/animal-care/paws-place-dog-rescue/profile/)

Oak Island Feral Cats Club: (http://southport.insiderinfo.us/volunteer/animal-care/oak-island-feral-cats-club/profile/)

Southport-Oak Island Animal Rescue (SOAR): (http://southport.insiderinfo.us/volunteer/animal-care/southport-oak-island-animal-rescue-soar/profile/)

KIDS, DOGS & BOATS

(Image from LindyLonghurst on Etsy.com)

Today, March 21, 2015, is a perfect day to go to the dogs. Dogs have become so much a part of our lives that to many they are like children and some people even have granddogs. There are dog salons for grooming, cutting and polishing nails, and dressing up with a pretty scarf. But don’t forget to attend to your dog’s health. You can participate in a free rabies clinic today by taking your best friend to Bark at the Park in Leland, NC where all kinds of dog services are available and your dog can visit with other dogs there. The proceeds will benefit dogs who are not as lucky as yours – those who live in animal shelters. (http://leland.insiderinfo.us/annual-events/march/a-bark-in-the-park/profile/)

To many folks in the Southport, NC area, their boats are almost like family. You can see almost any kind of boat you can think of passing through the waters there. There are shrimp boats, a dying breed, and sailboats, jon boats, fishing boats, ferries, kayaks, even container ships. Tomorrow, March 22, 2015, you can see nearly all of these kinds of boats gathered together for the annual Blessing of the Fleet — and what better day than on a Sunday.
(http://southport.insiderinfo.us/annual-events/march/blessing-of-the-fleet/profile/)

It is difficult to realize that March is nearly over and Easter will soon be upon us. There are many traditions connected with Easter from fancy hats to special foods, from religious observances to social activities. One activity for children that has survived for many generations is the Easter Egg Hunt. On Saturday, March 28, 2015, the children of the Southport, NC area can participate in this tradition once again in historic Franklin Square Park in downtown Southport. Take your kids and grandkids for a fun time provided by the City of Southport, NC.
(http://southport.insiderinfo.us/annual-events/march/southport-parks-and-recreation-easter-egg-hunt/profile/)

The December Beach

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(Photo credit goes to Val Nieman)

Too many times we deny ourselves that which we need the most. Today it is 65 degrees and sunny and I was working in the house trying to make some order out of years of chaos. I have given myself a deadline for this task and though I will not get 21 plus years of stashing things for later done by that time, I do have a set amount that I expect to accomplish. Then I heard the weather report for tomorrow. 53 degrees and rain. It occurred to me that I cannot count on many more days of walking barefoot on the beach before the cold weather sets in for good. So, I walked away from my tasks and took myself down to the sea.

The tide was low, the sun was shining through a mist that came close to obliterating the horizon line, and a light southwest breeze stirred the sea oats. The water was mostly smooth with a breaker sliding in every so often. Pelicans soared close to the surface of the sea and seagulls congregated at the edge of the tide. There were a number of beached jellyfish and a fisherman sitting in a chair, surf fishing with three rods, music on his radio and his dog by his side. I could count on one hand the number of people I saw – all with their dogs. It was enchanting, exhilarating, lovely, peaceful, fulfilling….. The work was still here at home when I returned refreshed and ready to dig in again.

 

 

Of Dogs and Kids and Surf Fishing…

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I really wanted to attend a poetry workshop  on “The Epistolary Poem: Letters from Within.” in Charleston today. I was looking forward to seeing a friend I have not seen in years and meeting some new friends as well. I had hoped to learn how write a poem to the hawk that hovered between the ridges of autumn trees in Pennsylvania during a recent visit I had made. Or to the stars my daughter, my sister and I stood under one chilly early morning where we held hands in a circle and made a wish. Or to the ocean, so faithfully there every time I return home from somewhere else. But it was not to be. 

By mid morning I decided to take myself down to the beach for a walk. I threw a long sleeved shirt that had been my daddy’s over my T-shirt and drove the few blocks to the beach access. I had not taken many steps when I realized that the shirt had to come off – to be tied around my waist. The November sun was warm, as was the sand under my bare feet, and the breeze was light. A perfect day. There were a couple of people paddle boarding on the calm water and a number of men surf fishing as I walked along. I don’t think they even cared if they caught anything or not as they sat comfortably in their beach chairs watching their lines. A couple of them had their families with them. Their wives had stretched out a quilt on the sand and the kids were running, searching for shells, laughing and totally enjoying themselves. A little two year old boy plowed the sand with his toy front end loader. A few people were sitting in beach chairs reading books. People were walking their dogs – one couple had two Border Collies with them. I hoped to run into Susie, the shelter dog, who I am trying to teach that I am friendly. I met her mom, Jeannie, the other day and as I squatted down and put out my hand, Susie came up to sniff it. Not like the first time I met her when she ran away from me. Jeannie said that is the closest Susie has come to anyone else since she got her from the shelter. It must be terrible to live in fear of other people. And so, the walk on the beach did not disappoint – it never does. And this scene is being replayed on every beach in Brunswick County – a special place to live or to visit. And – it’s all good.