INDOOR FAMILY ATTRACTIONS

Brr – I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that it’s cold in Brunswick County, NC. Though we have been having record setting low temperatures recently the result of which have been late start times for the Brunswick County Schools, we can still be thankful we have not had any of that beautiful precipitation called snow. Yes, it’s lovely to look at – but it’s not fun to shovel or drive in – especially in an area where there is no equipment for clearing the roads or melting the ice. Some of us have had other problems related to the low temperatures. As for me – this is the third time in a month that my pipes have frozen – and this time I did let my outside faucets drip. Hopefully, they will not burst again this time. And I know I am not alone in this predicament. The first time I understand there were problems all over the island. After tonight’s record setting low (again) the temperatures are supposed to be in the 50s tomorrow – I love you, tomorrow! Sunday will be even warmer, however, rain is predicted. I am sure families have been getting antsy from having to spend so much time indoors and the brief respite tomorrow will likely not be enough to get rid of the pent up energy, so here are a few suggestions for taking the whole family out for a fun and interesting day.

The North Carolina Maritime Museum at Southport where they have a vintage periscope through which you can view the surrounding area:(http://southport.insiderinfo.us/attractions/southport/north-carolina-maritime-museum-at-southport/profile/)

Ingram Planetarium in Sunset Beach, NC where you can watch a light show and experience Category 1 hurricane force winds in the Science Hall’s Hurricane Simulator: (http://oceanislebeach.insiderinfo.us/attractions/sunset-beach/ingram-planetarium/profile/)

Planet Fun and Starz Grille in Shallotte, NC where you can have all kinds of fun and food as well:(http://oceanislebeach.insiderinfo.us/attractions/shallotte/planet-fun-and-starz-grille/profile/)

MMMMMMMMMMMMMM, ICE CREAM!!!

In researching the history of ice cream, I was surprised to find that it dates back as far as the Persian Empire. Their ice cream was very like the treats some of us knew as kids when we went outside after a snowfall, made a snowball, carved out a hole in it and filled it with jelly. Some of us also remember how much fun it was to make our own ice cream in a maker designed for that purpose and which required us to turn – and turn – and turn the crank-like handle until it became impossible to turn it. We earned our treat and it was delicious. Ice Cream can now be found in a multitude of flavors in ice cream shops, convenience stores, grocery stores, coffee shops, restaurants – in short, just about anywhere you turn.

For a very special ice cream treat, take yourself to the Calabash Creamery in Calabash, NC. (http://oceanislebeach.insiderinfo.us/kids-stuff/eats-sweets/calabash-creamery/profile/)

At the Calabash Creamery you can choose from a variety of homemade flavors and watch the ice cream being made.

Another special treat to be found in Brunswick County, NC, is homemade Classic Italian Ice from Sunset Slush with locations in most of the beach towns. (http://oceanislebeach.insiderinfo.us/kids-stuff/eats-sweets/sunset-slush/profile/)

You don’t even have to visit a shop – you will see their carts being pushed along the beach.

Spring Dreaming

Colorful_spring_garden

The wind is blowing, the icicles are dripping, icy rain is falling, I am bundled up and warm and dreaming of Spring. I could blame the groundhog – it seems his prediction is the same every year. Yes, I know, it could be worse. The midwest and northeast are being inundated with snow again and a foot of snow can fall in an hour there. Here, in Brunswick County, I don’t believe there has ever been a foot of snow. But I am spoiled. I have often bragged to relatives in the northeast saying that Spring begins here in February. And it does – usually. The redwinged blackbirds were swarming the other day – one of the signs of the coming Spring that I have come to recognize. And I saw a bluebird just yesterday. There seem to be buds on some of the early blooming plants as well. But, as this weather is proving, you cannot depend on these as harbingers of Spring. There is, however, a sure sign of Spring that we who live on these barrier islands have come to recognize:

The Awakening

Spring comes to the islands,
not in the shape of green crocus spears
thrusting their tips through frozen ground and snow,
bursting with the energy of new life,
anxious to claim the Spring.

Spring comes to the islands,
not in the shape of daffodils
uncurling their golden trumpets,
playing a fanfare of beauty to usher in the season.

Spring comes to the islands,
not in the shape of a robin,
it’s red waistcoat bursting with pride
gathering twigs to build a new home,
to feather its season of love and new life.

Spring comes to the islands,
in the color of white
shining in the sunlight;
in the shape of sails
billowing in the March wind,
carrying the boats north through the waterway
like their great white wings
carry the ibis out to sea.

Rebecca Pierre

Snow!

Caswell Beach…..

Image

(Photo Credit: E. Gifford Stack)

Leland…..

(Photo Credit: Phil Meade)

Southport…..

(Photo Credit:Vicki Burton)

Oak Island Pier…..

Image

(Photo Credit: Tommy Thomes)

Snow is an anomaly in Brunswick County, NC. I have lived here since 1992 and this is only the third time it has snowed during that time. A couple of differences this time are that it is the first time the snow has stayed overnight and it is not really snow. The ‘snow’ is definitely ice. You hardly make an impression when you walk on it.

None of the neighbors has gone to work – a smart move on their part – and I suspect most of the businesses are closed. The street is a solid sheet of ice and deserted as well. But many people are making the best of it and having fun. The neighbor girl and her parents are ‘sledding’ down the driveway and into the street on boogie boards. She is also sitting on her board and holding her dog’s leash (a yellow lab) while the dog runs and pulls her zig zaggedly along! What fun!

I can imagine this sort of thing is going on all over but I can only imagine. I am one of those who is hunkering down inside and trying to keep warm. Don’t misunderstand me. I have a history of sledding, building snowmen and igloos, and especially ice skating. I would walk a mile or more in the dark after school with my skates slung over my shoulder to the local pond and skate until my toes froze. Then go into the clubhouse and sit in front of a roaring fire with a cup of hot chocolate thawing them out. Then back outside for more skating and eventually walking home. Since my move south I prefer staying inside with a nice hot cup of tea.