Here’s another modern cultural development that falls squarely into the “ugh” category: the Savannah airport has a designated “selfie spot” where you can take a “selfie” in front of an autumnal display of hay bales, mums, and pumpkins.
It’s bad enough that we have to put up with people taking “selfies” at every opportunity. Now we’re encouraging them to do so on airport concourses?
I’ve got to give credit to the planners who designed Savannah’s historic district. Every few blocks, running parallel to the Savannah River, are pretty little squares — like a string of pearls running through town.
Each square is a little patch of peacefulness, with its own distinctive features. Some have fountains, some have statues, some have huge live oak trees — and one has a basketball court and another is a concrete slab. I like the green, shady, mossy ones best.
If you lived in the old town part of Savannah, I expect you would have a favorite square — one where you might go to drink a cup of coffee and read a book and do some people-watching on a warm spring day. You would enjoy the deep shade and the wet smell of the earth and appreciate the far-sighted city planners who graced Savannah with its lovely squares in the first place.
Has there ever been any city dweller, in the history of the world, who has been heard to complain that their city has too many parks or green spaces? I’d love it if sprawling Columbus had more of Savannah’s squares.
Halloween is nearly upon us, and Savannah is a town with a rich ghostly past. So, the choice was clear: take a haunted house tour in hopes of seeing a spectre or two.
In our case, the destination was the Sorrel Weed house, which has been featured on those ghost-hunting shows where every scene shows guys in dim red lighting overreacting to sounds and smells and chills. It’s a creep old house, all right, with a creepy past. It’s built on the location of an old British fort, and remains of soldiers have been found beneath its basement. A doctor performed unsuccessful surgeries in the basement before the Civil War. Children died there, and a love triangle involving husband, wife, and servant ended with the wife throwing herself off a third-floor balcony to land head first onto the slate courtyard and the servant hanging herself from the rafters of the carriage house.
Alas, the apparitions were quiet last night.
We watched a video of the house’s history and appearances on the ghost-hunting shows, saw a few of the upstairs rooms, were trained on using EMF devices that are supposed to detect paranormal activity, and then were set free to roam the basement and the upper floor of the carriage house in search of spooks. It actually was pretty hilarious to see people crowding into dark rooms, carefully holding their Ghostbusters-like devices and wondering if they would get a reading or feel a chill. Then, they would be momentarily blinded when one of the true believers on the tour took a flash photograph.
And there were some true believers in our tour group, earnestly speaking to the air or insisting they had captured “energy spheres” on their cell phone cameras. They seemed thrilled by their ghost-hunting adventure. Me? I thought the house was interesting.
We’re visiting family in Savannah and have had a chance to explore the old (or historic, if you prefer) part of town. It’s quaint and charming, dotted with squares that feature towering live oaks bedecked with Spanish moss. It’s an interesting place to walk around on a cool October afternoon.
I’ve been using this body for 58 years. It’s been a perfectly acceptable, entirely serviceable body. Not the physique of an elite athlete, to be sure, but good at sitting and sleeping and generally up to the challenge of performing whatever limited physical demands I might place upon it from time to time.
Lately, though, we’re starting to see a few disconcerting breakdowns.
Last year three of the toes on my left foot suddenly decided to curl into rigid, clawlike hooks that required surgery; they now are frequently numb, much less useful appendages that are home to steel screws that occasionally set off airport metal detectors.
More recently my right knee started to throb, as if the right side of the body has decided it now needs to stand up and be heard. My doctor said it might be just a simple tweak or it might be the first signs of the dreaded A word — arthritis. Ugh. Fortunately, an x-ray (when did x-rays become so ludicrously expensive, by the way?) seems to have ruled out the latter, so now I’m taking anti-inflammatory pills, and the doctor says I might have to wear an Ace bandage, too.
This doesn’t seem fair. I haven’t made this knee run marathons or make sharp cuts on basketball courts. This knee hasn’t held onto trapeze bars or absorbed hits from NFL linebackers. In fact, this knee hasn’t even reached retirement age yet. This knee has no right to start acting up and drawing painful, hot, throbbing attention to itself. And even if the pills work, there is no going back. Having been betrayed by this formerly dependable joint, the trust level will never be the same. The carefree days of casually taking a knee for granted are no more.
Since the Webner clan is down in Stuart, Florida to honor Mom and fulfill her fervent wish, we naturally wanted to spend the day together and stoke those memories of our times with her.
As we talked about how to do so, the answers came naturally, because the memories of Mom, for each of us, are so clear. We would go to the pool and the beach, of course, for Mom was a sun-worshipper of the first order who could spend hours by the pool or on the beach. We would go out to eat at least one meal, because that was another favorite activity. And, if a football game was on, we would watch it, together.
And we would play putt-putt golf. The grandkids had strong recollections of happy times and sunny days on the miniature golf links with Mom. So all of us trooped off to play putt-putt — and it was fun. Then we had lunch at Conchy Joe’s, one of Mom’s favorite places here, then we spent time poolside and on the beach, and we finally ended the day by cheering like crazy and making a ruckus as the Buckeyes pounded Rutgers, 49-7.
We can honestly say it was a day Mom would have loved, and we felt she was with us.