Saturday, September 08, 2012

“How was I to know there was a party going on ---“

I didn’t have time to share this via iphone-o-gram last evening….Too many photos and too much text to share by quickie-phone-post!

We lived near Columbia, South Carolina for 5 wonderful years. I just love that town. If I ever could choose to go back to any previous place I’d ever lived, it would be Columbia. I loved the people, I loved the city, the whole feel of the place.

There is a certain unmarked dividing line between Charlotte NC, and Columbia SC when traveling down interstate 77. You may not even notice it at first…but somewhere along the line, after you’ve traveled it a few times you’ll notice when going from Charlotte driving south toward Columbia where hardwood trees in the center dividers and along the sides of the road ----all of a sudden are replaced by tall evergreen pines and palm trees.

I have a life long love affair with palm trees. I love how they grow tall with their bushy leafy tops blowing in the breeze. Palmettos are common in South Carolina, it is the state tree.

And I’m oh so glad to see the palmetto tree also on the state flag at the South Carolina Welcome Center rest area just over the state line! Though there was no breeze to speak of this day to move the flag to show you the tree, you can see it there on the awning over the front door of the rest area.

I pulled up and parked, needing a break --- but wasn’t expecting a party!

A local radio station was playing music and giving away freebies! Cool!

I walked inside to use the facilities --- and found…

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A buffet table with goodies!

((Sorry for the blur!!))

Pumpkin bread! Pound Cake! Muffins! And fresh fruit --- bananas and fresh South Carolina peaches! I have never felt so welcome at a welcome center. This was fun!

I’m sure you are familiar with the term “Georgia Peaches” But did you know that South Carolina actually grows MORE Peaches than Georgia does? Peach season in South Carolina is awesome!

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Look at this palmful of perfection! MMM!

On the other side of the welcome center was a woman acting a part of a slave ---it’s the anniversary of the civil war, and with all the battle fields and significant war related places here in the south, especially the part that South Carolina played ---they are really amping up the history lessons and invitations to historic sites.

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I saw baskets of cotton and fabric scraps – I HAD to go see what she was up to! She explained that she was teaching about the history of some of the things that slaves used to do for different purposes. This day it was on “charms” that they would keep with them for good luck.

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This is a blessing doll. It was made by tying a scrap of fabric around a cotton ball, using another piece of fabric or twine to secure the head and become the arms. These dolls were kept with the slaves much like we would think a guardian angel would be watching over us. ((Or like many ladies I've seen wearing angel pins. )) A doll in the pocket, like an angel pin --- is more tangible than the mere thought or hope for a guardian angel and provided comfort.

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Herb sachets were also made and worn around the neck or placed in a pocket. These had many purposes. Here my new found friend is tying up a bundle of dried rosemary in a sachet. They were thought also as a form of protection, but she laughed and said that they also had a tendency to make things SMELL better ;c)

We talked of cotton, of fabric, of thread, of history and of my love of quilting. She told me of other places in the state historical in nature that I should check out because there were needle work items on display. I told her I was visiting my son on my way to Aiken and would be coming back through on Sunday with no time to visit anywhere else ----but that I would love to visit those places when I can.

She gave me the herb sachet and the blessing doll as a gift. I shook her hand and said good- bye and thank you.

I think this is the most fun I’ve ever had at a rest area! And if I didn't hurry I was going to be late in meeting Jason for lunch!

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As I left I waved goodbye to the Chick fil A cow that had come to join the party ----

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After enjoying lunch with my son, I remembered one thing about South Carolina that I tend to forget ---Jason lives about 2.5 hours south of me….and it is easily 10 degrees hotter in Columbia than it is in Winston Salem! 93!! Yep I should have worn my capris! It was hotter in Columbia yesterday than it was in BALI! ((But I loved the fact that the blessing doll and the sachet were there to smell good and to ride shotgun!

Off to the workshop! Have a great day everyone!

***PS*** Addendum to yesterday's Pieced Hexie Give-Away Post:

If you have already pre-ordered Pieced Hexies and WIN, Mickey will refund and cancel your first order so you won't end up with two copies unless you want them!

If you haven't entered yet to win, Mickey is giving away 3 copies so your chances just tripled! You have until Sunday evening to leave a comment at the post linked above. ((Not this post!))


  1. My former husband's mother is from Ridge Spring, SC just a little north of Aiken (I believe). When touring several of the old family homesteads we discovered the most fabulous peach orchard. SC peaches ARE delicious! They also produce wonderful pecans in South Carolina. I know everyone thinks about the strong connection between South Carolina and the Civil War. What a lot of folks do not know is that more Revolutionary War battles were fought in South Carolina than any other colony. Having lived in Virginia most of my life, I was surprised by that tidbit of fact!

  2. Anonymous7:25 AM EDT

    I have to say I really enjoy riding along with you on your travels. You make everyone feel like they are there with you on these excursions Thanks for taking us
    Donna Gauch

  3. I always learn something new when I read your blog, Bonnie. I enjoyed seeing the little blessing dolls -I had never heard of those. Even with your busy lifestyle, you take the time to share your "discoveries" with your readers. Thank you!

  4. The peach looked like 1 of our great Colorado peaches. Yumm!

  5. Who knew you could have so much fun at a Welcome Center/rest stop?!! That peach looks amazing! I love go to places that have Role Players. You are getting the history, and it feels a little like you are right there, in that period of time. I had read about Blessing Dolls and secret potions that the slaves used. But, it must have been great to get the information (and a doll) in person. Thanks for sharing the fun with us.

  6. It never ceases to amaze me how you blog so well with pictures you have taken! That in itself is an art!!

  7. Love peaches and what a wonderful sample. My mouth is watering just thinking about eating one. I really enjoy your commentary on your excursions.
    Gail in Verona VA

  8. We visited Columbia the first time we went to SC, I fell in love with boiled peanuts! Last year when we went to Charleston, I asked the locals how to make them, so now I make my own and share with my pastor, who is from Columbia, and a couple of friends who are from NC. Since I'm from TX we don't get them often!

  9. Thanks for sharing Bonnie. I lived in Columbia, SC for 7 years and made that trip between Chapin and Charlotte many times. I know what your talking about regarding the trees! Enjoy or time in Aiken,

  10. Anonymous9:44 AM EDT

    We lived in Columbia (actually Irmo) in the late 1990's. We also fell in love with the area. We just went back and visited this summer!! Pat

  11. Love those unexpected blessings that just happen in our lives........what a fun experience. Thanks for sharing it with us and making us a part of your adventures.

  12. Cindy, The Purple Quilter10:18 AM EDT

    I know what you mean! I am a Georgia girl that now lives in NC, but truly loves those SC peaches!! Don't tell my Momma! :)

  13. A wonderful post. I'd have loved talking to that lady. My cousin 1/2 Senica Indian also carries something like the doll in his pocket. He says it is his medicine. A very private thing. Shirley

  14. I've never been toa welcome center that had more than juice and coffee. you are a blessed lady!

  15. You're a PEACH, too!

  16. I'm surprised no one has commented on the song lyrics in the title. Am I the only one to remember "Splish Splash?" :)

  17. I got wonderful peaches this morning at our farmers market and as soon as I got home, I sliced up one with yogurt & granola (and a bit of honey) for my breakfast. I love summer fruit! Thanks for sharing the blessing/angel doll. The perfect thing to ride shotgun with you on your travels.


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