Absence Explained

I have been away from my blog for almost a week, and I missed Wordless Wednesday and GBFD. My apologies. My Arranger and I have just returned from a short vacation to Myrtle Beach, SC. October is a good time to visit one of our coastal beaches. The crowds are gone, the costs are down, and you don’t have to wait in line to get a table at a restaurant. You can still sit on the beautiful beach, nap to the rumble of the waves, enjoy the breeze, and chase the sea birds. All in all, it was a pleasant and restful time for the two of us. I did miss my garden. Here my Arranger is captured trying to lure the sandpipers to come closer. They really weren’t interested.


I haven’t been to Myrtle Beach in almost sixty years, but it will always have a special place in my boyhood memories. I hit my first golf ball at Myrtle Beach (I don’t anymore), I smoked my first cigarette at Myrtle Beach (I don’t anymore), I had my first beer at Myrtle Beach (well….occasionally), I learned to shag at Myrtle Beach (I don’t dance much anymore), I met and shagged with girls from exotic places like Tarboro and Darlington and Florence (my Arranger’s presence in my life means, of course, that I don’t do that anymore). (For those who may not understand: the shag is a popular dance that originated along the Carolina coast and is still going strong through three generations). Driving around Myrtle Beach revealed nothing that I remembered. It has grown so and become commericalized. In a way it was a bittersweet emotion; the memories are still fun to think about, but I realized that most of the young folks that I did those things with are no longer with us.

I returned to find my garden in great shape, the bird feeders and the suet cage empty, and my grass taking off with a bit of fertilizer and the cooler weather. The new pots of annuals are doing well. I am looking forward to getting back into the routine. Fall chores lie ahead.

About johnvic8

John Viccellio retired after 24 years in the U. S. Navy and began to dig into gardening when he could finally land in one place. He completed the Master Gardener course in 1992 and has since designed and constructed two of his own gardens. He wrote a monthly garden column for ten years and was a regular contributor to Carolina Gardener magazine. John published his first book, Guess What's in My Garden!, in 2014. He lives in Stallings, NC with his wife, in close proximity to six of his eight grandchildren.
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8 Responses to Absence Explained

  1. This is a delightful post. I love the setting imbued with your memories/emotions. Laughed out loud over your exotic shag partners. The trip sounded great with your arranger. Welcome back!


  2. jkolney says:

    Elizabeth and I just read this together. We really enjoyed your prose.

    Jack Olney 803.431.0622



  3. Christina says:

    sounds lovely, I love the beach, slightly out of season. I’m glad you had a good time.


  4. pbmgarden says:

    Enjoyed your Myrtle Beach memories–brings back a few of my own from happy times spent there.


  5. johnvic8 says:

    Could we have danced together on the pier to “Sixty Minute Man?????”


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