One of the perks of moving back to Charleston was just being able to be with family and friends any time we want without a 3-hour drive (not to be confused with Gilligan’s 3-hour tour).  So last Saturday, after a quick survey of the flea market in Ladson, Patty, Missy and I made a trip “out to the country,” as we have always called it, to St Paul’s Cemetery to spruce up some family graves before Easter.   When our kids were little, the trip always ended at Marvin’s Meats to see the monkeys and whatever else they had out front that day.  The firstborn of the next generation claimed visiting the cemetery, followed by the Meggett playground and then the Hollywood Dollar Store equated to the best day of his life.  Of course, that was long before he hit double digits.   

Obviously, Missy and Patty have been doing this for a while so with lilies in hand along with all the tools of the trade (Patty has decided before the next trip a small rake – as in garden tool, not the immoral, womanizing type  – needs to join the gang) we headed to the appropriate gravesites.  Sweeping headstones, clipping bushes and removing overgrown moss so the names and dates were legible, we looked like our own little brigade of workers worthy of mention in Amanda Stevens The Restorer.  I half expected to turn around and find “visitors” from the other side watching our progress and pointing out how we could do it just a little bit better.

I’m not usually a fan of paranormal novels, but The Restorer was a Free Nook Book Friday selection and it was set in Charleston.  So I figured I didn’t have anything to lose by downloading it and I rarely pass up a book set in the Lowcountry.  (Pat Conroy and Dorothea Benton Frank top my list.)  As it turned out, I found this book extremely hard to put down and read it pretty much nonstop from beginning to end.  It was first in The Graveyard Queen Series and once I get my Charleston County Library card, I’ll be checking to see if they have the rest of the series featuring Amelia Gray.  I believe there are 5 at this point.   

These days, wherever we go I am constantly looking for antique/vintage shops, flea markets and malls and this trip was no different.  I found three and when I got home, The Great One was just as anxious to check them out as I was.  The “Where are we going to put anything else?” issue aside, we hopped in the truck covered with “Charleston Gold Dust” also known as more than our fair share of pollen and headed out to Hollywood.  We had emptied another box in the garage and there was a whopping 324 square inch space just begging for something to fill it.

First stop was Robert Sarco Antiques and Restorations in Hollywood.  The former site of an auto dealership, there was plenty to see.  An Anheuser-Busch crate caught the Great One’s eye and would even have fit in that 324 square inch space with room to spare.  However, unless we win the lottery, that one is out of our league.

Next we cut through Ravenel on the way to 17 South and at the railroad tracks, stopped at Ravenel Treasures.  According to their card, they “buy, sell or trade a lil’ bit of everything.”  Dennie Metts, the owner, had just returned from a very successful “buying trip” and was wondering where he was going to put it all.  He had little time to ponder his predicament as the truck was arriving the next day.  We’re planning on heading back out there tomorrow.  He has a yard sale on the 2nd and 4th Saturday of every month which includes vendor booths as well.  Looking at his Facebook page, it looks like he might have a good selection of plants and garden art this weekend among other things.

Our final stop was Farmhouse Antiques on 17 South.  Since he had passed on the Anheuser-Busch crate, The Great One snagged a Mateus Rose Wine crate from the Azores.  I’m assuming this one wasn’t a Boone’s Farm cousin.  The Farmhouse was a truck stop in its former life and still sees a number of folks stopping in on the way to and from hither and yon.