The Magic!

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I’m passing the platform over to my friend, Nancy Kirkpatrick, today!  She and her lovely husband are on a Disney cruise aboard “The Magic”.  This magnificent ship will take my friends up the East Coast and across the Atlantic to Europe.  Nancy is going to share her experiences, photographs and observations with us as they make their way on this trip.  What a treat for us all!  Enjoy and look forward to more posts from Nancy as she travels!

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The Magic is real. And Disney’s cruise ship, “The Magic”, is a personification of that real magic. Let me explain.

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Walt Disney was a person of this world. Very much of this world, but also of the world of dreams. Big dreams. Huge dreams. And the drive to activate those dreams. And that’s magical. So let me introduce you to the Magic that I discovered on my first ever Disney cruise, beginning on embarkation day and the first day “at sea” (how I love those marine terms!).

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First is an eight year old girl in line for check in. How many cruises have you been on? Eight? And you are eight years old? She giggles and moves on.

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Then there’s Ed. I hear Ed describe himself to another passenger not in terms of what he does for a living, but what gives him pleasure. He loves to help people. As he chats with us at dinner the second evening, he is engaged in the conversation, for sure. But you see his eyes dart here and there. He halts the conversation politely…he’s spotted someone dining alone and that won’t do.

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Ed excuses himself, speaks with the solo diner and shortly she is seated atour table and her story unfolds. Dena’s husband and three daughters missed their plane and won’t be allowed to board until Halifax, she explains. So for five days she sails alone. She is tense. Sad. Trying to make the best of it. So we invite her to become part of our story. And she does. Next night at dinner she joins the table with a huge smile and we all bask in her glow. Thank you Ed, for bringing this new, lovely person into the fold. You do that so well.

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That’s the Magic. The real Magic.

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Then there is Savio, Luis, Lana, David, Linda, Jennifer, Al. Hailing from Brazil,Peru, St Lucia, Ohio and Georgia. And Jerrod, Ellen, Don and Gabrielle (notGabby!). We collect names and nationalities.

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Luis. What do you do when off the ship? I have a restaurant with my father. When I am home, I am building a bigger restaurant with a bar. Talk drifts tophotography and Photoshop. And when we part, he gives us the name of hishometown and restaurant. Says confidently we will have a drink together there some day and I will show you my hometown.

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And that is the Magic. The real Magic. It’s the people. Luis, Lana, Jerrod,Savio, Bianca, Yanupa, Hernando, Francisco. They all know what makes thereal Magic. And and they live it for you. They ARE the Magic.

Nancy Kirkpatrick 

www.nancykirkpatrickphotography.com

The Squares of Brunswick

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This post debuted about a year ago.  In light of the recent blessing of the fleet that Brunswick celebrated over the weekend, I thought it was worth reposting.  I first heard about the Signature Squares project last year when a friend was driving me through the downtown historic district of Brunswick.  I have always been fascinated by the idea of rebuilding the historic parts of cities, unearthing the past and renewing what was into something that is fresh and new.  My friend mentioned Julie Martin as the contact person responsible for the project called Signature Squares of Brunswick.  I made a mental note to find the website and make a connection.  Months passed, life happened and I did not move forward with this plan.

 

Jekyll Square

Jekyll Square

When I began this blog in February, Julie’s name came up again and again.  I finally connected with her last week and made an appointment to get together and discuss Signature Squares.

Hanover Square

Hanover Square

I arrived at Julie’s lovely historic home that sits across the street from Hanover Square.  This is the site of the first renewal project.  A project that began with a group of people living in the area exploring the possibilities and asking “why not?”.  One of the members of the group, Jeremy Spencer, is a well known landscape architect.  He became actively involved in planning the restoration of Hanover Square, put together a viable plan and helped the group move forward.  Julie spent countless hours with the people at the Piedmont Park Conservancy in Atlanta and those involved with the Project for Public Spaces in New York City.

Machen Square

Machen Square

An initial board formed and strategic partnerships were put in place.  Half of the necessary funds were raised privately and the City of Brunswick matched the amount.  That was twelve years ago.  Since then restoration has been completed on several of the fourteen squares in the downtown historic area, but many are left to be renewed.   Jeremy Spencer, Julie Martin and countless others have worked tirelessly to finish these projects to perfection.  They work in partnership with the Jekyll Island Authority, Georgia Power and the City of Brunswick as the project continues to grow.

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The process of renewal doesn’t just happen  overnight.  The past, present and future are taken into consideration before any work is done.  Groups meet to decide what will best serve the neighborhood the squares presently exist in.  Will it be an area within a commercial setting, or is it a place in a neighborhood where families will meet to relax, visit and play?  None of the projects begin without full funding.

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Volunteers do all of the planting of new vegetation in the squares.  They join together out of love for their homes and the history of Brunswick.  Raising the necessary funds to keep these projects alive and growing is part of the process.  Currently, meetings are being planned to expedite upcoming events that enable the Signature Squares project to continue.  It’s not that it takes millions of dollars, but it does take a consistent cash flow to pay to have the heavy work done and to purchase the plants, benches and other components that go into making each square unique.

Hanover Square

Hanover Square

James Oglethorpe planned the city of Savannah around the same kind of network of squares located throughout the central historic district.  These squares have all been renovated and now provide shady parks in which residents and visitors alike can enjoy sitting on a bench, listening to music and people watching.  Brunswick’s squares, though different, can become such places as well.  The squares that have been completed are frequented by families living in the area as well as visitors seeking historic information and a place to sit and relax under the shade of huge live oak trees.  The squares provide a common “green” area in which people can congregate.

Machen Square

Machen Square

The continued work on downtown Brunswick is an ongoing project.  It takes people who are interested, who have ideas and experience in the areas of urban renewal, historic preservation as well as the economics involved.  The raw material is there and key people are emerging.  I have a vision of what Brunswick can become, the Signature Squares project is at the heart of it all.  Providing a beautiful space, restoring the history and using  or duplicating fountains and other architectural features creates a bond with the past that will enable movement into the future.

I’ll be posting about upcoming events and information regarding both Signature Squares of Brunswick and the renewal of the downtown area as things progress.

On the website:  www.signaturesquares.org, you will find more valuable information and history.  One of the quotes I found there really speaks to the work that is being done:

“Make no little plans.  They have no magic to stir men’s blood….make big plans; aim high in hope and work.” – Daniel Burnham (1846-1912) 

Contact information is available on the website.  Please visit the site, read about the project and become involved if you feel a call to.  Be a part of ongoing history!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Five Life Lessons

I have been reading and following the work of Deepak Chopra for years.  I always find inspiration and guidance in his writing.  I am sharing his top five lessons with you today.  They come from his book “The 13th Disciple” that was published in March.  I felt this would be a wonderful thing to share with my readers and something I am working on myself!  Hope you enjoy!

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Photo: Jeremiah Sullivan
Faith makes all things possible.
Having an inner certainty that there is something—whether it’s a god, a religion, whatever you believe in—behind the events in our lives takes the pressure off us to try to figure everything out. I don’t need to have all the answers because that certainty makes me feel less unsure.Meditation doesn’t have to be hard.
Many people struggle with the exercise because they focus on the end result or worry about what they’re supposed to be doing. But it doesn’t have to be all about emptying your head of thoughts. Just sit. Be still. Of course your mind won’t be completely quiet at first, but if you keep practicing, you’ll find peace.We will never solve the mystery of existence through science.
Sure, science is a great measurement, but it’s just a map. It doesn’t reveal our destination or the stops we’ll make along the way. For example, consider love: It’s a riddle we can’t quantify or prove, but it exists, and it makes life worthwhile.

Love means total acceptance.
Over time, I’ve realized that in a relationship or a marriage, you shouldn’t try to change your partner. We are who we are, and when you accept people instead of trying to change them to fit your needs, your relationships can fully blossom.

I love my family and children, but that’s not enough.
It’s selfish to love only the people in my life. There’s so much conflict today that I think it’s important to expand one’s efforts as far as possible. True love should be expansive. I don’t want to be confined to my own little definition of who I am individually and where in the world I fit in.

Read more: http://www.oprah.com/inspiration/Deepak-Chopra-Life-Lessons#ixzz3ZNOD9oKo

On The Radio

Sunday afternoon promises to be a great time at Glynn Academy Auditorium as CristoFouri performs!  Four accomplished pianists and a full program of music and other entertainment will delight the audience.  I had the pleasure of interviewing Jerry Gowan and Ed Barr on the show this week.  We had a great time talking about music, piano and the history of four men who have came together over forty years ago.  They perform together and maintain unbreakable ties of friendship that you’ll love hearing about!  Enjoy this lively converstation and plan to attend on Sunday at 3:00 pm.  This is a wonderful event for the whole family with tickets available at the door!

 

It’s Eclectic!

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I am so excited to share the news I recently received from my friend and well known artist, Jennifer Broadus!  Art lovers all over the area are in for a real treat when ArtTrends opens its doors on May 1st!  ArtTrends is a group of nine uber talented local artists working cooperatively to bring their work into the public eye for all to see and enjoy.  Located at 3305 Frederica Road on St. Simons, you’ll find so many different styles and themes…..definitely something for everyone!

 

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Ella Cart

Colorful Impressionism…..

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Jennifer Broadus

A more traditional work that captures our local landscape…..

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Dottie Clarke

Turtles on the move…..

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Linda Wunder

Or perhaps something with a bit of Asian inspiration and beauty!

You’ll find so many fabulous pieces to add to your collection.  Art is the spice of life, it enlivens our home and work environments like nothing else!  I cannot wait to see the entire offering from so many talented artists!  Put May 1st on your calendar and plan to visit ArtTrends!  I think you’ll be delighted!

Come Together

I cannot think of anything more important than understanding and unity between all people.  Yes, we are different colors, with varied backgrounds, belief systems and values, but, when it comes down to it, we are all connected.  We carry within us the essence of creation and, as we awaken to this, we realize how vitally important it is for us to communicate and share with each other.

On Friday, April 24th, from 2 – 7 pm, Coastal College of Georgia will, once again, team up with the Robert S. Abbott Race Unity Institute in hosting 4th annual International Festival.

 

The event takes place outdoors and offers a full venue of entertainment as well as a market place and global food bazaar where you can experience all sorts of delicious offerings!

This is always a lively event with a great turn out of supporters who enjoy an afternoon of milling around through the grounds of the college and coming together with others to celebrate.

You’ll hear wonderful music by the Phil Morrison Trio, an African drummer and much more.

Make plans to attend and support this wonderful event!

BoHo Style!

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My daughter has repeatedly accused me of being an “old hippie”.  I never know whether to take this as a compliment or not.  It depends on the way she says it and in reference to what.  But I have to admit that I am very thrilled to see the “BoHo” style movement!  It fits my free spirit and makes me happy!  So that’s enough for me.  If BoHo helps me embrace the person I might have been in younger years so be it!  Needless to say, when my friend Sandi showed me a bracelet she created my heart sang and I had to have one!

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I received my “Infinity Wrap” yesterday!  Sandi did a wonderful job of choosing the right silver beads and pale gray pearls to go with so many of my outfits.  I’m wearing it with my St. Simons bracelet, given to me for our anniversary by Mr. T.   Strung on slender black leather the Infinity Wrap has a wonderful silver closure and comfortably wraps around your wrist.  Sandi can size each bracelet to fit and can customize a special design with many different charms, beads and other pretties.

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But that’s not all my lovely friend creates!  No…far from it!  Would you like a handmade trivet that displays your favorite wine corks?  Framed in wood, these are sturdy and very useful to place hot foods on or to put under plants where the cork can absorb excess moisture.  These are lovely to look at and oh so sturdy!

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I love this wreath that Sandi designed using cotton bolls and other natural elements.  Once again, she can customize a special wreath just for you!  It’s great to support local artisans!  Go BoHo…..what fun!

Contact Sandi Dobbs at Santa Maria Trading Company here:  912-638-9047 (Ask Sandi about her other jewelry creations as well!)

A Little Night Music

This coming Thursday evening, from 6:00 – 8:00 pm, Tipsy McSway’s is hosting a very special event.  I’ve written about my friend and songster extraordinaire, Phil King, in past posts, but this event is something a bit different.

Phil will be joined in an evening music by local songwriter’s, Nick Bryant and Jamie Walker.  All of these musicians have beautiful music to share.  Join them as they sing their songs and tell their stories!

Susan Bates, owner of Tipsy McSway’s is always offering a venue for local musicians to share their songs with a full house of listeners.  It’s a great location as well as a wonderful restaurant!  I love the atmosphere in Tipsy’s with the whimsical artwork by ED Hose that defines the character of the restaurant so well!

Put Thursday evening on your calendar!  This is a great way to support a fine Brunswick eating establishment and three talented people who will open their hearts and songs for your listening pleasure!

Tipsy McSway’s – 1414 Newcastle – Brunswick, GA – 912-267-9991

The Waving Girl

Her brother was the lighthouse keeper at Cockspur Island on the Savannah River.  Florence Martus busied herself waving her handkerchief at ships as they came and went.  Because of this she became known as “The Waving Girl”.

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She lived from 1868 – 1943 at which time a monument depicting her waving at passing ships was placed at the point on which she would stand.  She welcomed over 50,000 ships during her lifetime, eventually waving a lantern to let her presence be known in the dark of night.

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It has been said that her waving tradition began when her true love never returned from the sea.  In all she waved her handkerchief or lantern for forty-four years.
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Florence’s constant companion as a young girl was her collie dog.  He stood by her side as she hailed the arrival of ships from around the world.  Both are represented in the monument that now stands in Morrell Park.

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Today, it is said, that the ghosts of both Florence and her faithful pet, linger on in Savannah at the River Street Market.  Strange shadows are said to be seen dancing around the heavy doors at daybreak and after sunset.  People who have witnessed the shadows, the whooshing of wind as though someone passes and the mournful lament think Florence just wants to be remembered.  When the lights are out for the night a strange, mournful sound has been heard by many that seems to say, “Come back, come back, come back……”.  I’m certainly no expert on such subjects  but I know that Savannah is full of ghost stories just as St. Simons is.  It adds a bit of interest to our lives and sparks the curiosity of tourists.  I think it’s all a valuable part of our history, true or not, but I have to say that I’m quite sure I saw The Woman In White here one late spring evening.  You decide for yourself, but I like to believe there are spirits that still grace us with their presence!

A Spring Show of Art

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This coming weekend is not only the Cassina Garden Club “Cabin Fever” event, it’s also a great weekend for art!  Coastal Georgia has so many talented artists whose work we get to enjoy and add to our collections.  This weekend the Georgia Coastal Artist’s Guild presents its Spring Show and Sale!  The guild has been functioning as a place for professional artists to market their work since 1983.  Thirty-five artists now participate within this group of outstanding artists.

.Becky Tucker

Becky Tucker

There are sixteen gifted artists presenting their work during this weekend.

George Netherton

George Netherton

Each one has their own style……

Carol Jo Smidt

Carol Jo Smidt

Colorful landscapes…..

Jennifer Broadus

Jennifer Broadus

Local vistas and more.

Joyce Ledingham

Joyce Ledingham

The event takes place at the new Glynn Visual Arts building.  If you haven’t seen it yet, you’re in for a great surprise!

Make plans to put this wonderful show on your calendar.  Adding culture to our lives always enriches the way we see the world!