A Different Kind of Monday Motivation - Slow Down and Water the Flowers!

Seventeen years ago today, on a bright Monday morning much like this one, my Grandma Dot’s life on this earth was over and she and flew away to Jesus. 

It still makes me cry when I relive the suddenness of it all, the wailing sobs of my Pap-Paw, her husband of 67 years, and the regret that still haunts me for not spending more time with her that weekend. I had taken the Monday off and I was planning to spend the day with her in the hospital, except she passed around 6:00 that morning. 

I had spent the weekend planting flowers, trying to work on curb appeal of the home we were about to list. I can still hear her voice reminding me, “they need watering...” (She and Pap-Paw lived up the street from us and he would often walk down and rescue my parched outdoor plants.) 

Madison was in first grade and Jackson was about to turn 4. She loved her great-grandchildren and never missed a chance to see them! Unfortunately, she never got to meet Bryson. How he would have entertained her! From an active and talkative toddler (she loved to talk to people) to all his time spent on the baseball field, she would have eaten it all up! She loved watching baseball on TV! Even kept a little notepad of players, numbers, & stats! ️

She researched family history before delving into one’s ancestry was cool.  I wish I had asked more questions and written down all the stories. She loved to play the organ and created many beautiful items doing her handwork. If she crocheted you a Christmas stocking, it meant you were officially in our family. ️

I was her only grandchild and we talked often, but I should have made time to visit more. I suppose most of us feel a certain amount of guilt when we experience death. We wish we had done more and said more. 

If you’re blessed to still have your grandparents, slow down and make time for them. Time really is fleeting and life is truly a vapor. None of us are promised tomorrow. It all sounds clichĂ© until it becomes real.

So today, as I celebrate her life and reflect on what I learned from her death, I'll leave you with her favorite passage of Scripture from Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 (KJV):

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;

A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

This Monday and every day, let us love the people in our life well, and slow down enough to remember to water the flowers! (As you can see from the photo above, I still need reminding!)


© Christy Long 2021. All Rights Reserved.


The Perfect Mother Daughter Trip - Charleston, South Carolina!


 “A daughter is a little girl who grows up to be your best friend.” 



Not sure who originally said it, but I agree!

I had the best 3-day mother daughter trip with my adult daughter! We went to Charleston, SC and made the most of our 2-nights and 3-days. Sharing the details of our fun itinerary for  anyone planning a perfect girls’ weekend or mother daughter  trip!

Day One

We left early in the morning to arrive at Folly Beach, SC and get a few rays to help add a little color to our pasty skin! We found a public parking spot and had a delicious lunch at Snapper Jack’s. My daughter, Madison, had sushi, the Snapper Jack roll and I had the blacked mahi tacos! They were delish and we enjoyed eating with a view!

Then we headed to the beach to catch a few rays. It was Spring Break, so it was crowded but a beautiful day!

Check in time at our hotel, The Grand Bohemian was 4pm, so we stayed at the beach until 3:15, just enough time to get a little sun-kissed! We drove into Charleston, checked in, and quickly freshened up before heading to dinner. The hotel was beautiful and in a great location in the historic district. They display an impressive art gallery, although the art choices in our room were a bit unsettling. Thankfully, I was too tired both nights to lose any sleep over the creepy eyes over my bed.

Lunch or dinner at Fleet Landing is a must do! It is fabulous! (And reasonable, comparatively to some of the higher end restaurants.) We ate outside overlooking the harbor and ordered the Fried Green Tomatoes as an appetizer, then ordered the special tile fish, blackened with tomato vinaigrette sauce. I chose asparagus and Charleston red beans and rice as my sides. It was a perfect dinner!

Too full for dessert just yet, we walked around the historic district before stopping in at Kaminsky’s. Madison ordered the bourbon pecan pie with ice cream and I had the coconut cream pie! Yum!

We were honestly exhausted, and I am a little embarrassed to admit that we turned in early (her idea, she's teacher! need I say more?), watching Friends on TV with the sleep timer.

Day Two

We did get a relatively early start the next day. We walked to Toast for breakfast/brunch. There was a wait, as expected, so we walked around the corner to Bitty & Beau’s for a cup of coffee. If you’ve never been, you must go! They have an incredible story and new locations continue to pop up all over the Southeast! I love supporting their business! Check them out.

Not long after we finished our coffee, our table was ready at Toast. They have a variety of unique brunch items and assorted mimosas, by the glass or a carafe.

I ordered the Spinach Oysters Benedict (a new menu item), which was superb!

Madison ordered one of their classics - Eggs Meeting Street.

It was a lovely Spring day and we set out to the Market, The Black Dog store (one of my favorites), and then King Street to browse and do a little shopping. We stumbled upon this unique bookstore on King Street, Blue Bicycle Books, with an impressive collection of old, used, and rare books as well as the usual Charleston historical books and ghost stories. I spotted a 1936 edition of Margaret Mitchell’s, Gone with the Wind for a mere $250.

Per my son's-in-law recommendation, we stopped in Market Street Sweets to try the River Street Pralines. They were soooo good! I may have made another stop before we left town so we would have plenty to share when we returned home! 

We strolled back to our hotel early to mid-afternoon and decided that we were slightly hungry but did not want to ruin our 5:15 dinner reservation, so at the recommendation of the hotel valet, we crossed the street to the Renaissance Hotel and enjoyed the perfect snacks at Handy & Hot. We shared the tomato pie and a different but delicious salad with broccoli, peanuts, buttermilk, olives, raisins and pickled onions. Sounds weird, I know, but trust me, it was amazing! Sadly, I don’t think we took a picture. We were too busy devouring it!

We returned to the hotel and took a power rest before heading out to The Darling Oyster Bar

We started with a small Seafood Plateau... 

Then we split a Lobster and King Crab roll and fries with their homemade Oyster Bay seasoning.

Our Nightly Spirits ghost tour was scheduled for check-in at 7:15 so we walked through Marion Square and took a couple of photos before arriving at Henry’s on the Market to meet our group and begin our ghostly adventure! The tour was definitely a highlight of our trip! We had a wonderful tour guide (pirate) and he was super knowledgeable about all the spooky hauntings of the Holy City. He passed out glow sticks to each of us so he could keep up with us and we are wearing them on our heads in the picture below. 

We eventually ended up at the circular church and graveyard with several other dark and chilling spots we visited on the way!

We were ready to stay out late since we had rested up the night before, but perhaps because it was a Tuesday night (I kept forgetting) or because we are still in a pandemic, or maybe because there were lots of families vacationing for Spring Break, the town seemed to close early. Madison and I were the only ones out walking back to our hotel just before midnight. I don't think we were breaking any curfews, but it did feel a little eerie. Again, we fell into bed and slept like babies! The creepy eyes did not give me nightmares, even after all the ghost stories.

Day Three

The next morning, we checked out and parked in a public parking deck. I was so happy to grab a sidewalk table at my favorite cafĂ© in the French Quarter, Gaulart & Maliclet|Fast & French!

French pressed coffee, fresh croissants, and an incredible location! And of course, wonderful company! This is always a must visit in Charleston!

Before heading out of town, we had to take a stroll along the Battery, Rainbow Row, and stop for a photo op by the Pineapple Fountain!


Sullivan’s Island was our next stop. Neither of us had ever been there and it was very different from the crowded and commercialized Folly Beach. We had to drive around a bit before finding a parking space. Apparently, this is a beach the locals frequent and you have to park along the side of the road in the grass. They actually have a rule that your tires must be completely off the road. Once we settled on our beach spot, it was a refreshing place to sit back and rest a bit before the long drive home.

Sullivan's Island is home to Fort Moultrie, an unusual lighthouse, and tributes to Edgar Allen Poe!

Apparently, Edgar Allen Poe enlisted under a different name (Edgar Parry) and was stationed at Fort Moultrie, pictured above. (His intriguing story had been shared in our ghost tour the night before.) There is a Poe library there and Poe’s Tavern, where we had dinner on the way out.

It was a fun place to eat and if you’re a fan of Poe’s work (like me), the menu items (mostly unique burgers) are named after his short stories and poems. 

I ordered The Sleeper – a burger with roasted garlic blue cheese and buffalo fried shrimp.

This mom and daughter certainly made the most of a two-night trip and crammed as much in those three days as possible! Beaches, great food, shopping, and history! I hope we can continue this tradition. Life is short. Make time to spend it with those you love and do fun things!


© Christy Long 2021. All Rights Reserved.