No Electricity!? OH NO!!

By Shannon Boatwright

A rockin’ storm pounded through my area of Lexington, SC recently, with four tornadoes touching down. Not cool. On many levels. The main level being that many people suffered damage to their properties. From what I’ve heard, I don’t think anyone was hurt thankfully. Most of us were just inconvenienced with power outages. One of those people being my family. We were without power for over 6 hours. Yes, only 6 hours. I know, that’s totally & absolutely nothing compared to what so many Americans have had to suffer through when it has come to Mother Nature ravaging our cities with her craziness over the past few years across the country.

But the truth is, you never know how much you truly use electricity, until you no longer have it! It was comical how many times we’d all try to flip on light switches and other basic things, knowing we had no power, but doing it out of habit. My 12 year-old son would start flipping light switches on & off repeatedly as if the simple act would make it actually work & bring the electricity back.

Naturally I was in the middle of doing loads of laundry. And of course I’d also planned to wait until later afternoon/night to bathe, wash my really dirty hair and do more housework and school work.

I learned firsthand that in my house apparently, I need electricity in order to have hot water. Having to wash my big head of hair, leaning over the tub to wash this thick mane of mine, with incredibly cold water, was not fun. Though my hubby may say otherwise, as I think he enjoyed the laugh that my squirming and squealing gave him as I suffered through the cold water and attempted to give myself a literal washcloth bath trying to get clean with zero hot water.IMG_7093

We thought my angel boy, Sawyer, would totally lose it without internet access. Heaven forbid a kid nowadays have to go without a connection to the internet and gaming world! And my angel girl, Mina, completely prepped our bathroom with all the amenities that she thought we’d need in the event that a tornado hit and we have to take shelter in the tiny downstairs bathroom. Here are the things she made sure to place in the bathroom for our protection and survival…

One blanket, a candle, a stale package of saltines, bananas, a can of beans, some cotton balls, one cup of water and some chocolate – cause you know, no one should have to battle a tornado without some chocolate.  I asked Mina, why the cotton balls? There’s already a basket of toilet paper rolls in the bathroom. She said, “Mama, if anyone gets cut, the cotton balls will soak up the blood better!”

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She also pointed out that she could admit that in the case of a tornado she actually liked our toilet lights that normally aggravate her, because they run off of batteries. (We have those super fun toilet lights on our toilets that are motion detected and create a mini dance party in your toilet if you go to use the bathroom without turning on the room light. I personally love it because then I don’t have to blast the bathroom light when I have to go potty in the middle of the night.)  I was only reminded to take a picture of the little bathroom survival set-up when our dog, Monte, caught our attention as he kept trying to eat the chocolate and crackers in the bathroom.

So here’s the deal – the lack of electricity issue was only, simply, an inconvenience. As we dealt with the aggravation throughout the day, making the best of it all, I kept thinking about what it would be like to live in a world without electricity and not know any better. Back in the day, there were no luxuries of what electricity brings. No warm water, no easily, quickly heating up/cooking food. No fancy washing and drying machines. No computers, tvs and gadgets that provide entertainment, and certainly no internet.

Did the power outage totally throw off my to-do list and plans for the day with the family? Absolutely. When you’re used to doing things a certain way, no matter what, it’s gonna throw you off. But could I still live, survive and thrive? Of course. Do you have to have the luxury of electricity to survive? Absolutely not. Do I feel totally bad fussing about losing ONLY about 6 hours of electricity? YES!

The positive point in all this…I appreciate this luxury of electricity something fierce! Especially the warm water part. I could do without internet and even without being able to cook food using electricity, but goodness, do I ever totally appreciate the ability/luxury to take a hot bath or hot shower!  It’s these occasions that create an appreciation in you that words may not be able to express. Let’s just say I’m ever thankful to be growing up in a world that provides us so many incredible luxuries that spoil us so very much!

Take the time to think on it. What would your life really be like without electricity? How would you cope? And I mean if AFTER experiencing the joys and pleasures of electricity, how would you deal with suddenly not ever having it again? Something to ponder for sure.

5 Reasons to Participate in the Tunnel to Towers SC 5K Run & Walk

By: Kristen Nida, Guest Contributor

This year marks the 5th annual Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers South Carolina 5K Run & Walk. Join Lexington Medical Center and other members of the community on Friday, September 15th at 7:00 p.m. in Columbia’s Vista to honor our veterans and heroes.

Below are 5 reasons to gather your friends, family members, and coworkers and participate in the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers South Carolina 5K Run & Walk:

It is a way to honor those who have sacrificed in the line of duty. The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation was created by the Siller Family to honor the memory of their brother, Stephen. New York City firefighter Stephen Siller was off duty on September 11, 2011. When he heard what was happening at the World Trade Center, he strapped on 60 pounds of gear and ran from Brooklyn to Ground Zero to save lives.

This foundation honors Stephen Siller’s legacy by supporting our first responders and service members who sacrifice for our country. Attending the Tunnel to Towers South Carolina 5K Run and Walk is a great way to show support for the men and women who keep our community safe.

It’s for a great cause. The proceeds from this event supports Building for America’s Bravest, a program of the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation that constructs specially adapted smart homes for injured service members.

It’s a fantastic way to get your family up and moving. This 5K is open to all ages and activity levels. Participants are welcome to walk or run. Not only will this 5K give your busy family an opportunity to spend some quality time together, but it will also be a good way to get your family active.

Running is always more fun with friends! Switch up your usual Friday plans with your friends and create a team for the 5K. Running with friends not only gives you quality time to catch up and chat, but it also gives you that extra ounce of motivation you need to continue on.

There is something for everyone to enjoy. Whether you come for the run, the live music, the food vendors, the after party, or just to enjoy the beautiful views of Columbia’s Vista, there is sure to be something for each and every person to enjoy.

For more information or to register, visit https://www.crowdrise.com/T2TSouthCarolina2017.

Penny Candy, Souse Meat, Liver Pudding & Bologna

By: Chaunte McClure

Last week I took a trip down memory lane, making a stop at the cinder block pale yellow or beige building on the corner of Highway 908 and what is now Paul Richardson Road. It was one of the mom and pop stores in Britton’s Neck where residents could conveniently buy general grocery items locally, since the nearest grocery store was almost 30 minutes away.

I spent many childhood summer days riding my bicycle to the Richardson Store, as my family affectionately called it. Grandma rarely sent me to buy anything, but I wanted to go sometimes to rack up on penny candy. I shamefully admit that I used to rob my aunt’s Maxwell House jar of the old pennies and other coins she collected in it. (I confessed my theft to her years ago, but it’s not like she hadn’t already figured out why her penny jar was dwindling.) I would take the time to count and wrap those pennies to present them to Ms. Mary or her husband, owners of the Richardson Store, to pay for my penny candy, Now & Laters and other cheap sweets that, over time, contributed to my cavities. I’d buy as much candy as I could for a dollar and share with the other grands at Grandma’s house.

I miss stores like the Richardson’s where you could go to the counter and ask for $2 dollars worth of souse meat, liver pudding or bologna. Let me tell ya, the pan fried bologna cut in the center would make for a good bologna sandwich. I remember for supper some nights we’d have just grits and bologna. It was filling and something quick and easy for Grandma to prepare.

Curious of whether my Facebook friends remember the mom and pop stores, I invited them to share in my nostalgia, posting a related question one night and surprisingly, many of them replied with places in the Columbia area where one can find fresh cut souse meat, liver pudding and bologna. Places like Conwell’s, Caughman’s and Mr. Bunky’s made the list. One day I’ll make a stop at one of those community staples and share my experience with you.

What were some of the mom and pop stores in your community?

Counselors of Law

By: Stacy Thompson

I have been asked many times what drew me to the practice of law. Back in high school and college, I didn’t have any friends or family members who were lawyers, other than a distant cousin and my great-grandfather, who I was never fortunate enough to meet. I had never needed a lawyer (fortunately) for any civil or criminal matters and I wasn’t really a fan of LA Law or Ally McBeal – Judge Wapner seemed like a decent guy, but I had no real excitement for the show. I was an international studies major, Latin American studies minor, in college and as graduation approached, I was really uncertain about what I wanted to do or be in life. I knew what I liked, which was analyzing problems, writing, history and anything with people – but how to make a career and a life out of that?!? I was somewhat lost.

My last year of college I found a part-time job as a runner at a local law firm. Not good at being idle, I would make the rounds within the office asking the paralegals for any menial task that would keep me busy and teach me a little more about what a law office was about. In talking with one of the paralegals, I mentioned that I was thinking about law school, but wasn’t sure whether I wanted to take that leap. She suggested that I look into paralegal school and possibly work for some time before investing financially and emotionally in the rigors of law school. So off I went to Atlanta, and four months later I got my first paralegal job in Anderson, SC.

Other than the challenge of living that close to that school in the Upstate (for those that don’t know or haven’t followed this blog up until now, I am a huuuuge Gamecock fan), I learned a lot the year and a half I was there – first and foremost, I learned that I really needed to go on to law school, where I could eventually control the types of cases I took in, the clients I represented and the case development itself.

Next came law school itself – where, let’s be clear, you are NOT taught the practice of law, but how to best read voluminous case law, breaking down the issues and then articulating an argument on either side of the fence. It was both torture (especially the first year), a total blast (delving into the background of every Article within our Constitution is truly awesome, trust me), while giving me the base I needed to pursue a career and what I realized was a ‘vocation.’

So, seventeen years into the practice of law, I can truly say that I am doing what I was meant to do – I can make a living not only helping others, but making sure the rules are followed and applied to everyone equally. No two cases are identical and every day brings different challenges – some making the blood pressure rise and others bringing a tear to the eye. As attorneys, we are often called “counselors” of law, which I believe more accurately describes my profession – we counsel and guide people through somewhat difficult times and provide an ear, shoulder and helping hand. I can’t imagine any other true calling in life.

Local, Family-Friendly Fourth of July Celebrations!

By: Meg Cowan, Guest Contributor

The Fourth of July holiday isn’t complete without a celebration! From running a 5k, to enjoying a parade, or even boating on Lake Murray, there are tons of local family-friendly options. This Fourth of July, kick back at the following Independence Day events in the Midlands:

Lake Murray’s Star Spangled Celebration
July 1, Annual Boat Parade starts at 12 pm

Spend a day on Lake Murray, beginning with a festive boat parade. Fireworks start at approximately 9:15PM, launched from both Dreher Island and Spencer Island.

https://www.lakemurraycountry.com/things-to-do/events/columbia/Lake-Murray-Fireworks-Celebrations

Star-Spangled Symphonic Salute by the Lake Murray Symphony Orchestra
July 3, 8 pm at Saluda Shoals Park

An evening of patriotic music and fireworks with the Lake Murray Symphony Orchestra!

https://www.lmso.org/star-spangled-symphonic-salute

Born in the USA Four Miler in Columbia, SC
July 4, Race starts at 7 am

Compete in a four-mile race around Forest Acres Lake and Golf Course!

http://www.strictlyrunning.com/BUSA/index.html#Participantinformation

59th Annual Lexington County Peach Festival
July 4, 9 am to 11 pm at the Gilbert Community Park on Rikard Circle in Gilbert S.C.
Fireworks at 10 pm, field behind Gilbert Primary School

Featuring a parade, recipe contests, live entertainment, fireworks and, of course, peaches!

http://www.lexingtoncountypeachfestival.com

Independence Day Fireworks at Lexington County Blowfish Baseball Games
Games July 3 & 4

Watch the Lexington County Blowfish play some ball, and stay for the celebratory Fourth of July fireworks at the end of the game!

http://www.goblowfishbaseball.com

Introducing Our New Every Woman Bloggers: Meet Stacy Thompson

Stacy ThompsonAs I sat watching the Rio Olympic Games, several things occurred to me – for one, I’m thrilled that people had a chance to see the beauty of one of my all-time favorite cities in a country that I consider my second home (more on that later). Second, I’m in awe of all Olympic competitors – those we see on the podium and those who may only swim, run, flip, twist, ride or shoot in one event for a few brief minutes, but nonetheless will (and should) forever be known as an “Olympian.” Third, I wonder how many kettle-bell, barre, pilates, spin and hot-yoga classes I would have to endure to look half as amazingly strong as multiple-gold-medal-winning, mother-of-three Kerri Walsh Jennings? And finally, how do I possibly introduce myself and my upcoming musings in one brief paragraph??

I’d like to say that I threw my name into the hat to join this cool, diverse and really REAL group of women bloggers because I had something important or profound to say or contribute. But truth be told, I just have some pretty unusual, remarkable and sometimes amusing stories to pass along. I’m an attorney, but won’t be giving legal advice (goodness knows there is enough of that to go around); I’m a daughter, but won’t be complaining about my nagging mother (as she is one of the most inspirational, awesome people I know, I’ll be bragging instead!); I’m a mom, but to fur-babies only (so you’ll get amusing anecdotes and I don’t get any back-talk or eye-rolls); I’ve traveled the world (touched them all – all 7 continents, that is) but am a proud long-time resident of Lexington County and an even prouder South Carolinian, so get ready for unusual travel tales interspersed with some crowing about our county/state while bestowing a few “Bless their hearts,” for those who haven’t had the pleasure of savoring sweet tea or boiled peanuts and for some reason think that a proper tailgate consists of buying a bucket of chicken, bag of Ruffles, pre-made pimiento cheese (oh, the humanity!) and a roll of Bounty to “enjoy” while milling about next to the car (with no team tents, myriad tables, assortment of chairs, et cetera, et cetera) – seriously, let me enlighten you on how we roll in SEC/ACC country!  And yes, that last sentence was stream-of-consciousness and such a run-on sentence that I shudder to think of diagraming it! (For those born in the 90s or later, back in the olden days, that is, in the mid-1900s, children were forced to diagram sentences, an exercise designed to infuriate and frustrate middle-schoolers throughout the nation, serving no actual purpose but satisfying to the OCD-inclined Grammar Police – and as a result, I not only know what a gerund is, but thanks to my 6th grade English teacher I can confidently state that you must diagram those bad boys on steps!)

I hope you enjoy reading all of the contributions on this blog – there are some amazing women that I now have a chance to be associated with, and I’m excited to see what they all have to say.  Many thanks to Lexington Medical Center and the Every Woman Blog – grateful for this opportunity and the weeks to come!

Getting On My Nerves And Off My Chest

By: Lara Winburn 

In my last blog post I was gearing up to lace up my sneakers for the LexMed Heart & Sole 5 Miler. Let me just say I am slow moving and my shoes are barely tied. I would love to write a post about my training success, the running endorphins, and how I cannot wait for sciatic-nervethe next mile. Unfortunately, at the risk of sounding like a whiner, this post-baby body is keeping me more in the tortoise category hoping to be a hare.

Before I started training I noticed I was having some sciatic nerve pain. This pain (like a litany of other ailments) started during my first pregnancy. If you have never been blessed with sciatic nerve pain, it starts in your rump and runs down your leg. I have only known one thing to remedy this, so I went back to my physical therapist who had “fixed” me before. After being sidelined by my physical therapist, I spent a few weeks just walking…slowly.

Then I felt like my legs were ready to cooperate, but my lungs were not. I am now in day nine of antibiotics and still struggling with stupid bronchitis. Turns out when you have bronchitis you should lay off the running as well. And I can’t even blame that on the post-baby body.

So here is what I am aiming for now….I have a solid six weeks of training if my lungs are given the “all clear” on Friday. Six weeks is plenty of time, right? 42 days, minus a few resting days here and there. Who’s with me? I have the schedule in hand and I am ready to go. I’ll keep you posted.