As I have written here at least once before, only to be proven wrong, Spring is finally here. I really hope I am right this time, but I guess we're never completely immune in April to a cold front coming through that would bring a rainy day or two and then the drop in temperature that always follows. But, let's keep the optimism up and say, with faith, that Spring really is here to stay.
Nothing quite marks spring here in South Carolina like the blooming of daffodils and dogwoods, the fluttering of robins and the release of the pine pollen. Each spring as I walk my dog through the woods during the height of pine pollen release, my footsteps stir the airy spores and coat my shoes. Is it annoying? You betcha. But you know this is the natural order of things and one of Mother Nature's most basic processes, reproduction.
April 25, 2014|
By Liz Gilland, Camden Urban Forester
C-I contributing columnist
Sylvia Plath said, in her autobiographical novel The Bell Jar, "There must be quite a few things a hot bath won't cure, but I don't know many of them." While I do fully agree with the literary force of genius that is Plath, if that had been my statement, I would have written it: "There must be quite a few things a hot bath or a long walk won't cure, but I don't know many of them."
Recently, I was listening to a talk radio host railing about how public schools "no longer teach values." This issue seems to be a mantra of sorts for some folks in the media, many of whom I suspect haven't been anywhere near a public school in years. As someone who is in public schools every day, I can't for the life of me figure out what this view is based on. I know it's not based on reality.
It is each of the many Easters of my life that I remember more clearly than any other holiday. Christmases blur together with only a few standing out in my memory such as the one when it snowed all day, the year I lost my voice completely, and the two times that I wasn't home – one working in Washington, D.C. and another in London.
** Thomas Ravenel, the former state treasurer who served prison time for cocaine distribution, now stars in a reality television show called "Southern Charm." Ravenel stumbles through the show in a haze of alcohol and bad judgment. He and his girlfriend, who's 30 years his junior, recently had a baby in Florida. Ravenel says he intends to revive his political career by running for the U. S. Senate from the Palmetto State. The guys in Vegas would probably lay some long odds on his chances for success.
Robert Mills was the first American born and trained architect. He called himself "Robert Mills, Architect of Public Buildings." Indeed, Mills established a new scale and standard for public buildings in Washington, D. C. when he designed the Treasury Building, the Patent Office, and the General Post Office in the 1830s and early 1840s. In other parts of the country, Mills designed buildings that were sensitive to regional values and local architectural traditions. Always his attention was on permanency and fireproofing for his public buildings.
Easter is a holiday of two extremes. On one side is a covert celebration of springtime with cute bunnies and pretty dresses and Easter egg hunts and chicks and flowers and lambs. On the other is a lamb being slaughtered on Passover. There is a bloodstained cross on which a Jewish man is dying who proclaimed that he was the Son of God, and that he had to be killed so that God's wrath against my sins could be carried out not against me but against him.