‘Tis the season for the Beaufort Crud


By Backwoods Barbie
For every action there is an opposite but equal reaction; every cloud has a silver lining; for the yen there is the yang, and if you eat too many cupcakes your tummy will hurt. It is the ultimate balance of all things. The great equalizer, that makes otherwise unfair, unimaginable, or unexplainable gifts and/or pains tolerable.
Living in beautiful Beaufort by the Sea is no different. We have glorious sunsets accompanied by nerve- wrecking no-see-ums. It simply would be inconceivable to have such beauty, peace, and solace without occasional bouts of “$%@! Hand me the bug spray.” We have festivals that bring families and friends closer while placing discernible distance between what is right, and what is fun. Our tides remind of us the ever cleansing power of change, and the poignant fact that not everyone should drive a boat. The gift of serenity is doted on each of us as we begin our daily travel. Our commute is graced with views of sailboats slowly, very slowly — at times excruciatingly slow — making their way through the one bridge we should have crossed 20 minutes ago.
As seasons change, our days shorten as our sleeves lengthen. Hesitantly, we say farewell to flip flops and hello to fleece. Winter isn’t our choice, but we understand why it must come. The holiday gatherings, and pumpkin flavored everything will somehow lessen the sting of change. Our quaint streets fill with holiday visitors who envy our permanency in paradise. In order to maintain the globally excepted  impossibility of perfection, we do have one thing that somehow justifies an otherwise splendid existence.
Roses have thorns, puppies have incredibly small bladders, and Beaufort South Carolina has the infamous Crud. Anyone who has lived in Beaufort for any amount of time can sympathize almost as quickly as they can offer you 235 home remedies. As the cool winds blow, so shall our noses. We leave our summer-drenched sandbar and congregate around the ever compassionate Walgreens cashier. Like well-trained cattle, we move in sync from decongestant to cough suppressant sharing empathetic glances through itchy red eyes.
Production takes a bit of a hit, as Nyquil sales rise. Once peppy, sun-kissed patrons searched for sunblock and socializing now seek the comfort of Sudafed and Snuggies. Most anything can be excused and or justified by the onset of the Beaufort Crud. Full conversations can be had with no recollection as the little drummer boy plays on in your left ear. Required coffee shop small talk can be waived by the gesture of patting ones chest after a signature cough. Summer diets are surrendered to anything that activates the dulled taste buds and calms the throbbing throat. The sweet scent of suntan oil is replaced with Vicks vapor rub and anything menthol.
It is only fair that Beautiful Beaufort by The Sea share domicile with the infamous Crud. It would be impossible to justify living anywhere else if we didn’t suffer a little. It builds character, it builds humility, and it builds up in your chest like an inner city high rise. There will forever be debate over the source of this unwanted ailment. Some say it is the Spanish moss, others say our trees are to blame, yet the answer seems quite clear to me. Florida has devastating hurricanes, New York has pollution, California has the Terminator and Beaufort has the Crud. It is only fair.

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