By Cherimie Crane Weatherford
Week after week my eyes stare at a blank canvas with certain defeat. I organize closets, polish silverware, scrub door knobs and practice perfecting my less-than-stellar plank pose with the humble hopes of catching the fleeting thought or idea that will engage, inspire and perhaps entertain.
This week I have been given the gift of life meaning that I have lived some of the most human, most ordinarily outstanding, most awkwardly awful, and miraculously mundane moments one can experience, leaving me with a wealth of words worthy of writing. I attended Beaufort Water Festival.
The challenge presented in this gift of ordinary proportions is the simple quandary of what to write and what to preserve for future ration. Certainly there will be weeks where monotony prevails, leaving me lost with blank screen scrutiny and simply nothing to note. Quite possibly the past week was a luxury of lunacy that should be respected and reserved. Then again, Water Festival does come around each year, bringing with it a windstorm of wonder and endless material primed for printed banter.
Impossible to choose just one occurrence, one topic, or one moment to share, I shall briefly list the three most colorful — carefully changing the names to protect the not so innocent, the incredibly inappropriate, and the beautifully Beaufort moments that only those with the salt-stained address can understand.
1. My Most Unusual Day as Queen: Spending the majority of my life envying the fabulously female type all the while playing in the mud and trading tiaras for tool boxes, being named Queen of anything was quite shocking. It seems as though the title brings with it no obligation, no explanation and to my genuine mounting despair, no free fried chicken. However, with my rivaled royalty I did gain substantial awkward encounters and a free lifetime supply of jokes. No doubt there is honor being bowed down to in the frozen foods section of Publix. Having strangers salute you while searching for toilet paper is obviously a thing of beauty. I am River Queen and I shall embrace it; however, I may need to find a new venue for shopping.
2. There Is No Comfortable Sandbar Greeting: Working in real estate and specifically the construction and development arena, my days are spent mostly in the company of men. Most of the time, I am for all practical purposes, one of the guys. They know me as the clumsy but capable girl in boots and our relationship, although odd, works for the most part in peaceful unison. Then, I see them on the sandbar. There is just no appropriate greeting for coworkers wearing bikinis or even worse, a Speedo. The handshake seems a bit formal and the jovial hug is just too much darn information. Professionalism has no power against the slippery sun-screened, wind-blown Bud light beholder. Bikinis do not come with pockets, nor do they come with co-worker cover ups in case of emergency. It just doesn’t matter who you are, once you are standing half dressed with your coworker, life changes.
3. The “It Wasn’t Me, But I Need You to Come Get Me Real Quick” call from a friend while being escorted by the dedicated men and women of DNR. Just when you think it is safe to bid the dramatic day farewell, melt comfortably into your bed with hopes of peaceful slumber, the familiar ringtone pierces the silence like a machete. Ignoring the urgent call isn’t a possibility. It is a duty, an obligation, an unspoken agreement among friends — if you are conscious and you receive the Come Get Me Call, it is time to act. The captured party awaits your arrival and your arrival proves to be a welcomed sign to both captive and capturer. This topic alone can fill pages on end.
As much as I would enjoy elaborating on each event, there simply isn’t enough room. Possibly there will be a book one day that will give credit to the momentous moments, the awfully awkward and the incredibly odd days that are abundant and readily available to all in our small tenacious town. Until then, the Queen shall take her sunscreen streaked skin, her gallon of necessary water and her memories of yet another Beaufort South Carolina Water Festival to bed. Sweet dreams and silent cell phones, even if for just one night.