Cindy's job came to an end, as did our lease at the wonderful house we were staying at in Atlanta. As of August first we would not know where we would be staying. Cindy did get another job and it too is in Atlanta but she doesn't start for a week or two. We have a couple of tentative housing arrangements but one is not available until the middle of August and the more preferable of the two isn't available until the second week of September. So it looks like more of our stuff is going into storage. And since we are as untethered as we are, we decided to take this one or two weeks to explore a little of the Southeast.
Charleston and South Carolina
I've only been to Charleston once, a long time ago and only briefly; neither Cindy or Skye have ever been. We were excited by the prospects of wonderful food and taking in new sights and experiences.
We had dinner at a yummy restaurant on the water, Fleet Landing. The water's edge did not have the romantic allure that Savannah did but it was great to be on the water. My first impression of Charleston was it being more built up than Savannah, less preserved in a way, but I base that on a quick walk and we have just barely scratched the surface.
We had another great meal, this time an amazing breakfast at the Hominy Grill. We attempted to walk off some of the calories, but the heat and humidity were such that we cut our walk short and sought refuge in our hotel room.
But there would be little rest for us as we headed back into the sauna and marched toward Cooper's River and the ferry to Fort Sumter.
I pulled out my "America the Beautiful;The National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Annual Pass" only to be told that the ferry was privately owned, thus an additional fee and that entrance to the park, once you get there by ferry is free. Oh well.
Fort Sumter and to a great extent, Charleston, is famous for being where the Civil War started. South Carolina was the first state to secede from the Union. They seceded because they believed that newly elected President Lincoln wanted to abolish slavery. Growing up in California, I never really understood the Civil War or slavery or the South. Slavery was unimaginable and simply wrong. Now having been in the South for a while and attempting to teach my daughter about our country's history, it is mind-boggling to me how much of our country, our economy, our history was built on a morally indefensible model. I mean I have always known this intellectually but the museums and historic sites we've been visiting really bring it to the fore.
The Fort Sumter museum talks in detail about Charleston's place in the slave trade along with the hows and the whys as to it being the where the first battle of the Civil War was fought.
I was struck by one of the quotes looming above the rest. It was by Thomas Jefferson, speaking of slavery:
"we have the wolf by the ear, and we can neither hold him, nor safely let him go. justice is in one scale, and self-preservation in the other"
It was interesting to me that Jefferson's words would be given such prominence. It seemed to be trying to illustrate that slavery was originally the norm in the whole of the US, which of course it was. Another quote by Lincoln where he states that he has no intention on ending slavery seemed to push the idea of the North's abolitionist movement being fueled by political reasons more than moral ones, which I certainly would understand and not be surprised by. The truth is I realized how much I didn't know and understand about slavery, the Civil War and US history as a whole.
Slavery would be a topic of many discussions in the days ahead.