A Newly Minted Marine and Historic Beaufort

As if to challenge every drop of energy that is left in the last few days of my precious second trimester, my life has flown into a higher gear than I thought I could handle. But I'm loving it. Just trying to find some ways to decompress a little! 

This past weekend was my little brother Malachi's graduation from Marine bootcamp on Parris Island. 

I have written several times about the special place in my heart for this particular brother... like the "Mama's Little Helper" oldest daughter that I was, I have mothered and adored all of my siblings in a unique (obnoxious to them) way. But I've always just had this soft spot for Chi. Its tough to explain. Although if this were my other brother, Moses, I'd honestly be saying the same thing. I think I am very deeply connected to my two brothers who came right after me. We grew up doing everything together - fighting constantly, tattling, making traps for the "bully" across our street, getting into trouble tormenting the babysitter, crying laughing, making my mother SO mad with all of our bathroom jokes (for the record anything is STILL automatically funny when it includes the word "fart" or "butt". I have tried to grow into more ladylike behavior to no avail. My brothers' ruined me.), teasing each other about crushes, etc. 

Watching my brother's serious face during the marching of his graduation brought me to tears... he is so grown up!!! The kid we called "The Giggle Box" because he would laugh uncontrollably at the slightest attempt to tickle him - learned to be impassively serious and appropriately intense over a short 13 week bootcamp. I can't believe he did it. 

"Is this how you felt when I got married?" I whispered loudly over the marching band to Moses. 
"Yeah, dude!" he smiled. "Weird, isn't it?!"

The weekend was filled with lots of happy crying, hearing Malachi tell us all his best bootcamp tales in a cracked, hoarse voice, eating too much delicious fresh shrimp for dinner and fresh (hot) homemade donuts from a little shop up the road for breakfast (Liz Lemon would've cried). We were so blessed to be hosted by Malachi's boss Mr. Rozelle, who goes to St. Mary's with my family and owns a Granite and Fine Stone company in Easley. He and his cute wife Judy have a sweet little house in the historic section of Beaufort... and it was unreal. I was prepared to be amazed because I knew that, unlike the Holy City (Charleston), Beaufort surrendered early in the Civil War and so retained much of its original Antebellum architecture... but it was truly jaw-dropping walking through the old neighborhood. 

This is the front shot of where we stayed and the best picture I got, because all resolutions to the contrary, I was too happy and busy crying over my brother to remember to snap much:

It was just lovely. The old trees and spanish moss were unbelievable to me.

We walked alot together, despite the unseasonably cool weather (the highs were in the low 60's!) and the constant drizzle of rain. But everything was green and quiet and perfect for what we needed - to spend time loving on Chi as a family before his next step. 

I have even more craziness ahead to get working on... I am so excited that my other favorite brother is coming to live in our guest bedroom for a few months after his graduation this coming weekend from Belmont Abbey! He wants to get on his feet with his new job and save some money, etc... Jason starts school again tomorrow evening, and even though I am fully expecting Moses to be gone alot with his job (he is working with the events and marketing of a big national radio station syndicate), I am happy to have a little bit more company around. 

I'm planning a small graduation party for my family on Saturday as I type this... it'll be awesome. Though not sure if I can replicate the hot donuts. They will have to live on in our memories of beautiful old Beaufort. 

Labels: , , , , ,