Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Let it Snow, Let it Snow. Let it Snow

     Seeing all the snow up north reminds me that I have seen snow 8 times in my life, that is 7 times too many,,,,,, the other time was a hoot.(Southern for a damn fun time). In 1980 we had a significant snowfall for Charleston. I think it was about 6 inches and like we do here, the roads were closed for traffic and all businesses closed for the foreseeable future.
      I had just bought a Toyota 4x4(first one in Charleston) and promptly put on the prerequisite lift kit and huge mud tires. It just seemed like a sign from above. As the snow came down we spent the day in the old JM Fields parking lot pulling each other on an old inner tube that I used at the lake in the summer,,,,So much fun!!! Then it was off to David Lesters house for a party that lasted into the morning hours. I left to drive a friend(Not named to protect the not so innocent) home and on the way while listening to the radio we herd that the Cooper River Bridge was impassible, So we stopped and bought a six pack and decided to find out if it was true. We were surprised when we got there that there were no police around, so without hesitation we sat off to visit Mt. Pleasant. Whether it was the cold, the party or the six pack but we forgot to lock the hubs, so you couldn't use the 4 wheel drive. So in a snow storm we spun our way up and slip slided our way into Hungrneck at 2AM. With the hubs now locked we made the return trip up and over the humps of the old bridge in half the time. Once down on the other side, adrenaline flowing we decided to prove it wasn't a fluke, so we turned around and did it again...,,Yep it was impassable.
      For a nightcap we came across a guy with a brand new brown 280ZX Nissan who had managed somehow to lose control of his car and slide it about 150 feet off Attaway where it sat stretched catty cornered across the rail road tracks. Being a good southerner I stopped to help, being a cash strapped North Chucker I told him we would pull him back on the road for $100.00. He begged, pleaded, cursed, and eventually cried while we sat on the tailgate drinking the last of the beer. After about 30-45 minutes the tracks began to talk and we could hear the approach of a train. This seemed to accelerate the negotiations and eventually through late night diplomacy we came to an understanding. $125.00 and a bottle of jack that he had in the back seat. In 5 minutes we had a chain on him and both of us were on our way. Maybe snow isnt so bad after all,,,,,Let it snow,Let it snow. Let it snow.......Merry Christmas Y'all

Stories From The Carolina Coast: Poetry/ Four Beers, Three Moons and Way Too Many M...

Stories From The Carolina Coast: Poetry/ Four Beers, Three Moons and Way Too Many M...: Four beers, Three moons and Way too many miles She danced through his mind again as the time slowly slipped away Four dreams, Three wishes...

Poetry/ Four Beers, Three Moons and Way Too Many Miles

Four beers, Three moons and Way too many miles
She danced through his mind again as the time slowly slipped away
Four dreams, Three wishes and Far too many smiles
It was her laughter that kept  him warm, when the night hid from the day
Four words, Three tears, he Said too few worthwhile
He left her world behind and watched his sanity start to stray

The world was once a brighter place, of Cheer and Hope and Dreams,
With blue skies bright and Summers long and songs of loving Themes

Four more, Three less and Too lost somewhere in the fog
She danced away every night, through grey and dark and gloom
Four chances, Three lies and Too long loves broken cog
So gently he pushed her away in that Charleston motel Room
Four reasons, Three doubts and Too old to teach this dog
He walked away down cobblestones, he couldn't be her Groom

The world was once a brighter place, of Cheer and Hope and Dreams,
With blue skies bright and Summers long and songs of loving Themes

Four breaths, Three shots,and too late to use his guile
She danced her dance of love once more, as the music slipped away
Four promises, Three broken, and too long without her wiles
He saw her ghost slip from his mind, there will be no other day

Four beers, Three moons and Way too many miles.

The world was once a brighter place, of Cheer and Hope and Dreams,
With blue skies bright and Summers long and songs of loving Themes

R. Sweat

Monday, December 16, 2013


I am not, nor ever have been a sweet eater. Cakes, pies, candy bars have no effect on me, but peanut butter is a different story. So I just don't keep it in my house.
Last night my wife decided to make fudge, but not just any fudge, the Devils own Peanut Butter Fudge. I am now suffering through a peanut butter hangover worse than anything Mad Dog 2020 could do. 3 lbs of fudge later I think I found the equivalent of the tequila worm about 3AM in the bottom of the last piece. 
Another batch coming out of the oven. What do you say, "Hair of the dog?" Does that work with fudge? I think I have a New Years Eve resolution. Find George Washington Carver's grave and PUKE on it.......
Merry Christmas Y'all

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Poetry/In My Dreams, I Fell Asleep

In my dream last night, I fell asleep and dreamed a dream of dreams
To places where the dark night tide, rides trails of bright moon beams
I've run away and closed the door and shut the world away,
Where crescent light, guides my sight, she comes to me to say.
I haunt the dreams, you dream each night, when all your world is dark,
and whisper sweetly, words you love, one day we;ll never part.
Warm breezes blows across her form, she gently starts to sway,
Come dance our dance, with me this night, and in my arms you'll stay

We start to move as lovers do, when all the world is right,
When time stands still, and lessons wills, that test your very might
Don't look away, I begged of her, don't let sorrow fills your eyes,
For if you do, I swear to you, my soul will surely die.
We'll run away and lock the doors and shut the world away
Where crescent light, guides my sight, I promise you'll I'll stay
If dreams are dreams you dream at night, under summer skies serene
Then bright sunlight is the rising tide, that vanquishes your Queen
She fades away into the dawn, she sings her final song
I'll wait for you, I promise you. My love it won't be long

R. Sweat

Friday, December 6, 2013

Merry Charleston Christmas

Merry Charleston Christmas,
A time when we break out our Christmas T-shirts and shorts
String lights on the trees holding up our Hammocks
and pour a little Cruzan Rum in our Holliday Eggnog
The time of year when we make wreaths out of magnolia trees
Sing Jimmy Buffet Carrol's and mow the lawn for the last time this year(maybe).
Beach walks on weekends and nights just cool enough to make steamed oysters a treat, under moonlight that's seen a million nights just like this.

Horses decorated for the season, walk down cobblestone roads just as they did 200 years ago, as the scent of a dozen fine restaurants and home kitchens fill our senses with recipes both new and old.
A place where people still say good morning and Merry Christmas to everyone they pass, and Y'all is a term of affection.

A place in time, where Church bells still play the background music for our Sunday mornings as we drive home with the windows down as the warm December air teases us with a hint of the sea. Past ladies weaving sweetgrass baskets and our favorite Boiled P-nut stand, whose been selling bags of joy at the same place for the last 30 years.

A time when friends and family gather around seemingly limitless platters of turkey and ham, blackeyed peas and collard greens and everyone just knows that they make the best sweet tea in town. Another day and another night where our windows are as open as our lives, where the sound of laughter drifts out and mingles with that of our neighbors and for a time all seems right.


Tuesday, October 1, 2013

    The sun strained against the sea as its last few rays reached out toward the shore fading from red to orange to the familiar gold. As brother sun begrudgingly gave way to sister moon. For an instant they both wavered over the Carolina coast on that one day every fall, when neither held dominion over the sky. From now until the Spring our world would belong to her, as the days gave way, she would hold sway over us from now till spring it would be a long night moon over the Lowcountry.....

Friday, August 16, 2013

Poetry/On Nights Like This

    On nights like this the moon reaches for us, searches for us, ever making us feel the center of our universe and completely alone in it, at the same time. Like a far off spotlight it forever makes us feel as if our life's are on center stage in our own most personal play with the whole world as an audience.
    On nights like this we bathe in its light, wish with all might and pray to the heavens for just one more chance, of just one more night with those who have left us, here this night. Tides sway at its command, and our blood ebbs and flows with it and this moves our hearts. 

    On nights like this we stare up at the sky, as we reach for the moon, and dream of the day, but its not the day but the night that we crave and the moon that we live for. Nights like tonight, when we might be allowed to touch its heavenly light. Like a mother, she calls to us, and whispers our names. 

    On nights like these we howl at the moon, from the top of sand dunes and live in the glow she affords us.  We live for that night, to hold loved ones so dear, afraid that our nights will be shortened. Soon, all too soon the daylight arrives. as the moon slips away, to hide where the sun cannot find her.

    On nights like this we know who we are, but  wonder  how far and measure the miles in mere minutes. She knows all our dreams, as she knows all our names but grants them only when ever she favors. Still we'd follow her home if she gave us the chance, to look down on the world but just once.

    On nights like this we could make time stand still.

R. Sweat


Saturday, August 10, 2013

POETRY/When Did The World Get So Young

When did the world get so young--------Its our hearts that keep this world young

Where was I, when time was all I had---------- living in the moment, In the lives of the ones I love

Who is this person who looks back at me now------- Father, Son, Brother, Husband and Friend   

Why did I not notice that the years as they left me behind-----Time stands still when you love your life

What will become of me, now that world has become so young.---- I will teach and work and play, love and pray, and always be young

R. Sweat


Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Trying To Reason With The Hurricane Season

Its that time of year once again when I start to think of past visitors to our fair city.
As August turns to September their names and deeds begin to haunt my mind.
Gracie, David, Bob, Hugo, Floyd, while unwelcomed, certainly left their mark on our town and us.

As the dog days wane, and the days of summer drift away, soon the first winds of fall will begin to make their way from Africa to our shore,... bringing with them the possibility that we might have to add a new name or two to that list of villains. Our coastal sensibilities put our Southern hospitality at bay as we board up our homes and our lives in an effort to deny the unwanted usurpers access to our fare city.

Anyone who was ever raised near a beach knows to hope for the best, but prepare for the worst. We respect the weather but never let a little thing like a hurricane change the way we live our lives. It's in times like these we put on Jimmy Buffets "Trying to reason with the hurricane season", check your batteries and water, stock up on plywood and make sure that old generator still works, then put it all in the back of your mind, and hope that Eddie , Flo or Willie will make their travel plans to visit other places this fall, I hear Europe is nice this time of year,,, Y'all are not welcomed here.

R. Sweat

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Poetry/ The Rain

He sat there and watched the storm gathering over the water.
Cicadas slowly faded away only to be replaced by the rhythmic croaking, of bullfrogs sending up their. prayer for rain.

The wind was the first to arrive, bringing in its cooling breeze, the first scent of the of the downpour to come and causing the boats to thump against the dock.
Lightning splits the sky far out into the whitecaps, as the echo of thunder rolled across the water and through his soul.

Then it was here, first just a few heavy. drops that made the tin roof rattle with that metalic tune he knew so well. He tilted his back as the rain fell faster . He had no thoughts of going inside to the protection of the tin roof, No today he leaned back in his chair and let the storm have its way with him, cool him,cleanse him, revive him, after that's why he had come to sit beside the water.

R. Sweat

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Poetry/Gaurdian Angel

I dreamt an angel came to me and laid upon my bed.
She kissed my lips and closed my eyes and held my weary head.
In soft sweet tones she sang to me and this is what she said.
Sleep tonight in my arms, and dream of days ahead.
Always am I here for you, love and comfort till I'm dead.
And even then I'll come to you, my husband that I've wed.
So dream of Angels late at night and you'll find me in your bed.

R. Sweat 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Poetry/ Going Home

I felt like being by myself, no one around to share this night.
Sanctuary,a place to rest where the ghost of her cant find me.
A place of secrets,hidden well, far from all the worlds sight.
Somewhere I pray, not today the ghost of her wont find me.
A quite spot, known to few, where dreams they do take flight.
Somewhere, anywhere. where the ghost of her wont find me.
When morning comes to me again and promises first light.  

 Another day, I've hid away, but soon her ghost will find me.
She looks for me when days are done, she dances with delight
I go to her, she leads me home, her ghost has finally found me.

R. Sweat

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Poetry/ Motorhead Dreams

Me and my 1979 Trans Am
after I replaced the stock
Olds 406 with a 455 SD

     I grew up in a time ruled by the great three Gods,the world new them as Ford, Mopar and General motors. They sat in bucket seated thrones on high and ruled the kingdoms of Rivers and Bushy Park . They held court late into the night in roadside castles known throughout the land as McDonalds, Roberts and JM Fields where they watched as their sons Mustang, Camaro, and Cuda fought a war for our hearts and minds. The weapons they bore were known throughout the land as Hemis, Cobra Jets, and Super Duties. Their hearts were made strong by Holley quads, Webber six packs, and fuel injectors. They cast their spell of power over us using the Magical, Mystical numbers of, 289,302,350,596,426,440 and 455, invoked by the great wizards from Detroit like Shelby and Yanko and we were mesmerized. 
     Battle was waged a quarter mile at a time, with the winner vanquishing his foe in less than 10 seconds as we cheered our hero's on. They roared great rumbling sounds of victory, as they rocketed away into the night, tires squealing, out of sight and into our memories. Leaving us behind, covered in great clouds of burnt rubber that anointed us as the chosen few. Left on our own to dream that one day we would get to be the sons of Gods ourselves.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Postcards From the Folly Boat

 I passed by the folly boat today in my travels and each time I do I cant help but think of all the history the little dingy has seen. For years it has served as the Lowcountries diary in times both good and bad, happy and sad. Weddings, divorces, births and birthdays have been posted for the whole world to see. Graffiti, prints and paintings some good,, some not so, have been debuted by countless artist over the years    
    For some mystical reason, both locals and tourist have shared their hopes and fears on her hull for all the world to see. Through hurricanes and warm summer days alike shes been equal parts billboard, friend, confessional booth, psychiatrist, rally point, and hallmark card. Always willing to listen, always willing to tell our stories until the next coat of paint from the next friend in need.

R. Sweat

Friday, March 15, 2013

Poetry/ Sound of Summer

Summer came to me through an open window last night.
From somewhere wind chimes played softly on the warm summer breeze,
As magnolias and wisteria sang a southern duet to the August moon.
In the distance a thunderstorm lent it's rumbling baseline to the tune.
It was a sound of Summer.

My wifes soft laughter filtered in from the kitchen and it made me smile,
Her fresh blackberry cobbler and sweet tea sat cooling on the counter,
Ice crushed as my son cranked the handle on the ancient ice cream churn.
A baseball game played faintly on a radio almost as old as the game itself.
It was the sound of love.

Summer came to me through an open window last night as seagulls took to flight,
it raced the moonlit waves past sand dunes to hammocks strung on palmetto's.
Past bonfires where young couples walk barefoot on the sand for their first time, as the waves pounded out a rhythm to the beat of their hearts.
It was the sound of forever.

A. Sweat/R. Sweat


Tuesday, March 5, 2013

A Dogwoods Promise

     The Dogwood blooms told a tale of Spring. Their delicate flowers changing each day from translucent green to bright white. They looked to the warming March skies. Giving notice and a promise of renewal all across the South.
She had braced herself in the fall chill and kept her beauty hidden in her most stark form. Refusing to share her secret as Winter ravaged her naked limbs through the long cold nights, she saved herself for Spring.

March found her wanting, as her buds strained to join the azaleas and babies breath who's flowers already covered the south, bringing color to the grey gardens and roadsides alike.Vanquishing the cold                                       dark monochromatic world back to winter and memory.

Soon the dogwood would be the home for blue jays and cardinals returning to mate and renew their lives. Her soft green leaves would return to catch the soft rain and in Summer with a family of squirrels living in her branches she would fulfill her quest of hope and store the life that Summer brings in the roots of her soul.
A promise to the world once more that through our bleakest chill, she would return, when in our need as we look for signs and wisdom in the seasons and this land we love. When March comes around again and the dogwoods begin to bloom, renewing our dreams and hope .

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Flying Cats part 1

     So the cat attached to my right arm is making that low pitched guttural sound again and I know that it cant be a good thing. It  digs in as it continues to climb my limb like its pursuing prey on a  human tree . My focus though is on the cat I cant see and just as my "Spidey Senses" are going off in my head it pounces with a yowling hiss that turns my blood to ice and my legs to jelly and just when it can't get any worse, I catch a glimpse of the nurses looking through the glass, crying in heaving fits of laughter.
      Let me back up a little.........  I was a Pre-Vet major at the University Of West Florida in the late 80's, hoping to go to the University of Florida for vet school. My grades were good,  I had a 3.85 GPA and I did well on the MCATS.  I was a regular volunteer at the Pensacola Zoo, but being an older (28 years) out of state student I was always looking for something to give me an edge over other students. My lab partner in physics mentioned to me that a country vet in his area was always looking for help and he said he would put in a word and get me an interview. All was right with the world.
        The Docs practice was about 2 miles out in the middle of farm country. A small hospital with a surgery, kennels, and a livestock barn all filled to the brim with every creature that you had ever seen on Animal Planet. In addition to the office work a great deal of the practice required house calls for larger animals. After an hour of interviews I was welcomed aboard and told to report Saturday morning for my first assignment, he said he was out of the office on house calls all day but his 2 interns would show me the ropes.   Something in me told me to RUN,,,,,note to self,,listen to that little voice.
      Saturday I show up in jeans and a button down shirt with the sleeves rolled up, I thought I was ready....I met the two young ladies who were interning with the Doc and after a few minutes of small talk I asked.What do you need me to do first? I wasn't surprised at the answer. Clean the cages Cats first then the Dogs, I wondered why Cats first, little did I know I was being set up. But soon I had little time to think as I worked my way through the kennel
      After a morning of cages and poop I had lunch with the girls where they told me they needed my help with a client who was coming by that afternoon with several dogs and cats from his farm. Happy to get out of poo detail I gladly volunteered. My job to give all the animals a flea and tick dip before kenneling them to await the Doc. . Seems that this farmer would bring his 6 dogs and 11 cats in twice a year to be dipped and seen by the vet. The dogs were beagles that the farmer used to hunt. They were happy, friendly and well,,,,, beagles. The cats were a whole different animal,,,BIG pun intended. Brought to the farm as mousers, The only human contact that they ever had was when they were fixed and their twice a year appointment with the flea dipper..today that meant me.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Ghost of Winter

In the howl of a winter storm he could still hear her voice as it mixed with the cold icy rain,
Her ghost was by his side again, whispering truths made real by February's watery ways,

She spoke to him softly, again, through the night , the storm, the doubt , his pain.
He pushed her memory away as the rain came down,and wished for summers warm rays.

He thought of times when his sky didn't pour, a time before her specter found his vein.
Still the rain fell on his window and his night would not relent as she surrounded him in grays.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Embrace Your Inner Redneck

We have all come so far from our child hood, but as we get older we all one day surcome to the epiphany that ,the farther we go down lifes road the closer it brings us back to our own back door,,,,,,,translation?
Sometimes you just have to embrace your inner redneck...

1. Eat Vienna sausage out of a can with a pocket knife.
2. Ride in a vehicle with no top and no seat belts, much less airbags.
3. Walk in the bar of 4 star restaurant in blue jeans and your favorite rebel t-shirt and drink cheap beer, till they make you leave.
4. Take your dog fishing.
5. Listen to Lynard Skynard Platinum and Gold Album, end to end loudly.
6. Take a bunch of Yankees in suits to your favorite BBQ joint, and fill them up on mustard sauce, hash & rice and of course sweet tea.
7. Teach your son how to hustle a game of pool.
8. Build a potato gun out of pvc and treat your neighbors to a night of fun.
9. Watch 14 hours of "Cops", just to see how many people you recognize.

10. Start a campaign to bring back the mullet,Buisness in the front, party in the back.
                                                      11. Boiled Peanuts,,,,,,,enough said

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Hell In An Ice Cube

      It was the cold wet wind that welcomed him on that first day of winter. He turned his head aside, tilting it quickly away and in doing so he let the frigid fingers of the December breeze caress his cheek with an icy touch born of a once jaded and almost forgotten lover. On his wind burned neck and face she had left her mark, a crimson reminder of winters frozen embrace.
God he hated winter,,,,,

      In the background droned the local AM radio weatherman. A modern day version of the saints of yore, he had heard in this most desperate prayer, the deep, hushed, lilting tones of a southern accent and through his boom box confessional granted this plea for warmth and relayed it on to the powers on high. The prayer once answered returned to this mortal plain by way of the small transistor radio that he had carried since he was a kid.
                                                          Warmer days to come,,,,,,,,

     Hell has always been depicted in books as a place where fire and brimstone would burn for all eternity. Hot,searing,steaming caves, filled with white hot flame and burning embers and while that might well be true, to most southerners' way of thinking that's only a hot tub and a full body massage away from a week at a Sandals Resort. Everyone has heard the quote," Revenge is a dish best served cold" well to my mind, Hell would be better served and far more well,,,, hellish if Ice,sleet,snow and sub zero temperatures replaced Dantes classic vision of our collective afterlife nightmare. This was no place for a Southern boy he thought.
                                                           Winter was surely Hell on Earth,,,,,,,
      What kept him going when the "hawk" came out of the north was the that tiny little island that he kept wrapped away in the safest corner of his mind. He pulled the blanket away at times like this and let just a little Carolina sunshine warm his soul. Soon he would head south again and he would leave this waking nightmare behind, but for now all he could do is think of summer, and beaches and warm evening breezes. Slowly a faint smile creased his tired wind burned face and he pushed back  all other thoughts as he worked, fought and lived only in future time now. For a day when the time, temperature and Latitude  would all come to mean the same thing.


Wednesday, February 20, 2013


Pluff Mud up to your knees as your cast net fans out across a small tidal creek.
People who still look you in the eyes as they say good morning, yes m'am, or thank you with a smile.
Sound of voices joined song from the countless small churches in the early cool of a Sunday morning.
Cobble stones & Fire ants, here by accident from the bellies of ships, they remind us to watch our step.
Smell of Magnolia,Gardenia, and Sea Salt mixed with over 300 years of history.
Sand on your skin after a day at the beach, it follows you home, a reminder of the day, like a warm memory.
Oyster roast with friends under a the stars only 100 yards from where they were growing just an hour ago.
Clemson-Carolina with 80,000 plus of our best friends and neighbors on a perfect Saturday in November.
Watching your kids orange cork bob on familiar water of lake Marion as the sun slides from the sky.
Being a local at a downtown restaurant and feeling sad for everyone who cant just walk home.
Sitting at a draw bridge with the windows down and watching sailboats head north or south with the season.
Referencing time and measuring our lives in respect to Hurricanes,,,ie. before Hugo, after Floyd.
Endless days when you've lost your shoes, left your watch and walk around smiling and you don't even know why.
Family, Friends,Future,Food,Fun,,,,,we are  Fortunate.

R. Sweat

Friday, February 8, 2013

Prelude to a Kiss

Poetry/Prelude to a Kiss

His hands ran down to the small of her back, it was his favorite spot on her body and she could feel his fingers move slowly as he traced the length of her spine before firmly grasping her small waist in his strong hands. He knew her well and she began to shiver despite the summer heat that covered her body in small beads of dewy sweat. 

She pushed his arms above his head, her hands ran from his shoulders up his muscular arms. She held tight onto his tattooed forearms as she leaned over him, so that her long soft hair ensconced them in their own private world. She moved her lips so close to his that he could feel their heat long before they ever touched. Her breath left her in waves and as she exhaled he took her sweet moist breath as his own and they shared life as if they were one.

Then she kissed him, not for the first time, but with a practiced hunger that only came from years of shared desire. Her hands ran through his hair and pulled his head toward her own, her lips slowly worked their way to his ear, her voice now came raspy and ragged as she spoke, and in the late night she gave into him and finally whispered the word that kept him alive,,,,,Yes

R. Sweat

Friday, January 18, 2013

Poetry/ Clouds are Building Fast in Charleston, Rain is on the Way

Clouds are building fast in Charleston, Rain is on the Way.
From days of blue, we knew too few, now, Rain is on the Way.
Once peaceful shores, From days of yore, call, Rain is on the Way.
Now darkened skies, bring mournful eyes because, Rain is on the Way. 

As all look to Heaven as the cold wet winter falls.
From Isle of Palms to Folly Beach, to the Holy Cities halls.
Just one more rain, just one more drop, till Summer comes to call.
April rains and Summer squalls leave sunshine for us all.

Behind those clouds that fog all lies, as, Rain is on the Way.
We'll see tomorrow through young eyes, as, Rain is on the Way.
And even if no water falls, and soon we see light, still Rain is on the Way
Its natures way and natures call, that brings the morning light, So once more will I say.

Clouds are building fast in Charleston, Rain is on the way.

R. Sweat
(Thanks to Donnie Smith For the Line)