As I breezily sailed home on my bicycle along the beach this afternoon I was hailed by name. Normally that would have been quite unexpected. But not on this occasion. I knew that acquaintances of ours were staying in a nearby condominium and my hurried deduction was of course correct. It was indeed one of those people who had beaconed me from the shore where he and another were sauntering. I turned and joined them by the water. I dismounted from my bicycle and extended my hand to my fellow-traveller, wishing him compliments of the New Year. He introduced me to his companion, a middle-aged female friend with a short hairdo. We engaged in predictable banter about their recent journey here but primarily focused upon my friend's wife who had been stricken ill for the past two days and was at the condominium in bed. I was naturally sympathetic, the more so considering the short duration of their holiday here, a mere week. Privately I reflected that the wife's illness would potentially contaminate the foursome in more ways than one, not the least of which was a general damper on their holiday plans. Several years ago while on the Island I had suffered a 24-hour stomach illness from which I quickly recovered; however, from the intelligence I gathered about the wife's condition, things for her were more serious.
When these people initially scheduled their trip here they had indicated to us that upon their arrival they would be in touch to arrange a social convention. Today however the gentleman made it clear that the foregathering may not transpire which of course I fully understood under the circumstances. The combination of the unforeseen illness and their tight schedule mandated strict refinement of their plans. After a further brief discussion of recent trivia we parted ways. They proceeded northward to their condominium, I southward to ours.
As I re-engaged with the afternoon sunshine and the wind at my back, I marvelled at the exceedingly pleasant favour of our enterprise. The short-lived juxtaposition of these travellers reminded me of our unparalled good fortune. I am pleased to document this providence, not as a matter of gloating, but as a matter of respect for the serendipity. It requires but a moment's reflection to summarize the many desirable features of our 5-month stay on Hilton Head Island. Earlier today we joined two young friends for breakfast at Lowcountry Produce Market & Café on Lighthouse Road. Aside from having savoured an excellent meal (which included in particular superb tea biscuits, grits, strong coffee and homemade glazed donuts) we distinguished ourselves by having a serious conversation about running a business, a subject which as a former entrepreneur is always topical for me.
As previously mentioned I later indulged myself as is customary virtually every day in an idle cycle through Sea Pines and afterwards upon the sunny beach. I cannot think of anyone else my age who invests in the same privilege. I won't tarnish the experience by comparing it to alternatives. Nor will I extol the virtues of what we do. I know only that I would be very hard pressed to improve upon the situation. There is positively nothing lacking in my opinion. To find myself literally sitting by the Atlantic Ocean for five months of the year is nothing short of incredible.