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Home is where the heart is

Locals watch out for each other here in the Lowcountry.

As much as my heart breaks for all of the local businesses and people impacted by this terrible virus, my heart is being warmed in other ways. I’m so proud of our local businesses that are becoming innovators and offering services and using technology as they never have before. Parents are spending more time with their kids at home as teachers, as well as parents. It thrills me to look out the window and see them out in their yards again, together! And, at long last, I have embraced technology like so many others have, as we Zoom or FaceTime long-lost friends.

There never has been any doubt that people in the Lowcountry are incredibly giving, and once again, our community has come together to help each other in ways I never imagined. Some are doing very big things, while others are doing smaller things that have a big impact — like Ellen at Pretty Papers, who called to check on me, and remind me to take my Vitamin C (even if in a mimosa) or Senny with Island Child, who instructed me to drink lemon water, every day. As Darlene Schuetz of Hospice Care of the Lowcountry pointed out during a recent conversation, there are plenty of good lessons we are learning in all of this, not just here, but across the globe. Working from home is not such a bad thing. Small sacrifices can and should be made when the lives of others are at risk. Many of us also have realized we need to be spending more time outside and more time with our families. Life is too short to spend hours staring at a screen.

This pandemic has sparked creativity, like the cool masks Pam White is making and the chalk art movement that has swept the Lowcountry. It also brought its share of humor. Many women have shared their hilarious at-home fails after they were suddenly barred from hair and nail salons, waxers and clothing stores. They definitely will not take their beauty experts for granted after this!

More than anything, I think it has brought an even stronger appreciation of where we live, and that’s what this special “Close to Home” issue is all about. We are so lucky to live in communities and in a climate that make quarantine a little easier than most other places (actually, quite a bit easier). Inside we share a few hidden gems you might not be aware of along with plenty of outdoor areas to explore. We collaborated with many longtime locals to create an insider’s guide to Hilton Head Island, Bluffton, Daufuskie, Beaufort and the Sea Islands. We hope it whets your appetite as we all eagerly wait for the “all clear” signal.

Like Bob Dylan once sang, keep on keepin’ on! Keep picking up restaurant dinners and tipping well, keep thanking the person at the grocery store who is working grueling hours so we can eat, and keep smiling when you see another local face, even if you are 6 feet away. And please, don’t hoard the toilet paper!

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Family time through FaceTime

While I’m not the biggest technology nerd on the block, I must say FaceTime has been a godsend through all of this. It has allowed me to see my new granddaughter, Emma. It also has allowed me to connect with my dad for a cocktail each evening. With group FaceTime allowing up to 32 people into a call, a family reunion is just an internet connection away!