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Hilton Head, South Carolina

Taking a much-needed break from my grandfather's funeral, I drove to Hilton Head for some sightseeing. I didn't know much about the island – only its reputation for golf courses and wealthy tourists.

When I reached "downtown" Hilton Head, I found only strip malls and beachfront hotels. A light rain washed over the sidewalks, and I aimlessly ducked from one awning to the next. Tourists window-shopped; bicyclists hid beneath trees.

At first I thought I'd picked the wrong day, given the grisly weather. But as I passed yet another nail salon and souvenir shop, I decided I'd picked the wrong island.

Between the rows of shops, I found a small pond. And there, next to the boardwalk, stood a puffy, humpbacked stork. Pedestrians floated past the bird, grimacing at its curious round eyes, then moved on. But I lingered for a moment to keep the stork company. The only place to go was my hotel, and after that the funeral home. No hurry, I thought. So we stood there, on the pond's muddy bank, not sure where to go next, as the drizzle misted all around.

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Taking a much-needed break from my grandfather's funeral, I drove to Hilton Head for some sightseeing. I didn't know much about the island – only its reputation for golf courses and wealthy tourists.

When I reached "downtown" Hilton Head, I found only strip malls and beachfront hotels. A light rain washed over the sidewalks, and I aimlessly ducked from one awning to the next. Tourists window-shopped; bicyclists hid beneath trees.

At first I thought I'd picked the wrong day, given the grisly weather. But as I passed yet another nail salon and souvenir shop, I decided I'd picked the wrong island.

Between the rows of shops, I found a small pond. And there, next to the boardwalk, stood a puffy, humpbacked stork. Pedestrians floated past the bird, grimacing at its curious round eyes, then moved on. But I lingered for a moment to keep the stork company. The only place to go was my hotel, and after that the funeral home. No hurry, I thought. So we stood there, on the pond's muddy bank, not sure where to go next, as the drizzle misted all around.

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Comments
1

What a peaceful little vignette to start a Sunday morning.

In my experience, encounters like this seem to happen when a loved one has recently departed. Especially with birds.

March 28, 2010

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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