Nearly every week my 80-something year old grandmother sends everyone in the family a letter describing in incredible detail what she's done since she last wrote to us. Grandma High's letters are amazing, mainly owing to the fact that she is the most dynamic and interesting old person I've ever known. She is a very special woman, and I know I am not alone in my family in hoping that I will still be as active and involved as Grandma High when I'm 80-something.

There are some recurring themes in her letters:

  • Fruit that was not tree ripened despite signs claiming it was.
  • Her inability to hear anything that any kind of lecturer is saying.
  • Her digestive system.

As a warning, sometimes Grandma High slips into discussions that ring somewhat racist. I don't think she would do it if she knew that people might be offended (honestly, she is a tremendously sweet old lady), nor am I trying to perpetuate racist sentiment, so please don't take offense.

August 20, 2000

Dearest Children,

I made whoopee this week. I took off Monday and Tuesday to go to Columbia to a meeting of the Environmental Education Association of South Carolina. The topic for discussion was "Sensible Growth." That is a very popular topic these days. A lot of environmental organizations are working on it as it leads to all sorts of problems such as water pollution and air pollution. Monday I had an appointment to have my teeth cleaned in Florence in late morning. That is half way to Columbia so that is one reason I went. I wanted to go to the S.C. State Museum in the afternoon. I wanted to check out the Farmer's Market, too. So then after the meeting on Tuesday I could stop by and pick up some fruit and vegetables. At the Museum they had an exhibit called, "Big and Little." I got a kick out of that. One thing they had was 1/2 a tire that is used on trucks for surface mining. 1/2 of it is 4 yds high. Can you imagine how BIG that was? For my favorite small or little, they had miniature scenes in cups which a group of people made. I couldn't figure out how they were able to make such small things. The Farmer's Market had loads of peaches. Then I checked out the place where the meeting was to be held on Tuesday. Meanwhile looking for a motel and a restaurant. It was dinner time. I ended at a bar b que restaurant. The owners must be real Southerners because they had free literature about the confederate flag, slavery, even a paperback about the Scottish Declaration of Independence. So I picked it all up. I don't know whether you have been reading about the discussion here in S.C. about the Confederate flag flying over our capitol building. It was just below the U.S. flag. The NAA Organization of African Americans complained about it and it was finally removed recently. The bar b que was super delicious. So I ate way more than I should have. During the night my digestive system objected so I didn't have a very good night. However, I did find a motel almost directly across the street from our meeting place.

Registration began at 9:00 A.M. So I got there then as I had some environmental literature I wanted to show off, in case anyone was interested. They had a good program lined up with the end at 3:30 P.M. We started out by everyone giving a short talk about why we were there and our opinion about the topic for the day. I think there were about 40 people there. Then we had talks by some government people. As usual I couldn't understand a thing that was said, but I did see some friends and picked up a lot of literature. They had lunch for us there and then in the afternoon we broke up into small groups: Air Quality, Water Quality, Land Use Issues, Forestry Issues, Natural Ecology in the face of Urban Growth, Endangered Species and Habitat Loss Issues. I picked Land Use as the leader is the head of the S.C. Native Plant Society-in fact he is the one who started the group. We were given 4 topics to discuss in relation to our committee. This time I could hear as there were 4 of us. We listed our suggestions for the 4 topics and then after an hour all of us got back together again and they compiled all our answers. I look forward to our next newsletter as they will send the results to us. Then I went to the Farmers' Market and bought a basket of peaches, one of pears, and one of apples. So I guess I won't starve.

Friday first thing in the morning I spent 1 1/2 hours, with nick discussing my finances and then took off for Florence for my B-12 shot. I always make several stops for some shopping when I go there.

So that is why I didn't do any weekly house cleaning this week. Guess I'll have to get back on schedule tomorrow. I hope this finds all of you well.

Lots of love,
Grandma High

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