Had a wonderful time at an Evening with the Author event at Haig Point on Daufuskie Island. It felt like a homecoming. My husband, Phil, and I have been visiting Daufuskie for the past twelve years and it is truly a magical place. Private cars are not allowed in Haig Point so we tooled around the island in a golf cart provided by Private Events Director, Kristen Ploehn. She also arranged for us to stay in the Ash Room in the historic Strachan Mansion. I felt like I had stepped back into time.
When I wrote The Messenger, I knew I wanted to incorporate places I loved. Daufuskie came to mind. The island can only be reached by ferry or boat so it remains a refuge from all the hustle and bustle of life. As a writer, I was seduced by the old cemeteries, the tabby ruins made from crushed seashells, the centuries-old towering oaks dripping with Spanish moss, the beaches flanked by mounds of bleached oyster shells, and the hammocks overlooking the ocean where one can read or doze all afternoon. I shouldn’t forget the haunted light house where we have stayed several times hoping for a glimpse of Maggie’s ghost.
Memories washed over us as we drove our cart along the beach road. One special Christmas we collected shells and pinecones with our grandchildren to decorate the tree. So many Fourth of July weekends were spent festooning golf carts in red, white and blue, eating barbeque, and watching the fireworks light up the night sky over Hilton Head and reflect in the Calibogue Sound.
By evening, the skies opened up and Phil and I laughed as we ploughed through puddles to reach the Clubhouse where the function would be held. Inside, the tables had been set with linen cloths and candles, the chandeliers dimmed. Everything was perfect, including the people. Many are fulltime residents who obviously share our love of the island. Over scrumptious stews, crusty bread, and yummy desserts, we shared our stories.
I plan to keep in touch and hopefully return to the island. Maybe if I stay in the lighthouse, Maggie’s ghost will grace me with a visit. That could be another book…