A couple of days after I arrived in South Carolina, we headed for Charleston to attend grandson Bo’s recognition ceremony at The Citadel where he is a freshman/Knob.
The Knobs had a full day of grueling physical activity starting with a four-mile run. As part of the gauntlet, they had to flip huge tractor tires, lift sandbags and logs over their heads, and carry heavy ammunition cans while running. They also carried each other around the soggy exercise area. When that 90-minute exercise was finished they had to do 216 pushups because they will graduate in 2016. Finally, they got to shower.
We later took Bo and a friend to dinner. Both fellows ordered two entrees, and Bo ate half of my cashew-crusted chicken dinner. Later that evening they started snacking on treats Debbie brought along. Fortunately the hotel served a plentiful complimentary breakfast the next morning. It was much appreciated by the young men. After taking a one and a half hour walk over the beautiful Ravenal Bridge, Debbie and I were quite hungry, too.
For the most part the Knobs tried to avoid upperclassman as much as possible.
Some of their tormentors thought of pretty disgusting things to do to the Knobs. A few examples: they could be told to do 100 pushups on the spot, drink a jar of salsa, or eat a whole jar of peanut butter after finishing a huge meal. One Knob said there is “no way to throw up peanut butter.”
Their sophomore year should be much more pleasant even though upperclassman will still mess with them to some extent. Second year students no longer have to walk in gutters and call everyone mister. Bo, a lefty, will be able to eat with his left hand once again. A bright spot in his freshman year was having a very nice senior mentor who encouraged him.
The day after the ceremony we had a wonderful time visiting the huge Charleston Market and wandering around the interesting city.
Gas prices in S.C. were much more attractive than in California, some as low as $3.15, and there was a lot of construction going on.
Hoss, my daughter’s new dog, is much beloved by the whole family. The huge bloodhound quickly took over the role as dominant dog in the house. Because the family isn’t familiar with his habits yet, they keep him in a cage every night. He seems to like it, or maybe it is the 4-inch thick mattress he likes. He goes in without protest. He has huge paws. They are bigger than the palms of my hands. He has an endearing way of crossing his paws when he lies down. He seems to be praying. He isn’t a morning dog. He prefers going for walks in the evenings.
Most of the people in Phil and Debbie’s neighborhood love dogs and have good relations with them. There are no dogs wandering the streets. Invisible electric fences and regular fences keep them corralled unless they are taken for walks. Residents often take their dogs to neighborhood “happy hour” get-togethers.
While in Greenville, Sook, a Korean friend of Debbie’s, had six of us over to her spacious kitchen to make kimchi. Ingredients include Napa cabbage, red chili pepper powder, Asian pear, ginger, green onions, and anchovy fish sauce. I love it.
There is a popular Korean saying that “a man can live without a wife, but not without kimchi.”