Gettin' Buggy With It


Ah, summer in the South. Hot days, hopefully spent by the water somewhere with a refreshing drink, good reading material and company, and a hefty breeze. Some days, I get to live this relaxing description of life. Others, I’m out exploring new homes with clients, in and out of an air conditioned car, and if we’re lucky- air conditioned homes. This time last year, I was showing homes to clients from out of town, where the power had been turned off, due to no one living in the home. Oh, the audacity! Not that I want to pay that electric bill, either (Pro-tip: It will help you sell your home faster, if it’s on and working well). What did many of these homes, and many others around the Lowcountry, host? Bugs. 

Grossed out? Don't worry, no actual images of bugs ahead. Not to go all Forrest Gump on you, but we have palmetto bugs (yes, they’re different from cockroaches), cicadas, mosquitos, termites, and no-see-ums, to mention a few. Move along if you’d like*, but it’s a fact of Lowcountry life. So much so, that we have a jewelry line designed around the palmetto bugs, the Goldbug Collection, by the oldest family-owned jewelry store in Charleston, Croghan's Jewel Box. And it’s cute. And I own the crest ring. Those clients from out of town were introduced to a palmetto bug that had seen better days, while I showed off my ring and how we embrace our buggy friends.

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Nearly a decade ago, I had my first experience with a palmetto bug. I was visiting South Carolina for the weekend, walked into a friend’s bathroom, and found one dead on the floor. Oh, bless their heart, I thought. I couldn’t dare mention it, thinking I’d be critiquing their cleaning skills. Now I know, clean or not, your home is going to have a surprise friend from time to time. Sure, there are ways to keep your home ‘bug lite’ with exterminators I could recommend from around town or some homemade remedies. It’s even required by most loan under-writers to get a CL-100, a termite clearance letter, before buying your home.

The musical artist, Ben Folds, knows about bugs in the South. Just last month, my husband and I were at his show with the Charleston Symphony Orchestra, when he stopped mid-song and said, “What the hell is that noise?”. And everyone replied like true South Carolinians, “Cicadas!”. And so he composed a song about them, right on the spot (full of colorful language, so beware).

We have a state bird, reptile, spider, dog, duck, and fish. I hereby declare palmetto bugs our state bug. 

What ways have you seen the Lowcountry embrace our bugginess? These engagement party invites from Ink Meets Paper, a local letterpress shop, are modern and fun.


*Of note: I am not afraid of bugs, snakes, or many things in general, but put a clown in front of me and I will lose it.

Trick or Treat Lowcountry Style

Children, adults, and pets alike can all agree that Halloween in the Lowcountry is packed full of fun! In honor of the spooky holiday ahead, we decided to break down some of the many events happening around our area this weekend.

For the Kids:

Trick or Treat in the Park (Friday, 10/30, 4-6 p.m., FREE) Join the City of Charleston Recreation Department at Hampton Park in an exciting afternoon of trick-or-treating, pony rides, hayrides, games, jump castles, and a costume contest for kids 12 & under.
(Photo: @charlestonsc)

Family Fright Night at Magnolia Plantation and Gardens (Friday, 10/30, 6-10 p.m., FREE under 6, $10 ages 6+) is perfect for the family looking for pirate stories, monster games, and haunted train rides

Halloween under the Oaks (Saturday, 10/31, 6 p.m., FREE) in the James Island neighborhood Riverland Terrace is one of the largest trick or treating events on the island. Wappoo Drive will be closed to traffic to allow for pedestrians only starting at 5:30 p.m.

Visit your community library branch (All week, FREE) for Halloween events like; Afternoon Adventure in Goulish Makeup, and Friday Night Fright Halloween party at the Main Library.
(Photo: @edhirst5876)

If you’re searching for that last minute costume for your kiddo, these are some of our favorite costume spots when you’re on a budget:
Tiny Tadpoles  -  James Island
Consign Charleston - West Ashley
Once Upon a Child  - West Ashley
Angels & Rascals - Mt. Pleasant

For the Pets:

Kia Boo and Bark (Saturday, 10/31, 10 a.m.- 2 p.m., FREE) is the best Halloween Pet Party in town.  There will be a pet costume contest with all proceeds benefiting the Charleston Animal Society's Pet Food Bank.

Fall Festival and Trick or Treat at Towne Centre  (Saturday, 10/31, 12-4 p.m., $10 to register your pet) in Mt. Pleasant is a great place participate in the Annual Pet Costume Contest benefiting Pet Helpers- and the kids can trick or treat through the center.

For Adults:

Black Cat Halloween Dance (Saturday, 10/31, 6-11 p.m., $5) Join the Charleston Swing Dance Association for a night of costumes, dancing, and donations to help Pet Helpers at the Knights of Columbus located at 143 Calhoun Street.

Taco Boy Halloween Party (Saturday, 10/31, 6 p.m., $5) in our opinion, has one of the best group costume contests in town. (Side note: Emily and a group of friends won the group contest last year!)

Last year's Taco Boy Group Costume Winners (Photo: Taco Boy Facebook)

Last year's Taco Boy Group Costume Winners (Photo: Taco Boy Facebook)

The Charleston Symphony Orchestra presents Frankenstein Live (Friday, 10/30, 7:30 p.m., Prices vary), a night of fright with the 1931 classic Frankenstein movie with orchestral accompaniment featuring an all new score.

Ohm Radio's Halloween Fest (Saturday, 10/31, 12:30 p.m., Prices vary) will feature an entire day of live music to benefit Charleston's non-profit, commercial free radio station, hosted at Palmetto Brewery.

The Coastal Carolina Fair (10/29- 11/8) is also a great way to spend All Hallow's Eve!

There are plenty more happenings than even we could list; check out these links to other useful resources:

Bonus Halloween Treat:
We're happy to announce that the Lowcountry Love Letters family is growing and that loyal pup, Tater Wicke is going to be a big brother. The Wicke's are expecting the arrival of a Baby Girl in Spring 2016!