Discover Columbia, Lexington & the Midlands

When you come from a place like where I was born and raised, you had to go on vacation to experience things like palm trees, sandy beaches and warm days in December… and happy people with delightful “accents” saying things like “ya’ll come back”.

I have lived in Columbia now for over 30 years, and thank God that I no longer have to be on vacation to experience the things that made me so happy to be on family holiday back during my childhood. Want to see a palm tree? Look out the window. Want to walk on the beach? Drive two hours and you’re there. Want to hear a sweet Southern voice (even if it’s muffled through a COVID mask)? Just go to the grocery store and talk with someone. Living here, for me, is the vacation I never had to go home from. When I’m traveling, one of the best signs I see on the road is “Welcome to South Carolina”. I get a sense of relief, a sense of safety, a sense of home.

I think that’s what we all long for – a feeling of belonging, of love and of being in the right place. This is my happy place. I hope it is for you, whether you were lucky enough to be born around here or you were lucky and smart enough to move here.

The holidays are all about that feeling, aren’t they? Whether you have a big family who gathers around the dinner table(s) at Grandma’s, or whether it’s just you sitting in your favorite chair, listening to some solid holiday tunes, wrapped in a cozy robe – I hope you feel like you belong. That you’re safe. That you’re home.

Living in the Midlands certainly delivers a lot to be thankful for. It’s been kind of hard to be grateful during the past 6 months or so, with that nasty virus on top of us and all the reminders of it everyday. And yet, psychologists agree that having gratitude often leads to happiness. During this holiday season, may I respectfully suggest that you turn off Twitter, disconnect from the New York Times, CNN and Fox News, quit scrolling your Facebook feed every hour, and just spend some time with yourself and your spiritual side. If something big happens out here in the world, don’t worry, you’ll hear about it.

Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Holidays and a Happy Healthy 2021!

Kathy Gardener Publisher