#IVoted… Did you?

There wasn’t a traffic jam.. There wasn’t a line.. St Luke’s Parish Center was empty except for a few dedicated volunteers taking ID’s and handling the sign-in. 

It was quite a change from that now-infamous Richland County debacle.. I waited in line for a few hours to cast my ballot that afternoon. Didn’t mind, given the sacrifice made through the generations for the right to vote. Least I could do was wind through Olympia School’s gym and wait my turn. 

Granted that was a big election, and most people turn out for those– especially in a presidential year. 

But folks.. Really…

We need *desperately* to understand– as a democratic society– we MUST cast ballots as an informed citizenry in every election. Yes, every election…

I recently explained my role as a Public Policy director to a friend of mine. I told her from the moment she woke up to having electricity, to clean water to make coffee, running water to brush her teeth, a road to take a morning jog, uncontaminated food to have for breakfast (and so on…)– Public Policy and government decisions affect just about every little minute detail of your existence. Protecting that for our citizens and business community is a JOY! 

Is this the time that I say, tsk tsk to my neighbors in Beaufort County for our 12.4% voter turnout? Eeek. Not cool. 

Voting will never be mandatory like paying your taxes… But what a sheer privilege. Even a SMALL primary is a BIG deal! Our political leaders make SO many decisions on policy for you and your family. Love that those who won’t vote will be the first to complain and belly ache about our political system.

If you won’t take it from me… Perhaps the veteran taking my voter registration card yesterday at the precinct could encourage you to cast that ballot next time you have the chance? I looked at him, proud to be a free American.. A voter. 

See at the polls for the run-offs :) 

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Feels like home…

HeritageMarina  It’s Heritage Week in South Carolina…For those of you who have never been to the RBC Heritage Golf Tournament or the Harbour Town Golf Course, it’s hard to explain. Some call it “spring break for adults.” Others call it “a cocktail party with golf.” Everyone calls it a wonderful time!

For the past 45 years, this golf tournament has seen the likes of Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Greg Norman and the late Payne Stewart wear its signature champion plaid jacket. Even the new generation of golfers like Rory, Camillo, Graeme and (my fav) Webb, all come here for a great game of golf and a respite from the PGA’s major tournament circuit stress. The Dye course weaves amazing play under tall pines, mossy oaks, swaying palms and amid salty air marshes. At night, we party under our Carolina moon on fancy yachts and on the dance floor of the Quarterdeck. You make new friends at every turn with the signature “Happy Heritage” greeting under the watchful glow of our candy-striped lighthouse.

I came to Hilton Head for the first time nearly 10 years ago and fell in love with this tournament. I have visited other golf courses and PGA events but nothing quite compares. I remember being a tourist and walking along the marina…visiting the shops and restaurants while getting lost on Hwy 278! So little space, so many u-turns! I continued to visit Hilton Head as a tournament tourist until life and love brought me here most unexpectedly for a wonderful new job at the Hilton Head Island-Bluffton Chamber of Commerce. HeritageHannah

Now, I pinch myself to call this home. I’m no longer just a spectator of golf, visiting the island for a week. I’m planted here as a steward of our business community, my church, my friends…  As I attended the cannon-firing opening ceremonies this week on the 18th green, my heart filled with pride to welcome the energy and excitement that comes with Heritage Week. I looked into the stands at the fans of golf, sunshine and sand– wanting to give them all a welcome hug to my home and thank them for being here. I remember thinking, “this feels like home.” HeritageCanon

Yes, The Heritage has an $82 million impact each year on South Carolina’s economy… Not to mention, the millions that stay here in our community and is distributed among charitable and educational organizations. This week also matters to our bottom line– our business community shines this week!! Our restaurants are ready.. our shops are stocked.. our landscapes are perfect!

So if you’re here this week for the tournament, stop by and say hi to us at the Chamber’s hospitality tent, #SocialCentral. We’ve got your wifi and welcome waiting on the 18th fairway. But maybe you’ll catch the tournament on Golf Channel or CBS? Tweet us a hello to #SocialCentral or #PlaidNation

In the midst of all of the excitement, I would be remiss if I didn’t also remember this is Easter week. It’s rare that Heritage and Easter end on the same Sunday. This year, rest assured you’ll hear a prayer of thanksgiving for so many things as the sun rises on this most precious of days. And one request.. Bless this home, sweet home.

 

 

 

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I’m baacccck :)

Hello to my dear friends in the blogosphere!

After nearly a year, I’ve decided to pick back up the keyboard and get back to doing some writing. My sincere thanks to a sweet friend who recently encouraged me to get back into sharing “A Little Adlib.”  (Thanks SEB)

Most of you know, I transitioned from a successful and privileged role at WIS-TV back in June to a new career. I am now living and working in South Carolina’s lowcountry, at the Hilton Head Island-Bluffton Chamber of Commerce. I am the Director of Public Policy and Small Business. Long title, but the short of it is that I monitor and advocate in areas of legislative affairs for our membership and business community. I also oversee the Chamber’s business and education initiatives. I could spend hours telling you how much I LOOOOVEEEE my new job and home– so careful if you get me started!

SO..whether Im posting about a new diet, a public policy debate, the latest redbox rental, WTHeck content I found on the web or just a simple shoutout– Today I just wanted to say hello. And send a smile from my new home — to yours. 

PeaceSmile

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What’s YOUR story?

mystoryAs a journalist, I love what we call “real people” stories. Those are the sweet, sometimes gritty stories of people’s lives and experiences that have shaped who they are. Perhaps it’s my role at WIS– or my willingness to talk to a lamp pole anywhere I go– People open up to me about their stories. I simply love it.

You wouldn’t believe some of the stories..  They are as rich and interesting as their southern, saucy lives. The stories range in subject matter but you hear the same undertones of either grief, intense love, heartache, triumph or anger, to name a few.

Just yesterday– a beautiful, sweet lady told me the story of her son’s untimely death. I don’t know why she told me the details. Her pain was so apparent and I was a kind, listening ear.

 For the most part, the stories are the unique twists and turns of their lives. Funny how those curve balls created new roads to travel. Some brought joy. Others brought a kick in the rio grande.

Some of my favorite stories are from entrepreneurs. Wow. What courage and hard work!! This morning, there is one such story on CNNMoney.com of an entrepreneur in Michigan who left an unfulfilling career in banking to open an ice cream shop. He’s maxed out credit cards, cashed in retirement– all in hopes of building a better life. Ask any business owner and they have incredible stories of overcoming the odds– or at least betting on them at the time. I honor our small business owner and hope they’ll hang in there. Reach out to available resources for education and mentorships. We need you!

Reading, hearing and writing so many life stories over the years makes me think about my own story. I’m doing a personal study right now in the book, The Power of Story: Change Your Story, Change Your Destiny in Business and in Life. It’s written by renowned psychologist, Jim Loehr. When you see your story on paper, you really hear your tone, see your mistakes and own up to making positive changes. It’s then that you can re-write your story to eliminate what’s not working. The exercise is eye-opening not only for people, but businesses that are attempting a new culture or strategy.  

So no matter if you’re at the beginning, middle or end– what’s your story? Or is it like mine and still being written? Either way, rock on. As Loehr says, “Your story is your life.” Make it a good read.

Web links:

CNN Money article: http://money.cnn.com/2013/06/01/smallbusiness/ice-cream-maker.moneymag/index.html?iid=A_SB_News

The Power of Story: http://www.amazon.com/The-Power-Story-Destiny-Business/dp/0743294688

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When Our “Friends” Make Headlines

spotlight

You can’t serve the community as a journalist for as long as I have without getting to know a few people across the state. It’s the blessing of my job– people connect with me as a friend, confidant and simple ole’ southern girl who’s also trying to get her day going, too!

There’s rarely a week that goes by that I don’t report the news and have a connection of my own to someone in the headlines– I really do know a lot of the people who are in our newscasts. Sometimes they are the doctors commenting on a new medical procedure, a neighborhood leader who is calling for change, a politician in the welcome/unwelcome spotlight, a business owner who is plugging away amid economic changes, an athlete who plays to win— and the list goes on. I have socialized or worked with SOO many people over the past 13 years at WIS. We’ve led charity events..interviewed for stories…sat on the same event stage…or even worshiped in the same church. I consider them friends and am honored to serve the state in our unique roles together.

Despite my responsibility to report the facts, you have to know that there is a tug on my heart when I see these “friends” who fall into a negative light. AND to know that I am part of the news organization that has to stand in the truth of reporting the facts, as it brings pain to their careers, families and communities. We have to ask the tough questions. We point that mean, ugly camera at them in the news conference or walking out of jail and do what our job requires. Search for truth.

Everyone loves the positive stories– especially me!! No one turns down those interviews. We’re there when the game is won, the building is dedicated, the ribbon cut, the award given, the passionate speech delivered. We cheer, clap and go home. But all too often, our public officials and local celebrities have to experience the other side of the sharp, two sided news sword.

Until the day I am not in the spotlight myself and can unleash a torrent of biased rants, I remain what I call a compassionate journalist. I think of families and communities who hear my voice telling them the news about their loved/beloved. It’s my prayer that I’m never seen as attacking, but attributing information from both sides. People make mistakes. Even  me. I can’t imagine my indiscretions played out in the headlines. Lawd, my daddy would disown me!

To quote a precious news room leader, “Questions don’t hurt people. Answers do.” It sure doesn’t make it any easier when our friends are in headlines. 

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#4 Combo, Grilled With Fruit?

ImageYummmmm… BBQ sandwiches… Sweet Potato fries… Turkey burgers.. Gouda cheese breakfast sandwiches? Granola and Fruit? 

Gourmet cafe??? Nope. Your local drive thru! 

I’m impressed with how the fast food industry is shaking up its menus to meet consumer demands (and gentle requests) to serve something more than greasy, flat, cheesy burgers.  

There’s a story in the news today about how Burger King is adding its “Summer Menu,” chock full of burger alternatives. Some restaurants have added calorie counts and even cook with different kinds of oil for better health and wellness. It’s a step in the right direction– but we’ve got such a long way to go.

Like so many of my blogs before, I make personal confessions– so here goes. My little taste buds looooove those little yellow wrapped cheeseburgers. (Notice, no restaurant name given :)) For years, it was the quick and easy way to grab a bite on-the-go. I’ve read the horrible stories about the preservatives and additives, but want to give some credit to some attempt to make things more healthy. Good for you, fast food industry! Rock on!

Despite the positive changes, I’m compelled to remind myself and my friends of the importance of fresh, non-processed foods…especially for those all important snacks. That seems to be where I can really blow my diet while on the run!

I’m hopeful that the fast food restaurants will hear the voice of the health conscience consumer and continue to change their menus. I welcome the smoothies, yogurts, grilled/roasted options, salads and all-natural, low calorie spreads and dressings.

I know, I know– It’s still not the best choice over organic, fresh picked fruits and veggies. Those are my first choices. But let’s agree these small changes could lead to tremendous momentum– and we have to support them in the small effort. 

So, order up. And hat’s off to fresh, innovative menu ideas. 

 

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When Movies were Magic…

ImageI’ve always been accused of being an “old soul.” I don’t mind the distinction….and actually sometimes wish I had been born in a bygone era when it was a simpler time. If I could choose, I think I would have loved being a  young woman in the 40′s and 50′s.. I loved the clothes, including hats and gloves.. I adore the etiquette and proper way people handled themselves in public… and I wish courtship included the same rules of engagement.  

Granted– All I know comes from Hollywood movies. I’m on the subject because I watched the fabulous movie, “The Ambassador’s Daughter” on AMC last night. Anyone who knows me could see how I could love this movie. The setting in Paris, the Christian Dior clothes, the theater and the sentimental love story get me EVERY time. 

I can’t imagine if this was the latest release– seeing Paris through the lens of the movie camera where the Eiffel Tower, airplanes and sidewalk cafes were an impossible world away. Without CNN or Google, this city and this humorous, sweet film must have captivated hearts. 

Fast forward more than 50 years and I’m still enamored by this era where things seemed simple. At least, on film. Spouses slept in separate beds, operators connected your calls, a date was honorable and a kiss was something… well, life changing. To think you wouldn’t wonder if he’d text you the next day… 

I’m silly. Sentimental. Old-fashioned. I like it that way.  

 

 

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