Publisher - June 2024

Photography by
Cassidy Dunn Photography

“Serve the dinner backwards,
do anything—
but for goodness sake, do something weird.”
— Elsa Maxwell (1883-1963)

I’ve always thought it silly and pretentious to use a season as a verb, such as: “We’ll be wintering in Palm Beach”; or “We summer on the Cape every year.” Funny, I just noticed that it only works for those two seasons. One can’t exactly exclaim, “We’ll be falling along the Appalachian Trail”, and expect people not to worry or administer a breathalyzer. You don’t really want to spring anywhere either…there are products for that. Plus, it changes the entire connotation, draining with it all panache. My point to this grammar lesson is this: I’m giving myself permission to summer!

For the past twenty years, I have been so busy doing, that I’ve almost forgotten how to relax, have fun, and just hang out. Even when I’ve wanted to just hang out, I wouldn’t commit, because I never knew if I would be too pooped to party. I have developed such a deep-seated habit of keeping my nose to the grindstone between work and my duties as the bologna in the sandwich generation, that I have forgotten how to just chill and have fun. However, I know I still have potential, because when I get away from it all, I feel the freedom come out of hiding, begging to play.

It’s finally summertime, and I want to have fun! In fact, I’m going to work hard at having fun, and I’ll fake it ‘til I make it, if necessary. (Wait, I think I’m missing the point.) Permission to summer is about taking time to enjoy and celebrate life in the Lowcountry. So, what does this look like for me, and what is involved? Well, I’m not precisely sure, but this is what I’m thinking:

Getting in the water at least once a week:
I love being in a pool or the ocean. What I don’t love is being in a bathing suit. However, this summer, I’m all in. I don’t want a week to go by that I don’t fully submerse my entire being beneath the surface of refreshing, cool water, and do at least one handstand, or perhaps have a tea party at the bottom of the pool.

Watching the sunset:
There is a lady here in the Lowcountry, Jacqueline Hayworth, who takes photos of the sunset every single day, and then posts them on Facebook. When I see her photos, I realize how much I’m missing by not putting myself out there to soak it all in. She inspires me to develop some kind of daily ritual that will feed my soul and remove me from the computer.

Going to the beach for recreation:
The last few times I went to the beach it was to take photos for the magazine. You can’t imagine how stupid I felt walking down the beach in black pants and a blouse. I want to go to the beach like a teenager again. Must haves: Fun romance novel (If you haven’t read Nora Goes Off Script, it’s my fav!), cold beverages, Frisbee, a beach umbrella and chair, and plenty of time! In fact, I just decided…I’m going to get a tan this summer. Goodbye mayo legs!

Tearing through summer reads at the rate of a book a week:
I love to read and am happily addicted to books. I have a pile of them just waiting to be read. I think I’ll keep a journal of each book I read and recap it for you at the end of summer. I’m sure I’ll have some great ones to pass on. For my out-of-character read this summer, I have chosen
11-22-63 by Stephen King. I haven’t read King since college, but I hear this one is excellent. I don’t think it will scare me to death either, like Christine, The Dead Zone and such.

Getting active again:
I quit working out, and I miss demanding my body to be strong. Lately, I’ve been wearing shorts and I see the remnants of cut calves and strong quads. I’m ready to hit the gym and the tennis courts. I had so much fun playing tennis as a young adult. We would play until 11 or 12 at night under the lights. Always competitive, I’m definitely game!

Having summer cookouts and dinner parties:
I quit entertaining because I haven’t wanted to commit any of my nights or weekends to anything. However, I miss having people over, sharing a bottle of wine, and nurturing friendships. I have met so many cool people who I want to know better. I will fill my table with interesting people this summer and laugh often and loudly!

Well. It’s obvious my life is out of balance. But the first step is recognizing the problem; that’s what I’m doing here, though I didn’t realize the problem until I sat down to write. I just wanted to have a good summer, okay? However, I am not alone. Now, it’s your turn to do a little soul-searching, Lady.

I am the typical woman who is weighed down with demands and takes very little time for herself. Plus, as a business owner, I rarely feel “finished” for the day. (I may start looking at Quickbooks at 10:00 p.m.) I keep saying to everyone I know, “I need a change of scenery!” I think that’s code for “I need balance!” Not only do I need it, I crave it.

Balance is the number one thing women seek, and here’s my revelation: The only way my daily life will change is if I choose to be and do different; and that, my friends, is why I’m giving myself permission to summer.

Do you want to summer with me?

Think Pink,
Elizabeth Millen