Living on an island means you are surrounded by water, and with only one bridge on and off, it leaves a lot of room for boats and water-based activities. However, as I take a moment to stand and watch the boats come and go from my deck overlooking Broad Creek, I reflect on a childhood memory of my first time learning to sail.

lori-hhmApril is such a wonderful month here in the Lowcountry. For me, it means I can plant my herb garden, get my deck ready and feel the warmth of the sun again. Most of all, it means Heritage!

On a scale of one to 10, the Heritage is an 11 in my book. It’s my favorite event. I have so many great Heritage stories, I could write a book. If I had to pick just one, my favorite moment was an encounter I had with two-time champion Boo Weekley.

0315-Helm-LoriWith all the love and passion we put into each issue of Monthly, we like to dream that readers save every copy. In this dream, we are a hot topic at many social gatherings.

"Do you remember when Hilary Kraus wrote that fantastic story on Arnie Burdick?" one stately gentleman asks another.

Valentine’s Day is a holiday that really celebrates something meaningful to everyone — love. It is difficult to become emotionally involved in some holidays, such as a president’s birthday or Labor Day, but Valentine’s Day is different. Everybody can appreciate being loved.

Just when I finally got used to writing 2014, the year went and changed on me. Seriously, what happened to those past 12 months? When I was younger, it all seemed so different.

monthly-loriOctober is just an amazing month for us here in the South. The weather cools down, the trees start to change and tons of annual festivals take place. For me, each month has a purpose. November is for turkey. December is for Christmas lights. My October is pumpkins, Halloween candy and (in honor of Oktoberfest) beer.

There’s nothing better than spending a sunny fall day outside with family and friends, enjoying a well-crafted brewski poured into an ice-cold pint glass.

LoriVisitors from all over the world come here every summer for fun in the sun. Memorial Day through Labor Day is heavy tourist season, when our population of around 40,000 swells to more than 275,000.

Many of those vacationing families return home when school starts back up in September, giving us our island back.

No more avoiding the grocery store at 4 p.m. on Saturdays. No hour-long wait to get a table at your favorite restaurant. No more lost, confused drivers clogging up the traffic circles. Need to make a quick trip to Bluffton and back? No sweat.

LORI GOODRIDGE-CRIBBOur name is the Lowcountry, and it’s no secret: We’re petaholics. It seems everywhere you turn, you see somebody with a dog, cat or other animal.

They’re frolicking at the beach, lounging on restaurant patios, prancing around the park and strolling down bike paths.

Hilton Head Island and Bluffton people love their animals, and why not? Studies have shown pets can add years to our lives.

LORI GOODRIDGE-CRIBBWhere I grew up in Ohio, fresh fish was not something you could just order off a menu. You could get trucked-in fish from places such as Red Lobster, Captain D’s or Long John Silver’s, but it wasn’t particularly fresh and it certainly wasn’t local.

Eating fresh-caught seafood here was one of our many family vacation highlights. For decades, local chefs have taken advantage of our coastal waters, serving boat-totable cobia, red fish, flounder, sheepshead and more.

lori-juneThe visitors have officially returned. Look around and you will notice parking lots full of license plates from Georgia, North Carolina, Illinois, Ohio and New York.

A few years ago, USC-Beaufort headed up a survey to see where our annual visitors were coming from. Atlanta finished No. 1, followed by New York City, Washington D.C., Charlotte and Chicago. Augusta, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and Cleveland were also well represented.

Families from those cities pass many vacation destinations on their way here. We should never take that for granted.

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