If you travel over the connector heading toward the Isle of Palms and look off to your left side, you might notice Goat Island, a small community with a friendly cluster of neighbors who all live their lives right in the middle of Charleston's busy suburbs with remarkable simplicity.
I visited Goat Island this past weekend and I had a wonderful time. My hostess, Sara Sanders, picked me up on a small motor boat from the Morgan Creek docks. I climbed into the boat carefully, my notebook tucked into the nook between my body and arm. It was a gorgeous day. Despite the fact that we were surrounded by people on elaborate party boats, drinking beer and sunning themselves in the October sun, I felt like Sara and I were on a secret expedition.
Her house was charming. It was the kind of house I would hope to have - beach casual and filled to the brim with items worthy of conversation. In the back she has two pet goats, both I fed with a handful of Honey Nut Cheerios. Their names were Muriel and Otis. And let's not forget her friendly lab, Callie.
One of the best parts of the morning was traveling the dirt road in Sara's golf cart to visit the neighbors. We rode through the thick brush and Sara would point out the different houses (some quite hidden in the trees) along the stretch of "road," telling me about each neighbor. It enthralled me that she knew everyone. The island is so intimate, yet everyone has the space to enjoy the entire, wild world.
Of course, Sara's neighbors were talkative and welcoming. They gave me a tour of their main house and guest house. Everyone is hospitable on the island - perhaps it is the fact that you can arrive only by boat. I've always noticed how much friendlier people are on the water. I even read them a poem.
I didn't want to leave Goat Island but the call of duty eventually demanded that I do so. After a yummy lunch, including a piece of chocolate cake, Sara brought me back to the docks. Fortunately, she said I was welcome to visit again any time that I wanted to. It was probably the best invitation I've ever gotten.
I might take her up on it soon.