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lori septOne Christmas several years ago, the Monthly staff gave me an unusual present.

Instead of a popcorn sampler tin or one of those assortments of sausage and cheese, I was presented four quarters and a road map to Bluffton.

The quarters were for the toll. The joke around the office back then was I never left the south end of Hilton Head Island. In my defense, I never had a reason.

So how do you relax and unwind? Do you read a good book on the beach? Snuggle with a warm blanket on your couch? Sip a few cocktails at a favorite restaurant?

It’s different for everybody, I guess. For me, nothing is more relaxing and important than working out. After all the sweating is done, I’m less stressed out, less anxious and just a happier person in general.

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-GOODRIDGE-juneGrowing up, I always looked forward to our summer vacations spent on Hilton Head. Our family usually stayed at Turtle Lane Club in Sea Pines, across the street from a wooded path that led straight to the beach.

The beach was like heaven for us kids. So beautiful with so many things to do! We built sand castles, we buried each other in the sand, we checked out the sea critters in tidal pools, we inspected what washed up on the beach — all the stuff kids do here.

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.

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.