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.

lori-musicMove over Eric Clapton. With my guitar, I just may hop on the next midnight train out of town. Forget mortgage payments, phone bills and job responsibilities — I’ve got places to go and blues to sing.

Just two problems. Problem 1: I’ve never seen a train on Hilton Head.

Problem 2: I have absolutely no idea of how to play this thing. For some people, music comes naturally. I’m not one of those people. In fact, one could argue I don’t have a musical bone in my body.

I took voice lessons when I was in grade school. My sister Debi could sing so I figured I should be able to sing as well. After my very first recital, my parents decided to replace the voice lessons with art lessons.

lori-blog-apr14April is such a magical month in the Lowcountry. For me, it means I can plant my herb garden, take my beach chairs out of storage and get my deck ready for entertaining. Most of all, it means Heritage!

As always, Monthly celebrates Hilton Head Island’s biggest event with a special issue dedicated to all facets of this amazing local event.

lori-blog-mar14Each morning on my way to work I pass the life-size, bronze statue at Compass Rose Park called, “Walking the Alligator.” As many locals know, the statue is a reproduction of a 1962 photo of Sea Pines founder Charles Fraser that was published in the Saturday Evening Post.

The statue speaks to Fraser’s vision — how careful planning and strict covenants can create a livable community that time does not change. We live in a community where bike paths, homes, landscaping, development and landscaping all work in harmony to preserve natural beauty.

lori-blog-feb14Hilton Head Island, Bluffton and the surrounding Lowcountry are known for many things. The beauty, the beach, the weather, the golf, the culture, the food, the lifestyle … the list goes on and on.

We also happen to be a world-class wedding destination. Each year, couples from all over come to the island and mainland to exchange their vows and begin the rest of their lives together. The beauty of the Lowcountry makes the perfect backdrop for a fairy tale wedding.

Monthly has always recognized the impact the local wedding industry has on our economy.

lori-blog-jan14Here at Monthly, we have our “Intriguing People of the Lowcountry” each January.

It’s not a list of the most successful, though one could argue all of the people on this year’s list are.

It’s not a collection of the richest people, though all of them happen to be — rich with talent, rich with experience or rich with life.

It’s not the most beautiful, though this is an attractive bunch.

best-team-ever

The Monthly Team, front row, from left: Lori Goodridge-Cribb, Lance Hanlin, Charles Grace, Marc Frey .
Back row: Majka Yarbrough, Rebecca Verbosky, Jeremy Swartz, Cathy Flory.

The holiday season is a time to be thankful and to celebrate the blessings that we have received.

At MONTHLY, our mission is to “Connect The Lowcountry.” Each month we intensely focus on content to produce original and credible stories that keeps the readers engaged, using the most talented writers, contributors and photographers in our area.

Through print, our digital editions, the website and our newsletters, we reach an audience of more than 100,000, including full-time residents, second-home owners and visitors.

lori-blog-novThere is that scene from “The Wizard of Oz” when Dorothy and Toto go from black-and-white Kansas to the beautifully colored Land of Oz. That is the best way I can describe the first time my car pulled off U.S. 278 and entered the gates of Berkeley Hall.

It’s like you’ve gone over the rainbow into another world.

Everything is just so vibrant and perfect.

Lavish estate homes, beautifully manicured landscaping, postcard-type views of the Okatie River and surrounding Lowcountry. Everything about the place exudes luxury.

loriblog-octIt’s easy to take shortcuts in our line of work. With just 12 issues each year, it’s easy to do the expected -- January will be the New Year’s issue, February will be the Valentine’s Day issue, March will be the St. Patrick’s Day issue and so on. It’s a rut many community-based magazines fall into.

Boring and predictable.

Here at Monthly, we aim to produce content that adds to the identity and pride of the communities we serve.

We want to be informative but we also want to be entertaining and somewhat unpredictable. We try to give readers a reason to pick us up each month.