Every year, our August issue is one of our favorites because the stories in it are about pure and boundless types of love—the best part of the decidedly mixed bag called human nature. Our love for our pets, the rewards and challenges of caring for the elderly, and the daily efforts of both parents and teachers in the long march to educate children prove that, as a species, we’re hard-wired for goodness.
And because in the Lowcountry we believe that “enjoy life” should be at the top of every resident’s to-do list, the features in this issue suggest ways to enjoy to the fullest our pets, our golden years and the return to school, among other topics. Did you know that people in the U.S. last year spent $69.5 billion on their pets, according to the American Pet Products Association? We’re willing to bet some of that money went to groomers charged with primping dogs and cats to outshine the competition in “Cutest Pets” contests such as ours.
We had 102 entries this year, and more than 1,000 votes were cast. We’re not going to let the cat out of the bag here—turn to page 84 to find out who won. Hint: he has short hair so he probably won’t spend much at a grooming salon, and he will grow up to be too big for most of the cute outfits people are putting on canines these days.
Another special section in this issue highlights compassionate care for seniors. Our metrics show that many of our readers are part of the so-called “sandwich generation,” which is made up of adults caring for both their own children and their aging parents. We don’t have to tell you that this time of life can be both rewarding and stressful. But look at the photo above and on page 94—these Bluffton women on the dock with their wine glasses are part of a nonprofit network of senior volunteers who care for each other. And by the looks of them, they’re doing just fine in each other’s company.
In the South, August means back-to-school, and Monthly has the latest education trends and school profiles on pages 49-63. But for children, the eighth month of the year is all about squeezing the most out of the end of summer. To this end, writer Barry Kaufman serves up a smorgasbord of ideas for family activities in the Lowcountry, and travel correspondent Clay Bonnyman Evans takes us off the beaten path to nearby sections of the Appalachian Trail.
We’re proud of the hard work that went into this issue and hope you enjoy reading it as much as we enjoyed putting it together. Thank you for being with us on this incredible journey!