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As I write this, I’m winding down from an exhilarating weekend of parties and get-togethers built primarily around the trifecta of fun residents of Coastal Georgia recently experienced – the annual Georgia-Florida game, The World Series, and finally, Halloween. The Braves haven’t made a World Series appearance since 1999, when they won, so a convergence of these three celebratory occasions doesn’t usually occur. A lot of people complain about the crowds, the enthusiastic celebrations, and most of all, the traffic, but I enjoy Georgia-Florida weekend. Much of the conversation is focused on the college kids who visit, but I enjoy watching the alumni get together and reminisce about their good old days, whether those days occurred in the 1950s or the 1990s. There is nothing like the lifelong friends and collective memories one makes in college.

Chocoholic that I am, Halloween is close to my heart. I don’t get any trick-or-treaters in my neighborhood, but I’m slightly envious of the pleasant weather in which kids here enjoy it. I can remember having to bundle up in parkas, ski pants and snow boots just to set out for the evening before negotiating ice- and snow-covered streets and sidewalks – the only evidence of any costume being a cheap plastic mask that prevented me from breathing. I would return home with hauls of candy that would keep me stocked up until the next great candy holiday – Valentine’s. I feel this explains way too much about my dietary habits.

I hope that you’ll find a lot of helpful information in our pages this issue. In our Coastal Illustrated feature, we talk to four local event planners that have all the hints to bring life to any celebration – large, small, casual or over-the-top, these folks have the answers.

If you have a soirée in the future, delving into the Coastal Home feature would be a good first step. Our friends at Taylor House Interiors give some great advice on how to step-up your game with simple changes that can alter the look of your living room and make it the envy of your friends.

Literary columnist Cary Knapp reviews Rick Bragg’s memoir, “The Speckled Beauty: A Dog and His People, Lost and Found,” about a grouchy, broken-down, used-up man and a grouchy, broken-down, used-up dog who find each other. Bragg is one of my favorite writers. A native of Alabama, he writes with a homespun tenderness I find comforting, but don’t let it fool you. He’s also a former journalist, who in 1996, won the Pulitzer Prize for feature writing for his coverage of the Oklahoma City bombing.

Whitney Wise Long is the focus of our Local Q+A. This busy wife and mother of four is a force of nature. She’s the co-founder of The Southern Coterie with Cheri Leavy, and works in the magazine industry. Whitney tells us about her family, how she likes to spend her free time and her enthusiasm for “The Southern C.”

Our Real Estate Q+A is all about Chris Muthig. This family guy has lived most of his life in the Golden Isles, and most of his immediate family lives in the area. An associate broker at Jekyll Realty, Muthig talks about how he spends his free time, and some of the best advice he ever received.

We have three Captured pages this issue – you’ll see people you know from the recent Under the Oaks auction to benefit the Junior League of the Golden Isles, the quarterly 100 Women Who Care event and last, but certainly not least, pictures from the recent pep rally held by the Golden Isles Chapter of the UGA Alumni Association.

Real estate reporter Gordon Jackson explores what steps homeowners should take to winterize their homes, and horticulture columnist Anne Ditmer takes a related topic and applies it to lawns and gardens.

Don’t forget to turn to our Events page before stepping out the next couple of weeks. Activities are returning, and we have the info you need for PorchFest, The RSM Classic golf tournament and the Fur Ball to benefit the Humane Society of South Coastal Georgia.

Finally, Cheri’s Shore Things is packed with specially curated merchandise available at our local merchants. You probably have some free time this weekend, so a little shopping wouldn’t hurt, now would it?

As I said at the beginning – this issue is full useful information, not only to dream about, but to do! Enjoy the issue, and I’ll see you out and about!