It’s only been two weeks, but I feel like I’ve lived a year since my last dispatch. It used to be that winters were pretty quiet around here, but thanks to newer events making scheduling autumn soirees an increasingly difficult task, January has become the new October. In my house, we began making our rounds Jan. 4, with a seaside canine get-together at the home of Alex and Ron Binkney, hosted by dog trainer extraordinaire, Scott Hendley. My Gladys, a 10 lb. Shih Tzu mix, accompanied me. She stayed on the sidelines for the most part, but she enjoyed socializing with the other dogs, and paying a late (early?) visit to Santa Claus.

Speaking of events, our centerpiece highlights three fundraising fests coming up in the next couple of weeks – all centered around food. First on the schedule is the St. Simons Land Trust Oyster Roast, which will be Jan. 18 at Gascoigne Bluff Park, on St. Simons Island. On Jan. 19, the Glynn Community Crisis Center will hold its signature event, A Taste of Glynn, at the King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort. The following weekend, sandwiched between Cabaret on Jan. 24, which benefits the Coastal Symphony of Georgia, and Merry Mardi Gras Mixer to benefit the Boys and Girls Clubs of Southeast Georgia, is the Brunswick Rockin’ Stewbilee. The fun continues Feb. 1, when Glynn Visual Arts hosts its inaugural Art of Flight event. We have the details on these and other upcoming events, within the issue.

We also dropped in on several events recently, including the opening of Leigh Kirkland’s new exhibit at Glynn Visual Arts, the launch of The Southern Coterie’s Golden Isles Membership Chapter and the 30th anniversary celebration of Golden Isles Arts & Humanities. Because of these fun events, we have plenty of photos of people you know.

Literary columnist Cary Knapp reviews the novel at the center of the upcoming “The Big Read,” which will get under way in February. “In the Heart of the Sea” by Nathaniel Philbrick tells a harrowing tale of survival in the open sea close to the Galapagos Islands.

In Coastal Home, we visit our friends at Pierce & Parker Interiors, and talk with Lori Harden and Julie Willis about top decorating trends for 2020. Be prepared for lush colors, luxurious fabrics, and a little bit of retro flavor during the upcoming year. Real estate reporter Gordon Jackson explores purchasing historic homes in downtown Brunswick, and horticulture columnist Anne Ditmer talks about new seed varieties she’s planting now for spring.

Our Q&A pages are enchanting. Rob Robinson is the focus of our Local Q&A, and we learn about his new venture, how he likes to spend his free time and who he most admires locally. In our Newcomer Q&A, we meet Molly Green, who grew spending summers on Sea Island, and has moved to the Golden Isles with her husband and daughters. After living in New York City for almost two decades, she finds our slower pace a huge respite.

In the spotlight for our Realtor Q&A, Glynn County native Larry Delaney takes center stage. He talks about his family, his love for fishing and the book that inspired him to become a Realtor. Our designer, is Liane Brock, who owns Wiregrass Studio with her husband, Nathan. She talks about her passion for architecture, her mentor John Tuten, and her love for paddling the Altamaha in her spare time.

On a personal note, my friend Nancy Thomason is closing island institution Beachview Books after many years in business at the Pier. This is the first place I felt at home on SSI, and through Nancy, I made a number of lifelong, true-blue friends and met bestselling authors, including Tina McElroy Ansa, George Dawes Green, Bill Diehl and the beloved Eugenia Price, inside those magical blue doors. A neighborhood loses something when it loses an independent bookstore, so I’m sad to see it go. I’m even sadder that I can’t just pop in on Nancy and her wonderful husband, Slavko Chakovan, whenever I like. Beachview Books was a place where all two-legged creatures and most four-legged ones were welcome, and hospitality, good conversation and deep friendships were found. She’s there until the end of the month. Stop by and pick up a book and show her some love.

In the meantime, enjoy the issue.