War casualties represent more than numbers

tamrawilson Uncategorized

On May 26, I joined a small crowd at the Memorial Day ceremony in Eastview Cemetery in Newton, NC. I hadn’t been to such a ceremony in several years, and for me, it was a solid reminder of the phrase “freedom isn’t free.” We honored American service men and women for their sacrifice in the line of duty. There was …

Laurel and Hardy moments live on with each telling

tamrawilson Uncategorized

There’s often something funny about the unexpected. One morning, I opened the refrigerator, as usual. Suddenly the entire door came off its hinges. Bottles of jam, salad dressings, drinks and condiments came crashing to the floor. My bare foot was in inches of being crushed. Luckily, none of the glass broke and my husband was home to help lift the …

It’s spring; here come the tree butchers

tamrawilson Uncategorized

It’s spring and the tree butchers are out. You know the crews that go door-to-door in search of trees to scalp. Recently I saw their handiwork south of Newton:  beautifully shaped hardwoods reduced to the shape of surgical gloves. Glorious trees with full canopies were ridiculously pruned into GI haircuts, or shaved in half or worse yet, cut to become …

Maiden Newton graces the UK map too

tamrawilson Uncategorized

I’m a sucker when it comes to history—especially family history. Recently while perusing the “maps” and migration section of Ancestry DNA, I checked out County Dorset, the area in southwestern England where some of my ancestors originated. That’s what my DNA test claims, and my paper trail confirms it: Dorchester, England and nearby Weymouth were where my fishermen—Thomas Gardiner, John …

That bridge too far, over the Chesapeake

tamrawilson Uncategorized

Last week I drove over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, again. This bridge, just east of Annapolis, is nearly 380 feet high—enough to clear the mast of a tall ship with 200 feet to spare—and more than four miles long. I’m not alone with my gephyrophobia (fear of bridges).This bridge is so scary that drivers actually hire a service to drive …

Girl Scout cookies & hermit crabs

tamrawilson Uncategorized

s Having been a Girl Scout as a child, and later, an assistant troop leader and employee of the local Girl Scout Council, the “green” month of March always reminds me of my scouting days. Girl Scout Week honors founder Juliette Low’s birthday, and as any good Girl Scout has learned—occurred on March 12, 1912, at the family home on …

Our mailbox runneth over with junk

tamrawilson Uncategorized

It comes in droves six days a week. A flurry of flyers, a few bills and invariably, three or four sealed envelopes soliciting donations for everything from political causes to charities, religious groups and public television. Stuff we call junk mail. Some appeals brazenly enclose bait, trapped in glassine windows: a nickel, a dime… anything to get you to open …

No joy? Then off it goes

tamrawilson Uncategorized

Recently my pastor posted a photo of his overflowing office bookshelves on Facebook. “Marie Kondo has no clue.” The person he was referring to is the queen of neat. Kondo’s best-selling book is subtitled, “The life-changing magic of tidying-up,” and it has been a worldwide best-selling guide for those who want to be better organized. Kondo’s de-junking test sounds simple.  …

Why I love Valentine’s Day

tamrawilson Uncategorized

Being born on Aug. 14  meant Valentine’s Day was my half-way mark, and suffering through the winter doldrums, the bright spark of candy and cupcakes were a welcome relief. The year I was 4 ½ Mom threw a cupcake party for me and the neighbor girl to celebrate my half birthday— any excuse to brighten a snowy February day. I …