Weymouth. It’s all good

tamrawilson Uncategorized

Pack light. Downsize. Less is more. I realized these mantras last week at a writing residency at Weymouth Center in Southern Pines. This writers’ haven occupies the grand home of novelist James Boyd and his wife Katherine who entertained such literary giants as F. Scott Fitzgerald, Sherwood Anderson and Thomas Wolfe back in the 1920s and 30s. These days the …

Enough dying already

tamrawilson Uncategorized

First it was singer Natalie Cole who died right before New Year’s. Then David Bowie, Alan Rickman, Glenn Frey, Paul Kantner. Big-name entertainers all gone within four weeks of one another. So far, 2016 has been bittersweet. If you’re a Baby Boomer, most of these names are familiar. They rocked our world at one time or another. Rickman, a famed …

The challenge of dated data

tamrawilson Uncategorized

Until last week, a plastic box languished in the bottom of my drawer. The box was the size of a bread loaf containing slices of plastic—computer diskettes from the 1990s–my backup system before flash drives and Carbonite. The last computer that could read the disks was junked three years ago. I tossed the floppies out in a fit of New …

My Patti Playpal Christmas

tamrawilson Uncategorized

TBT.  “Throw Back Thursday” in Facebook language. This past week, I threw myself back to 1960. There in a black-and-white snapshot is my five-year-old self and Patti Playpal, the life-sized doll Santa brought. I remember seeing her for the first time beside our tinsel-draped tree on Christmas morning. In the snapshot I’m standing at the back door in my navy blue …

Keep those cards and letters coming–and going

tamrawilson Uncategorized

If you’re Old School like me, you know early December is Christmas card season. If you have several out-of-towners on your list, you’re preparing a holiday letter too. By cards, I’m not talking emailed Jib Jabs or eCards by Jaquie Lawson. I mean old-fashioned stamp-it and mail-it cards. Determining who to receive your holiday greetings isn’t rocket science, but if …

Doing the Thanksgiving shuffle

tamrawilson Uncategorized

Those who dread a lonesome holiday, listen up. It’s possible to find a friend and trade hosting. I know this because Nov. 26 marks the 30th time we’ve swapped hosting. Our swap began when a friend, Nancy invited us for Thanksgiving turkey in 1986. She and her husband didn’t have family close by either. At the time there were four …

Here come the stink bugs

tamrawilson Uncategorized

A while back a friend from Maine told me that she did not know what a stink bug was. I was incredulous until I realized that a few years ago I didn’t know what one was either. Think of the devil in insect form, I told her—a medieval gray shield buzzing around your home, alighting on white surfaces, hovering near …

Exploring Harper Lee’s Southern wisdom

tamrawilson Uncategorized

Roxboro, NC is hosting a community read about To Kill a Mockingbird. Recently the Person County Public Library asked me to discuss the book as my work as a Road Scholar with the North Carolina Humanities Council. I shared how Harper Lee’s seminal novel set the standard for what we’ve come to expect not only in a child-narrated story, but …