High egg prices won’t be over easy

tamrawilson Uncategorized

Recently, I saw a dozen eggs priced at $8.30. Granted, they were organic eggs at Publix, but still. The national average is $4.25 per dozen right now, roughly triple from last January. Agriculture forecasters say that prices will trend downward this year, but don’t expect eggs to cost what they did a year ago. As most of us know, the …

Essays that tickle the funny bone

tamrawilson Uncategorized

A funny thing happened at a writer’s club meeting last fall. My friend and colleague, Lisa Williams Kline, suggested we team up to give a presentation on our recent collections of essays. Both books contain a lot of humor, she said. She was referring to my book, Going Plaid in a Solid Gray World, and hers, The Ruby Mirror. In …

Christmas displays: The kitschier the better

tamrawilson Christmas, Uncategorized

This year considered another pilgrimage to McAdenville or Tanglewood, but Saturday evening, we opted to avoid the lines and stay local. We drove slow past homes in Newton, Conover, Rock Barn, Mountain View and Startown. We oohed and ahhed at glowing shrubbery, porch railings and rooflines, the whimsical cartoon figures and solemn Josephs and Marys. A brick ranch, the home …

My favorite Christmas

tamrawilson Toys, Uncategorized

The “Hickory Daily Record” invited me to share thoughts on my “favorite Christmas.” This piece appeared on Dec. 25. For me it was the year of Patti Playpal, the doll Santa brought when I was in kindergarten. 1959 was probably the last Christmas I fully believed in Santa Claus—reindeer on the roof, jingling sleigh bells and all. Somehow Santa had …

Be someone’s blessing; Stock that box

tamrawilson Uncategorized

Chances are you’ve seen Blessing Boxes, those cabinets on legs in church parking lots. A Blessing Box is a “Little Free Pantry” that provides nonperishable food (like cereal, canned soup, Beenie Weenies) as well as hygiene items (like soap, deodorant and toothpaste) for people in need. Last summer I noticed a Blessing Box near my son’s home in Hickory, and …

Power outage glimpses life without white noise

tamrawilson Uncategorized

When the remnants of Hurricane Nicole swept through the area Friday, winds took out a tree on McKay Road. Those of us south of Newton heard the power go out at 11:47 a.m. I say “heard,” because electrical power outages have their own sound. It’s not so much the scream of the microwave or the snap of lamps going dark. …

Newly released census offers time travel to 1950

tamrawilson Uncategorized

Images of the 1950 federal census were made public earlier this year, and those of us who enjoy family research have been delving into this trove from 72 years ago. The release was determined by a 1978 law that stipulated the federal government would not release personally identifiable information about an individual to any other individual or agency until 72 …

Tour sites often not what you expect

tamrawilson Tour sites

When I visit a famous place, I’m often surprise and how the site is larger or smaller than I imagined, or that it’s oriented a different way. Washington, DC is always larger than what I remember from previous visits—especially if you’re walking from place to place in broiling summer heat or freezing wind. Maps may fool you into thinking the …

Reflections on being a royal watcher

tamrawilson Queen Elizabeth II

I was watching the TV monitor at the nail salon when a special bulletin broke into regular programming: Queen Elizabeth II had died. I felt immediately sad, as if I’d lost a dear relative. I’ve been a royal watcher since childhood. My mother, who had followed the drama surrounding Wallis Simpson and Edward VIII, had remained fascinated with Britain’s Royal …