My 4 degrees of separation from the orphan train

tamrawilson Uncategorized

Yes, it’s true. My great-grandmother Sarah McGuirk was an orphan sent by rail from New York City to live with a farm family in Piatt County, IL in 1860. I’ll be talking about her Wednesday, Aug. 14 at the Museum of History in downtown Newton. The Newcomers of Catawba County have invited me to present my talk as a Road …

Media, AC, bullies factor into long division

tamrawilson Uncategorized

If there’s one thing writers like to do, it’s talk. All those hours of solitude leave us hungry for live dialog. That was evident at a recent writers’ conference in Virginia. I had breakfast with two strangers—a man from Philadelphia and a woman from Roanoke, VA. Of course the topic came around to—what else—politics. I expressed was how unpleasant—maybe dangerous—it …

Summertime is . . .

tamrawilson Uncategorized

Ah summer! There’s something about this overheated time of year that makes us shift gears and relish the season and remember good stuff when we were kids. I’m no exception. For me, summer is: 1.  Fresh-squeezed lemonade. 2.  Snacks in a picnic cooler. 3.  Reading a paperback novel under a beach umbrella. 4.  The aroma of coconut oil. 5.   Carnival …

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 …