Thank Gift Books for our commercial Christmas

tamrawilson Holiday gifts

If you’re basking in afterglow of Christmas with a new read in hand, you’re part of a long-held tradition. Gift books spurred the “commercialization” of gift-giving at Christmas 200 years ago. I ran across this intriguing fact in a recent blog on “Literary Hub.” The title of the article caught my attention: “How the book business invented modern gift-giving.” The …

Dewey’s holiday shop a panoply of delights

tamrawilson Dewey's Bakery, Holiday gifts, The Corner Table

If you’re in a quandary about what to buy folks on your gift list, look no further than Dewey’s Holiday Shop at The Corner Table. Yes, The Corner Table soup kitchen in Newton is hosting a retail branch of Dewey’s Bakery of Winston-Salem. A third of the sales support the local soup kitchen in their mission to feed hungry people …

Going Plaid in a Solid Gray World

tamrawilson Blog, Books, Going Plaid in a solid gray world

Fans of this column are in luck. My book Going Plaid in a Solid Gray World: Collected Columns is out from Red Hawk Publications, the publishing arm of Catawba Valley Community College. A portion of proceeds will benefit The Corner Table, a soup kitchen in Newton. In fact, executive director Summer Jenkins wrote the foreword. Copies are available on my …

Less is more, coming to a store near you

tamrawilson shortages

It was late October and there they were:  fresh cranberries in the produce department! When it comes to cranberry sauce, I’m a purist. My mother taught me this—never settle for a can of solidified sauce with the ridges. Proper cranberry sauce is made with fresh, whole cranberries. Never that canned jellied stuff that demands to be sliced. I don’t normally …

Goodbye is tough business for pet owners

tamrawilson dogs

The minute we welcome a pet into our life, we launch a process that will eventually lead to a painful goodbye. We know this deep down, but we push it aside until there’s no avoiding it. I found myself there—again—last week, placing another resin plaque in my back yard. A month ago, I had one of my dogs euthanized. Saying …

Dorothy Kilgallen had a secret

tamrawilson Dorothy Kilgallen

I’ve spent a lot of time lately watching old game shows on You Tube. It started when an algorithm tagged me as someone who’s a sucker for ‘50s TV programs. Perhaps my viewing Sage Lillyman’s video about making a ’50s cherry cake clued them in. Yes, that must have been it. Sage is an Australian millennial who operates a vintage …

General stores: Just enough of everything

tamrawilson Uncategorized

I like old stores. There’s something about the ambiance, the friendliness, the variety in a tiny space, the hub of everyday necessity. Last month I discovered retro store heaven: Town Hardware & General Store in Black Mountain. Until then I’d never spent much time in Black Mountain, other than the Berliner Kindl German restaurant, which I highly recommend. Up a …