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 …

Nothing says VBS like Popsicle crafts, cherry Kool-Aid

tamrawilson Bible School, Uncategorized

Nothing says VBS like Popsicle sticks, cherry Kool-Aid Recently, Southern Living Magazine ran an article about Vacation Bible School being a mark of growing up Southern. I disagree. Bible school was very much a part of my Midwestern upbringing, and I sense the same for other parts of the country. As today, Bible School was centered around a theme, such …

Stars aligned to birth two music legends in June 1942

tamrawilson Uncategorized

Apparently the stars were aligned in June 1942. As World War II blazed, two of the most legendary composers of our lifetime were born: Paul McCartney and Brian Wilson. You may have heard about McCartney turning 80 on June 18, but Wilson’s big day on June 20 slipped by essentially unnoticed by the media, and that’s too bad. Wilson’s might …

Life is short. Use the good dishes.

tamrawilson Cleaning house, Keepsakes, Old stuff, Uncategorized

Most young adults aren’t into the stuff Baby Boomers have collected. What one generation treasures, the next one rejects. It’s true. The bone china and silver that you registered for when you got married may be relegated to Goodwill. When it comes to stuff, there are two kinds of people: keepers and shedders. I am of the former group mostly, …