Family Story: Baked Beans on the Ceiling

“Are those…baked beans…on my kitchen ceiling, Grandmother?” It was my mom’s perturbed voice. You could also tell when she was perturbed by how she called somebody. Granny Grace—my great grandmother—was always just Granny, or maybe occasionally Gracie, but ‘Grandmother’ was the moniker mom used when Gracie did something vexing. Come to think of it, Gracie … Continue reading Family Story: Baked Beans on the Ceiling

Travel Story: Three Days in Wilmington

Downtown Wilmington, North Carolina straddles a line that lies somewhere between the urban luster of downtown Charlotte, and its well-heeled, Old-Money South Carolina neighbor, Charleston. It’s decidedly scrappier than either city, yet possesses the allure of the Coast and the emergent culture of a city coming into its own as a destination. The Chef and … Continue reading Travel Story: Three Days in Wilmington

Travel Story: Four Days in Charleston

Really, it was four days in nearby Mt. Pleasant, SC, with a single worthwhile diversion into downtown Charleston. This was the trip we planned last summer, to see my ex-sister-in-law-but-still-my-sister and her sweet Waco-the-Lab. But last year Hurricane Irma had other plans, thus derailing ours. Weather. It’s why we chose July this time around instead … Continue reading Travel Story: Four Days in Charleston

Travel Story: One Night in Charlotte

The plans to meet us in Charlotte unfolded exactly the way all the twenty-something’s plans do, fraught with angst, vacillating wildly between Yes-I’m-Coming and No-I-Can’t, and with no small measure of hand wringing and car polishing, I am guessing. Because when your mom-who-lives-a-thousand-miles-away comes within spitting distance of where you are right now, it’s obviously … Continue reading Travel Story: One Night in Charlotte

Dogged Adventures: Asheville Is Noisy

The metal carabiner-like clip that fastens to the harness part of Scout-the-Lab’s seatbelt is maddening, like that childhood game Barrel Full of Monkeys: just when you think you’re about to get it clipped—or unclipped as the case may be—an irksome little hook (think crochet needle) gets hung up and refuses to slip through the metal … Continue reading Dogged Adventures: Asheville Is Noisy