Old writings

Ok, so here’s what I did. I’ve got a lot of old writing:

  • Columns from The Chapel Hill (NC) Weekly
  • Editorials, interviews, and features from Carrboro (NC) Free Press
  • Random poetry, letters, and musings
  • Editorials and features from The Daniel Island (SC) News

None of this stuff made it onto the internet, so I’m doing my best to gather it here on this blog. I’m trying to publish under the original dates, so even though I’m posting in 2016 you will see posts going back years. The tag cloud in the sidebar will help you navigate.

I hope you enjoy!

Eau de vie

~~ Originally printed in Carrboro (NC) Free Press, June 2009 ~~

Have you seen the mom song on YouTube? “Momsense.” Comedian Anita Renfroe has set “everything a mother says in one 24-hour period” to the music of the William Tell Overture. It’s hilarious. My kids played it for me, of course. I’m not especially YouTube literate yet.

She’s got the old standards: “Did you wash behind your ears? Don’t make me come down there! If all your friends jumped off a cliff would you jump too?” And she’s definitely got the twenty-first century momisms down: “No texting at the table. No more computer time tonight. Your iPod’s my iPod if you don’t listen up.” The children thought it was gloriously funny. But they were a bit puzzled by the presumed universality of the lyrics. Momsense is not exactly a precise replication of the mom in our house. Continue reading

Say cheese

~~ Originally printed in Carrboro (NC) Free Press, May 2009 ~~

I don’t drink milk, but I am sure that I consume far more than my share of dairy products. In my house I swear we go through a quart of half and half and a pound of butter every week. Then there’s the whole milk yogurt and sour cream. Oh, and the cheese.

Right now in the fridge there is chevre, mozzarella string cheese, baby swiss, sharp cheddar, shredded parmesan, parm in a can, also known as shake-shake, a chunk of coveted Dubliner, and a container of homemade pimento cheese. And this is when we are in short supply and badly in need of doing some shopping. Continue reading

The skin I’m in

~~ Originally printed in Carrboro (NC) Free Press, May 2009 ~~

I have spent far too much time hating my skin:

It’s translucent and shows everything. Sharp hipbone, clavicle, rib. Purple capillaries on my eyelids. Blue veins on my legs.

There were those red hemangiomas that appeared in childhood, and then again during three pregnancies. On my hands, my chest, my face.

The freckles that pop as soon as I venture into the sun. On my face, my shoulders, my chest. Continue reading


~~ Originally printed in Carrboro (NC) Free Press, May 2009 ~~

Church was never about the words.

There were some things that I liked about going to Calvary Baptist Church in Toast, NC: I liked when I got to go to Papa Stone’s Sunday School class for “young marrieds” and draw with markers on his big pad of chart paper. That was much better than when I went to the children’s Sunday School class and people looked at me funny because I had no idea what they were talking about with that John-three-sixteen stuff. I mean, really, what did they mean by all that “whosoevers” and “believeths.” No one in Chapel Hill used words like that. Continue reading

The dirt

~~ Originally printed in Carrboro (NC) Free Press, April 2009 ~~

There is a lot of dirt in my life. And I’m OK with that. Really. I’m OK.

Let me clarify. If someone in a white starched apron arrived at my door to vacuum up glitter and grit and mop up maple syrup and dried melted ice cream spills and clean the bathrooms and do eight loads of laundry and take out the trash and organize school papers and mail, I would welcome him with sobs of joy, hand over the shopping list, ask for a solid dinner plan and tell him I’d be back so he could do my toes around noon.

I have fantasies of living in a clean house. Continue reading

Spring bounty

~~ Originally printed in Carrboro (NC) Free Press, April 2009 ~~

I’m not a farmer. I don’t garden. I couldn’t grow kudzu on a bet. Even houseplants die on my watch. Query: Has anyone—I mean, anyone—else ever neglected a philodendron to its death? And I’m talking dead-dead, not ooh-that-looks-pretty-bad-dead. I never even succumbed to the Chia Pet craze, instinctively knowing at a tender age that Chia Puppy was doomed to malnutrition and mange under my feeble care. Continue reading

She’s with the band

~~ Originally printed in Carrboro (NC) Free Press, April 2009 ~~

Sometimes I feel like I am surely the only person in Carrboro without any musical aspirations. I’m not in a band. I’ve never been in a band. I’ve never even been “with” the band. I did have a crush on one of the guys in the Monday Mood back in the day at Chapel Hill High, if that counts for anything.

I don’t write songs. I can’t even begin to read music. I think the last time I played an instrument was when Ms. Cantrell taught us to play Greensleeves on the recorder at Seawell Elementary School, circa 1979. Ms. Cantrell is now teaching music to my two youngest children. At Carrboro Elementary. But I digress. Continue reading

Taking care of our young

~~ Originally printed in Carrboro (NC) Free Press, March 2009 ~~

Do you subscribe to the helicopter mode of parenting, or are you into raising free-range kids?

Here’s a quiz:
Your children are at sleepover camp for two weeks. On the Saturday they stay over you
A) are at the camp gates before dawn, tearfully clutching a teddy bear and homemade cookies, waving a banner that says “I LOVE YOU (insert child’s name here)!!!”
B) sleep late and make plans to do something decidedly fun that does NOT involve cooking, cleaning or chauffeuring
C) do neither but later feel both regret and guilt for not doing the one or the other. Continue reading