August 12, 2018

The ocean pounded the shore when we arrived at Atlantic Beach on July 22 for a seven-day stay.

“Pounded” really doesn’t capture its character. It churned and roiled.

We rented a beachfront cottage at Ocean Ridge, a knotty-pine paneled, weather-tested but well-kept home owned by…


August 12, 2018

I take my little dogs outside to our small, enclosed patio every evening. When it’s cold or raining, we generally head back inside in a hurry. Other nights we linger.

On the nights we stay outside for awhile, we hear a variety of sounds. Dogs bark, people on their own patios talk and laugh.…


August 11, 2018

The first guitar that I ever knew was an old and poorly constructed dime-store model that my father brought home in 1966. He could play two chords. I did good to pluck two strings.

The instrument’s neck was so warped it could shoot arrows. At five, my small hand produced only dead or buzzy…

Guitar and case.jpg

August 05, 2018

Dick Spangler, who died July 22, changed my life dramatically and forever. That makes it hard to write an objective and proper tribute to the Charlotte business leader and former president of the University of North Carolina System.

First of all, he would not have liked the use of the word…


August 04, 2018

I left the house key on our dog Max for my buddy Joe Talbert last week—which means he was coming to town for a visit. This time, he left his carpentry skills in his toolbox.

I’ve written many times here about Joe’s helping me with everything from new flooring to home additions to…

Joe and Jon.jpg

July 29, 2018

My younger sister Nancy is returning to the United States after a two-year stint working in Italy. 

While across the ocean, Nancy and her family had the marvelous opportunity to travel all over Europe. She noted on her Facebook page that each country had something unique to offer and that…


July 28, 2018

Our little dog, Max, recently held a group meeting in front of the family flat-screen where he gave a PowerPoint presentation outlining an ambitious business proposal. Max, who has banked plenty of ideas but no startup capital, has been working on a new line of designer collars, chew toys, and…


July 26, 2018


The American Athletic Conference’s “Power 6” campaign has been complemented lately by big-time success on the football field — topped by Central Florida going undefeated last season — but the Power 6 term has barely registered with the national media and…

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July 22, 2018

If you spent an afternoon impatiently vacuuming up hundreds of thousands of sand grains from your hair and shoes and are perhaps a little annoyed at their persistence, know that they are grains of history, a long and patient history.

Each one is an artifact, a memento of a long-ago place and time,…

joy moses-Hall.jpg

July 21, 2018

When we moved from eastern North Carolina back to East Tennessee, I thought the war on bugs would require less firepower. I was wrong and I’m calling in the big guns.

The occasional appearance of giant fishing spiders has become more annoying than startling. Roaches are minimal, and…

Ants in the Kitchen.jpg
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