Every year of our girlhood, my sister and I woke up early on Thanksgiving Day, sat at the kitchen barstools in our pajamas and helped my mom break up cornbread and biscuits so we could make my great grandmother’s dressing recipe. Throughout the day, the house would fill with smells of turkey, macaroni and cheese, sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie. Sometime mid-morning, my grandparents would drive up from Travelers Rest, S.C., to join in on the festivities.
Finishing up my scrambled eggs and black cherry yogurt, I washed the dishes in the small sink. Dried off my hands and took another sip of my coffee. Mosey over to my ragged desk in my humble abode, in front of a dusty window with a slight view of Russ Avenue in downtown Waynesville.
When practice begins each year for the new high school marching band season, summer is still bearing down, the sun boiling high in the August sky as a bunch of confused teenagers take their first tentative steps toward learning what will eventually become an intricate show with about 10,000 moving parts.
On Veterans Day, we commemorate the service of members of the armed forces of the United States, past and present. But for some of those veterans, the call to serve persists long after they take off their uniforms for the last time and return to civilian life.
By the time you read this, my folks will be motoring through Southwestern Virginia, probably deciding whether to just keep driving back to their native Upstate New York via Interstate 81 or maybe east onto I-64 and Charlottesville to visit Monticello again.
Being a mom is always hard, but there is something uniquely challenging about parenting an adolescent. For me, it felt like my 12-year-old morphed into a young man overnight. Within one calendar year, he grew six inches and three shoe sizes. I watched his pants grow shorter each day like he was a superhero molting into a larger, more powerful form. Suddenly his voice was deeper, and I found myself grasping for his little boy octave, the one without the baritone sound and crackly inflection.
There is the dream my wife has every so often that haunts her. She’s on vacation and it’s the last day, time to pack up and go back home, and she realizes with this profoundly sick, panicky feeling that she hasn’t been to the beach even once and now it’s too late.
This week’s column comes to you from a campground picnic table in Hershey, Pennsylvania. My boyfriend and I are on a weeklong RV adventure with our cumulative seven children. In January, we decided against a yearly beach trip and instead created a plan to visit three different amusement parks via giant recreational vehicle.
George Vanderbilt first opened Biltmore, his magnificent private estate, to family and friends on Christmas Eve 1895. Today, his descendants continue welcoming guests with that same spirit of gracious hospitality.
We’re all aware that many items in the supermarket have increased in price, so it will be no surprise to discover that this year it will be more expensive to put a Thanksgiving meal on the table. Here are some ways to save: