It’s a great time to get away — from the TV

Views and Reviews by Jean McCamy We spent last week in Knoxville, Tenn., a city I have often driven past but never visited before. It was a domestic Friendship Force exchange, and we stayed with a lovely couple and saw lots of interesting things. In Oak Ridge, we saw moon dust...

Google is a great help, mostly

by Jean McCamy Sometimes, we have discussions at our house that go something like this: “Oops. One of my shirts is missing a button.” “Oh, maybe you’re like the guy in Smilin’ Jack.” “Yeah, the one the chicken followed around eating the buttons that popped off his shirt. Guess I...

Journaling needs consistency, storage space

News and Views by Jean McCamy I have always wanted to be a journalist — the kind who keeps a journal of daily events and observations. As a little girl, I regularly added a diary to my Christmas list, and I regularly got those little books with a lock and key and space to fill a...

September brings beautiful day on the farm

by Jean McCamy In September, we always tiptoe around the edges of autumn. A few trees show a blush of red, a few leaves fall, a few mornings are cool enough for a sweater and the hummingbirds disappear one by one. Then, suddenly, there is a day when fall is really here. The air...

Who writes these ads?

News and Reviews by Jean McCamy There are many ways I would hate to have to make my living. Being a TV ad writer is one of them. It is hard to imagine trying to come up with ideas that are going to be seen over and over and over again without becoming loathsome. I don’t even...

Sick of political ads already

Anybody who checked my mailbox these days would think I had a new best friend.  I hear from him almost every day. And these are not flimsy little messages; they are big, full-color cards or bi-folds. If I posted them on my refrigerator, I would have more pictures of him and his...

Taking a look back

In the summer of l966, I attended a writers’ workshop in Raleigh and heard a columnist for the Smithfield newspaper talk about her writing adventures. It sounded like so much fun, I came home and asked Bob and Peggy Allen at The Wake Weekly if I could write a column for them....

From poet to potter, and that’s OK

The recent flap about Gov. McCrory’s probably well-meaning, but totally clueless appointment of a new North Carolina poet laureate (who later resigned) sent me for a look back at my own skimpy collection of published poems. It’s been years since I’ve written any poetry other than...

Son’s a sight in my spectacles

by Jean McCamy As hard as it is for any of us to comprehend, I have middle-aged children, and it has turned out to be quite handy. Ever since I had cataract surgery, I’ve been able to set aside the glasses I have worn since I was nine years old. I can navigate the highways and...

Fifth Fridays bring angst

Many, many years ago I learned the little mnemonic: “Thirty days hath September, April, June and November. All the rest have 31, save February alone. To which we 28 assign, ’til Leap Year gives it 29.” With that, I have been able to keep up with the passing of time, and it has...
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An ode to the tomato days of summer

They’re back — those  gorgeous red and coral and yellow orbs of summer with the exotic names! Because my husband has never met a tomato seed or tomato plant he didn’t like, our garden is aglow with the likes of Mortgage Lifters, Cherokee Purples, Roman Candles, Tommy Toes, Green...
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The sound of fireworks not music to my ears

I realized long ago that I am missing a few of the usual girl genes. I really don’t miss the shopping gene or the pedicure gene or the spa gene or the gym gene. I hate shopping and only do it when absolutely necessary, and usually in stores small enough for me to see the front...