• You never know what you may find in a kitchen drawer

    I’ve never been one to be too swift on my feet.

    Growing up, if I wasn’t falling down, I was running into doors and other large household objects—like furniture.

    The result was a lot of cuts, bruises and scrapes. Couple that with the fact that every living, breathing, biting insect typically gnawed into my arms and legs, and you can see the picture—I frequently looked like I had been rolling around in barbed wire.

  • Pot haul an all-time high in Sunset Beach

    It’s been deemed the largest cannabis bust in Sunset Beach history.

    On Christmas Eve, during a routine traffic stop of a Lincoln Continental speeding through town, Sunset Beach police got a whiff of something funny and followed up with a consent to search the vehicle.

  • Magical newsprint turns words into not so great real-life events

    I sometimes think that these few inches of newsprint where my column appears every two weeks have magical powers.

    In the past couple of months, there have been multiple instances where something I have written about right in my column has actually happened.

    Take the July 29, 2010, issue, for example. My column, aptly titled “Thankful for the rain but praying a flood is not in our future,” was written days after Shallotte experienced a several-hour power outage during an afternoon rainstorm.

  • Common sense is a necessary mix when it comes to technology

     “Merry Christmas,” a holiday text message blinked across my cell phone, “didn’t know if you heard, but [your uncle] has throat and stomach cancer.”

    Ahh, nothing says Merry Christmas like a text message like that.

    Of course, I knew my uncle had cancer; I had found out about it weeks earlier.

    On Facebook.

    A text message was also how I found out a close relative had spent some time—and hopefully a good lesson learned—in jail for being stupid.

  • New year, new Congress, new General Assembly. New headaches or fresh start?

    Hello, 2011. I’ve been waiting for you.

    After taking some time off for much-needed rest and rejuvenation and enjoying a wonderful holiday season with family and friends, I spent New Year’s Day at a N.C. State basketball game and even managed to down a handful or so of black-eyed peas and a dose of good luck.

    Apparently, I’m still very much a Yankee because I have no idea how to make black-eyed peas taste like anything more than cardboard peas, but all in all, it was a great way to kick off the New Year.

  • East Coast travel troubles finds flyer in a not-so-feel-good time

    Forgive me if I sound like a broken record, but I do need to preface.

    I’m all for airport security, a fan of new technology and respectful of authority.

    That being said, I can’t help but feel a little weary of the advanced image technology and heightened security checkpoints after what I just experienced.

    From my understanding, at checkpoints with the full body scanners, you had a choice. Scan or opt for what many call an “extensive pat-down.”

  • Why is it the older we get, the easier we forget how old we are?

    Hey, 2010, where are you going? It seems like you just got here and already we’re preparing to say goodbye.

    I remember as a child asking older relatives about their ages. Often they would pause, and then do a bit of math in their heads before spitting out an age.

    Frequently, they’d realize they had miscalculated and would soon make a correction and indicate another age, most often a number higher—another year older—than originally thought.

  • White Christmastime is worth a write-up

    FROM THE SNOWY SIDE OF INTERSTATE 40—One of my New Year’s resolutions for 2011 is to keep a better diary—or weather log, whichever comes first.
    Since conditions this week decided to take a turn of white—one for the season and record books—I decided to start early and do both, smack at the tail end of 2010.

  • 2010: The year of the voter and the year their voices were heard

    This past year was a year of a great many things.

    We had some great stories in 2010. We had big news.

    In next week’s Beacon, we take a look at the stories that shaped 2010, and how each one of those stories will undoubtedly shape and affect the future. So, don’t forget to pick up the Dec. 30 issue of the Beacon, where you’ll find those stories.

  • The helpless feeling cancer evokes in many of us


    That word has been filling my ears far too frequently. In the last couple of months, several people I know have had to permanently add that dreaded word to their vocabularies. 

    It’s makes me mad. It makes me sad. It makes me feel helpless.

    This sense of helplessness takes me back to the same emotions I felt several years. Below, I am republishing a column I wrote in 2005 for The Kentucky Standard. It was written when a dear friend—now my husband—learned his father was facing cancer.