•     By John Nelson

    “The Queen is the only person who can put on a tiara with one hand, while walking down stairs,” attributed to Princess Margaret.

    Sometimes when you go into a forest, you see flowers. Sometimes you see snakes. Sometimes you see both, if you’re lucky.

  • Woodsong, a traditional “walking” neighborhood off Village Road in Shallotte, is celebrating spring with its own festival from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 23.

    Woodsong Porch and Art Stroll will feature art, music and food.

    Sunset River Marketplace art gallery in Calabash has invited about 20 local artists and artisans to showcase their work on 11 porches throughout the community off Pender Road. Winners of a recent Brunswick Community College student art competition will exhibit work inside Woodsong’s meeting hall.

  • The Old Bridge Preservation Society’s fourth annual Strawberry & Wine Festival is the place for strawberry, wine and music lovers to be next Sunday.

    The OBPS is staging its fourth annual seasonal festival from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, April 24, at Silver Coast Winery, 6680 Barbeque Road off Longwood Road (N.C. 904) in the Grissettown community.

  • Get ready to bopple in Holden Beach.

    The beach town’s annual bopple race, when numbered apples are released into the Intracoastal Waterway to determine cash winners, is an annual mainstay at annual Days at the Dock festivities, slated for Saturday and Sunday, April 23 and 24.

    Sponsored by the Greater Holden Beach Merchants Association, this year’s annual festival to kick off the spring season starts at 9 a.m. both days at the festival site under the Holden Beach bridge.

  •  By John Nelson

    O thou weed,

    Who art so lovely fair and smell’st so sweet

    That the sense aches at thee.

                    William Shakespeare, Othello; Act 4, scene 2


     Even weeds can be wonderful.

  •   By Linda Arnold


    It sounds so simple: Say what you mean, and mean what you say.

    Then, why is it so hard?

    It may well depend on how you’re wired. Some of you are quick to speak what’s on your mind. Others hold back.

    This may have to do with early childhood conditioning, or it might have to do with learned behaviors over the years.

  • They’re a vocal legend, and they’re coming to a theater near you.

    The Drifters, scheduled to perform at 7:30 p.m. next Tuesday, April 19, at Odell Williamson Auditorium on the campus of Brunswick Community College, have been a soul and pop phenomenon for more than six decades.

    They are the next scheduled concert and tour stop in the BCCOWA series under the auspices of The Drifters’ original management team.

  • Two-time Grammy-nominated folk singer/songwriter Eliza Gilkyson is the featured performer at Listen Up Brunswick County’s fourth and final concert of its third season.

    The Texas-born artist will perform at 3 p.m. Sunday, April 17, in Odell Williamson Auditorium’s Events Center on the campus of Brunswick Community College.

    Snagging Gilkyson was a real coup for the nonprofit, Listen Up founder Jeannie Dufour said.

    “I have been working on this for more than two years,” she said.

  • The year is 1939. MGM Studio executive producer David O. Selznick has shut down production of “Gone with the Wind” because he doesn’t like the script.

    Costing $50,000 a day while shut down, Selznick brings in legendary screenwriter Ben Hecht and big-time Hollywood director Victor Fleming to revamp the script.

    Locking these men in his office for five days, feeding them nothing but peanuts and bananas, turns this into one of the most hysterical comedies you’ll ever seen.

  • CALABASH — Get ready for food and frolic in our nation’s Seafood Capital.

    The inaugural A Taste of Calabash festival is set for 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, April 16, in Calabash Community Park and at participating businesses.
    The first-time event, anchored at the park at Persimmon Road and Traders Lane, will consist of a variety of nonprofit and crafts vendors, entertainment and children’s activities, says organizer Helen Kapalka of the Calabash Community Services Committee.

  • The arrival of April brings an array of activities for locals and visitors alike. Here’s a closer look at what’s on the calendar in the coming week.

    Free rain garden class

    Brunswick Community College’s South Brunswick Islands Center at 9400 Ocean Highway in Carolina Shores is offering a free Choices continuing-education “rain garden basics” class from 4 to 5 p.m. Thursday, April 14.

    The session will share information on how to build a rain garden in your own home or site using native plants. Pre-registration is required.

  •     By Linda Arnold

    “Get over it.”

    “You’ve gotta get on with your life.”

    “It’s time to move on.”

    You’ve probably heard one of these phrases at some point from a well-meaning friend or relative. Maybe it had to do with something small, or maybe it came after a life-changing event.

    And then there’s the advice:

    “OK, feel sorry for yourself for an hour; then get up and go.”

  •       Take one look at the picture and you know what this week’s mystery plant is: Bamboo. So, that’s what this column is about.

  •  I have a hard enough time remembering my family’s birthdays, much less that March 3 was “What If Pets Had Opposable Thumbs Day?” Apparently, that’s a real thing for some people. In the spirit of this “holiday” observance last month, I thought I’d share with you what I thought would happen if pets actually had opposable thumbs.


    What if cats had thumbs?

  •     You know the old saying: “Early to bed and owning a pet can make you healthier, wealthier and wise.” OK, maybe I added the pet part, but it’s true. We’ve known for decades that owning a pet can improve everything from high blood pressure, heart disease, stress and chronic pain. A new study concludes that pet ownership also saves us billions in health care costs. That’s news worth barking about.

  •  By Linda Arnold


    Happy spring! The rejuvenation of nature — and also ourselves. Ushered in by that fifth season on the calendar: March Madness.

    I’m not sure when bracketology became part of our vernacular, but it’s here to stay. And this years’ NCAA basketball tournament has given rise to lots of examples.

  •     By John Nelson

    Spring seems to be here now … for good? The other night we had a light frost in much of South Carolina , but we left some houseplants out on the front stoop and they don’t seem to be hurt by it. It’s that odd time of year after the daffodils, when crabapples and wisteria are just starting to show color. The birds in my neighborhood really seem to be stretching their vocal cords, too. I think it’s spring!

  • Now that spring has sprung, the Sea Notes Choral Society is wasting no time presenting its spring concert, “That’s What Friends Are For.”

    The popular Brunswick County vocal group has scheduled two performances, at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 2, and 3 p.m. Sunday, April 3, at Odell Williamson Auditorium on the campus of Brunswick Community College in Bolivia.

    Admission is free, but donations are always welcome at performances by the nonprofit organization.

  • One year after its debut, the Old Bridge Preservation Society is presenting another showing of its documentary, “The Heartbeat of Sunset Beach.”

    The showing is scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 5, at Ingram Planetarium at 7625 High Market St. in Sunset Beach. Cake and refreshments will be served at 6:30 p.m. as the OBPS celebrates its fifth birthday.