• Lure of Black Friday so enticing, it's set for Thursday

    I swanny, Black Friday Frenzy is bearing down on us again.

    Just when you thought you and all the other turkeys had to wait until Thanksgiving for the usual thick sheaf of newspaper ads offering sneak-peeks into Black Friday sales to be served, retail mavens this year have pulled some fast appetizers.

    Apparently, they’ve been accidentally-on-purpose “leaking” peeks to bargain-shopping websites like BradsDeals.com.

  • True companionship: Goodbye to my little friend O.E.

    He wasn’t the most sociable. He had one person he trusted, and I was lucky enough to be that one.

    O.E.—short for orange eye—was a true companion and friend for five-and-a-half years. His life was cut short this week. I woke up on Monday morning prepared to get him to the vet as soon as it opened, but it was too late.

    O.E. had a tender spirit. He hid every time someone came to my house. He hid when the vacuum cleaner ran. He hid if I made a loud noise. He even hid from me just because he wanted to at times.

  • Restaurant to the rescue when Sandy rains out beach wedding plans

    It was supposed to be a dream wedding for Natalie Gilbert and her fiancé Jeremy Palin.

    Then a lil’ol, I mean big ol’, hurricane named Sandy interfered.

    Hickory resident Cindy Williams, aunt of the bride-to-be, said they’d never dreamed a hurricane would descend like an uninvited guest and try to crash their plans.

    The Indiana couple had been planning their Ocean Isle Beach ceremony for months.

  • Hanging onto the bottom rung: Living in the collapsed economy


    I don’t usually get political, but ’tis the season.

    I am tired of watching hard-working, honest people lose their jobs, remain unemployed and fight to save the things they have worked for all their lives.

  • Willie Nelson concert sellout sets milestone for BCC

    From all early-morning appearances at Odell Williamson Auditorium, the quest to snag tickets for Willie Nelson’s first-ever known concert in Brunswick County wasn’t exactly an overnight, wait-your-turn-in-line campout.

    But it was fierce and significant just the same.

    When auditorium director Mike Sapp arrived at the venue two hours before ticket sales launched at 9 a.m. last Friday for Nelson’s Dec. 7 concert, he encountered just one waiting man seated in a lawn chair near the box office.

  • Brunswick Catch lures appreciative sweepstakes winner for weekend visit

    Reidsville resident Doug Isley was already a fan of the Carolinas coastline when he snagged top prize in this year’s first Brunswick Catch Seafood Discovery Sweepstakes.

    The contest, promoted last spring with co-sponsor Our State Magazine, invited readers and attendees at assorted festivals throughout North Carolina to submit entries for a chance to win an all-expenses-paid weekend visit to Brunswick County.

  • A feast for kings in a world full of peace by the sea

    In a world filled with noise affronting our senses from all directions—from televisions to radios and even day-to-day banter, there is one place I know I can always go to find peace—by the sea.

    It had been more than two months since I last had time to indulge in my favorite activity—doing nothing but sitting in the sand with my dog, a good book and my best friend. This past week I was able to log a few hours doing exactly that.

  • Childhood keepsakes can easily become an adult hoarding pile


    For nearly 35 years, I have dodged an inevitable bullet—Mom cleaning out my childhood bedroom.

    Being somewhat of a transient most of my adult life, I was able to avoid the painstaking task of opening and sorting the boxes—that is until Labor Day weekend.

    I was pretty good at avoiding the problem until this year. I was pretty sure when I moved to Colorado with only what fit in my car that mom and dad weren’t going to be paying to fly 14 boxes of stuffed animals and books to my address.

  • Country fair lures another seasonal crowd of browsers, including this one

    It’s the best yard sale in Sunset Beach.

    That’s my summation of the annual two-day Seaside United Methodist Church Country Fair.

    Some years back, while browsing for bargains and a few story ideas, I happened up on this best-kept secret on the church grounds. I’ve been hooked ever since.

    For years afterward, including this past weekend, I’ve marked the fair with indelible ink in my desk diary.

  • Law enforcement weekend a reminder about who's really laboring

    It had been a long, crazy-quilt week. I was tired. I still had unfinished chores to do at home.

    And I’m sure, given back this time slot at 9 p.m. Friday to be “free” instead of “working,” I’d be at home scrubbing floors, weeding out clutter and straightening closets instead of tuned into cyberspace, “20/20” and “World’s Dumbest.” We’ll never know for absolute sure.