Ode to the Blue Ridge

SG | Fall in the North Carolina Piedmont comes on fast, and the leaves are usually falling before I first notice their color. It is lovely, if fleeting, but I've been spoiled. Spoiled by a fall in Asheville many years back. I have since failed to time a trip to Western North Carolina to coincide... Continue Reading →

Where Terrifying Little Things Thrive

SG | The other day I rounded the corner to the front yard to find my five-year old daughter determinedly sizing up a Japanese maple tree. She had her climbing shoes on — that is, any foot covering ranging from flip-flops to rain boots. “Daddy, can you clear this tree for me?” she asked, matter-of-factly.... Continue Reading →

Burger with a Side of Corndog

SG | Somewhere along the line, I began judging restaurants by the quality of their sides. Anyone can do a meat or a main course, I figure, but to really nail that side of asparagus and make it memorable in its own right? That takes skill. This belief truly took hold in a Nepalese restaurant... Continue Reading →

The Long Dozen | Vol. 2

CG | We're knee-deep in the winter slog now, with the festivities of Christmas and New Years little more than fading memories. David Lowery once posited that "There is nothing in this world more bitter than spring," but I'd counter that with a look at the long, grey, bone-chilling monotony of a Southern February. Let's dig... Continue Reading →

Bare Feet on Yellow Grass: Christmas in the South

CG | Christmas in the South is a strange critter. The traditional imagery of a be-snowflaked holiday wonderland — peopled with rosy-cheeked carolers, horse-drawn sleighs, and lovable scamps bundled up for a snowball fight in a Rockwellian backdrop of evergreens and capacious snowmen — simply doesn’t square with the reality of December in the South. Ours is... Continue Reading →

Two Family Recipes for Your Holidays

CG & SG | We were extravagantly spoiled growing up. Each Thanksgiving and Christmas, we were dressed slightly fancier than usual and driven the scant half mile to our grandparents' house, where dinner was ready and waiting. Granny was likely finishing some prep work, but we were oblivious to it, either listening to Pop catch... Continue Reading →

Recapturing the Essence of a State Fair

SG | Alabama State Fairgrounds, circa 1989. I can’t be sure of the year, but it most likely followed the summer release of Michael Keaton’s Batman because I can be sure of the shoes I wore: purple and white Joker edition converse All-Stars. My brother was in the decidedly hipper Batman edition (black with yellow... Continue Reading →

The Long Dozen | Vol. 1

CG | If you’re a Gen Xer like me, you probably remember the particular joys of creating mix tapes for friends and loved ones. Maybe you were trying to get a song or two with a little extra meaning onto a cassette for someone you had a crush on. Maybe your little brother discovered that he... Continue Reading →

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