Commentaries & Essays

Open Mic
11:21 am
Fri December 5, 2014

The Christmas Present

Sarvay Family & Tree

When I was growing up, my parents never took down our Christmas tree. It was a synthetic tree from the 1960s, its faded green branches plasticine and matted, imbued with the soot, tobacco, and laughter of the dozens of Christmases it had presided over, making no pretense of being an actual tree. It was bejeweled/smothered with a cacophany of lights- indoor and outdoor, colored and clear, blinking, non-blinking, and chasing. It was frenetic and tacky, more Jackson Pollack than Norman Rockwell, but we wouldn't have changed a thing about it. 

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Open Mic
2:19 pm
Sun November 30, 2014

Ode to the VIP Concertgoer: An Essay

Recently, I had the pleasure of going to a concert at the Fillmore in Charlotte.  The wildly energetic and eclectic violinist Lindsey Stirling was performing and my friend Claire and I were anticipating magical riffs from her flying fiddle bow.   

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Open Mic
1:34 pm
Tue November 18, 2014

Thanksgiving Traditions

Credit Creative Commons

It starts with some stale white bread. Then a little butter, onion, chicken broth, celery, and salt are added. But for Waynesboro writer and essayist Mollie Cox Bryan, Thanksgiving Day stuffing features another key ingredient. 

Mollie Cox Bryan has a new book out,  A Crafty Christmas: A Cumberland Creek Mystery.  She's also the author of Mrs. Rowe's Little Book of Southern Pies and Scrapbook of Secrets, among other books.  For more information, visit her website.

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Open Mic
1:21 pm
Thu November 13, 2014

Gluten Free-Range Bananas: The Modern Eater

Every morning, I eat a banana for breakfast.  My banana is not a gluten free-range banana.  Nor is it a banana with a sticker that proclaims, “No tarantulas were harmed in the picking of this fruit.”  It is a plain old banana.

When did eating become so complicated?

My paternal grandparents, Santa and Sebastiano, cooked simple dishes based on recipes straight from the Old Country. Some of my earliest and most traumatic food-related memories are based on meals served in their apartment.

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Open Mic
12:09 pm
Tue October 21, 2014

Wedding Busywork: Restless Hand Syndrome

June is the traditional month for weddings, but it turns out fall ceremonies are increasingly popular. 

Charlottesville author Janis Jaquith is looking forward to her daughter's wedding, and wondering why some people make the whole process much more complicated than necessary. 

I am not a crafty person. I don’t use “scrapbook” as a verb, and I don’t own a glue gun.

But now that my daughter is about to get married, some latent, ancient itch has overtaken me, and suddenly, I need to keep my hands moving, making wedding preparations.         

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