Until I got married 20 years ago, I didn’t watch much TV. Perhaps because I liked to read and was always in the bed no later than 9 — yes, really — I was never up late enough for the good shows. And this was before TIVO and other DVRs. I’d get home from work around 7, maybe jog a few miles, …

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I had a vague memory that I’d already written about our flora and fauna this year and realized I’d asked “Has spring sprung?” in a February column. Perhaps those early signs of spring were an indicator of the hot summer to come. Unlike us, the creatures that populate our personal nature pres…

I always feel as though I’m taking my life in my hands when we drive downtown during rush hour, and I’m thankful it’s not something I do often. My husband had a follow-up doctor’s visit at Emory Midtown one morning, and the first bit of good news was we made it down there without mishap.

Ever since the college admissions bribery scandal broke in March, I’ve wanted to write a column about my thoughts, but whenever I’d sit down to do that, I’d see yet another article about the whys and wherefores. I’d think, “What else can be said about it?”

You may not be old enough to recall those words as the title of a song in “Annie Get Your Gun,” but as soon as I typed them, the song sprang to mind — not that this column has anything to do with singing.  I can assure you that singing doesn’t come naturally to me, but I’ve discovered that w…

How serendipitous that I read these words as I was preparing to write this column: “Every morning is a fresh start. Wake up each morning with a thankful heart.” 

Do you ever just need a hand but don’t know where to turn? What if you could rent a teen or two to help out around the house? You wouldn’t have to feed them, buy them cars, or pay for their college education — just rent them as needed. Well, if you live in Dunwoody, you’re in luck. You can h…

Hometown girl Kelly (Coleman) Fletcher, a graduate of Dunwoody High, has always pursued her dream to be a performer. Marriage, motherhood and a career detour didn’t deter her. 

I’ve long said in reference to my 10-year stretch of regular workouts, “I live in fear that I’ll lose my workout partner and immediately fall off the wagon.”  I know myself well enough to know that I showed up two times a week because she was counting on me. The fact that I was also paying a…

As a high school and college student during most of the Vietnam War, I was consumed by the drill team, dating and studying—not the nightly news. It’s only since I’ve known my Vietnam veteran husband that I’ve learned more about the war and the toll it took on our troops and the fabric of our…

I finally got around to a few books on my To Be Read list and one was “The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend.”  A bookshop is a central feature, almost a character, in this delightful book set in Broken Wheel, Iowa.  The back cover blurb captures it well: “A heartwarming reminder of why we a…

Were you devastated when you heard the Crier had ceased operations? Were you overjoyed to see the familiar blue-wrapped paper appear in your driveway again? Facebook and my email box were filled with comments bemoaning the demise of our beloved paper, and now, miraculously, it’s back.

A friend offered us a week’s stay at his cabin in Pigeon Forge and even invited the dog, so how could we refuse? We’d visited there before, once for a cowboy music festival and once for a Vietnam veterans’ reunion.  

If it weren’t for Dick Williams, I wouldn’t be a columnist and author today. It was the summer of 2011 when I read Managing Editor Cathy Cobb’s farewell to Dunwoody as she was moving out of state. Her reminder in that piece that Dunwoody businesses and the Crier needed the community’s suppor…

Whenever I write about my favorite mystery authors, I mention Louise Penny so when I heard she was going to speak in Hickory, N.C. in March, I immediately got tickets to see her. This was a chance to see a bestselling author whose books I treasure. It was well worth the drive and overnight s…

There’s fun galore coming up in Dunwoody. First, the annual Art in the Park exhibit and the Dunwoody Community Garden Plant Sale run Friday, April 5 to Sunday, April 7. These two events support the arts and the community garden. 

Another year, another Local Author Bookstore at Lemonade Days. 2019 marks the 20th Anniversary of Lemonade Days and the fourth year you can not only shop the vendor booths for the usual variety of soap, baked goods, and jewelry but also browse and buy books. You never know; if you visit at t…

A friend suggested I write about all the people I depend on in and around Dunwoody—a personal version of Angie’s List—for my readers. That’s lots of folks, and I feel fortunate that I’ve found dependable and personable “go-tos” for all our needs.

I’m a Billy Joel fan, and I saw him long ago with Elton John at the Omni in Atlanta. I got reacquainted with his music when I listened to the Billy Joel station on SiriusXM on a January trip to the mountains—both up and back.

My sister generously allows family and friends to use her cottage in Black Mountain, N.C. when it’s not being rented, and I was hoping it might be available in January. My girlfriends and I were overdue for a girls trip, and luckily for us, the cottage turned out to be open.

I started this column on a February Sunday when the high was 40 degrees. The Thursday prior, the temps had reached 80 degrees. You’ve got to love our wacky Atlanta weather. Signs of spring had been abundant for several weeks before I began typing, and I kept thinking, “I’ve got to write a sp…

Are you looking for a unique summer camp experience for your children? Sponsored by the Dunwoody Preservation Trust, Camp Flashback debuted in Dunwoody in 2018 and is not your typical summer camp. Staffed by experienced educators and put on by the DPT at the Donald-Bannister Farm on Chamblee…

As did everyone else, I saw tons of articles in January about New Year’s resolutions—how to make ‘em and how to keep ‘em. Most articles were either about losing weight and getting in shape or getting your financial house in order. Some made suggestions on what our resolutions ought to be, an…

Who’d like a taste of Spring in the dead of winter? Perhaps the better question is who wouldn’t? We’re all in luck because it’s time for the Dunwoody Garden Club’s 42nd annual card party, luncheon, fashion show, and silent auction. Put Tuesday, Feb. 19 on your calendar so you won’t miss this…

We bookaholics would say you can never have too many books, but I’m beginning to think I have too many on my TBR (to be read) list. I can’t help myself. I see book reviews in the paper and add books to the list; I get Amazon emails with book suggestions and add more to my list; I get BookBub…

Lord Banjo and I had the opportunity to be the guest speakers at the Brooke Farm Women’s Club in November. With my writing journey as the focus for the evening, I considered how to organize my words.

I have one general guideline for myself in writing my columns: refrain from expressing anger or writing anything controversial— anything that might cause folks to get up in arms, or worse, angry with me. That’s why I don’t mention politics or roadwork and traffic irritants even when I have a…

Within days of one other, two articles expressing the same sentiment caught my attention. Their point stayed with me and continued to surface throughout the holiday season. The message I took away was twofold: Loneliness is on the rise in our society, and we shouldn’t lose touch with our friends.

I must admit that when Sirius XM added their Christmas stations in early November, I began listening to them nonstop. Their Traditional Holiday and Hallmark Music stations play mostly the songs I recall from my childhood, while the Holiday Pop station has a bit more rock n’ roll, songs that …

As we continued our vacation in England, it was hard to imagine anything topping Dartmouth, Tintagel, and the Cotswolds, but Oxford may rank as my favorite spot in England. It’s not only compact and easy to navigate but also filled with charm and history at every turn.

I don’t know why, but when I dreamed of visiting England, the Cotswolds were always a must-see. With that goal I mind, we spent six nights in a quintessential Cotswold B&B, where Alan, the owner anticipated our every need.

We have much to be thankful for every day of the year and like most, we celebrate Thanksgiving by focusing on all that’s good in our lives. This year, however, we have reason to be especially thankful.

As an Anglophile through and through, I’ve long dreamed of visiting England. I knew that when I finally made my trip of a lifetime, I wanted to see more than London, but identifying additional destinations and working out travel details seemed a daunting task. Fortunately, I found Danielle G…

On Veteran’s Day, we remember and honor our veterans, but how often do we think of their families? In particular, how often do we think about the families of those service members who made the ultimate sacrifice?

Given that it’s a 45-minute drive away in Milton, you may not have heard of Scottsdale Farms. Still, I’ve been amazed by the number of Dunwoody folks who have. I didn’t know it existed until I had the opportunity to do a book signing there in July. Dubbed the Dog Days of Summer, the event in…

Not long ago, I set out to write a column about my favorite local shops and started with this introduction:

Have you attended A Novel Idea in Dunwoody? Dunwoody author Kathy Florence brought the monthly event to Crema after hearing about the idea from Marsha Cornelius who organized the original series in Canton and then expanded it to Alpharetta.

I thought we’d resolved the question of moving or staying 10 years ago, but it came up again late last year. As I walked in the door one evening after cocktails out, my husband greeted me with, “I think we need to move; the upkeep for this house is just too much.”

We are fortunate in Metro Atlanta to have too-many-to-count talented authors and a wealth of events where we can meet them. And, we authors are fortunate to have an increasingly supportive community of interested readers.

How lucky can a bookworm get? If you live in the Dunwoody area, the answer is lucky enough to have two book sales in September. Coming up first and lasting for one week is the 59th Annual American Association of University Women (AAUW) Bookfair Sept. 24-30. Then, the Friends of the Dunwoody …

As you meet new folks out and about, quite often someone will ask, “Where are you from?” That conversation at a recent event sent me tooling down memory lane.

Color me an oddball. I have only owned four cars in my life, and only two have been new.

It’s natural to think about my favorite authors with the Friends of the Dunwoody Library Book Sale coming up June 14 . If I were asked to confine my reading to only one genre, I’d be forced to choose mystery. I read other genres but return again and again to mysteries. Possibly my all-time f…

You may have figured out that the Penn household is always on the go. This wanderlust is a product of retirement, and we are having a ball. When I worked in corporate America, we traveled, but taking a week or two off required working myself to death the week before vacation and then again u…

Have you heard that the New York Daily News has slashed its editorial staff by 50 percent? What does this news have to do with us here in the South and Dunwoody in particular? In a nutshell, it speaks to the demise of truly local news.