Friends of Smoke Signals – Please Support our Publication

  • Updated

In the opening lines of “A Tale of Two Cities,” Charles Dickens contrasts the suffering endured during the French Revolution with visions of hope: “It was the best of times; it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, …” Dickens’ introduction reflects the ancient Chinese concept of yin and yang, that is, the paradox that opposing yet complementary forces govern life, that in stillness there is movement. 

I believe that what we become depends on what our fathers teach us at odd moments…. We are formed by little scraps of wisdom.

Zinfandel has a unique history, with numerous ancestral names linked to varying origins. In simple terms, the first name, or origin name, by DNA is Tribidgrag from Croatia—perhaps as early as 1518—and then Primitivo, meaning first to ripen, and more recently, Zinfandel. You have to work to u…

My husband and I have been self-isolating for the past three months, which means I have prepared 90 meals. It would have been 92, but I broke down and picked up dinner from Home restaurant and the Big Canoe clubhouse. It goes with saying, I have been cooking a lot.

Keeping in touch with friends and family is particularly important during this pandemic. There’s email, phone and texting, but a visual connection works better to give the personal context we seek. FaceTime, WhatsApp, Skype, Zoom and others give both video and audio, helping fill the lack-of…

Are you dressing up to visit the recycling center because that is the only human contact you are likely to have all day—or all week? Have you been indulging in a bit of retail therapy, only to realize you have no place to wear the fashion-forward items you purchased? Not a problem, as there …

My fav, William Wordsworth said it best. “The world is too much with us late and soon.” No kidding. It’s tax season, pollen season, political season, and here we are fighting off coronavirus. Could it be any worse? Yes, I’ll tell you. There’s a shortage of toilet paper. Politics and coronavi…

Growing flowers and vegetables in containers will allow you to expand planting space, grow plants right outside your door and elevate them for easier access and maintenance.  Unlike growing in the ground, the smaller volume of soil in containers is exposed to heat and wind, so requires frequ…

With April being Stress Awareness Month and the coronavirus becoming America’s biggest stressor in 2020, the personal-finance website WalletHub today released its report on 2020's Most & Least Stressed States.  accompanying videos.

By now we are all familiar with the drill: frequent hand washing (especially soap and water); social distancing (6 feet); no handshaking, fist bumps, high-fives or hugs—elbow bumps only; self-quarantine with any kind of cold symptoms; cancel cruise plans for at least a month or two; and try …

  • Updated

I was a Marine Corps brat, and in 1962, my family was stationed at Parris Island, South Carolina, where we got to know the Conroy family. Years later, Pat Conroy would write “The Great Santini” in a tiny office at my father’s law firm in Atlanta. He invited us to book signings and movie prem…
Read More...

  • Updated

Since Edward Snowden became a household name in 2013 for revealing massive surveillance programs being run routinely by the NSA, he’s been a flashpoint of disagreement. In June of that year, Snowden shared with journalists Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras, Barton Gellman, and Ewen MacAskill th…
Read More...

28 Summers is novelist Elin Hilderbrand’s 26th book, and since her debut in 2008, she’s garnered a large and devoted fan following. By now those fans know exactly what to expect from a new Elin Hilderbrand novel: a light, summery narrative tone —the books often appear in time to be stuffed i…
Read More...

The title of renowned Lincoln scholar Harold Holzer’s new book is not The Presidents and the Press. There’s an antagonism in the title’s “vs” that has been reflected in reality since both the free press and the presidency were enshrined in the United States Constitution.
Read More...

Way back when yours truly was a young southern man, I moved to the Pacific Northwest to live and work. Let me make a disclosure here: My father taught me to take nothing for granted and to make sure I understand what I am doing and why I am doing it. After several months on my new job, the b…
Read More...

At least a decade before the Civil War, serious scholars wondered and wrote about the American South. I doubt that anyone has cataloged every one of those efforts. In addition to the scholarly works, novelists, short story writers, poets and pundits of all sorts have written about or harangu…
Read More...

Sponsored