Tag: Eastern Shore

  • Why We Can’t Live Without Horseshoe Crabs

    Why We Can’t Live Without Horseshoe Crabs

    So let me tell you how I think with animals.  I see an animal…say, the harbor seal I encountered once while running down a deserted barrier island…I stop dead in my tracks.  Pull out my phone to take a picture…(natch)…and then time slows down.  I’m aware of the wind, the sun’s position in the sky, […]

  • Why Churches Can’t Be Normal Again

    Why Churches Can’t Be Normal Again

    Sometimes I have a fantasy that March 2019 will come, the special General Conference of the United Methodist Church designed to heal our rifts will have passed with a grand reaffirmation of our union, and we’ll all go back to normal.  That’s the funny thing about normal in the church, though—there’s no going back there. […]

  • In Praise of Uncomfortable Books: Huck & Harper Revisited

    In Praise of Uncomfortable Books: Huck & Harper Revisited

    Huck and Harper are on the block again and I’m not comfortable with that.  Then again, I think it’s high time we all got uncomfortable. In late 2016, as I was beginning Heartlands, I reflected on the controversy that was roiling Accomack County, Virginia where I live.  Only that’s not strictly accurate.  The decision by […]

  • Heartlands Best Reads of 2017: #8 American Fire

    Heartlands Best Reads of 2017: #8 American Fire

    Of course, it had local appeal for those of us on the Eastern Shore, but Monica Hesse’s exploration of the 2012-13 arson spree here that damaged 60+ structures was masterful writing.  In American Fire: Love, Arson, and Life in a Vanishing Land, the Washington Post reporter used the window of the crime to explore what […]

  • A Reporter Comes to the Shore: My interview with Monica Hesse – part 1 of 3

    A Reporter Comes to the Shore: My interview with Monica Hesse – part 1 of 3

    Monica Hesse, an author and reporter for the Washington Post, came to the Shore to write a book about the spate of arsons that took place on the Eastern Shore between 2012 and 2013.  That resulted in the bestselling book, American Fire: Love, Arson, and Life in a Vanishing Land, which I recently reviewed on Heartlands. Monica agreed […]

  • Love and Arson on the Eastern Shore: A Review of American Fire

    Love and Arson on the Eastern Shore: A Review of American Fire

    It’s in the nature of small towns and isolated places to believe they’re special.  Recently I drove through Ayden, North Carolina and found a historical marker revealing that President Washington had spent the night in 1791…10 miles east.  It was something. So when the Eastern Shore of Virginia showed up in the New York Times […]

  • Life at The Crossroads

    Life at The Crossroads

    The Crossroads Coffee House made my urban soul sing when it came to town this spring.  (Yes, I have an urban soul.  It shares space and fuels a lot of creative tension with my rural soul.  Welcome to my world.)  Matt and Brittney spent a year transforming an old bank building at the main intersection […]

  • The Empty Bench at The Book Bin – Remembering Kirk Mariner

    The Empty Bench at The Book Bin – Remembering Kirk Mariner

    The sofa bench in the back of The Book Bin was empty the other day.  The regulars by the coffee window are hesitant to sit there.  A sign on the door indicates that the staff knows that our local independent book store will be a place of mourning and memory for awhile.  The bench was […]

  • Newspapers, Food, & Churches: An interview with Ted Shockley, part 2 of 2

    Newspapers, Food, & Churches: An interview with Ted Shockley, part 2 of 2

    In the previous segment of this interview, I talked with Ted Shockley, publisher of Eastern Shore First, our new local paper, about his approach to his work and the way that the community is changing.  Ted has a preference for print (as opposed to online news) and I was particularly impressed with the way he […]

  • “Pessimism, Hopelessness & Doom” – Traveling the Virginia Extremes with August Wallmeyer

    “Pessimism, Hopelessness & Doom” – Traveling the Virginia Extremes with August Wallmeyer

      August Wallmeyer paints a distressing picture of rural Virginia in the 21st century.  His little book, The Extremes of Virginia, which highlights the realities and common challenges of three regions of the Commonwealth—Southwest, Southside, and the Eastern Shore—gets your attention quickly.  You start to see why he calls the regions “the Extremes,” and it isn’t just because […]