Thursday, March 28, 2013

Following My Mother's Scent

Read the published version of Charlotte Canelli's column in the March 29, 2013 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.

In 1960, I was 8 years old I had my first love affair with perfume. An older family friend had an impressive blue bottle of Evening in Paris on her dresser top. I’m not sure if my infatuation was with the lusty shape or the deep cobalt blue of the bottle. When these friends moved away to Paris months later, I was presented with the near-empty bottle. I hoarded that treasure for years.

When I was 12 years old, I walked the half-mile to the neighborhood drugstore and spent my complete month’s allowance on a bottle of the year’s popular cologne. It was an excessive but poignant Christmas present for my mother and I purchased it weeks in advance, painstakingly carrying it home and leaving it wrapped and unattended on a bookshelf. I impatiently anticipated the holiday.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Children's Bibliotherapy

Jean Todesca is a children's librarian at the Morrill Memorial Library. Read her column in the March 22, 2013 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.

Do you have any Children’s books about death?”  This is one of the many challenging questions Children’s librarians are faced with.  Bibliotherapy also known as Reading Therapy is the use of books to help guide children through life’s difficult experiences.  Bibliotherapy is designed to provide information and insight, stimulate discussion and offer realistic solutions to problems.  Children learn that there are other people who share similar problems.

Friday, March 15, 2013

After Breaking Bad

Read the published version of Charlotte Canelli's column in the March 15, 2013 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.

I’ve written before that I don’t watch much television. I’m afraid it has something to do with my attention span. If something doesn’t grab me within the first ten minutes, I lose interest and have trouble trying it again.

I have what I might define as a distinctive taste in movies with a penchant for the quirky romance or a dark comedic drama. One of my favorite movies is Lars and the Real Girl starring Ryan Gosling (2007) and another is Very Bad Things with Cameron Diaz and Christian Slater (1998.) If you know those films, you’ll get my strange viewing habits.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Sweet on Syrup

Read Charlotte Canelli's column in the March 8, 2013 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.

At the first signs of the spring thaw, sometimes as early as late February, the maple sap harvesting begins. Buckets and tubing begin to show up along muddy back road. March is the month when maple sugar festivals occur across the country in states like Oregon, Michigan and Massachusetts. It’s during this time that we hope we’re in for another sweet year.

Days must be warm and nights drop to freezing or below in order for the sap to flow. Most people know that it takes a lot of juice to make maple syrup – somewhere between 35-40 gallons of sap for one gallon of syrup. What might not be so well-known is that it takes about as many years (35-40) for a maple tree to be mature enough to be tapped.

One March Sunday over a decade ago I went with a friend on a quest. We were rambling across northern Vermont very early that morning, winding over back roads wet with melting snow and hills dotted with small farms, cows and sheep. We watched as one plume of thick, billowing white smoke followed another on the horizon. We veered off our asphalt trail onto a dirt one leading into the woods. That road narrowed and became rutted and ended when we cut the engine in front of a working sugar house.

Friday, March 1, 2013

On Square With Faulkner

Read Shelby Warner's column in the March 1, 2013 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.

I went to Oxford, Mississippi to find William Faulkner or, more accurately, the statue erected in his honor by the town fathers to commemorate the 100th anniversary of his birthday.

It was a cold and blustery day when I arrived. Flags were flapping and tourists scurried from store to store with upturned collars and hats held firmly on their heads. Most of them would end up at The Square Book Shop knowing they would find a warm welcome and a hot cup of coffee upstairs. I, however, was looking for something else.

I have a deep appreciation for the work of William Faulkner and had come to his home town hoping to better understand his writing and to soak up some of the images he had absorbed on the square. For those of you who are not familiar with Faulkner let me just say that he is one of the pre-eminent southern writers whose stories I had come to love and whose writings still speak to my literary soul.