Nora’s Corner

Hiking the Great Wall

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Betsy Taylor is pictured along an older section of the Great Wall of China.

You are carrying a walking stick and hiking along an ancient wall in China. The Great Wall was built mostly during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), but some parts date back to the Qin Dynasty (221-206 B.C.). You stop briefly for…

The Way Branson Was

About 10 years ago, I was browsing through the shelves in an airport bookstore. When I came to the travel section, I suddenly froze in disbelief. In bold type the word “Branson” caught my eyes. I picked up the book…

A Ripple Effect

Learning that the Washington Monument is finally going to reopen May 12 this year brought back a host of my memories of the Aug. 23, 2011 earthquake that severely damaged the Monument and the National Cathedral. The quake was so…

A Job Well Done

More than a year ago, I began to notice the tall, thin young man who stood at the corner of Brooke Road and MD 108 in Sandy Spring. Each weekend in all kinds of weather, he waved a vertical sign…

Black Beasts — Real and Imaginary

The French have an expression, “bête noire,” that comes easily to me when I’m talking about a special fear of mine when I was young. The word “fear” takes on a deeper, more sinister meaning when I use bête noire…

Flying Kangaroos and Penguins

After a three-hour delay at BWI Airport and a six-hour flight across the continental USA, our plane finally touched down in Los Angeles. We were tired and eager to deplane. But the pilot announced over the intercom that air traffic…

Rare Treats — Toy Theaters

The young audience is seated on the floor, mesmerized by a row of Christmas tree lights that replicate footlights beneath a miniature stage. Two adults (the puppeteers) are seated on either side of what is called a “penny theater.” As…

Wings of Wonder

Just beyond my patio garden there is an abelia bush that is bursting with pale pink blossoms. This year it is especially eye-catching because of a host of yellow and black swallowtail butterflies that flutter, dip for a moment into…