THE DIXIE DIVA: When I was 6, the boy came to live with us
His father had been summoned to the jungles of Vietnam to serve another tour of duty in a war that didn’t affect the little boy and me. Or so we thought. His mother, blonde and beautiful, had disappeared into the sky one day, his baby brother in tow, returning to her native Germany.
THE DIXIE DIVA: Minding your own business is boring
Southerners tend to collect stories. And, we tend to talk to anyone who will talk to us. The latter tends to lead to the first.
THE DIXIE DIVA: Some days its hard to find time to make a living
It was somewhere near the end of summer when it just came to me that perhaps my writing days were over. That it was time to just give up the ghost and move on from making a living as a writer and just settle into handling daily problems.
THE DIXIE DIVA: Knowledge stays alive, even after our parents are gone
There’s not a day goes by that I don’t think of Mama and do something the way she taught me to do it.
THE DIXIE DIVA: It is a blessing to know common-man philosophers
It is a blessing of a life to know common man philosophers. Those people, though not formally educated, who are plenty smart when it comes to sizing up life.
THE DIXIE DIVA: Shopping in silence just isnt the Southern way
It is, I believe, a distinct and unique trait of the South, the way we carry on long conversations with people we are passing in the loaf bread section of the grocery store or in the checkout line.
THE DIXIE DIVA: The old pros were extraordinary storytellers
Once, in a press box in Athens after a Clemson-Georgia game, I watched a grizzled writer from South Carolina call in his story, eschewing any written word or premeditation. He made it up as he spoke and it was pure genius.
THE DIXIE DIVA: Southerners have a history of refusing to back down
My husband comes from a family of gentility and civility – neither of which have ever been ascribed to my Appalachian kinfolk.
THE DIXIE DIVA: Nicknames are a show of affection
For some reason, Southerners, more than any other region, love nicknames. It’s really a show of affection when we care enough to bestow a nickname rather than call a person by his Christian name.
THE DIXIE DIVA: Home-going to heaven was always on her mind
For at least 20 years, maybe 25, Mama planned her home-going to heaven. Not a week – and sometimes not a day – went by when she did not use her impending date with mortality in some way.
THE DIXIE DIVA: A friend of mine died at 94 and even he was not ready to go
It makes me reflective, even sad, to think of the periods of time I wished would hurry by and leave just a memory if it needed to leave anything behind at all.
THE DIXIE DIVA: Looking ahead first requires looking back
When the New Year arrives every year, I, like most, look forward to the next 12 months filled with promise, opportunity, and a chance to reform from bad habits.
THE DIXIE DIVA: Basking in the glow of Christmas
My love for Christmas trees continues. We have one in the bay window of the kitchen, one in the foyer at the bottom of the staircase, and one in our bedroom.
THE DIXIE DIVA: I admit I love to go barefoot
I have a story to tell and it requires that I own up to the fact that when I’m home, I’m barefoot in summertime and socks only in winter.
THE DIXIE DIVA: Things can be replaced, but not what those things represent
We stood in the charred remains of a life that once was – my sister and I – and said not a word. What was there to say?