Ronda Rich

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RONDA RICH: Give thanks, no matter how the year has been

THE DIXIE DIVA: Thank the Lord for heartaches as well as blessings

Whether this has been a year that leaned more toward blessings or tribulations, give thanks for it.

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RONDA RICH: Davey Allison taught lessons for happiness

THE DIXIE DIVA: Facing life with a big smile was natural for Davey Allison

Two decades after his untimely death, memories of Davey Allison focus on the joy that he exuded every day.

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RONDA RICH: I was raised to shop better than that

THE DIXIE DIVA: Inspiration for a home-cooked meal leads to guilt over the cost

A trip to the grocer leads to feelings of sliping away from the values of Mama.

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RONDA RICH: Emotion hits as World War II veterans pass

THE DIXIE DIVA: Flag-draped caskets remind us of what we owe those who fought in World War II

American World War II warriors left the safety of the United States to fight for freedom across the globe.

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RICH: Belongings reminders of journey through life

The Dixie Diva

For years, I blamed it on those richly royal blue suede high heel pumps. The ones with the ridiculously tall, spiked heel and absurdly pointed toe. I was 22 when I bought them, 36 when I donated them to the Salvation Army.

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RICH: The south is like one big family

The Dixie Diva

He nodded, stood up to greet her and took her hand she offered. Then, this woman continued her tale. She did not bat an eye at telling her childhood sorrow in front of this man still somewhat foreign to the ways of her kind of rural raising.

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RICH: Looking for help

The Dixie Diva

They all come with some kind of a price and all with a certain amount of disappointment, but still Rodney keeps trying.

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RICH: Ugly dish always returns

The Dixie Diva column

Any self-respecting Southern woman has a list of casserole recipes a mile long ready to bake at a moment’s notice. You got a sickness or a death in your family, we’ve got just the casserole for you.

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RICH: Mama’s story a life anthem

Features column

Mama had great stories. My favorite was the only one I asked often for her to repeat. It has become something of an anthem in my life.

RICH: Never give up a dream

The Dixie Diva

By chance, we happened upon him in a small gift shop. The clerk recognizing me laughed and said, “What a coincidence! She just bought a copy of your book!” She gestured toward a small woman browsing through a group of men’s sweaters.

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RICH: Bless your heart, dear

The Dixie Diva

She said it, of course, with smirk. Those women who really don’t understand the ways of the women of the South seem to always speak about us in words that are vividly cloaked in disdain. Whenever someone says “you Southern women,” it is not going to be a hymn of praise.

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RICH: Make sure some day happens

The Dixie Diva

“Some day,” Daddy used to say often as I was growing up, “I’m going to the Holy Land. I want to walk where Jesus walked.” He talked about it a lot and dreamed about it even more.

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The way she was

Features Columnist

The way she was was a long way from what she became. I can’t help thinking about how life veers so far away from the beginning of the journey and how the destination can vary drastically from where it all started.

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Where Charlie Tinker lies buried

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the first installment of a second three-part series by columnist Ronda Rich on Charlie Tinker, her husband’s great-great-grandfather.

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Farmers have tough row to hoe

Features Columnist

There’s nothing glamorous about being a farmer, nothing charming, little endearing and certainly few things easy about it. It is either a calling or a curse, depending on how one looks at it. Some are born into it and some just can’t find a way to escape it for it’s all they’ve ever known.