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: Being introduced in the South can take a little bit
Connections and familiarity are important to the people of the South. When you meet someone, your name isn’t nearly as interesting as who you know. Or, more importantly, who you’re kin to.
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?
THE DIXIE DIVA: Don Light taught of you keep going, you will get the yes you are looking for
While Don Light leaves behind an admirable reputation, he leaves a legacy to those of us touched by his wisdom.
THE DIXIE DIVA: I still shake my head in wonderment and marvel at the amazement of Gods plan
Inexplicably, destiny finds him. It threw itself into his path, tackled him, and when he stopped wrestling against the mighty force, saw he was staring right smack into the eye of what God had destined for him all along.
THE DIXIE DIVA: Great traditions are not planned, they are born
It started accidentally. Some good ideas and memorable moments are like that. They aren’t planned. They’re born, bringing with them an ability to nudge a way naturally into our lives and become a tradition.
THE DIXIE DIVA: Nothing moves as fast as a rumor
A planned memorial service for a guy gets plenty memorable.
THE DIXIE DIVA: Volunteering for VBS can be a learning experience
In the kitchen and dining room, we saw women who unselfishly put aside their own work and prepared food all day for 200 children.
THE DIXIE DIVA: Poverty gives you a place to go -- up
My people, as I have long said, were raised up on hard times in the Appalachian foothills. I don’t know that I had a grandparent who ever saw the sum of $500 at one time or even held a hundred dollar bill in hand
THE DIXIE DIVA: Memories bind us together later in life
Southerners are always buoyed by a sense of place and the stories that unfold there. For us – the pretty redhead girl and me – it was summer Sunday afternoons.
THE DIXIE DIVA: Be careful what you ask for - - especially if it's powered
Having great power tools comes with great responsibility.
DIXIE DIVA: Fire can't destory memories
One of Daddy’s self-penned mantras danced in my head as I looked around. “Kid, never worry over that which money and hard work can replace.”
THE DIXIE DIVA: Ouch, right in the frugal bone
To be honest, I was more than a mite worried. I was plenty worried. My husband, raised not in the South or in the country, wanted a chainsaw. The one farm accessory that has brought down many a man. From an early age, I was taught respect for that chewing, sawing, respect-for-no-man power tool.
THE DIXIE DIVA: Miss Elinor might be a hundred, but she sure has got the lingo down
Well, Miss Elinor, here’s what I have to say to you and I want to say it publicly through the dozens of newspapers across the Southeast that carry this column, including your beloved Brunswick News: I can tell by the time that you have taken to encourage someone in a world that is not always kind that your South is one of gentility and warmth.
THE DIXIE DIVA: Learning to cope is the gift of enduring many trials
If I could go back in time and give the younger me one piece of advice, it would be this: “Minimize the drama. Step over a disappointment and move onward to a new opportunity.”
THE DIXIE DIVA: America, as a land of opportunity, is at her best when the chips are down
When I’m accused of having lost touch with hard-working Americans who have faced misfortune, it’s a stab to the heart because I have long been one of those Americans.
THE DIXIE DIVA: Dry weather and red clay are formidable foes
I think of Rowan Oak when I look at my yard and remember what Faulkner told his wife, Estelle, when she told him that she would like to restore the gardens and make a pretty place of it. I can imagine him now, tilting his head down to look up at her when he spoke sternly: “Only new money would ruin a garden like that.”
THE DIXIE DIVA: 'Justified' captures the Appalachian South
Here’s what “Justified” does best: It gets the Appalachian South right without reducing us to mockery or ridicule.
THE DIXIE DIVA: I toss nothing until it completely withers
Pragmatism and caution prevents you from throwing out things that are reusable.
THE DIXIE DIVA: A little advice gives a friend her just desserts
People who think they’re out of control have enough discipline to correct the problem. It’s the ones who don’t see that they have a problem who have a problem.
THE DIXIE DIVA: When you are gone, folks remember what you did, not what is written about you
Will I be remembered dramatically different by people than the good things heralded in my “good-bye world” death notice?
THE DIXIE DIVA: Filing away recipes cut from publications can take a while
There’s a fine line between saving something and hoarding.
THE DIXIE DIVA: Grant Tinker helped numerous people get their first jobs
While Grant Tinker has been an influence on television, his greatest influence was allowing his sons to make it in the entertainment business on their own merits.
THE DIXIE DIVA: Things so simple can remind us of things so meaningful
Tink says often how he loves this South of mine – a place of hospitality, neighborliness, hard work and prayers.
DIXIE DIVA: Good decisions pay off over a lifetime
She took nothing that wasn’t hers but she didn’t give up anything, either. Kinda cool, don’t you think?
DIXIE DIVA: Southern Living creates a change that has won me over
Like most Southerners, I have an aversion to change which is why our traditions have such strangle hold. We never let go.
DIXIE DIVA: Real life always provides the best stories
It’s a funny thing about history. It can be so doggone fascinating, much more so than anything that the human mind can imagine.
DIXIE DIVA: We learn much more than we’ll ever realize from our parents.
There are few who cannot say truthfully that they miss their parents after death has laid claim to those loved ones.
DIXIE DIVA: Childhood memories are a powerful thing
What I can’t figure is why we return so longingly to the foods of our childhood and our homeland.
DIXIE DIVA: Everybody needs somebody sometimes
We all need someone to tell us our dream isn’t crazy and that we have what it takes.
A man reaps what he sows - or what he doesn’t sow.
That apple tree. Oh my goodness. Something told me it wouldn’t turn out well.
THE DIXIE DIVA: Life is a puzzle with pieces that click into place
You never know where fame will find you. Sometimes it’s even at a homecoming service at a church.
Only Southerners understand the fascination with obituaries.
Yes, I know that I am, occasionally, prone to embellishment.
THE DIXIE DIVA: What seems important at the time often isn't
Many of the things that are breaking our backs today won’t be remembered on down the road.
Like Mama, I prefer that things make common sense.
My worst fears are about to be realized: Mama has announced her intentions to write a book.
We all make bad decisions in our lifetime in one way or the other.
Looking back, I see that it was FHA that began to mold me for the career I have now.
When I think back on the days of my youth, it would be hard to pick a lesson learned that was more important than another.
THE DIXIE DIVA: Christmases and birthdays may blend in memory, but each Easter is distinct
It is the parade of Easter suits, dresses and hats that I have worn over the years that ground me to a specific Easter. When I look at the photos or videos of our family’s Easter parade, I remember so clearly that moment in time. I recall the sorrows or joys of that season of my life and all that was happening.
THE DIXIE DIVA: Challenges of life can make for a trove of treasure
It fascinates me to see what the journey of life will drill into our souls and our minds to make a good story.