Back to profile

Ronda Rich

Stories by Ronda

Tease photo

RONDA RICH: Teachers also can learn at Bible School

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.

Tease photo

RONDA RICH: There's wealth in being poor

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

Tease photo

RONDA RICH: When time melts away

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.

Tease photo

RONDA RICH: You gotta be careful

THE DIXIE DIVA: Be careful what you ask for - - especially if it's powered

Having great power tools comes with great responsibility.

Tease photo

RONDA RICH COLUMN: Ghosts in the ashes

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.”

Tease photo

RONDA RICH: Steady like a chainsaw

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.

Tease photo

RONDA RICH: Miss Elinor's thank you

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.

Tease photo

RONDA RICH: Everything works out if you'll let it

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.”

Tease photo

RONDA RICH: The American Dream lives on

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.

Tease photo

RONDA RICH: Old money, old South

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.”

Tease photo

RONDA RICH: 'Justified' in the South

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.

Tease photo

RONDA RICH: Never toss out perfectly good food

THE DIXIE DIVA: I toss nothing until it completely withers

Pragmatism and caution prevents you from throwing out things that are reusable.

Tease photo

RONDA RICH: She's out of control

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.

Tease photo

RONDA RICH: P.R. work comes too late

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?

Tease photo

RONDA RICH: Cooking up a late-night project

THE DIXIE DIVA: Filing away recipes cut from publications can take a while

There’s a fine line between saving something and hoarding.

Tease photo

RONDA RICH: Grant Tinker belongs to many

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.

Tease photo

RONDA RICH: What I love about my South

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.

Tease photo

RONDA RICH: The world view on ‘being cool’

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?

Tease photo

RONDA RICH: Living through Southern Living

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.

Tease photo

RONDA RICH: History is better than fiction

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.

Tease photo

RONDA RICH: Wisdom is lost with parents

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.

Tease photo

RONDA RICH: Simple meals have the best flavor

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.

Tease photo

RONDA RICH: Success reflects support around us

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.

Tease photo

RONDA RICH: Digging a hole leads to rotten apples

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.

Tease photo

RONDA RICH: Pieces of life's puzzle

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.

Tease photo

RONDA RICH: Obituaries a source of news in the South

Only Southerners understand the fascination with obituaries.

Yes, I know that I am, occasionally, prone to embellishment.

Tease photo

RONDA RICH: Drama only as big as you make it

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.

Tease photo

RONDA RICH: Comfort is nice, but memories are great

Like Mama, I prefer that things make common sense.

Tease photo

RONDA RICH: Mama decides to tell all

My worst fears are about to be realized: Mama has announced her intentions to write a book.

Tease photo

RONDA RICH: Making some bad decisions

We all make bad decisions in our lifetime in one way or the other.

Tease photo

RONDA RICH: A salute to the skilled homemakers

Looking back, I see that it was FHA that began to mold me for the career I have now.

Tease photo

RONDA RICH: Loyalty a valuable virtue

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.

Tease photo

RONDA RICH: Every Easter a touchtone of life

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.

RONDA RICH: Small moments create great stories

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.

Tease photo

RONDA RICH: A Southern conversion

THE DIXIE DIVA: Low-fat buttermilk has no place in a Southern home

Always choose a Southern doctor, preferably an overweight one, over a fussy California physician.

Tease photo

RONDA RICH: Mind what the wolly boogers tell you

THE DIXIE DIVA: Paying attention to small signs can help you prepare for big events

Nature has inside information it will share if you only know where to look.

Tease photo

RONDA RICH: When you see a wreck, aim for the center

THE DIXIE DIVA: Swerving will not let you avoid the problem

NASCAR drivers are great sources of wisdom when it comes to risk taking, generosity, dream chasing, kindness and loyalty.

Tease photo

RONDA RICH: With humility comes ... pride

THE DIXIE DIVA: As a rule, in the South you are either proud or humble

What I have come to learn, though it has taken a few decades, is that humility, while noble, can be as destructive as pride.

Tease photo

RONDA RICH: A suitcase full of dreams

THE DIXIE DIVA: Some great memories come in the shade of hot pink

New luggage in bright, cherry colors a reminder of some great childhood dreams.

Tease photo

RONDA RICH: Living in black and white

THE DIXIE DIVA: Stories of moutain religion harken to another time

Some stories, including old-time religion and and the days of moonshine toting ridge-runners, are best told in black and white.

Tease photo

RONDA RICH: It’s scary to be young

To this conclusion I have come: the most deadly years of our lives are the ages 16 to 21.

Tease photo

RONDA RICH: Folk heroes always make good stories

THE DIXIE DIVA: Historical fact or legend? It’s all fascinating.

Their histories, accurate and complete, are lost to time and buried with them and those who knew them.

Tease photo

RONDA RICH: Crazy and proud of it

THE DIXIE DIVA: Who wants to be boringly completely normal?

Maw-Maw was smart as a whip, but she also had her peculiarities.

Tease photo

RONDA RICH: The power of hard labor

TH DIXIE DIVA: Every kid should spend part of the summer doing some old fashioned hard work

When battling writer’s block, making an assault on Hell’s Hill a source of inspiration.

Tease photo

RONDA RICH: Fried biscuits are a true art

THE DIXIE DIVA: In Southern cuisine, there is not much that cant be fried

Fried biscuits the way Mama made them will always be a delicious memory.

Tease photo

RONDA RICH: Southern manners are contagious

FEATURES COLUMN: Southern manners tend to rub off on others

There are many things I love about the South. But here’s what I love just a little bit better than all the rest: We believe mightily in courtesy and manners.

Tease photo

RONDA RICH: Songs help recall precious memories

THE DIXIE DIVA: Songs are a powerful tool for remembering sweet moments in life

That is the power of songs. They stick to the memory like a piece of chewing gum stuck to the underneath of a table.

Tease photo

RONDA RICH: Keeping your word always pays off

THE DIXIE DIVA: The score always gets settled, but often not as fast as you would like

Lessons of honesty taught by our parents pay off big when we practice them in life.

Tease photo

RONDA RICH: New year resolutions flash and burn

THE DIXIE DIVA: A mission to raise status of Robert E. Lee makes bigger hero out of Charlie Tinker

The diaries of Charlie Tinker, a friend of President Abraham Lincoln, are the first comments on Lincoln by a friend to be unearthed in the last 100 years, one historian notes.

Tease photo

RONDA RICH: Christmas ornaments each have their own story

THE DIXIE DIVA: One Christmas tree in particular brings joy every year, a scrapbook of days past

Christmas is the time that we pack expectations into every package we wrap and for weeks anticipate that one, perfect Currier-Ives day.