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Ronda Rich

Stories by Ronda

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Miss Loretta gives new meaning to the word optimist

Several years ago, I befriended a woman in Cincinnati, Ohio, but then you know that, don’t you? I’ve told you all about Miss Loretta.

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Our childhood should be filled with happiness

A picture — even one old that has faded from black and white to soft gray — can tell a story, long and true. That one certainly did.

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Californian imparts wisdom from Deep South

There is a friend of mine — one of the heroes I have known and loved — who is fascinating in the life lessons he shares and the accumulation of wisdom that seems to come so easily to him.

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Star-making’s a quiet role

It was all my idea. As immodest as that might sound, it’s true. Now that my friend, Karen, has made it to the big time, she should be reminded that it all started with one of my hair-brained schemes.

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Helping others is the best legacy to give

Daddy and Mama both spent a lot of time seeing after the needs of others. They comforted, called and cooked for those who were, in some way, suffering.

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Yankee transplant a-musing

When the column appeared where I lamented that my longstanding muse, Claudette, had lost a significant amount of humor due to medication so I needed a new muse who could inspire my writing, several stepped up to volunteer for the newly vacated position.

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Good cookware is never ‘purdy’

Whenever I take out my biscuit pan — and every Southern cook worth her salt and grease has one — I can’t help but shake my head.

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I don’t cotton to those critics

A couple of years ago when I deemed it absolutely necessary to cross the big pond and investigate my heritage that had been seeded in Northern Ireland, I had the good fortune of being introduced to a renowned historian who, through greater good fortune, has become a friend.

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Do better because you know better

When Nix, the unpredictable, funniest kid in our family, was four years old, he found himself in some bit of trouble, though we’ve now all forgotten what it was. Only the punch line lingers in our minds.

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No. 3 raced through life

Several years ago, I was in Talladega for the NASCAR race and had stopped by the No. 3 truck to see Richard Childress and Dale Earnhardt.

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Don’t worry over what others might think

One day at lunch, I ran into a beautiful older woman, a friend from years past, whom I hadn’t seen in quite a while. She had changed very little since I first met her when I was in college.

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Letter writing an overlooked art

We all need to be worried about the health of the postal service and, as good neighbors, we all need to pitch in and do what we can to keep the mail comin’.

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I could do better, if I only would

Someone wrote to complain about my grammar. This isn’t new, though it doesn’t particularly irritate me.

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Dixie Dew shares concerns about sharing her mama

It’s me, Dixie Dew, again. Y’all who read this column regularly know that I am Ronda’s adorable and svelte (though she writes differently) dachshund.

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Final words on one put so eloquently

A friend of mine who has a penchant for sending along lovely, thoughtful gifts out did himself a while back. The contents of the package quickly became one of my favorite gifts ever. I called him up immediately.

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Pray for those in need, whoever they may be

It’s just funny, I guess, the way I get caught up in the lives of other people, folks I don’t even know. Yet I share their sorrow or rejoice with their successes. And they feel like friends, though most of them I have never met and suppose I never will.

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It’s just neighborly to help folks out

It was an easy phone call to make. I knew it would be. I called my neighbor who lives across the road, not the street mind you for we are country folks, and asked for help.

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The best flirt tells a good story

It’s a funny thing about us Southerners. If a Yankee criticizes us, we haughtily disregard it, muttering over their ignorance.

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Mama would’ve been so proud

Smiley cake brings back fond memories of Mama at Easter time.

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King James Bible not an old relic

Perhaps you’ve heard. It’s been the source of newspaper, magazine and television stories as they all pay tribute to the anniversary of the King James Bible.

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Husband makes his final escape

Now, we all knew that wasn’t going to work. Not for one cotton-picking minute did we think that those two could say “I do” and keep that vow until one of ‘em stopped breathing.

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You dry and I’ll wash

A friend, en route from Charlotte to Atlanta, stopped to spend the night with me. I knew she needed more than a comfortable bed. She needed a hot meal.

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Bible debate reaches end

It’s been almost 30 years since Debbie and I, as school girls, began the great debate. Over the ensuing years, we have each stood firmly on what we believed to be true.

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Chasing guys will chase them away

I have always believed — old fashioned though it may be — that when it comes to courtship, men should be the pursuers. (Do you know how the Sadie Hawkins Dance that reverses traditional invitation roles got started? Go to Ronda's column and take the Quik Quiz to find out.)

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Writings prove sentimental side

I never took my daddy for the sentimental kind. And in this assessment, I was not alone. He was a man’s man with a generous heart and compassionate spirit but sentiment seemed to have no place in his life.

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Opportunity nothing to be squandered

Over lunch, Debbie and I were having a conversation about someone we knew in our youth and were wondering what had happened to him.

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Dixie Dew had the right idea

If you ever hear that I have been babysitting, know this: It was an absolute act of desperation on the part of the mothers. It means there was no other option.

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‘We’ is a word not often used in accomplishments

The text from my friend, Stevie, popped up on my phone. “We made the Hall of Fame! Woo Hoo!!!”

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Take bold steps in 2012

Let’s agree: This will be a new year unlike any other in recent time. Let’s each make a vow to do something bold, unexpected and something that will make a fresh imprint on the path of our lives.

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Dixie Dew goes for book deal

Hello Readers, it’s me, Dixie Dew again. There was such an overwhelming response to the column I wrote a few months ago, that I was asked to give y’all an update.

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Perfect Christmas was worth the long wait

If the experts are to be believed, then Christmas seldom lives up to our high expectations and that’s why so many are stricken with depression and gloom during the holidays. It’s a letdown after a big build-up.

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Reed weaver of Southern tales

Once I was aboard a riverboat called the American Queen on which I had spent several days cruising along what I consider to be the majestic Mississippi River.

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Storytelling is becoming a lost artform

Out of the blue one day, I got an email from an old, beloved friend from my NASCAR days. In the days when first I met him, Jim Freeman was the public relations director at the Talladega track. That was when the publicity at all the tracks was run by men, some college educated, some not, who were amicable, back-slapping and well-liked.

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Chat up a new holiday tradition

It’s a Thanksgiving tradition, albeit one started accidentally a few years ago.

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Men fall short on the details

A couple of years ago, I was in Fayetteville, Ark., having dinner with a few folks including two of the loveliest people I know — Gen and Frank Broyles.

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Too smart to be swayed

My brother-in-law, Rodney, called me up one day. He’s one of my favorite people and even when I should get mad at him, I never can. He’s so charming and funny.

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Her sad story looking for happy ending

When word filtered out that she was gone, just packed up and disappeared like a vapor in the broad, bright light of day, I found no surprise in it.

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Listening then pays off now

Jerry and I were talking the other day.

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Smell of home a sweet joy

In accordance to our weekly routine, we gather at my sister’s house every Sunday for dinner following church. Normally she who does most of the work chooses the menu, but the tradition is that each one of us gets to choose lunch for our birthday.

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Looking for the perfect fit

Singlehood is no curse. It's better to be single and happy than married and unhappy while waiting for the right guy to come along.

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The world could always use a little more kindness

There's still a nice bit of kindness out there, but we could all use a little more.

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Looks aren’t everything

Perhaps it isn’t a great mystery of life but it’s certain one of life’s more intriguing questions. At least for us women, that is.

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Best things in life still free

One morning in Sunday school class, members were requesting prayer for those who were facing trials and tribulations.

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A lifetime of love is better than riches or gold

As bad as it might sound, I have a couple of friends for whom I pray that they will outlive their spouses. The reason is simple: I want to see them have peace and happiness on this earth.

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A little advice is my business

‘This is none of my business,” I said aloud to myself in a valiant, noble effort to mind my own business.

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Clipped wings can be blessing

Until the day he died, Daddy had one prayer about his children that he prayed constantly. Probably every day of his life.

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Taking a risk draws arrows

One night I was doing an appearance in a town where this column runs. A woman waited in line to speak to me and brought a clipping of that week's column for me to sign.

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Lonesome? Get a gun

Just when I thought I knew most of what there was to know, or at least that which was mostly worth knowing, about what is alluring to men about women, I uncovered a stunning new truth.

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Some stories have untold endings

There wasn't very much of me back then. I was a tiny girl, just big enough to reach up and grab hold of the wooden counter top in that old country store and lift my chin enough to allow my eyes to peer up in quiet fascination at the man who rang up the items that Mama had laid down.

Why are some things so hard?

It is one of the great mysteries of life. Why are some things so hard? Why, if some things are meant to be, is it so difficult sometimes to make them happen?