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Ronda Rich

Stories by Ronda

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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?

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Mama believed, God makes no mistakes

I wondered the other day how a mother could even think that, let alone say it. But then Mama was a woman who defied exact definition. She was strong, smart, courageous, sometimes outrageous and, above all, ruled by a faith that was simply unbendable and unquestionable. That part of her was definable and clear: She believed unyieldingly in an Almighty God who never left her side. Even when it could have seemed that He did.

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Funeral home not always for endings

It all started at the funeral home. A few other of my misadventures have begun there, too.

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Late Easter eases the pressure

A few weeks ago, I was on the phone with a friend who lives in Las Vegas. Suddenly, out of the blue, he asked, "Is Easter this Sunday?""No," I replied. "Easter is one month from this Sunday."

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Figure out what you love, just do it

My brother-in-law, Rodney, is a farmer of the most admirable kind. He farms, despite the heartbreaks, hard times, hot sun and little pay, because he loves it. Not even the relentless stronghold of healthy kudzu could choke the passion for farming from him. He is devoted to the land and what it brings. Good or bad.

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Practicality is a Southern tradition

Southerners tend to be practical folks, at least those of us raised in rural areas that have seen their share of hard times.

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Please pass the pea patties ...

Any Southern woman worth her weight in Martha White flour has at least one drawer or cook book in her kitchen stuffed with recipes she has torn out of magazines or newspapers, fully intending to try each and every one of them.

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New NASCAR not for this girl

Since I once called the garage area of the NASCAR Cup Series "home", working in the sport for several years as one of few women among hundreds of men, folks often ask my opinion on today's NASCAR.

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Business smarts sewn right in

Mama wasn't sentimental. In fact, I never knew of anyone who grew up in the Southern mountains during the Depression who was sentimental.

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Drop in and sit a spell

One night back in the summer, Louise, Rodney and I stopped to see Russell and Neva, whom we have all known in one way or the other for decades. Yet, we go ages without seeing each other. It's a crying shame, as Mama would say.

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Family roots strike gold

When Robert, a devout reader of this column who also happens to be an accomplished researcher in matter of family lineage, offered to trace my family roots, I accepted faster than kudzu can grow on a hot summer's day.

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Duct tape tool for the frugal

In digging through the material remains of what I consider to be my heart's one and only home, I have smiled repeatedly, even chuckled out loud on occasion, at Mama's thriftiness.

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Nature's still awe inspiring

One morning when I went for a run, the good Lord blessed with such a joy, though simple that it was.

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Her angry eyes hid a sad heart

The other day I took a short cut down a back road, the likes of which I had not seen since I was a child in petticoats and Mary Janes and rode the big, yellow school bus.

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Only good okra is fried okra

A while back, I was on book tour when my publicist called to say I had been asked to cook on a television show.

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Journey is one of discovery

It is my strong and abiding philosophy that good springs forth from the midst of whatever bad happens to us. In the recent days that now trail behind me as time spent sweetly, I have luxuriated in the good that came from the water line break that practically demolished my childhood home.