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.
A while back, I was on book tour when my publicist called to say I had been asked to cook on a television show.
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.
The text that my sister sent was simple yet so powerful: "He is gone to be with God."
There was a man I knew once who lived for a good time. Work, he believed and ardently practiced, was only good for providing a means to an end, the end result being that of his vigorous pursuit of wine, women and song.
The other day I ran into General Robert E. Lee, along with his wife, and his arch nemesis, General Ulysses S. Grant.
It is possible that I could say that I didn't believe my eyes. The truth is, though, that when it comes to the bizarre, the absurd, the downright unnatural, my eyes pretty much believe whatever they see.
Daddy always believed that the good Lord should be thanked for the hard times as much as He was praised for the good times.
I come from a long line of know-it-alls. Honestly, on both sides of my family, we can pretty much tell you anything you need to know for we know it all. Or so we believe.
When news came that one of the most memorable Southern characters had passed from this world, I found myself musing back on the color, interest, and myriad conflict he brought to the world around him.He was not boring. Not ever. And that, my friend, is the boldest mark of a fabulous character. Southern or not.
It's getting to the point that I don't believe my own eyes or trust what my ears hear. Sometimes it feels like I'm starring in the old movie, "Gas Light" where the world is conspiring to make me think I'm crazy.
When I had the privilege of delivering a keynote address to the National Association of Postmasters of the United States (NAPUS) in Anchorage, Alaska, I spoke on the joy that comes in the form of a card or letter.
One night as a particularly hard, extremely long rain poured down, I discovered a leak in my roof. The leak became a minor problem. Finding a roofer to show up and fix it became the primary problem.
There are those -- perhaps many -- who would claim that animals do not have a guardian angel. On behalf of my animals, I vehemently disagree. They have one and her name is Jill.
A friend of mine returned a call of mine one day while he was sitting in the Dallas airport, waiting for a flight out. He explained that he had just spent two days at the Texas State Fair and it was, he said, quite a sight to behold.
If you're like me, you probably enjoy handing out advice, both solicited and unsolicited. After all, those of us who have vast life experiences owe it to those with less experience to share our wisdom.Don't you agree?
In looking back at photos, I am left to wonder if I have ever had a truly good hair day. I'm amazed because when I see the snapshots, I think, "Now, I'm sure that when I left home that day, I felt pretty good about my hair. How could it look like that?"
Ronda Rich, Features columnist
A while back, a transplanted Yankee sat down beside me at a luncheon and proceeded to explain what had compelled her to uproot herself from generations of Northern influence and move South.
When Dixie Dew got a box full of doggie treats from one of her fans, she wagged her tail and jumped around the kitchen, eager to dive into them.
Often, I find myself thinking of the wisdom of my daddy. His observations and experiences continue to guide me daily 11 years after his departure from what he sometimes called, "this ol' vail of tears and sorrow."
A few years ago, I was in New York City to do a photo session for a book cover and found myself at the behest of a stylist and a hairdresser who also doubled as a make-up artist.
Too often in recent times, death has visited itself upon my family, its intrusion bitterly unwelcome.
There is a woman I know to whom sorrow clings like dew to grass on a Southern summer morning.Once, she got a bad break in life.
Sometimes it takes a well-meaning Yankee to put me in my place. One who will remind me that all things Southern are, by no means, universal. That some things need to be explained.Like bush hogging.
Moms show strength when daughters leave homeLately, a couple of girlfriends have been lamenting the upcoming going of their children. Both will see their oldest graduate from high school shortly and edge closer to a life independent of Mama.
My friend Michelle e-mailed me one day after we had run into each other at a trunk showing of new clothes where we shared enthusiasm over the pretty fashions and helped each other decide what we should buy or shouldn't.
When the newspaper reporter called to set up an interview for the story she was writing on my newest book, she said, "We need to shoot a photo, too.
It was one of those crowded events a while back that I didn't want to attend. But courtesy and obligation dictated that I put my wants aside and be a big girl about it all. So, I put on a pretty dress, a gorgeous pair of high heels and plunged in.
Years ago, before fuel conservation became popular and trendy, I was a forerunner to saving gas by combining errands. When I go into town, I spend several hours doing errands that I have been waiting to do. It saves both gas and time.
Poet, my friend who reigns supremely in the Mississippi Delta, has few complaints so when he voiced one the other day, I was not only surprised, I was astounded. Particularly when I heard what was troubling him.
I visited a woman, old and gray, her journey of life nearing its winter's end. She settled into an armless rocker and moved gently, slowly back and fro, looking from her view on the porch past the towering magnolia trees that spread the full length of her yard.
A few months ago when Poet, the free-lance wanderer that he is, found himself passing through my neck of the South, he called up, then turned up at my front door then plopped down in my guest room for a few days.
One Sunday morning I came breezing into Sunday school class after having been out of town for a week. My sister grabbed me and hugged me tightly to welcome me home.
In the home in which I grew up, the daily newspaper was almost as important to our everyday lives as the Bible.
Like any self-respecting Southerner, it's hard for me to pass up reading a well-written obituary. Especially when it runs in the Wall Street Journal and begins with she was "a dash of Southern class in a raucous old boys club."
It is the absence of simple things that has made life so complicated. Those simple things cost nothing yet can make you feel like a million bucks.
There is a friend I have who cannot, for the life of her, tell a story.Sadly, she thinks she can.
When our friendship was new and still most interesting, Poet sought to impress me. But when the new wore off, Poet cast me into the ring with his other friends who are familiar and comfortable so there is no longer a need to impress.
Unlike many people, I'm not a maker of New Year's resolutions. Mainly because when I see the need for change or improvement, I resolve to fix it then, even if it's July 23rd or Oct. 1st. I don't wait until the first of the year.