Ronda Rich

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RICH: A heroic family

It’s been 20 years without Davey Allison and I, at last, am able to laugh at his antics rather than recalling just the sorrow. And there are the lessons, too, that he taught.

RICH: Raised to shop better

I do not believe it is a coincidence that our family from Mama and Daddy’s generation lived, for the most part, long and healthy lives. There were no preservatives in their food and their water came either directly from mountain streams or deep wells.

RICH: Remembering the men of war

When the military guard stood at attention at Mr. Hoyt’s casket and taps played, I put my hand over my heart and cried.

RICH: Beautiful in a different way

She did not squander time on life’s foolish pursuits – shopping for pretty dresses, parties, choosing a new lipstick color or beach vacations. She was, all would agree, a statue for sturdiness, a monument to women who looked life and its troubles squarely in the eye and stared down those challenges.

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RICH: The little girl with red dirt feet

About the only thing that has changed is that Mama doesn’t make my clothes any more. And that is both a good thing and a bad thing.

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RICH: Lives in common

This is my South of which I am so proud, a community, broad and vast, where tribulations and triumphs alike are shared.

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RICH: Looking to help

When it’s born in you, you just keep doing the best you can to help those in need.

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RICH: The ugly casserole dishes

Any self-respecting Southern woman has a list of casserole recipes a mile long ready to bake at a moment’s notice. You got a sickness or a death in your family, we’ve got just the casserole for you.

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RICH; Well, bless my heart

She said it, of course, with smirk. Those women who really don’t understand the ways of the women of the South seem to always speak about us in words that are vividly cloaked in disdain.

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RICH: The final story from Charlie Tinker's grave

Charlie Tinker had a front row seat to history, ranging from a friendship with Lincoln to the Civil War to the hanging of those convicted. Thanks to his diaries, we are able to see what he saw.

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RICH: Don't wait on some day

“Some day,” Daddy used to say often as I was growing up, “I’m going to the Holy Land. I want to walk where Jesus walked.”

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RICH: Teaching independence

Having helped raised Mama to independence, I can tell you —be it teenagers or elderly mothers, independence is a good thing for everyone.

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RICH: How General Grant Became Mr. Grant

Upon discovering Charles Almerin Tinker’s leaf-strewn grave in Green-Wood cemetery in Brooklyn, NY, we – one of us more than the other – began to study the names and dates engraved on the towering monument.

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RICH: Don't overlook the importance of a pretty package

The renowned bow maker in my hometown died. Only in the South would this probably be news because we Southern women do admire a package well wrapped.

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RICH: The way she was

The way she was was a long way from what she became. I can't help thinking about how life veers so far away from the beginning of the journey and how the destination can vary drastically from where it all started.