My grandmother – Daddy’s mother – was sometimes called “crazy” by others who didn’t quite understand her eccentric ways. Of course, in the South, we are proud of such a label for it means that we are interesting and worthy of being the center of coffee and cake conversation.
For those of you who are faithful to this column, you will, no doubt, recall that last year I made brand new resolutions. I tossed out the old ones that I had failed at repeatedly and trudged ahead to new ones, optimistically believing that success was mine for taking.
I realized this year, though, that there is one day of the Christmas season that never disappoints me. In fact, it is always warmer, more loving, memorable, and joyous than I expect. That’s the day that I put up my favorite of three trees.
Whether this has been a year that leaned more toward blessings or tribulations, give thanks for it. Because even the hard times are leading to better times and when you get to those better days, you’ll celebrate them with pure joy.
The American Dream. Pure and simple. Why aren’t we doing more to extol it these days? Why aren’t we celebrating the opportunities of a country where the poor can rise mightily?
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.
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.
When the military guard stood at attention at Mr. Hoyt’s casket and taps played, I put my hand over my heart and cried.
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.
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.
This is my South of which I am so proud, a community, broad and vast, where tribulations and triumphs alike are shared.
When it’s born in you, you just keep doing the best you can to help those in need.
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.
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.
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.