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Ronda Rich

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RICH: The last lap

Somehow I ran across an out-of-print book called "The Last Lap." It is now 15 years old but tells an intriguing, timeless tale of the early days of America's first stock car racers.

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RICH: The useless opinions of others

By not listening to what everyone else thought, my friend found a love of a lifetime.

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RICH: Remembering, and finally understanding, the prayers of my father

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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RICH: Always reach for laughter during hard times

You go to the funeral home to pay respects and run into people you haven't seen in ages.

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RICH: Always reach for laughter during hard times

You know how it happens. You go to the funeral home to pay respects and run into people you haven’t seen in ages. Many years have passed but yet y’all begin telling stories — always the funny ones — and, there in the midst of grief, you begin to laugh.

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RICH: Here's to staying young at heart, young in looks

One morning, I received an email from a reader who began by explaining that her 81-year-old mother was a devoted reader of this column and my books.

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RICH: Here's to staying young at heart, young in looks

One morning, I received an email from a reader who began by explaining that her 81-year-old mother was a devoted reader of this column and my books.

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RICH: Admiring, appreciating the kindness of risk-takers

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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RICH: Admiring, appreciating the kindness of risk-takers

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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RICH: A masterpiece to be revered, not ridiculed

It wasn't long ago that a friend of mine -- a West Coaster no less -- got onto the subject of country music. Some he likes, some he doesn't, he said. Then, he laughed and recalled a song he had recently encountered.

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RICH: A masterpiece to be revered, not ridiculed

It wasn’t long ago that a friend of mine — a West Coaster no less — got onto the subject of country music. Some he likes, some he doesn’t, he said. Then, he laughed and recalled a song he had recently encountered.

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RICH: St. Simons Island is my home away from home

There is a seaside village on the coast of Georgia that my heart, in fact my entire being, is summoned to at fairly regular intervals. It is as much home to me as the red clay hills of north Georgia.

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RICH: Writers always have a story about a book that's special

You cannot be a writer without being a reader. It's a simple observation, but no wiser words have ever seen ink on paper. For writers are always drawn to and mesmerized by words. We drink up pretty syllables like drunks depend on cheap wine.

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RICH: Remembering my father, a man of strong faith

When I or anyone else thinks of Daddy, it is his faith that defined him over and above all else. The man and his faith were inseparable. To know his faith, was to know him. To know him, was to come face-to-face with a bullet-proof faith.

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RICH: Ladies, wait for the man to ask you for a date

One day, I realized that a guy friend had mentioned a woman several times over a couple of weeks, saying in casual conversation that she had called and invited him to various places.

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RICH: I must have inherited curiosity from my mama

Oh, the ironies of life. My godmother and I were going somewhere one day when she said, "Did you read the obituaries this morning?"

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RICH: Nothing is sexier than a woman with 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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RICH: Mama never wavered from her faith in God

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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RICH: Always remember the bigger the struggles, the greater the pay off

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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RICH: The season of Easter has arrived with many influences on life

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?”

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RICH: It is time for Dixie Dew to tell it all in her own column

Editor’s note: Ronda’s dog takes over today’s column, with a little help.

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RICH: Whatever happened to visiting on Sunday afternoons?

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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RICH: A kind of frugality that should be honored, not forgotten

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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RICH: God likes to remind us of our stupidity at inopportune times

In my life I’ve done some crazy things, things that defy reason and in retrospect lead even me to say, “What was I thinking?”

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RICH: Faces of youngsters are the reflection of love or lack of it

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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RICH: Rediscovering Mama and myself through my childhood home

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.

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RICH: The most memorable Christmas gift was built on a rock

His name was Ricky, and though I remember the gift he gave me that Christmas 30 years ago, I don’t recall his last name. I wish I did.

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RICH: I am blessed by the hard times I've overcome

Daddy always believed that the good Lord should be thanked for the hard times as much as He was praised for the good times.

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RICH: Oh, the places you'll go and the stories you'll hear if you just listen

A favorite book in my family, one we often buy for new college graduates, is Dr. Suess' "Oh, The Places You'll Go."

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RICH: Oh, the places you'll go and the stories you'll hear if you just listen

A favorite book in my family, one we often buy for new college graduates, is Dr. Suess’ “Oh, The Places You’ll Go.”

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RICH: The true test of solid advice is if you would take it yourself

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.

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RICH: Thank you notes are appreciated

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.

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RICH: Learning to outgrow a great deal of sensitivity over the years

You know, it's beginning to occur to me that I'm not sensitive enough. This is quite a revelation since I spent a good amount of my life being told that I was too sensitive. As a child, Mama said that I got my feelings hurt too easily and I needed to snap out of it.

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RICH: Some words you need to be Southern to understand

Rodney, the reigning patriarch of our family, loves sorghum syrup, which, in the mountains, is called "soggum syrup."

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RICH: What to expect from a renowned adventurer, man-about-town

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.

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RICH: Easter season means shopping time for good Southern men

Years ago, before fuel conservation became popular, 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.

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RICH: The days of 1937 featured tough times and strong faith

When she talked about those tribulations back in 1937, her feeble voice crackled with both age and emotion. With more than 70 years separating then from now, the grief still lingered but wisdom had covered it like moss on a riverbank.

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RICH: Never ask a single woman, 'Why aren't you married?'

It was one of those crowded events a while back that I didn't want to attend.

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RICH: Never ask a single woman, 'Why aren't you married?'

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.

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RICH: What happens when Southern grits meet Las Vegas glitz

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."

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RICH: Always take the time to enjoy the simple things in life

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.

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RICH: A quick visit to the ghosts of Southerners past

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.

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RICH: Full moons bring more to night sky than a simple light

For some reason, I've always loved full moons. Every time I see one, I stop in my tracks, fully absorb and appreciate its beauty and then thank the good Lord that I lived to see another beautiful full moon.

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RICH: Having an entourage that's adoring, attentive and free

It's true. Some things you have to see to believe. And then, even though you're certain of the reliability of your own eyes, you don't believe it.

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RONDA RICH: Falling in love with the enemy but doing the right thing

Funny how situations in life can slip up on you and turn your feelings completely around.

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RICH: Thanksgiving dinner always good for characters, stories

Thanksgiving is a time to come together and celebrate a family's beloved characters, the ones who give us many stories to declare and laughter to share.

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