Farming knows no boundaries. Cows are born on the rainiest days and get out, usually scattering into the road, in the darkest of nights, water lines burst on the coldest days and tractors break down in the field under the most scorching sun.
For those who have no idea how good they've got it, how blessed they are in life, introduce to them to the other folks.
We've all got stories, we just don't all turn them into books. But that's not to say we shouldn't.
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.
You can't buy history like this. You can't earn it, either. You just have to thank the good Lord for giving you the gift of a small town family.
With Mother's Day here again, my thoughts drift back to Mama and how she put me through college.
The truth isn't always pretty. Or easy. But it certainly gives respect to those who tell it.
At a garage sale, that bowl would bring no more than a nickel or a dime, bought by someone who would use it for dog food or fertilizer or such. But from me, you couldn't buy it for a million dollars.
Though I come from hardscrabble folks where education was a luxury, they had enough learning to know that others should be treated with decency and respect.
In churches like ours, the men gather on one side and the women on the other so they can sing parts and blend deliciously together. To me, it is simply beautiful to hear songs like "I'll Fly Away" or "When We All Get To Heaven" sung with such gusto, almost always ending with a soprano refrain.
Oh how I love a parade.
I can't wait to return and tour the home again, under official guidance.
Mr. Gene Bobo was special. There's no denying nor disputing that. He was a courtly Southern gentleman, his manners impeccable and his vocabulary belonging to a genteel past.
Honesty isn't always pretty, but sometimes it gains respect, no matter how unpleasant.
I love dreamers who have courage. That's even better than an Academy Award.
It's six degrees of separation. Southern style when it comes to knowing people in your neck of the woods.
Now I understand all the other folks who have quoted such high prices -- returning calls and showing up makes a person valuable so they can charge more.
I've been thinking about kids in the middle like me.
Twain once said, "A person who won't read has no advantage over one who can't read." When it comes to writing, I'll spin that a bit: The writer who won't invest thought in the lives of others has no advantage over those who can't.
I'll probably be repeating these resolutions again next year. Just like all my previous resolutions.
"Have you ever told a short story in your life?" I asked one day during one of marathon length. She twisted her mouth tightly as oft she did when annoyed. "If it's too short, it ain't worth tellin'. Why waste the time?"
As Truman Capote, the Alabama-raised writer, often said, "Every Southerner goes home sooner or later, even if in a pine box."
The third, and final, installment, of a look at Charlie Tinker's diary.
A picture can really be worth a thousand words.
As you reflect on your many blessings and celebrate them for Thanksgiving, please think of how you can share those blessings during Christmas. A card, a casserole or a Christmas tree could be the most important gift you give. I guess what it boils down to is this: A merry Christmas starts with a happy, blessed Thanksgiving.
The second installment of my husband's great-great-grandfather, Charlie Tinker, a White House telegrapher who had been friends with President Abraham Lincoln.
The future belongs to both those in age and those in youth. May we all be wise enough to know when to teach and when to learn, for to each, there is a season.
Charlie Tinker, great-great-grandfather of my beloved, was close friends with the 16th president of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. The pair had met when they both lived in Illinois and Lincoln had become fascinated by a new-fangled invention that Charlie had become an expert at the telegraph.
Who man or woman wouldn't want to be rescued? Life is hard. Who of us would turn down the chance to have life easier? Who would put a foot down and say, "No! Don't do something for me that takes worry away!
Nothing makes me madder than folks who make fun of Southern accents.
Putting up a gate in front of our house was more difficult than I imagined. What wasn't a surprise, is that my idea for the design won out.
You can be a good storyteller without being a good flirt. But you cannot be a great flirt without being a terrific storyteller.
I am most saddened by the lack of empathy that some folks have. I lacked it, too, in my ignorant youth. But you grow up and your thoughts on things like that change.
I have decided that it isn't grooming that I or any typical Southern woman have, it is more appropriately termed as "polish."
Be sweet. What a powerful parental teaching.
When it comes to knowing affairs of the heart, it's not a good idea to bet against me.
When it comes to the many books stacked around my house, don't call them clutter. They are treasures.
It's hard to believe that a person who teaches literature would not have read the Southern classic.
It was a sweet sight, no doubt. My heart is always drawn to God's animal creatures, especially those who have found themselves abandoned young.
Making me learn how to succeed on my own was a lesson my mother an father taught me that wasn't very "rotten" at al.l
Several years ago, I befriended a woman in Cincinnati but then you know that, don't you? I've told you all about Miss Loretta.. If you're new to this column, I'll fill you in. She is the widow of a Cincinnati policeman. She did not marry until she was 37 because
Learning of my daddy's rough times growing up made me appreciate my childhood days all that much more.
Even though he came from California, my old friend Jim had a way of connecting to and understanding Southern folks.
My friend got the role of a lifetime -- a small part in a movie starring Dolly Parton -- but I don't mind taking some credit for pushing her in that direction.
Mama's wedding ring a sparkling -- and poignant -- reminder of her.
Sometimes this old world gets crazy enough that it drives the sane insane and the easy-going folks to swear.
When it comes to inspiration, I'm hoping that opposites really do attract.
When it comes to Southern cooking, your biscuit pan says a lot about you.
It's me. Dixie Dew, again. Y'all who read this column regularly know that I am Ronda's adorable and svelte (though she writes differently) dachshund. This is the third time I've guest-written this column but since it's Mother's Day, I'm giving her the day off. This is my gift to
By not listening to what everyone else thought, my friend found a love of a lifetime.