"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."
Back years ago when Mama was widowed, it became suddenly and shockingly clear that she wasn't completely capable of being on her own. This was news to us because she had always stepped up and done whatever it took to look after our family. She was quite ingenious and hard-working.
This is the second of a three-part series on the discoveries made after a visit to Charlie Tinker's grave.
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.
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.
(This is a three-part series on Charlie. This is the first installment.)
There's nothing glamorous about being a farmer, nothing charming, little endearing and certainly few things easy about it. It is either a calling or a curse, depending on how one looks at it. Some are born into it and some just can't find a way to escape it, for it's all they've ever known.
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.
Christmas is the time that we pack expectations into every package we wrap and for weeks anticipate that one, perfect Currier-Ives day.
Oh, the stories people tell. Not always good ones, mind you, but the kind that will make you fall down on your knees and thank the good Lord up above that you don't have a story like that.
Over lunch the other day with friends - all in the newspaper business - I mentioned that I occasionally speak at writers' conferences.
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.
Around the corner, out in the country where we live, is a hardware store owned by a guy I have known since the day I was born. Our bassinets were next to each other in the hospital nursery.
If New Year's is a time to regroup and look toward the upcoming year, then Thanksgiving is a time to gather and reflect on the year that has passed. In our family, it is a time when we thank the good Lord for both the heartaches and the blessings.
It happened in Memphis. A lot of history and interesting stuff occurs in that magical city that sits grandly on the Mississippi River. Elvis held court there, the blues grew up there and barbecue is queen. Elvis, of course, is still king.
One year ago I prepared to welcome another spring in a way that has become a family tradition: running the Boston Marathon.
It is each of the many Easters of my life that I remember more clearly than any other holiday. Christmases blur together with only a few standing out in my memory, such as the one when it snowed all day, the year I lost my voice completely, and the two times that I wasn't home - one working in Washington, D.C., and another in London.
For years, I blamed it on those richly royal blue suede high heel pumps. The ones with the ridiculously tall, spiked heel and absurdly pointed toe. I was 22 when I bought them, 36 when I donated them to the Salvation Army.
The woman looked over the selection of books, picked up four and smiled. "My husband said to buy whatever I wanted."
They all come with some kind of a price and all with a certain amount of disappointment but still Rodney keeps trying.
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.
Mama had great stories. My favorite was the only one I asked often for her to repeat. It has become something of an anthem in my life.
The Georgia Salzburger Society will celebrate its 280th Landing Day on Saturday at Jerusalem Lutheran Church.
By chance, we happened upon him in a small gift shop. The clerk recognizing me laughed and said, "What a coincidence! She just bought a copy of your book!" She gestured toward a small woman browsing through a group of men's sweaters.
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.
This is the third part of a three-part series on a visit to Charlie Tinker's grave.
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