Ronda Rich's blog

The smells of home

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In accordance to our weekly routine, we gather at my sister’s house every Sunday for dinner following church. Normally she, who does most of the work, chooses the menu but the tradition is that each one of us gets to choose lunch for our birthday. Read More»

Marriage and my good life

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A while back, after a speaking engagement, I was signing books when a woman, somewhere in her forties, I suppose, came through the line. We exchanged courtesies then I handed her books back to her. But she didn’t walk away, despite the long line of folks waiting behind her. She looked at me expectantly then leaned a little closer. Read More»

A new New Year's Resolution

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Let’s agree: This will be a new year unlike any other in recent time. Let’s each make a vow to do something bold, unexpected and something that will make a fresh imprint on the path of our lives.

Something that will surprise even those who know us best and love us most.

Oh, we all make minor tweaks to our lives each time one chapter — the old year — closes and the new chapter begins. We eat better or less, exercise more, go to church or tighten our budgets. Sometimes, we adhere to these tweaks for a few days or weeks but, occasionally, we stick to them throughout the year. Read More»

The perfect Xmas Day

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If the experts are to be believed, then Christmas seldom lives up to our high expectations and that’s why so many are stricken with depression and gloom during the holidays. It’s a let-down after a big build-up. Read More»

Trying to find some kindness

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Larry, an aspiring writer, wrote me the other day and asked if I would read a synopsis of a book he is working to complete. Like me, he writes of Southern people, especially those who rise up from the crooks and hollows of the mountains.

Though it troubled me to do so, I had to respond that I don’t read the unpublished work of other writers. There are two important reasons for that. First, I fear that I could swallow something sub-consciously and then regurgitate it as my own words. Now, I’d never do that intentionally. I’m boringly ethical. But it could happen by mistake. Read More»

Losing out to an ugly woman

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Perhaps it isn’t a great mystery of life but it’s certainly one of life’s more intriguing questions. At least for us women, that is.

Think about this: Is it easier on your self-esteem to lose a guy to an ugly woman or a beautiful one? Having lost guys in every way possible, I should be able to answer this. After all, I have lost out to beautiful women and once I was jilted in favor of a girl so ugly that even my own father mocked me. Read More»

Miss Virgie says

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When Miss Virgie, my beloved mentor on all things Southern proper, came to visit with her husband, Bill, she lovingly lectured me whenever I fell short.

“Oh my goodness, what a cook you are,” she said, smiling approvingly as I set a platter of country fried steak on the table, then pulled a pan of homemade biscuits from the oven. “Those are the prettiest biscuits I ever saw.”

That’s a strong compliment coming from a woman raised in Pascagoula, Miss., and schooled in the finer art of cooking in Paris, France. Read More»

Memories with a friend

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It’s a Thanksgiving tradition, albeit one started accidentally a few years ago. Now, it has become as important as turkey and dressing and cherished as much as the dinner with family and friends.

My friend, Karen, and I cook our advance dishes together on Wednesday, chatting non-stop as we peel potatoes, mix together ingredients and raise our voices over the intrusion of the roaring mixer.
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The simple joys

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One morning in Sunday School class, members were requesting prayer for those who were facing trials and tribulations. Solemnly, Billy, our teacher, nodded at each, then asked if there were more. After a couple of minutes of silence, I raised my hand and smiled.

“I have a praise report.”

He grinned. “Okay.”

“I have a new baby calf.” I shuddered with the excitement of a child as laughter sprinkled across the class. Someone did not laugh. She rolled her eyes and shook her head. Read More»

Can we do it all again?

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As bad as it might sound, I have a couple of friends for whom I pray that they will outlive their spouses. The reason is simple: I want to see them have peace and happiness on this earth.

All long-term marriages have ups and downs because that’s the way of life. Sometimes it’s hilly, sometimes it’s smooth and flat. The difference is when relationships are sustained through love and good humor over grim determination. Some people, I believe, stay married to each other just out of meanness, not love. They just don’t want to see the other happy and content. Read More»