Ronda Rich's blog

Memories of Suitcase Jake Elder

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When news came that one of the most memorable Southern characters had passed from this world, I found myself musing back on the color, interest, and myriad conflict he brought to the world around him.

He was not boring. Not ever. And that, my friend, is the boldest mark of a fabulous character, Southern or not. Read More»

Believing my own eyes (not)

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It’s getting to the point that I don’t believe my own eyes or trust what my ears hear. Sometimes it feels like I’m starring in the old movie, “Gas Light,” where the world is conspiring to make me think I’m crazy.

For the record, I know I’m crazy. It runs in the family. But it’s a good kind of crazy that is fun and interesting where we view the world in an off-kilter way. But I’m telling you: People are out to make me think I’m really crazy. The kind of crazy that isn’t good. Read More»

The Great Flood

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When one of life’s tribulations smacked me in the eye, I did not cry. I thought, instead, of Daddy’s words from way back then.

I stood among the rubble, stunned by the devastation that my eyes beheld, and heard his words so strong and clear.

“Let me tell you something, little girl,” he had said, looking square into my 16-year-old eyes. “Worry not over what hard work and money can replace.” Read More»

Our mail delivers happiness

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When I had the privilege of delivering a keynote address to the National Association of Postmasters of the United States (NAPUS) in Anchorage, Alaska, I spoke on the joy that comes in the form of a card or letter.

Oh, I’ve had my share of aggravations with packages that are lost, and once it took a first class letter six weeks to travel 40 miles, but the smiles have been more plentiful than the troubles. It is a wonderful thing that every American is given the right to receive mail delivered right to our door. Read More»

Minding your own business

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One night as a particularly hard, extremely long rain poured down, I discovered a leak in my roof. The leak became a minor problem. Finding a roofer to show up and fix it became the primary problem.

Is it just me – I know it’s not – or do many business folks just don’t care? For the most part, customer service is sadly lacking.

Now, I tend to understand this more with big businesses than with small, independent businesses. I’m to the point that when folks treat me as if my business really matters, I fall down on my knees, misty-eyed with gratitude and profusely thank them. Read More»

Unlocking the mystery of the keys

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At Mama’s house, which is now my office, I found a tea cup filled with keys, most of them tarnished but all of them a mystery as to what they could unlock.

Now if Mama was still with us and not basking in the glory of the Lord, I can absolutely promise you that she would have no idea where these keys belong. Three sets were on key chains, hinting of a higher level of importance. Read More»

Oh, the stories you will find

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

I love it so that I have my own copy and pull it out from time to time, especially when I find myself in the “waiting place.” The beloved children’s author wrote a book aimed at adults and the road we travel in this journey of life. It is a wonderful creation of wisdom and humor. Read More»

My train ride to New Orleans

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When the yearning for a weekend trip to New Orleans appeared, much like the late night craving for a bag of potato chips, it took no persuasion to convince Poet to meet me there.

“Name the day and I shall arrive happily,” he declared when the words had barely been released from my lips. “I am, my dear lady, at your beck and call.”

And so, true to his word, the weekend dates I suggested were deemed “perfect” and the plans were put into motion.

“I have a notion,” I said to Poet, “that I shall take the train to New Orleans.” Read More»

Guardian angel of animals

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There are those – perhaps many – who would claim that animals do not have a guardian angel. On behalf of my animals, I vehemently disagree. They have one and her name is Jill.

Now, Jill looks as you would expect an angel to look. She is pretty — very pretty, in fact — with dark hair and a beautiful smile that lights up a room and a giggle that will quickly envelope that room and make everyone else giggle.

She is a young wife and mother, but she moonlights as a guardian angel. Thank God for Jill. Read More»

Southern way of death

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Months before Mama died, she worried incessantly about the cost of obituaries in newspapers. Some charge by the word, you know.

Staunchly Scotch-Irish that she was – and a child of the Depression – every penny counted for this woman of the Southern Appalachians. When I cleaned out her old freezer, I found four dozen large butter tubs of homemade vegetable soup, all dated with ink on a strip of masking tape, many going back as far as 15 or 20 years. She was cautious about the economy before it was fashionable. Read More»

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