Ronda Rich's blog

Mama and her money

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It was a couple of years before Mama just up and died without warning and when we least expected it, that I was visiting her one day.

I recall it precisely.

I was sitting on the edge of the sofa and she was in her well-worn recliner, sipping coffee. A look came over her face that was always specific to a well-thought out announcement. She tilted her head to the side, raised an eyebrow and said, “If I knew that I’d live long enough to get enough use out of it, I’d buy me a new bedroom suite.” Read More»

Living the American dream

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Somewhere along the line, it seems, people have stopped talking about the American Dream.

I can’t recall the last time I heard anyone, in person or through the media, remind folks that we live in the greatest country on earth and that here in this land of profound freedom, opportunities abound, and no one, regardless of race or level of economic upbringing, is held back from grand and lofty aspirations. Read More»

A boy named Juan

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Thousands of days, all those filled with clouds, rain, snow or sunshine, have passed since that time, yet the lesson sticks stubbornly to my heart.

For two years, I spent Tuesday afternoons volunteering as a mentor in an elementary school where every child was poor. An astounding 96 percent of them qualified for free or reduced price lunches. The vast majority of them had traveled with their families from a desperate country where, though it’s hard to imagine, they had been even poorer than the life they found in America. Read More»

A heroic family

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It happened recently. The 20th anniversary of the death of stock car racer Davey Allison. Maybe you remember him. Maybe you don’t.

But I shall never forget him.

The first time I met him was when he won an ARCA race at the track then called Atlanta International Raceway. I was a sports writer covering the event. He was happy but his joy was marred by the death of another driver that day. The next time I saw him was a couple of years later in Talladega. Never have I seen anyone as happy, just bursting with unbridled joy, as Davey was that day.
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Raised to shop better

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Tink had been in Los Angeles for a week, so that morning before his plane left LAX, it occurred to me that a good wifely thing to do would be to welcome him back to the Rondarosa with a home-cooked meal.

It would be, I decided, simple but grand. After deciding upon a vegetable lasagna and a four-layer red velvet cake with coconut cream cheese icing (nothing says, ‘Welcome back South’ better than red velvet cake) I sat down at the kitchen table to make out the grocery list. Read More»

Men of war

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We had a funeral at church the other day, which was not unusual. Rodney laid his work aside and came to direct the choir. That, too, was not unusual. I sang in the choir. Now that was very unusual.

Because it was a Saturday and many faithful choir members, including my sister, had obligated to something else a few weeks before, Rodney was a bit worried about having enough people to sing “I’ll Meet You In The Morning.” Though everyone knows that I can’t sing, I can dress up and put on a black suit and move my lips so I quit smack dab in the midst of cleaning my closet and off I went. Read More»

Beautiful in wisdom

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She was not a pretty woman in the days of her youth. Her lips were too thin, her forehead too high and her eyes so round that they seemed to bulge into the lens of the glasses she wore.

But the lack of youthful beauty is a gift in old age for a woman becomes just an old woman, not a faded beauty who has the sympathy of those who knew her when and can say, “You should have known her then. Beautiful she was back in the day.” Read More»

Little girl with red dirt feet

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Most husbands, if they carry a photo of their wives, like for it to be one of glamour and beauty. That would not be my husband.

On his iPhone as his screen saver, the image that comes up every time he turns on or opens his phone, is a photo he found tucked away one day.

It is a little red-headed, freckle-faced 3-year-old with laughing eyes, chubby cheeks and a big smile. I am seated, bare-footed, on the front porch of our little brick house with a stubby arm thrown around my bushy-haired collie mutt who weighed more than I. Read More»

Merging & purging

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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.

Those shoes had a history, one that made me smile. I was a young sports reporter on assignment at USA Today in Washington, D.C. I had a terrific blue and black wool suit that Mama had made which matched them perfectly. The first time I wore that outfit, I was covering the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Texas and wore it to a coaches’ press conference. Read More»

Lives in common

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The woman looked over the selection of books, picked up four and smiled. “My husband said to buy whatever I wanted.”

She handed them to me to sign and told me her name. “I enjoy what you write so much. It’s the way I was raised. I understand it.” Read More»

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