Ronda Rich's blog

Resolutely carrying on . . .

Ronda Rich's picture

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.

Let me just update you on a couple of those. Read More»

Christmas tree memories

Ronda Rich's picture

Christmas is the time that we pack expectations into every package we wrap and for weeks anticipate that one, perfect Currier-Ives day.

And, of course, since any day is seldom perfect, there are varying degrees of let-down that trickle across the population.

For some people with high hopes, Christmas Day turns out to be melancholy. I realized this year, though, that there is one day of the Christmas season that never disappoints me. In fact, it is always warmer, more loving, memorable, and joyous than I expect. Read More»

The ugly casserole dishes

Ronda Rich's picture

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.

For years, my go-to casserole for such occasions was a hearty shepherd’s pie, a ground beef concoction topped with creamed potatoes. I added rolls and a dish of green peas then tucked it all into a big white basket and carried it off to the ailing. Read More»

Be a pig or be a possum

Ronda Rich's picture

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.

She grew up in the 1930s Appalachians where life was remote and simple but meaningful. She told the story of a simple-minded cousin named Henry who was sent by his parents to visit other members of the family.

It was a journey of several hours on foot so it required that he stop and have a meal with another family. In a burlap sack, Henry toted a baby pig which his daddy had instructed that he should give to Henry’s aunt and uncle as a gift. Read More»

Blessings & troubles

Ronda Rich's picture

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.

We thank Him for the grace that upheld us and saw us through the troubles and His beautiful goodness in the gifts and blessings He bestowed. Read More»

Keeping the dream alive

Ronda Rich's picture

By chance, we happened upon him in a small gift shop. The clerk recognized 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.

That began a cordial conversation when I thanked her for buying the book. Her son, somewhere in his 30s, perked up and listened. He settled himself down on a comfortable sofa and said not a word until his mother said, “My son is a writer, too.” Read More»

Oh, dear, bless her heart

Ronda Rich's picture

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.

“The thing about you Southern women,” she began as I shifted from one foot to another and instinctively crossed my arms defensively. Whenever someone says, “you Southern women,” it is not going to be a hymn of praise. “You think you can say anything you want about anyone then excuse it all with ‘bless her heart.’” Read More»

What Charlie Tinker saw

Ronda Rich's picture

(This is the third part of a three-part series on a visit to Charlie Tinker’s grave.)

It is the summer of 1865 and, according to Charlie Tinker’s diaries, it has been a summer of oppressive heat, its airless steaminess made more miserable by the heavy sorrow that he and his colleagues have shouldered since the death of their Commander-in-Chief, Abraham Lincoln. Read More»

Don’t wait on some day

Ronda Rich's picture

“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.”

He talked about it a lot and dreamed about it even more. In those days before the world was presented to us wrapped up in a passel of knowledge known as the Internet, Daddy bought big maps of that storied land.

They were gingerly rolled up and tied with a ribbon after each time he spread them out on the kitchen table and studied them like a child studying a new game. Read More»

Mama on her own

Ronda Rich's picture

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 did whatever it took to look after our family. She was quite ingenious and hard working.

“Ronda,” she said one day. “I need you to call the doctor’s office and make my annual appointment.”

“Why can’t you call?” I asked.

“Because I’m afraid to. I get nervous and I’m afraid I’ll say something wrong.” Read More»

Recent Comments