Ronda Rich's blog

Coming home

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One evening back in late spring, I returned home from two weeks of flitting through major airports and hurrying bare-footed through security sensors. I was bone-weary from cramped planes — the center seat too many times — and delayed flights.

Home never felt, smelled or looked so good. The cows bawled a hello, the two cats joyously bounced around the garage and a lick-happy, shivering Dixie Dew danced with delight. The world felt perfectly right and cozy. And the funny thing is that I hadn’t even realized it was askew until I stepped from my car. Read More»

When Lincoln dies

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[Editor’s note: This is third in a three-part series.]

Charlie Tinker, according to his diary, was feeling poorly on the morning of April 15, 1865. He had left the office on April 12, gone home and to bed. A doctor visited and said he must stay in bed since he had an intermittent fever.

Sadly, that sickness would confine him to bed for the next two days, meaning that the last he would see of his good friend, Abraham Lincoln, was when the President had comically frolicked out of the telegraph office on the 11th. Read More»

Looking for a woman

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There’s a woman I’m looking for. Perhaps you know where she is. If you do, please help me find her again.

It’s been several years since our paths crossed but the moment our eyes met, I was captivated. Her eyes told me she had a story to tell me, a life of adventure and a misadventure or two. I’m drawn toward stories but then you know that. My friends and families choose gifts for me, saying, “It has a story so she’ll love it.” It is always the story that is more valuable to me than the present. Read More»

Charlie’s diaries on Lincoln

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[Editor’s Note: This is the second installment of a three-part series. It is running over a five-week period rather than three consecutive weeks.]

Thirty notebooks in pristine condition lay about me on the bed in Los Angeles after my husband had surprised me with the diaries of his great-great-grandfather, Charlie Tinker, a White House telegrapher who had been friends with President Abraham Lincoln.

Gingerly, I picked up the wonderments of history and found them to be in exceptional condition as though they were only a few decades old not 150 years in age. Read More»

Learning life’s lessons

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In those days — the ones of my cherished youth — my cousin, Ronnie, a year older than I, worked for my daddy. Ronnie had cotton-colored hair and a face that, like mine, was smattered with freckles. He had what the lucky ones on Daddy’s side of the family inherit: a quick-thinking sense of humor that is succinct, clever and smart.

While I remember many good things about my sweet-spirited cousin in those days, the thing I remember most — and admire beyond explanation — is how he trailed around behind Daddy, hanging on to his every word and carefully processing his advice. Read More»

Charlie and Mr. Lincoln

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[Editor’s note: This is the first of a three-part series over a five-week period.)

His name is Charles Almerin Tinker and he was the great-great-grandfather of my beloved.

“Charlie Tinker,” I sometimes hear my husband say as he passes the large framed photo. “You’re spinning in your grave. Your picture is hanging in the home of a Confederate.” Read More»

Easy way becomes hard way

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It seems to me that a lot of young people have it easy. Too many kids in high school and college are shielded from work and not taught the importance of money or earning it. It seems to me that this is a major default in the education of life.

If you don’t know the worth of a dollar or what it takes to earn that dollar, how can you successfully manage for the rest of your life? How can you start a family? Raise a family? Survive professional setbacks? Retire? Read More»

Women want to be rescued?

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Nicole and I were working out together one day and for some reason, she brought up a self-help, faith-related book we had both read. The thesis, basically, is how men are born with wild hearts, which should be admired not restrained by women.

“What did you learn from that book?” she asked as I attempted arm curls with weights too heavy.

“That every woman wants to be rescued,” I took the opportunity to rest. I can’t talk and work out, too.

“That is not what that book said,” she retorted. Read More»

Don’t mock how we talk

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There I was, sitting at my desk, writing away, bothering no one when my phone rang. It was Hollywood calling.

“Hey,” said a friend of ours who is a big-time movie producer. “I have you on speaker phone and the director of casting is here with me.”

Now, don’t go getting ahead of me and think they were calling to offer me a part of some kind. No, they were calling to ask about a famous friend of mine, whom they wanted to offer a part in a major movie. Read More»

The gate

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It all started with a break-in then continued to a breaking point when a crazy woman showed up at my door, ranting about aliens who had landed at her house. She needed me to write an article to warn their commander not to send them back to her house.

When Tink heard I had run off a car full of Jehovah Witnesses with my shotgun, he said, “That’s it. We’re putting in a gate. For your safety as well as the safety of aliens and Jehovah Witnesses.”

For a while, I had demurred over installing a privacy gate but, finally, I was ready to agree. The crazy woman and her aliens had persuaded me. Read More»