Ronda Rich's blog

Happy New Year!

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Of course, I’ll be having black-eyed peas and collard greens for New Year’s Day. It has become more than a tradition. It’s almost downright superstition, though I hate to admit that.

And, of course, I’ll make the usual resolutions. I’ll commit those stubborn six pounds to a diet, pledge to work out more than once a week, promise to be kinder to those who are meaner and read my Bible daily. Read More»

Christmas in hard times

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When Mama was a small girl growing up in the Nimblewill Valley in the Appalachian foothills, it was the midst of the Great Depression. As she often said, “Times were hard but it’s all we knew so we didn’t know how poor we were.” Read More»

Flirting with success

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It’s a funny thing about us Southerners. If a Yankee criticizes us, we haughtily disregard it, muttering over their ignorance.

But on the occasion that a Yankee compliments us, we happily embrace it and declare that we have found an enlightened Yankee.

Such was the case with me when a reporter from a Yankee newspaper called to interview me on the fine art of flirtation.

“Why did you call me?” I asked.

“Because everyone knows that Southern women are the best flirts,” she replied simply.

I loved enlightened Yankees. They are a joy to my soul. Read More»

A feeling of empathy

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One night while out to dinner, I noticed an elegant elderly lady at the next table over who was dining alone. I was drawn to her because sorrow clouded her eyes and she smiled sadly, the kind we all force when we do not feel happy.

The waiter seemed to know her. He leaned down to chat with her, placed his hand on her shoulder and was kindly solicitous. She responded with a grateful look. It was, for all practical purposes, an empathetic exchange. I called the waiter over and asked about the woman. Read More»

Grooming and the lack of it

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Not long ago, I was in Los Angeles and visiting Tink on the set of a television show that he was executive producing. We sat side-by-side in director chairs, watching as the scene was set up and actors took their place. I looked across Tink to see a woman studying me carefully. I smiled.

She tilted her head then asked, “Are you Mrs. Tinker?”

I smiled bigger. “Yes, I am.”

She nodded, silently studying me. “I thought so. You’re Southern, right?” There was no smile, no social engaging from her. I felt like a rat in a laboratory examination.

Again, “Yes, I am.” Read More»

Now you be sweet

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When I was growing up — probably well into my college years — Mama’s last words as I walked out the door were always the same.

“Be sweet.”

Not even when I started driving and she should have said, “Be careful,” did she deviate. Somewhere along the way, though, she gave that up. Perhaps because she decided I would never be sweet or perhaps she thought I had finally learned it well enough. But, truthfully, I think it was because she finally switched to “Love you” as I left. Read More»

A gift of giving thanks

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This isn’t really a Thanksgiving column. It’s more of a Christmas column. Well, actually, it is a Thanksgiving column because it’s about being thankful enough for your blessings that you share them at Christmas.

I thought I’d share these thoughts early enough that you could put them into practice over the next month if you would like. Over the last six months, three of my favorite people have left this earth to step into the presence of the Lord. Their absences mean that I’m going to be losing two favorite holiday traditions. Read More»

The bet - a bad one for him

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One evening I was sorting through clothes in the bedroom while Tink, settled in a comfortable chair, was (as usual) fiddling with his phone. A message he read triggered a story.

He began to tell me a brief story (men leave out a lot of details) about a guy we know and a woman he had recently been dating. There was nothing particularly special about the story unless you are a woman wise in the ways of other women.

“What?” I asked as I took a dress off the hanger. I heard what he said but I couldn’t believe what he said. He repeated it. Read More»

A home for my friends

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In this house of wood and stones that I call home, there are books scattered and stacked hither and yon.

Some might say this house is cluttered with books, but I would never be that irreverent for cluttered seems to mean “unnecessary” or “junk.” Not one book I own would be categorized as either.

Books spill through the rooms, starting on my nightstand where Bibles and reference guides reside. On a leopard print footstool by the door, there are two dozen books, all I have purchased but have yet to get around to reading. But I live in hope. Read More»

‘Gone with the Wind’ novice

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When I breezed into the beauty shop amidst the chatter of voices and clatter of hair dryers and curling irons, I noticed the thick book dropped casually in a chair and it struck me as a bit strange. It’s rare to see anyone reading that book these days. It was probably the first time in decades that a copy of it has seen the inside of a beauty shop.

My attention was quickly diverted as Sandy gaily called out, “Hey there!” and thus we began our own chatter, adding to the commotion and chaos. Read More»

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