Ronda Rich's blog

Listening to Dale’s advice

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A while back, a messy problem loomed ahead. I don’t like confrontation. If that makes me less than a person then consider me to be itty bitty. Life, I figure, is too short for squabbling. My motto is “whenever possible, step out of the way.”

Now, know this, less you think I’m a wimp — if it comes down to it and the need arises, fight I will. I won’t enjoy it but if I must, I will stick to my ground. Read More»

Pride and humility

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It has become somewhat of an art for me, that of studying Southern culture and deciphering what makes us different from others as well as downright peculiar among ourselves.

One thing I have found to be mostly true, as true as any rule can be, is that in the South, you are either proud or humble. There is very little in-between. Read More»

Hot pink luggage

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Some missing something or the other required me to prowl through closets at Mama’s house. That’s when I found it. I pulled it out and smiled broadly, warmed by the memories it evoked.

You know the feeling, I am sure. You find something that somewhere back in time meant so much, but years have passed and you have forgotten its existence. Then you find it and it’s like running into an old friend who reminds you of happy times. Read More»

Living in black and white

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One Sunday while sitting around the dinner table, Louise and I began to tell Daddy stories, the ones that stretched back to the early days of his preaching life. Since I was born 12 years after he “made a preacher,” as our folks said back then, I could only contribute what he had told me about those days, not what I had seen.

Daddy, raised hard in the Appalachian foothills, had escaped to make a better life for himself when the Lord called and he eventually answered, fighting the calling for a while and running as hard as man can until he succumbs to the Holy Spirit. Read More»

Decisions made in youth

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To this conclusion I have come: the most deadly years of our lives are the ages 16 to 21. Those years give us a headiness that comes from new freedom — a driver’s license — and the passing of the torch from strict childhood rules to more trust, different restraints and relaxed curfews.

When you add the opportunity to go off to college or move out on your own, we’re fooled into thinking that we’re mature enough and wise enough to make decisions that will affect the rest of our lives.

It’s scary. Read More»

The man who was

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Their histories, accurate and complete, are lost to time and buried with them and those who knew them. I wish I knew more for their stories would read like a page-turning novel.

The moonshining trio of Raymond Parks, Lloyd Seay and Roy Hall burst out of the north Georgia mountains from Dawson County in the 1930s to combine Seay’s and Hall’s driving skills with Parks’ business ingenuity to participate in a new sport that would become known as NASCAR. Read More»

Mama writes a book (or wants to)

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Dear Readers,

Everyone loved Mama. And they loved stories about her. This is a column written before her death but never published. I decided to share it to celebrate Mama. She was a true Southern original.

My worst fears are about to be realized: Mama has announced her intentions to write a book.

My payback is coming. Read More»

Crazy in the genes

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My grandmother — Daddy’s mother — was sometimes called “crazy” by others who didn’t quite understand her eccentric ways. Of course, in the South, we are proud of such a label for it means that we are interesting and worthy of being the center of coffee and cake conversation.

Who wants to be completely normal and boring? Read More»

Hitting Hell’s Hill

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It was an early summer morning, an enchanting time when flowers are blooming, blackberries are spurting to full growth and the birds are happy to have sunny warmth. I had taken myself out to the back porch where often I settle down to write after I have finished a gentle run.

All was perfect that morning except for one thing: The words wouldn’t come. It is a terrible thing to be a writer who is wordless at times. Repeatedly, I erased the words I typed. I began to do what all writers do when inspiration is lost in the world’s mist somewhere — I distracted myself. Read More»

Easter memories and hope

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It is each of the many Easters of my life that I remember more clearly than any other holiday.

Christmases blur together with only a few standing out in my memory such as the one when it snowed all day, the year I lost my voice completely, and the two times that I wasn’t home – one working in Washington, D.C., and another in London. Read More»

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