Ronda Rich's blog

The power of a thank you note

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When Dixie Dew got a box full of doggie treats from one of her fans, she wagged her tail and jumped around the kitchen, eager to dive into them.

“Now, Dew, you know you’ve got to write a thank you note for these,” I lectured as I permitted her one of the treats.

There was no argument. My child knows that acts of generosity require a hand-written note. We sat down together, she laid her head on my lap and we decided what should be written. Dew is a girl of few words but we got the thoughts down on paper and she signed off with a paw pressed into an ink pad and then stamped on the note. Read More»

Being too sensitive, or not

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You know, it’s beginning to occur to me that I’m not sensitive enough. This is quite a revelation since I spent a goodly amount of my life being told that I was too sensitive. As a child, Mama said that I got my feelings hurt too easily and I needed to snap out of it.

“Stop wearing your heart on your sleeve,” she’d lecture. “Be tough. Let things roll off your back.”

So, I tried. And, apparently, I have done an incredibly good job at tackling my sensitivity. Now, things that seem to bother other people in this politically correct world of ours doesn’t bother me at all. Read More»

Decoded: Sopping & mashing

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Rodney, the reigning patriarch of our family, loves sorghum syrup which, in the mountains, is called “soggum syrup.”

During one Sunday-after-church dinner, Louise had made a batch of hot, buttermilk biscuits so when she offered choices of two desserts, Rodney spoke up and said, “I’ll just have soggum syrup and biscuits.”

Dutifully, like the good wife and hostess she is, she went to the pantry, retrieved a jar that had been bought from some mountaineer at a roadside stand somewhere and handed it to him. Read More»

Dating the wrong man

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In a small town in Arkansas, I was leaving a social gathering of divorced women who had found solidarity in their situations. Many are women who, later in life, have found themselves divorced from influential men. And, as far as I could decipher, none of the divorces was of their choosing.

I was in town for a speaking engagement and had been asked to join them for their monthly gathering of pot luck and chit-chat because I am friends with one of the ladies. Read More»

A lesson in dying well

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Too often in recent times, death has visited itself upon my family, its intrusion bitterly unwelcome.

When my cousin Jacky, one of the younger members of our sprawling clan, received his personalized calling card to meet the Lord, we all discovered something that we never imagined was possible – happiness in death. His dying, in fact, was pure joy. Read More»

Daddy’s lasting gift to me

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Often, I find myself thinking of the wisdom of my daddy. His observations and experiences continue to guide me daily 11 years after his departure from what he sometimes called, “this ol’ vale of tears and sorrow.”

I was probably 12 or so years old when I overheard him and Mama talking while sitting around the kitchen table, sipping on cups of coffee. It was a Saturday afternoon and Daddy had just come in from a hard day on the farm. He was talking about a newly purchased tractor and he kept using the pronoun “we” such as, “We brought the tractor,” “we thought it was a good buy,” etc. Read More»

Wearing a cloak of sorrows

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There is a woman I know to whom sorrow clings like dew to grass on a Southern summer morning.

Once, she got a bad break in life. That isn’t unusual for anyone. Life bruises us all, even bloodies us up pretty good from time to time. But for her, sorrow has become a close, trusted, constant companion and she refuses to shed its friendship. Apparently, she likes its company.

After decades of marriage, her husband up and left. Not for someone else or because of something else. He simply had ceased to love her, he said to her in the kindest way possible. Read More»

How to explain ‘bush hog’

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Sometimes it takes a well-meaning Yankee to put me in my place. One who will remind me that all things Southern are, by no means, universal. That some things need to be explained.

Like bush hogging.

Now, where I come from – the rural South – the term “bush hogging” is plopped down comfortably in the middle of our everyday language and is used as commonly as “eating” “sleeping” or “breathing.”

To the rural Southerner who is blessed enough to have more than a couple of acres on which to reside, bush hogging is as necessary as eating, sleeping or breathing. Read More»

Simple days, but great days

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My friend, Michelle, emailed me one day after we had run into each other at a trunk showing of new clothes where we shared enthusiasm over the pretty fashions and helped each other decide what we should buy or shouldn’t.

She explained that she left the show, had lunch with friends, picked her little boy up at school who had scratched his arm but not too badly, returned home to find that their new, curious puppy had slept the entire time, not making one bit of a mess and that her husband had come home early from work. She ended by saying, “What a great day!”

I loved that. Read More»

Where love was found

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When the newspaper reporter called to set up an interview for the story she was writing on my newest book, she said, “We need to shoot a photo, too. Do you have any suggestions for a good location?”

As a matter of fact, I did. Since the newspaper was located in the county where Mama had first laid eyes on Daddy and since that place was a church and since the new book was on faith, it seemed like the perfect place. Read More»

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