Ronda Rich's blog

Raised to shop better

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Tink had been in Los Angeles for a week, so that morning before his plane left LAX, it occurred to me that a good wifely thing to do would be to welcome him back to the Rondarosa with a home-cooked meal.

It would be, I decided, simple but grand. After deciding upon a vegetable lasagna and a four-layer red velvet cake with coconut cream cheese icing (nothing says, ‘Welcome back South’ better than red velvet cake) I sat down at the kitchen table to make out the grocery list. Read More»

Men of war

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We had a funeral at church the other day, which was not unusual. Rodney laid his work aside and came to direct the choir. That, too, was not unusual. I sang in the choir. Now that was very unusual.

Because it was a Saturday and many faithful choir members, including my sister, had obligated to something else a few weeks before, Rodney was a bit worried about having enough people to sing “I’ll Meet You In The Morning.” Though everyone knows that I can’t sing, I can dress up and put on a black suit and move my lips so I quit smack dab in the midst of cleaning my closet and off I went. Read More»

Beautiful in wisdom

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She was not a pretty woman in the days of her youth. Her lips were too thin, her forehead too high and her eyes so round that they seemed to bulge into the lens of the glasses she wore.

But the lack of youthful beauty is a gift in old age for a woman becomes just an old woman, not a faded beauty who has the sympathy of those who knew her when and can say, “You should have known her then. Beautiful she was back in the day.” Read More»

Little girl with red dirt feet

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Most husbands, if they carry a photo of their wives, like for it to be one of glamour and beauty. That would not be my husband.

On his iPhone as his screen saver, the image that comes up every time he turns on or opens his phone, is a photo he found tucked away one day.

It is a little red-headed, freckle-faced 3-year-old with laughing eyes, chubby cheeks and a big smile. I am seated, bare-footed, on the front porch of our little brick house with a stubby arm thrown around my bushy-haired collie mutt who weighed more than I. Read More»

Merging & purging

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For years, I blamed it on those richly royal blue suede high heel pumps. The ones with the ridiculously tall, spiked heel and absurdly pointed toe. I was 22 when I bought them, 36 when I donated them to the Salvation Army.

Those shoes had a history, one that made me smile. I was a young sports reporter on assignment at USA Today in Washington, D.C. I had a terrific blue and black wool suit that Mama had made which matched them perfectly. The first time I wore that outfit, I was covering the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Texas and wore it to a coaches’ press conference. Read More»

Lives in common

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The woman looked over the selection of books, picked up four and smiled. “My husband said to buy whatever I wanted.”

She handed them to me to sign and told me her name. “I enjoy what you write so much. It’s the way I was raised. I understand it.” Read More»

Always looking to help

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They all come with some kind of a price and all with a certain amount of disappointment, but still Rodney keeps trying.

He likes to help people. It’s something as deeply born in him as his constantly smiling blue eyes or wit that is quicker than a summer storm that brews when it comes up a cloud. He helps us all, so much so that there is often little time left to help himself. Read More»

Resolutely carrying on . . .

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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

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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

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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»