Ronda Rich's blog

Southern Living and changes

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A few years ago, the magazine I have long loved – Southern Living – changed. Like most Southerners, I have an aversion to change, which is why our traditions have such strangle-hold. We never let go.

Warily, I eyed it for the first couple of months. The layout changed, bringing a fresher, more modern feel while new features were added that included fashion and profiles yet retaining recipes, home decor, and gardening advice. Read More»

History is better than fiction

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Several weeks ago, I wrote about moonshine runner turned stock car champion, Lloyd Seay, who was murdered in a dispute over sugar purchased to make illegal whiskey. Read More»

The loss of parents’ wisdom

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There are few who cannot say truthfully that they miss their parents after death has laid claim to those loved ones. The parents who taught us, scolded us and, at times, annoyed us are never forgotten, never put away on a shelf to be remembered no more.

There are many things I miss. Unconditional love, for one. The knowledge that no matter how badly I misbehaved, I would always be loved. Reprimanded, yes. Taken to the back yard and instructed to “pick a switch” for a dose of “hickory tea,” for sure. But always loved. Read More»

Cornbread and some pinto beans

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One afternoon, I had a hankering, a primal-like craving, for a supper of pinto beans and cornbread with a tall glass of cold, rich buttermilk thrown in for good measure and extra filling.

This is an heirloom of food handed down from my Appalachian folks who, when hard times threatened to starve them, put a pot of beans on the stove then later said a blessing over that which would fill their stomachs with fiber and protein. Read More»

The ones who lift you up

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Over the years, I’ve crossed paths with many who were extremely successful as well as some who were such miserable failures that, as Mama liked to say, “ain’t worth the breath they draw.”

Many are the times that I have pondered the difference between those who succeed and those who just seem to roll over and give up. Here would be a logical place to say that talent, intellect, ambition, energy and common sense paves the way to achievement while laziness, poor decisions and addictions throw obstacles in the way. Read More»

Parable of the apple tree

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That apple tree. Oh my goodness. Something told me it wouldn’t turn out well.

It happened last spring. Or rather, it started then. Like many Southern women, I celebrate spring with a bounty of colorful flowers. I’m just like Mama in that. I plant begonias, petunias, diamond frost, lantanas, marigolds, and azaleas in the window boxes, garden paths, and fill the porches with planted pots and hanging baskets. It’s cheerful and homey. I love it. Read More»

Pieces of life’s puzzle

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This happened years ago. Mama was alive then so it’s been seven or eight years. I hadn’t thought about in almost that many years but when it came to mind the other day, I took to studying on it and how the circumstances and opportunities of life’s journey can be so fascinating.

It demonstrates how life is a puzzle waiting for pieces to be clicked into place. Read More»

Obituary call tree

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Yes, I know that I am, occasionally, prone to embellishment. But trust me when I say this is the law and the gospel: I have a long-time friend who only calls me when someone dies. Most times, I know the person but sometimes I don’t have a clue the person ever existed.

“Oh,” she’ll said disappointedly. “I thought you knew him. But you know Sadie, don’t you? Her third cousin worked for him for years. So, you have a connection.” Read More»

Getting rid of the drama

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A friend of mine, long embroiled in upsets, distractions, problems and tribulations, called one day to announce happily that she was learning to “let things roll right off my back.”

“Really?” I asked. “And, how is that?”

She explained that her accountant had called to discuss a tax return, due that day after a couple of extensions and told her that she owed $15,000.

There was a silent pause then she asked, “How can that be? We spent more money than we made last year.” I like that logic. If you spent it and don’t have, how can you pay it? Read More»

Loving & hating cool of a/c

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It’s a funny thing. That’s what Mama used to say when something baffled her. Like Mama, I prefer that things make common sense. Otherwise, I’ll ponder, figure, study, and try to decipher that funny thing until it’s somewhat sensible.

In this case, it’s my relationship with air conditioning that I’m unable to completely explain to others though I seem to understand it myself.

I don’t like the icy feel of air conditioning in our home even in the smothering humidity of deep summer. It has to do with my raising, as do most things for most people. Read More»

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