It happened many years ago. My toddler niece, Nicole, grabbed a gold hoop earring dangling from my ear and gave it a good yank, ripping my pierced ear.
The exact moment it happened was at a large round table in a ballroom of majestic gilt in a grand hotel.
A country store is located in the middle of hundreds of acres of farmland embedded with hardwoods and pines that have grown, untended, for a century or two.
It was, of all things, a call to jury duty that reminded me powerfully of the beauty of a sweet hometown and the joy that comes from staying put where the Lord put you in the first place.
Last summer, I was telling Tink about an adorable town a few hours away.
There isn't a day that passes that I don't remember Mama. Many times when she crosses my mind, I am doing something she taught me how to do.
The Great Depression shaped my parents. In the years to come, it shaped my life as well.
It is with earnest intention and optimism that I arise each day and assemble my "to-do" list.
When I was a child and we visited my grandparents, I knew their standard of living was different from ours.
It would be, I decided, a nice gesture of Southern thoughtfulness if I made a dish of my famous macaroni and cheese.
It is now that I have reached the age where the wiser generation, those who taught me and mentored me, are starting to take their leave of this world. And now I search both their lives and deaths for lessons.
From the moment Tink visited the Mississippi Delta, he began to long for a seersucker suit.
While studying for a degree in journalism, I learned the basics of telling a good story and answering questions before they could be asked.
The little house in which I was privileged to be raised - the same one I wrote of recently - needed its annual deep cleaning.
It was with remarkable bravery that Daddy plunked down $1,000 of hard earned, long saved money in 1956 to buy a few acres of pasture with a large, tree-shaded creek that twisted through it.
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As a child, I was captivated by emotional stories and how words strung together had the power to make me feel happy, touched, sad or ...
At the beauty shop one day, I was flipping through a magazine and half-listening to the local happenings.
We were driving to the Georgia coast through little towns in which few live and even fewer know. It was near Appling County, I believe ...
Since the beginning of our Southerner/Yankee union, I have kept a list of places Tink should visit to fully experience the glorious South.
We were eating lunch as the American Queen riverboat pulled out of port, having just returned from a morning-long excursion to the Battlefield of Vicksburg.
Behind the little house where I spent a happy childhood, where I toted books from one room to another, where I knelt by my bed ...
It did not turn out as I intended.
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