Poet, my friend who reigns supremely in the Mississippi Delta, has few complaints. So when he voiced one the other day, I was not only surprised, I was astounded. Particularly when I heard what was troubling him.
During those gray, cloud-filled days, figuratively and literally, I wasn't exactly imprisoned but two years of consented captivity in the unfamiliar North was one of the greatest burdens my Southern soul has ever carried.
I visited a woman, old and gray, her journey of life nearing its winter's end. She settled into an armless rocker and moved gently, slowly back and fro, looking from her view on the porch past the towering magnolia trees that spread the full length of her yard.
A few months ago when Poet, the freelance wanderer that he is, found himself passing through my neck of the South, he called up, then turned up at my front door, then plopped down in my guest room for a few days.
One Sunday morning I came breezing into Sunday School class after having been out of town for a week. My sister grabbed me and hugged me tightly to welcome me home.
In the home in which I grew up, the daily newspaper was almost as important to our everyday lives as the Bible.
Like any self-respecting Southerner, it's hard for me to pass up reading a well-written obituary. Especially when it runs in the Wall Street Journal and begins by saying she was "a dash of Southern class in a raucous old boys club."
It is the absence of simple things that has made life so complicated. Those simple things cost nothing yet can make you feel like a million bucks.
When our friendship was new and still most interesting, Poet sought to impress me. But when the new wore off, Poet cast me into the ring with his other friends who are familiar and comfortable, so there is no longer a need to impress.
Unlike many people, I'm not a maker of New Year's resolutions. Mainly because when I see the need for change or improvement, I resolve to fix it then, even if it's July 23 or Oct. 1. I don't wait until the first of the year.
Last year's best present was from neither friend nor loved one. It was gifted to me by life. One of those rare lessons that grows more beautiful in memory as time passes.
There is a friend I have who cannot, for the life of her, tell a story.
For some reason, I've always loved full moons. Every time I see one, I stop in my tracks, fully absorb and appreciate its beauty and then thank the good Lord that I lived to see another beautiful full moon.
It's true. Some things you have to see to believe. And then, even though you're certain of the reliability of your own eyes, you don't believe it.
Thanksgiving is a time to come together and celebrate a family's beloved characters, the ones who give us many stories to declare and laughter to share.
One day during lunch, a friend and I were talking about the murderous felons we know as Tink quietly listened.
More than any other region, Southerners love nicknames.
Back in the autumn as the leaves began to hint of enchanting oranges, yellows and reds to come, we took a Monday off and headed to the state fair.
For at least 20 years, maybe 25, Mama planned her home-going to heaven. Not a week - and sometimes not a day - went by when she did not use her impending date with mortality in some way.
A friend said something the other day that has clung like mist to the crevices of my mind. She's soon to turn 70 and this is what she said:
Here, I'll announce something I've never admitted publicly. I love going barefooted. It's how I was raised.
Many people have crossed the path of my life but only one crossed it from three different directions.
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