Not that I know everything. Not that I even know many things.
Never have I been interested in estate sales or bothered to attend one. But the two-day sale of Miss Henrietta's life caught my attention when, by chance, I happened to see it in the newspaper classifieds.
Daddy used to say that when most people ask, "How're you doin'?" they don't really care. It's just something they say to make conversation.
Hidden somewhere in the newspaper one day - a tiny news blurb used to fill a hole - was the story of a teenage Louisiana beauty queen whose crown had been repossessed by pageant officials after her brush with the law.
When she first brought it up, mentioning it in passing more than anything else, I thought she was joshing so I shrugged it off with a smile. Fortunately, I did not make any wisecrack that I would now regret.
A while back, my friend Reita called and began the conversation with a hasty apology.
Perhaps you've seen the T-shirt emblazoned with, "I Was A Millionaire Until Mom Gave Away My Baseball Card Collection."
To truly appreciate the irony of this story, you must first know that my history with chickens is colorful and much ballyhooed to the point of being family legend. It has never been an easy relationship between me and those feathery foes of mine.
There is something about dirt roads that whistles to me like a siren's call. A dirt road beckons and I answer. I cannot resist its allure.
When Mama, my last surviving parent, died, I was orphaned; so my sister, Louise, stepped up and took charge.
Down in Milledgeville there is a lovely woman named Sophia who is a fan of this column. In turn, she is a supporter and friend of mine.
When I learned that a friend had decided to plunge himself into the political world and run for office, I thought it prudent to offer two pieces of solid advice.
One night at the supper table, my brother-in-law took a teasing jab at me over a sour business deal.
One of the things that always excites me about Easter is that it kicks off the spring and summer season; so Sundays, until Labor Day weekend, will be the stuff of which memories are made. Especially for kids.
Louise and Selena, being the genuine Southerners they are, both had a hankering for fried chicken. And I, of course, knew just where to find the perfect recipe.
There are few who cannot say truthfully 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.
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.
Over the years, I've crossed paths with many people 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."
That apple tree. Oh my goodness. Something told me it wouldn't turn out well.
This happened years ago. Mama was alive then, so it's been seven or eight years. I hadn't thought about it 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.
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 longtime 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.
A friend of mine, long embroiled in upsets, distractions, problems and tribulations, called one day to announce happily she was learning to "let things roll right off my back."
It's a funny thing. That's what Mama used to say when something baffled her.
When Miss Ondia Mae died at 75, those of us who knew her marveled that she had managed to make it to the end of her life without winding up in the poorhouse.
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