You cannot be a writer without being a reader. It's a simple observation, but no wiser words have ever seen ink on paper. For writers are always drawn to and mesmerized by words. We drink up pretty syllables like drunks depend on cheap wine.
My brother-in-law, Rodney, is a farmer of the most admirable kind. He farms, despite the heartbreaks, hard times, hot sun and little pay, because he loves it. Not even the relentless stronghold of healthy kudzu could choke the passion for farming from him. He is devoted to the land and what it brings. Good or bad.
Whenever I or anyone else think of Daddy, it is his faith that defined him over and above all else. The man and his faith were inseparable. To know his faith, was to know him. To know him, was to come face-to-face with a bullet-proof faith.
If you haven't already read between the lines, that was her attempt to be subtle and encourage me to watch what I say. Of course, it was a waste of her sweet breath, but I pretended to pay attention and agreed with what she said.
I wondered the other day how a mother could even think that, let alone say it. But then Mama was a woman who defied exact definition. She was strong, smart, courageous, sometimes outrageous and above all, ruled by a faith that was simply unbendable and unquestionable. That part of her was definable and clear: She believed unyieldingly in an Almighty God who never left her side. Even when it could have seemed that He did.
There wasn't very much of me back then. I was a tiny girl, just big enough to reach up and grab hold of the wooden counter top in that old country store and lift my chin enough to allow my eyes to peer up in quiet fascination at the man who rang up the items that Mama had laid down.
I'm Dixie Dew. If you read my mama's column weekly then you know that I'm the precious little red-haired dachshund of which she so affectionately writes every week. For the record, and not because I'm a bragger, but I am every bit as cute as she says. If anything, she downplays my cuteness.
Any Southern woman, worth her weight in Martha White flour, has at least one drawer or cookbook in her kitchen stuffed with recipes she has torn out of magazines or newspapers, fully intending to try each and every one of them.