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.
Coming home one Sunday from the family dinner after church, I said out of the blue, "I feel like we should volunteer for vacation Bible school."
My people, as I have long said, were raised on hard times in the Appalachian foothills. I don't know I had a grandparent who ever saw the sum of $500 at one time or even held a hundred dollar bill in hand.
It was over Sunday dinner that my sister told me what I did not know.
It started accidentally. Some good ideas and memorable moments are like that. They aren't planned. They're born, bringing with them an ability to nudge a way naturally into our lives and become a tradition.
My sister and I stood in the charred remains of a life that once was and did not say a word. What was there to say?
To be honest, I was more than a mite worried. I was plenty worried.
It often amazes me how many words of kindness and encouragement I receive for the stories I tell.
You may be surprised to learn people sometimes disagree with me.
Sometimes, I look across our yard and sigh somewhat woefully, "Too much of that stubborn red Georgia clay shines through." I think, "Oh, one day." I have been thinking this for six or seven years.
Hollywood, more often than not, gets it wrong about the South in movies and television. When they do get it right, we Southerners are amazed and appreciative.
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