When word filtered out that she was gone - just packed up and disappeared like a vapor in the broad, bright light of day - I found no surprise in it.
Jerry and I were talking the other day. We've known each other since the day I was born, he having entered this earth the day before I did.
In accordance to our weekly routine, we gather at my sister's house every Sunday for dinner following church. Normally, she who does most of the work chooses the menu, but the tradition is that each one of us gets to choose lunch for our birthday.
A while back, after a speaking engagement, I was signing books when a woman somewhere in her 40s I suppose, came through the line. We exchanged courtesies then I handed her books back to her. But she didn't walk away, despite the long line of folks waiting behind her. She looked at me expectantly then leaned a little closer.
Larry, an aspiring writer, wrote me the other day and asked if I would read a synopsis of a book he is working to complete. Like me, he writes of Southern people, especially those who rise up from the crooks and hollows of the mountains.
Perhaps it isn't a great mystery of life, but it's certainly one of life's more intriguing questions. At least for us women, that is.
One morning in Sunday School class, members were requesting prayer for those who were facing trials and tribulations. Solemnly, Billy, our teacher, nodded at each then asked if there were more. After a couple of minutes of silence, I raised my hand and smiled.
As bad as it might sound, I have a couple of friends for whom I pray that they will outlive their spouses. The reason is simple: I want to see them have peace and happiness on this earth.
This is none of my business," I said aloud to myself in a valiant, noble effort to mind my own business.
It is true that I have a nice, comfortable office, arranged with all a writer needs for inspiration, including French doors that open onto a balcony overlooking the front pasture.
Not too long ago, a friend of mine discovered rather abruptly and rudely that he had dated a crazy woman. Now, in the South, we're used to such. It's actually a common practice. But west of the Mississippi, it's a bit different.
Until the day he died, Daddy had one prayer about his children that he prayed constantly. Probably every day of his life.
You know how it happens. You go to the funeral home to pay respects and run into people you haven't seen in ages.
One morning, I received an email from a reader who began by explaining that her 81-year-old mother was a devoted reader of this column and my books.
One night I was doing an appearance in a town where my column runs. A woman waited in line to speak to me and brought a clipping of that week's column for me to sign.
When Peggy Sue went away, just fell off the face of the earth with no warning or even a holler, we all wondered where she had gone.
Recently, I was in a bookstore with a friend. We stopped at a table near the front of the store and it was loaded with different books that had such obscene titles that many of the words were expressed as "@?*#."
Mama was stubborn. "Set in her ways," is what country folks call it and boy, was she. When she made up her mind, nothing stopped her. Especially when she set her jaw and punctuated her declaration with a firm nod of her head. If she also threw that crooked forefinger in your direction, you knew it was set in stone. Destined to be.
One day over lunch, my new-to-the-South-but-thoroughly-loving-it husband commented on the choir singing at our church, which is led by my brother-in-law, Rodney.
To be downright honest, I never expected to miss him this much. And, if the deeper truth be told, perhaps it isn't just the loss of a singular man, though great and admirable he was.
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