She was not a pretty woman in the days of her youth. Her lips were too thin, her forehead too high and her eyes so round they seemed to bulge into the lens of the glasses she wore.
Most husbands, if they carry a photo of their wives, like for it to be one of glamour and beauty. That would not be my husband.
For years, I blamed it on those richly royal blue, suede high-heel pumps. The ones with the ridiculously tall, spiked heel and absurdly pointed toe. I was 22 when I bought them, and 36 when I donated them to the Salvation Army.
The woman looked over the selection of books, picked up four and smiled.
They all come with some kind of a price and all with a certain amount of disappointment, but still Rodney keeps trying.
Any self-respecting Southern woman has a list of casserole recipes a mile long ready to bake at a moment's notice.
Mama had great stories. My favorite was the only one I asked for her to repeat often. It has become something of an anthem in my life.
By chance, we happened upon him in a small gift shop. The clerk recognizing me laughed and said, "What a coincidence! She just bought a copy of your book!" She gestured toward a small woman browsing through a group of men's sweaters.
She said it, of course, with smirk. Those women who really don't understand the ways of the women of the South seem to always speak about us in words vividly cloaked in disdain.
(This is the third installment of a three-part series about Charlie Tinker.)
"Some day," Daddy used to say often as I was growing up, "I'm going to the Holy Land. I want to walk where Jesus walked."
Years ago when Mama was widowed, it became suddenly and shockingly clear she wasn't completely capable of being on her own. This was news to us, because she had always stepped up and did whatever it took to look after our family. She was quite ingenious and hardworking.
(This is the second of a three-part series on the discoveries made after a visit to Charlie Tinker's grave.)
The renowned bow maker in my hometown died. Only in the South would this probably be news because we Southern women do admire a well-wrapped package.
The way she was, was a long way from what she became. I can't help thinking about how life veers so far away from the beginning of the journey and how the destination can vary drastically from where it all started.
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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