When I breezed into the beauty shop amidst the chatter of voices and clatter of hair dryers and curling irons, I noticed the thick book dropped casually in a chair and it struck me as a bit strange.
It was a sweet sight, no doubt. My heart is always drawn to God's animal creatures, especially those who have found themselves abandoned.
One day I asked a friend how her son was doing in college. She smiled then began a discourse on how he was enjoying his field of study and what he could do with his degree when he graduated.
Several years ago, I befriended a woman in Cincinnati, Ohio, but then you know that, don't you? I've told you all about Miss Loretta.
A picture - even one old that has faded from black and white to soft gray - can a tell a story, long and true. That one certainly did.
There is a friend of mine - one of the heroes I have known and loved - who is fascinating in the life lessons he shares and the accumulation of wisdom that seems to come so easily to him.
It was all my idea. As immodest as that might sound, it's true. Now that my friend, Karen, has made it to the big time, she should be reminded that it all started with one of my hare-brained schemes.
It would never have occurred to me that it would mean as much as it has, never cross my mind that I would cherish it as I have. I suppose that's what makes it even more meaningful.
Daddy and Mama both spent a lot of time seeing after the needs of others. They comforted, called and cooked for those who were, in some way, suffering.
This is how bad times are getting – Claudette has taken to crying and Grace Ann has taken up cussing. It's like living in a science fiction film. It's like visiting a foreign country.
When the column appeared where I lamented that my longstanding muse, Claudette, had lost a significant amount of humor due to medication and I needed a new muse who could inspire my writing, several stepped up to volunteer for the newly vacated position.
Whenever I take out my biscuit pan - and every Southern cook worth her salt and grease has one - I can't help but shake my head.
One day at lunch, I ran into a beautiful older woman, a friend from years past, whom I hadn't seen in quite a while. She had changed very little since I first met her when I was in college.
A couple of years ago, when I deemed it absolutely necessary to cross the big pond and investigate my heritage that had been seeded in Northern Ireland, I had the good fortune of being introduced to a renowned historian who, through greater good fortune, has become a friend.
When Nix, the unpredictable, funniest kid in our family, was 4 years old, he found himself in some bit of trouble, though we've now all forgotten what it was. Only the punch line lingers in our minds.
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.
In the past several years, I have had as much luck visiting the historically preserved home of iconic Southern writer Eudora Welty as I would have had when she was alive. The front door is always shut to me.
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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