His name is Charles Almerin Tinker and he was the great-great-grandfather of my beloved.
It seems to me that a lot of young people have it easy. Too many kids in high school and college are shielded from work and not taught the importance of money or of earning it. It seems to me that this is a major default in the education of life.
Nicole and I were working out together one day and for some reason, she brought up a self-help, faith-related book we had both read. The thesis, basically, is how men are born with wild hearts, which should be admired not restrained by women.
There I was, sitting at my desk, writing away, bothering no one when my phone rang. It was Hollywood calling.
It all started with a break-in, then continued to a breaking point when a crazy woman showed up at my door, ranting about aliens who had landed at her house. She needed me to write an article to warn their commander not to send them back to her house.
It's a funny thing about us Southerners. If a Yankee criticizes us, we haughtily disregard it, muttering over their ignorance.
One night while out to dinner, I noticed an elegant elderly lady at the next table over who was dining alone. I was drawn to her because sorrow clouded her eyes and she smiled sadly, the kind we all force when we do not feel happy.
Not long ago, I was in Los Angeles visiting Tink on the set of a television show he was executive producing. We sat side-by-side in director chairs, watching as the scene was set up and actors took their place. I looked across Tink to see a woman studying me carefully. I smiled.
When I was growing up - probably well into my college years - Mama's last words as I walked out the door were always the same.
One evening I was sorting through clothes in the bedroom while Tink, settled in a comfortable chair, was (as usual) fiddling with his phone. A message he read triggered a story.
In this house of wood and stones that I call home, there are books scattered and stacked hither and yon.
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.
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.
Carrie called the other day, and I grabbed the phone just as I was coming in from the garage. I dropped my purse at the foot of the stairs and sat down on a step to talk.
When the New Year arrives every year, I like most look forward to the next 12 months filled with promise, opportunity and a chance to reform from bad habits.
It was late in the summer of my parents' lives that I was born into a family with three children well on their way to being grown and done with home.
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.
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