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.
Several years ago, I was in Talladega for the NASCAR race and had stopped by the No. 3 truck to see Richard Childress and Dale Earnhardt. Earnhardt, as usual, was picking and poking at me over one thing or the other.
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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