The unused obituary

One of the dearest and oldest friends I have recently had a close brush with death. He didn’t just stand on the banks of the River Jordan and cast a longing eye to that other shore, he waded right into its sparkling, clear waters. It was in God’s hands, not man’s, no matter how capable […]

Rodney teaches me to bush hog

After Sunday dinner, while the others cleaned, talked or dealt with children, I sat down in a recliner matching the one that Rodney was in. I inhaled deeply and leaned forward, my elbows resting on my knees. “Rodney, I hate to ask you this.” Clearly I did. It was hard. “I know you’re so busy.” […]

Mama never worried

Tink and I stopped by to see my niece, Nicole, and somehow the conversation got around to the adventure I had, on my own, followed when I was barely old enough to vote. At 19, as a sports reporter, I covered the Cotton Bowl in Dallas when mighty Texas fell to the spunky Georgia Bulldogs. […]

TV star to preacher

Mama was always proud for people who were able to pull themselves up and do well in life. She rooted for them, bragged on them and delighted in their happiness and happenings. In the early-1990s, a little boy from our family – my cousin’s baby – found himself co-starring on the NBC drama “I’ll Fly […]

Going off the grid

One summer night, a few years before Mama died, I tried to call her but there was no answer. An hour later with still no answer, I was pacing the floor and debating whether or not to jump in the car and take the 22-minute drive to her house. “If she doesn’t answer this time, […]

Death’s final scene

My husband, many times, had written of death and created numerous dying scenes in the make-believe world of television. Once he had won an Emmy for it. But death in Hollywood is often different than the way it is truly delivered. He had dropped me at the hospital door one afternoon so I could run […]

Dressing up for Easter, again

It’s funny how someone’s opinion or a story will stick with you, how it will trail like a mist of a cloud over your head. It’s a story that hasn’t changed my behavior but it certainly gives me pause to think of dressing for Easter in another way. Years ago, about 10 years, I believe, […]

The janitor

The elementary school in which I received my first- through sixth-grade learning was a long, straight brick building with cement steps, an auditorium with heavy, red velvet drapes, a tiny library guarded by a grumpy gray-headed spinster and a cafeteria that was in the basement down a flight of creaky wooden steps. For afternoon recess, […]

Staying in bed

As I see it, because I’ve studied quite a bit on this, my day goes off the rails pretty much as soon as I get out of bed. Sometimes it is a kind day so I can get through a cup of coffee and morning news before things start a-changin’ and my plans disappear like […]

Pinto beans, cornbread, buttermilk

My sister said once that she doesn’t really like pinto beans because when she was growing up, Mama cooked a pot three or four times a week. “We’d come home from school and walk into the house and there was that smell,” she said, shuddering at the sensory recall. Pinto beans, cooked with some kind […]

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