The Decade That Was

It just occurred to me the other day that not only are we nearing the end of the year, we’re at the end of a decade. I know I know … I’m a little slow on the uptake. Probably because it’s hard to believe that we’re fixing to put the teens behind us and head…

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas in Birmingham

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the ‘Ham Not a creature was stirring, not even the Ram. The stocking was hung on Regions with care In hopes that St. NickRocks soon would be there. The children were nestled all snug in their beds, While visions of boiled peanuts danced in their heads. And…

Cuba and the Redneck

(I haven’t been posting here as much as I’d like because I’ve been working on a few other projects. Maybe you’ve seen this piece I did for It’s a Southern Thing on bean pie and how I learned there’s more to it than meets the eye … or mouth, as the case may be. Or…

50 Years, 50 lessons

Today is the big day — my 50th birthday! I was born on September 21, 1969. I am the same age as Sesame Street, the moon landing, and Woodstock. It was the summer of the Stonewall riots, the Manson murders, and Hurricane Camille.  Sugar, Sugar by The Archies was the No. 1 pop song, and…

When I Am An Old Woman

When I was in my early twenties, I had a friend who was in her early forties. She was the first person I knew who found the poem “Warning” by Jenny Joseph. You know the one that goes: When I am an old woman I shall wear purpleWith a red hat which doesn’t go, and…

We hold these truths …

Sometimes what I want to write and what I actually write wind up being two different things entirely. Today is one of those times. I wanted to write about the 4th of July because it’s my favorite holiday (as I’ve talked about before). I’d paint a picture of barbecue smoke hanging heavy in the humid…

Bonjour, Gizzard Salad!

Candied gizzard salad. I went all the way to France and ate candied gizzard salad. It’s called salade de gésier in French, which sounds so very elegant … more elegant than candied gizzard salad. Everything sounds more elegant when you say it in French. Oui? The minute I saw it on the menu at Les…

Alabama, Alabama, We will aye be true to thee …

Alabama is hard, y’all. It just is. It’s hard to be from here. It can be hard to live here. And sometimes — ok, a lot of the time — it’s hard to defend her. These last few weeks have been especially trying for those of us who were born and bred here, who love…

The Poke Salat Festival

I have been to the Poke Salat Festival. Seriously. Tragedy (that’s what I call my husband because of his resting sad face compared to my perpetual mule-eating-briars Comedy grin) and I drove for more than an hour from Birmingham to Arab, Ala., just to go to the Poke Salat Festival. How could we not? Now…

Memories of Notre-Dame

  Ten years ago I was in Paris. Sonny and I had traveled there with Mama, Daddy, and Brother. I can’t really remember now how we all came to make that Spring Break trip together. They had already been to Paris multiple times, but Sonny and I had never had the chance to go. The…