Talking to the dead

I recently found myself alone in a car traveling a bleak and rainy back road with the ashes of a man whom I have never met. Alone for two hours. “What did you do?” said my friend, as I relayed to her my somewhat odd circumstance. “I talked to him,” I answered, honestly. I mean,…

Happy New Year and pass the innards, please.

Y’all know I’m about as Southern as they come. And those of us reared below (way below) the Mason-Dixon Line are defined by many aspects of our culture, chief amongst them being our traditional foods. But one thing that I have never been able to stomach, literally or figuratively, is the idea of eating innards….

The dead horse of Christmas

Y’all, I told myself I wouldn’t do it. I just swore I would not kick the dead horse of Christmas parodies, but I just can’t resist it. So here it goes (sing with me now!): On the twelfth day of Christmas the Deep South gave to me… 12 Half-shell oysters 11 Rs a-dropping 10 Quarts…

Oh, fudge!

Granny made fudge every year at Christmas – the real kind from the back of the Hershey’s Cocoa box. The kind that requires you intuit such things as when you achieve “soft ball stage.” The kind that requires you to beat it by hand with a wooden spoon until it yields in unglossy submission. The…

Fur is dead; Long live fur

One of the things I love the most about Alabama is that yesterday it was nearly 70 degrees and today they are predicting snow showers. Yesterday I nearly glistened. Today I am shivering. Yesterday I wore a t-shirt. Today my first thought was “Hot damn! I can wear my fur coat!” Now before you go…

Rice Dressing

In the mid 1890s, my great grandfather, Andrew Joseph Rowell, Jr., a young man in need of gainful employ, decided he would try his hand working at a logging camp in Chicora, MS. Joby, as he was known to his family, was hired on as an ox driver pulling great pine logs out of the…

Three is a magic number

I recently went through a little spate where it seemed every time the phone rang it was bad news. After receiving the third and worst piece of news, I thought to myself, “Well that’s three. Things can go on and get better now.” And they did. But, I wondered, why was that my first reaction?…

Uncommonly good

I heard on the news this morning that new legislation has been introduced by several New England senators making it a felony to sell fraudulent maple syrup made from, as the reporter put it, “common cane syrup.” Here’s what I have to say about that – Fine by me! I think should be a crime…

Happy Halloween

Backward, turn backward, O Time, in your flight make me a child again just for to-night! ~Elizabeth Akers Allen When I was three or four, I got my first Halloween costume – a bought costume. Baw got it for me at Tyrell’s, the five and dime on Main Street. It was a happy witch, complete…

Hometraining has nothing to do with puppies

“A car is useless in New York, essential everywhere else. The same with good manners.” Mignon McLaughlin Down here, we call it “hometraining.” You know – manners, comportment, etiquette, social graces. I know you all are saying, “Manners schmanners. I can remember which fork to use, please and thank you, ma’am and sir, and all…