All the rage in Natchez

Did you ever wonder how an idiom comes into being? I’m fixing to tell you. I’ve always said that the fashionable, popular thing was “all the rage in Natchez.” I said it because Mama always said it. And Granny always said it. And I never gave much thought to why Natchez. With all due respect…

The pearl handle pocket knife

The pearl handle pocket knife. Once Christmas long ago Granny gave Baw a pearl handle pocket knife. A gentleman’s knife, it was a fine little thing, a knife you could take to church. No, it’s wasn’t any ordinary everyday knife to scrape the dirt from under one’s nails or sharpen a pencil. It was fancy,…

Murdering killers who might also be witches

When you live out in the country, isolated from neighbors, you take extra measures to keep your family and property safe.  My grandfather (“Baw” to me) was very vigilant. There was a gun behind every door, he had a pistol, and we had dogs that alerted us to any newcomer.  As an added layer of…

I love to tell the story

Storytelling runs in my family. We sit around and tell the same tales over and over and over. Somehow they never get old. Extra emphasis, a rolled eye, a dramatic pause entertains. A little extra detail here and there educates. In the retelling, heritage and history are passed down. My grandfather, “Baw,” and his brothers…

When life gives you phlegm, make phlegmonade!

The cold and flu season is upon us — at least it’s upon me in all it’s snotty, wheezing, hacking glory. As I snuffle about trying to think of something, anything to make me feel better, I can’t help but remember some of the home remedies Mama and Granny inflicted on me as a child….

It’s that time of year – the time for gingerbread

I’ve got gingerbread on the mind. It’s just that time of year. The time of year when fall’s chilly winds begin to blow and the leaves begin their lazy descent to the earth. The time of year for sweaters, and hot toddies, and pumpkin carving. The time of year scented by clove, cinnamon, and spicy…

Today I wore red

Today I wore red. I don’t normally wear a lot of color. In fact, I usually wear black. I wear black so much that from time to time people ask me if I am in mourning. I’m not. I’m actually quite happy. I just like to wear black. Black matches everything. Black is not loud…

Putting my face on

I need to put my face on. That’s what Granny called putting on her makeup — putting her face on. When I was little and we lived with Granny and Baw, I would lie on her bed and watch her while she stood in front of her bedroom window and put on her face. Now…

Southern Living makes me sad

Because of Southern Living I contemplate the purchase of Christmas topiary. Because of Southern Living I recognize beachy pastels as possible holiday colors. Because of Southern Living I find my self uttering words like “table-scape” and “disco-ball-esque.” Because of Southern Living I am sad. This year’s Christmas issue, a “special double issue,” found its way…