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Southern born, Southern reared. It's a quirky place and we are unique folk... These are my people and these are my stories.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Southern Girls, Their Daddys, and Diamonds

I remember watching an episode of Oprah some years ago. She told the story of, in the early years of her success, going to Kmart (Yes, Kmart) to buy a bath mat. There was one for $10, which was fine, but the one for $40 was the one she really liked. She was torn, standing there with both bath mats in her hand, trying to decide whether or not she wanted to spend the $30 extra bucks.

Someone recognized her, greeted her, and asked what she was doing in Kmart (Yes, Kmart). Oprah laughed and told the fan of her dilemma. The fan gave the mega-star a puzzled look and said, "But don't you have plenty of money? Enough to buy every bath mat in this department?"

Sure enough, she did. She'd just forgotten because she was still at that place of remembering what it felt like to count every penny and of living paycheck to paycheck.

Flash forward to a recent edition of O Magazine. On one of the glossy pages I see a stack of Ralph Lauren towels in a rainbow of colors. Oprah's "comment" beneath the full-page photo is that when she had finally "arrived" one of the first things she did was purchase a whole bunch of the plush RL towels for every bathroom in her apartment. (I have come to the conclusion that Ms. Winfrey has a thing for bathroom accessories ...)

By no means do I have the kind of income Ms. Winfrey has acquired and, unless there is some great miracle, I never will. But I have "come into money" a few times. More than a few times, whether by an unexpected check or an inheritance ...

When my father died, I decided to take some of my inheritance from his estate and purchase something I'd be able to keep always and, in doing so, hold my father close. I also wanted something indicative of him and something I could pass along to my daughter, his granddaughter.

My daddy was so precious to me. He was and always will be ... daddy. Daddy and I had a couple of fabulous things in common. We both loved to shop and we both loved jewelry. Daddy didn't wear a lot himself, but he got a kick out of buying it.

So I decided to buy myself a pair of diamond earrings ... my "Daddy Diamonds" I called them. They are classy and classic and I am reminded of him every time I slip them on. One day my daughter will wear them and will remember both her mother and her Pa-Pa.

Have you ever "come into money," whether short-term or long-term? Did you buy something special for yourself when you did? What was it and why did you decide to make that particular purchase? Can't wait to hear your answers!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Reflections of a Southern Life

Taken from http://theprojectbyjudy.wordpress.com/2012/04/29/god-wink-2/
I have found myself increasingly cranky lately. Nothing to fear; I tend to get this way as summer comes to an end. I'm tired of the heat, I'm wishing I lived somewhere--anywhere--else than Florida. Somewhere where I could actually see a leaf change from vibrant green to splendid red or glorious orange. Where I could walk through the fallen leaves and hear them swish and crunch under my feet. Somewhere where I could feel the snap of cold on my face as I hike a path or rush to the mailbox.

But I live in "tropical paradise," which is all well and good certain times of the year and a bummer during the others. I often say that those of us who live in Florida don't have four seasons, we have two. Hot and hotter.

And I hate ... let me reemphasize that ... hate!! ... hot. Just try touching the thermostat in our house and see what happens.

So, here I am. Nearing the end of September and cranky.

Yesterday morning I did something different in my prayer time, hoping to relieve the misery. I asked God to "wink" at me "today." To show me He still has me in His radar and we're "okay." We're still good. In spite of my crankiness.

Then I went to a meeting (planning for Florida Christian Writers Conference of which I am one of the two directors). I left the meeting at 1:00 because I had a phone meeting at 2:00 and I wanted a few minutes to swing by the mall first. (I've lost a pant's size ... which may be a wink ... or it may be the fact that I'm walking my little ...okay, big ... feet off.)

After the mall (and the confirmation that I have indeed lost a pant's size, which the sales ladies celebrated with me, even as they took my credit card), I got in my car and headed toward home, just as my phone meeting was to commence.

I can drive and talk.

In theory.

Okay. So I took a wrong turn out of the mall. So what? All roads lead to Rome, right? Or, at the very least, to Lake Kathryn.

Lake Kathryn at Sunset/c Eva Marie Everson
I took another route ... still chatting.

As I came to a roll toward a red light, I glanced over at the sidewalk where two young ladies (think teenagers) walked in the same direction that I rolled. Even from the back they looked familiar. I said to the other person on the phone, "Is that? Is that Becca and Emily?"

"What?" she asked. "Who?"

Then one of the girls turned and I knew it was, indeed, Becca and Emily--two young ladies from my church and the daughters of my friend and assistant, Cheryl. I asked the person on the other end of the call if I could call her back, powered down the window and called out to the girls, asking them if they'd like a ride.

"Sure!" they said.

They were heading to Ross, they told me. Not in my actual direction, but ... all roads leading to Lake Kathryn being true, I drove them there, chatting happily about the fact that Emily's Sweet 16 party will be held at my house within a few days (and completely forgetting that today was her birthday). Not only that, I worry about two young ladies as gorgeous as these two walking ... anywhere! 

After dropping them off, I resumed in my phone meeting and found my way toward home. As I neared Ronald Reagan Blvd and SR 434, I saw two cars had stopped in the middle of the road in front of me. The drivers were out of the car, inspecting the "damage" from the accident they'd apparently had within the last 5 minutes.

That's when it hit me. That's when God winked. Had I gone my usual route ... had I not seen Becca and Emily and taken them to Ross ... I would have most likely been right where these cars were. Boom-boom, crunch-crunch.

God winked. "Yes, Eva Marie," He said. "I still see you and we're still good ..."

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Let's Be Like Southerners!

In the South ...


     ...y'all is singular. All y'all in plural.

In the South ...

     ...we know that grits comes from corn.
     We know how to prepare them and
     we know how to eat them.

In the South ...
  
     ...we know that tomatoes with eggs, bacon, grits, and coffee are perfectly wonderful.
     We know that red-eye gravy is a breakfast food.
     And we know that a biscuit under that gravy is the nearest thing to heaven.

In the South ...

     ...we know that scrambled eggs without Tabasco just ain't right.
     We also know that fried green tomatoes is a dinner food.