About Me

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

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Love is Patient ...

Like a young mother-to-be waits for her baby's arrival date ... love is patient.
Like a young mother waits for the day her baby calls her by that most precious of names "Mommy" ... love is patient.
Like a young mother runs behind her toddler until she thinks she will drop and wonders if nap time will ever get here or if the house will ever be righted again ... love is patient.
Like a young mother sits, hour after hour as her child learns the pain-staking efforts of reading and writing and adding the sums ... love is patient.
Like a mother sits, hour after hour, watching her child at soccer ... at ballet ... in theater group ... at choir ... at youth group ... at music lessons ... and so on and so on ... love is patient.
Like a mother sits, hour after hour, over her child's sick bed, watching, praying, believing ... love is patient.
Like a mother waits, minute by minute, as curfew comes and curfew goes ... and prayers rise up, "Oh, Lord, keep him safe ... keep your eye on her" ... love is patient.
Like a mother prays ... week by week ... month by month ... year by year ... for God to become as much a reality in her child's life as the friends they swear they cannot go a day without ... love is patient.
Like a mother who grieves the time--the seemingly endless time--her prodigal is away, believing, believing they will return to her heart ... to her home ... love is patient.
Like a mother listens ... word by word, sentence by sentence, descriptive word by descriptive word ... as her adult child tells her of the "man of her dreams" or "the girl he is going to marry" and she knows that nothing in their relationship will ever be the same again ... love is patient.

Like a grandmother-to-be waits for her baby's baby's arrival and she knows of all that's necessary for what will follow ... love is patient.
by Eva Marie Everson
c. 2013

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Cranberry Fizz Cocktail (non-alcoholic)

Just in time for Christmas!

Bring this to your next get-together and become the hit of the party. I love this drink!

4 cups cranberry juice cocktail
1 cup grapefruit juice
1 cup orange juice
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups ginger ale

Mix together. Chill. Serve garnished with sliced lemons, oranges and cranberries ...

(You can also double the recipe or adjust to your own taste.)

Friday, December 20, 2013

Southern Leaves

I watched a leaf fall
photo c by Eva Marie Everson 2008
                 to the ground today
Alone in its dance
                 twirling ... twirling ...
I wondered as I watched it fall
if it could possibly know
                 at all
that it fell so gracefully
         to the earth
                 to die

c Eva Marie Everson 2013

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Southern Thanksgivings

I grew up thinking everyone ate the same thing on Thanksgiving Day. Had the same rituals. Not so, I eventually learned.

In my family, Thanksgiving was linked with two other events.

1. My mother's birthday either fell very close or directly on Thanksgiving Day.
2. My mother's birthday marked the anniversary of my father's brother's death--killed by a drunk driver.
Norman Rockwell's "Freedom From Want"

My mother and father grew up in the same small town, but they didn't really know each other until they were adults. I asked Mother why, with the number of citizens being so small, they'd not at least been friends growing up. Mother's reply was, "I don't know, we just weren't."

Mother was a woman of many words.

Mother said she remembered the day my paternal uncle was killed. He was loved by everyone who knew him. She said she remembered saying to her family, "How sad that while the whole world celebrates Thanksgiving and we celebrate my birthday, that family is mourning the death of a child."

This wasn't their first rodeo. They'd lost their oldest to a drunk driver (she was 17 at the time), the second child to pneumonia as a baby, and now ... this. Once again, someone had chosen to drink and drive. And kill.

My grandmother told me a story once ... the story of how she came to live in the pretty white house on North Caswell Street. Before my uncle was killed, he took her for a drive "in town." When they passed the house, my uncle declared it to be the most beautiful house in the whole town. He said, "Mama, one day I'm going to make enough money to buy you that house."

After he died, and after my grandmother received the settlement, she bought the house.

"I paid a lot for this house," she told me once. "And I don't mean money."

It was at that house, that rambling house on Caswell Street, that my family and I gathered each Thanksgiving. All the surviving aunts and uncles. The cousins. There was always a lot of food -- turkey, dressing (divided in the baking dish by aluminium foil with one half having onions and other other half not because my grandfather didn't like onions), all sorts of vegetables, and sweet potato souffle and pies and cakes. Sweet (sweet! I do mean sweet!) iced tea and my grandmother's famous biscuits.

There was also a football. After the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on TV, and after eating enough food to sink a battleship, the adults rocked in creaky front porch rockers and talked while the children played an impressive game of football in the expansive yard between our grandparents' house and the neighbors'. Then the kids would pass out on chenille-covered beds, wake up with little patterns all over their face, and eat again. Sometime just after dark, we all packed up and went home.

I think of them every year at this time. I think of my grandparents, both who lived to be amazingly old, but both who are now with our heavenly Father. I think of my father and mother, who didn't live to be so old at all. At least not by my book. But I know where they are, too. I remember my uncle who died as a baby. My aunt and uncle who died at the hands of drunk drivers. My gentle uncle who passed away this past February after a long battle with Parkinson's. ("We have to stop meeting like this," I said to my aunt, the baby sister of the family, at the funeral home.)

And I think of my cousins ... many of us who are grandparents now. Grandparents. Now how did that happen? (I have a framed photo of several of us, as young adults, carrying our grandmother out of the house in our arms during one of the last Thanksgivings we were together before we, one at a time, married and began families of our own ...)

Yes, we're making new memories now. Memories for our grandchildren. We're baking turkey and Southern-style dressing ... but none of us will ever make biscuits like Grandma. We can try, but that element of Thanksgiving will remain only in memories of Thanksgivings Past.

And, when the last of us draws a final breath, the memories--all of them--will be gone.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Southern Sunday's (Where Are They Now?)

I don't like to go to the grocery store on Saturdays. So busy. I try to go, when I go, during the weekdays.

But yesterday, a Saturday, I had to make a run to Publix. A big run. A "filled shopping cart" run.

"Plastic okay?" the young girl who stood at the end of the checkout counter asked.

I told her it was ... I bought those reusable bags ... and I have managed to leave them in my car every single time I've ever gone into the store.

So the cashier scanned, the girl bagged, and I paid. "Which way to your car?" the girl asked. I pointed to the left. "That way," I answered.

As we walked out of the air-conditioning inside to the warming temperature outside, she asked if I was having a good day. I told her it had been a busy day so far. She told me she had come in at 11. I smiled and said, "That's nice ... you got to sleep in." She laughed lightly. "Yes, I did."

I told her I don't usually come to the grocery store on Saturday because it's so busy.

"Actually," she said, "Sunday is the busiest."

Sunday? Seriously? So I said that thing that dated me and made her look at me sideways. "I remember," I said, "When no stores were open on Sundays. None. People went to church, they came home, they had Sunday dinner, and then they hung out with family and friends."

"Seriously?" she asked.(Yes, it took us longer riding the dinosaurs to church and home, don't you know?)

"I remember," I said, driving the stake farther into my own heart, "when the drug store in my little community decided to open on Sunday. But only after 1:00. After church. And only the pharmacy, in case someone needed their prescriptions filled."

To myself, I said, "It was the beginning of the downfall ..."
To me, she said, "Wow ... that's hard to imagine." (Insert frowny face here.)

Ah, the Sunday's of my youth. We slept in later than if we were going to school but not as late as we had the morning before. Sunday school followed by church. Mother's fried chicken. Or pot roast. With potatoes. Or rice and gravy... Spending time with my family. Daddy being home! Spending afternoons on motorcycles or at the "creek" with friends (as I got older). Playing with the kids in the neighborhood (when I was younger). Then back to church for MYF (Methodist Youth Fellowship) and Sunday night service.

Now what are people doing? Rushing to the grocery store with all the others who are rushing to the grocery store. (Can you say "boring" boys and girls?)

I miss the Sundays of my youth. I miss them ... badly.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Southern Autumn, Blues and Greens

The dogs woke me at their usual 5-something this morning. My typical response is, "Go back to sleep ..." which I say two or three times until I realize they are not the only ones who have to go ... outside. (Not that I go outside!)

So I drag myself out of bed, stumble from room to room until I reach the back door, and then traipse across screened patio to open another door so the two littlest members of our family can do what nature calls them to so dang early in the day.

And while they do it, I stare outward, across the lawn, to the lake. This morning, it lay like glass ... an amazing shade of green. Birds fly over, their reflection is nearly perfect in the water below. The air was crisp. The sky a brilliant pink, a calming lavender, and a deep shade of gray--like Neapolitan ice cream. Or sherbet.

Over the course of the day, the sky grew bluer, the air grew warmer, and then became downright hot. Autumn in Florida. But then the sun set in a whole new array of colors--red, orange, and another shade of gray. I know because those same two dogs came and got me 12 hours from the first time today (with a number of times in between), requesting my services in opening the doors.

Again, I rested against the door frame of the screen door, looking out over the lake. This time the water was dark blue-gray. The surface, choppy. A man and a small child zip around on a Seadoo. Family & friends laugh under the canopied top of a pontoon. A few ducks glide in the water near our shoreline.

Interesting how the water and the sky changes, even within a few hours. Life is like that, too, wouldn't you say? You can wake up one morning and everything is fine. But before the sun sets, the "waters" are choppy. Same body of water. Same life. Smooth as glass. Choppy.

Here's what I've discovered ... in it all, God remains ... God. He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow (Hebrews 13:8). Life may change. We may change. But God never changes. He is in the greens, the pinks, the lavenders, the grays, the reds and the oranges. He is in the smooth and the choppy. He is in the crisp and the hot.

He is ... He is ...

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.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Monday, August 19, 2013

Let's Be Like Southerners!

Only true Southerners say "sweet tea" and "sweet milk." 

Sweet tea indicates the need for sugar and lots of it. When Southerners travel up north, they often order "tea" with their
meals and get unsweet tea without ice. When we order tea,no matter where we are, we expect sugar and lots of it poured over lots of ice. "Sweet iced tea" is the way you'll often hear us describe it. "Would you like a glass of sweet iced tea?" Or ... we may just say, "Tea?" You should know what that means ...

For the record, "sweet iced-tea" is always best served on a hot day and in Mason jar ... 

"Sweet milk" means you don't want buttermilk. Personally, I never took to buttermilk, but my mother swore it was "so gooood" especially when served with some hot apple pie. 

Do you have a favorite "sweet iced tea" recipe? Here's a good one: Southern Sweet Iced Tea

Thursday, August 8, 2013

And the Winner Is ...

First let me say that this was not easy!!

But I do have a winner ... tough as it was.

I narrowed it down ... and down ... and down ... with the top three being:

Beverly Goode (who was our first anonymous, but gave herself up when prodded)
"Every Good Thing" (I'm not sure of your name, please let us know who you are!)
and "Ready Writer" (I'm not sure of your name, either ... and would like to know who you are)

The winner wrote:

Taffeta restles and the chattering of my companions quiets into whispers around me ...

Ready Writer! Please let us know who you are and then contact me privately at PenNhnd@gmail.com with your name, etc. so I can send you your Amazon.com gift card!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Writing Contest for August 2013

Hush by James Tissot (1836-1902).

A little about the artist: James Jacques Joseph Tissot was a French painter who studied under such greats as Jules-Elie Delaunay, Hippolyte Flandrin and Louis Lamoth. Tissot developed his reputation in art as a painter of elegantly dressed women shown in scenes of fashionable life, current to the times. Tissot spent much of his life in Britain.

The Contest: In the COMMENT box below, and in 150 words or less, write from the scene above. Be creative! Make it uniquely your own. I will read all entries and pick the winner based on content one week from today (so be sure to check back because I won't hunt you down! :)). Winner receives an Amazon.com gift certificate.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Let's Read Like Southerners!

God, Me, And Sweet Iced Tea

About the Book: In the South, nothing is more refreshing than a glass of sweet iced tea. Nothing, that is, except experiencing God in those small, everyday moments.

God, Me, And Sweet Iced Tea is a deeply personal collection of spiritual treasures designed to help readers experience new mercies each morning. Seasoning with insight and grace, this tender devotional points to the divine presence of God in everyday moments. Whether purchased as a personal resource or given as a heartfelt gift, God, Me And Sweet Iced Tea will help readers develop a daily habit of turning to God in those quiet moments of reflection.

About the Author: Rose Chandler Johnson, a Southern girl from a tiny Georgia town, is the author of the devotional blog, Write Moments with God. A devoted Christian and mother of six, she has been a teacher of English and French over the last 20 years. She looks forward to continuing her writing ministry in the years ahead.

Personally from Eva Marie: I met Rose Chandler Johnson at a writers conference about a year ago. I gave a keynote speech and happened to mention something about my hometown in the process. The mention had not been planned ... it was one of those "God Things" we like to talk about.

As soon as I was done with my talk, a woman about four-foot-nothing came sashaying down the aisle toward me, shouting, "Eva Marie! Eva Marie!" She sounded like an old neighbor calling over the fence. I thought to RUN ... but I stood firmly planted ... and was so glad I did. Turned out, she and I grew up not 15 minutes from each other nearly our whole lives. But it took a writers retreat outside of Chicago, Illinois to bring us together.

Throughout the rest of the conference, if you saw one of us, you saw the other. Or near about. She shared with me the hopes of seeing this book in print ... and lo and behold. Here it is.

I encourage you to draw near to God (always) with a little help from this book. Grab those ice tea moments along the way ... you won't be sorry.

A Little Something Extra:

19 Southern Sweet Tea Recipes: Southern Living  

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Let's Think Like Southerner's!

Southerners know their Religions:  

1) Bapdiss
2) Methdiss
3) Football

Southerners know their cities drippin' with Southern Charm:

1) Chawl'stn
2) S'vanah
3) Foat Wuth
4) N'awlins
5) Addlanna

Southern Girls know their Elegant Gentlemen:

1) Men in uniform     
2) Men in tuxedos
3) Rhett Butler

Southern Girls know their Prime Real Estate:

1) The Mall
2) The Country Club
3) The Beauty Parlor

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Random Thoughts from a Southern Mind

After the Verdict

For months, I've kept my eyes open.
     For weeks, I've held my breath.
For days, I willed my heart to keep beating.
And then, in one swift second, the answer came.

I see the photos and video.
     I think, "I love that place so much."
I see the photos and video.
     I think, "I hate that place so much."

And since last night I ponder...

I know what it's like to lose a child.
     I know what it's like to think that
the justice system is the injustice system.
I know what it's like to cry out, "This isn't fair!"

And, I know what it's like to let go.

So, I whisper a warning to those who think
   "What is a month or a year or a decade to hate?
To be angry and bitter?"
And I answer, "More than you want to take on.
Let it go.

Because I know what it's like to ...

Let. It. Go."

Then tonight I am about to toss the fortune cookie.
    Those wrapped sweets I never eat.
But instead I wrestle with the cellophane until it opens.
I eat the cookie and hold on to the fortune.

"Never Give Up" it says.

And I think, Okay.
Of course
I have let it go ... but

I will always cry and
while this fight has ended,
the fight has not.

[Warning: this is not the place to debate the verdict or the case of the State of FL vs. George Zimmerman. In fact, don't comment at all. Think, instead, of any bitterness or anger you are holding on to right now. Give it to God. Let it go. Release. Release. 


Thursday, July 11, 2013

Random Thoughts From a Southern Mind

Something kind of cool happened the other day. Fourth of July ...

Not just the holiday ... but something that happened on the holiday. During our celebration.

Allow me to back up a little.

When our daughter, Jessica, was born, my husband decided to work his full time job and take on a part time job so I could stay home with her. Between the extra income and me not buying lunches out or paying for uniforms, gas, etc ... the money balanced out. Tight, but balanced. We felt that my being with her in those early years was worth it and we chose to make the sacrifices necessary.

As she grew from infant to toddler, she became part of my morning routine. Each morning, we went into the bathroom. I stood at the sink, she on the closed toilet lid where she watched me put on my makeup and my (as she called them) "ton-tacts." (contacts)

Of course she had to do the same. She had a set of "little girl" makeup (which was nothing at all, but she didn't know that) and an empty "ton-tact" solution bottle. As I put on my makeup, she put on hers, carefully imitating my every move. As I put my contacts in, so did she. I stood at the sink with the big mirror. She stood on the toilet with a little mirror, which I'd propped up on a shelf.

So, fast forward 30 years to this past 4th of July.

After eating, I went into the master bath to brush my teeth and freshen my makeup. About three seconds later, here came my baby girl (now with a baby of her own). She keeps a toothbrush at our house and on my side of the bathroom (which is bigger than the entire bathroom of her early childhood). She got it, applied toothpaste, and started to brush her teeth just as I finished brushing mine. Then we both touched up our makeup and brushed our hair, standing side-by-side, looking into one big mirror.

I glanced to her and smiled, remembering. She said something about "those days when I put my 'ton-tacts' in ..." and I knew she remembered too.

Precious memories come in the most amazing moments. And from the most amazing children.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Let's Think Like Southerners

Southerners know ... 
... the movies that speak to their hearts:

Fried Green Tomatoes
Driving Miss Daisy
Steel Magnolias
Gone with the Wind

(What's your favorite?)

Friday, July 5, 2013

Let's Read Like Southerners!

The Wedding Dress

A year or so ago I read The Wedding Dress for the first time. I remember enjoying it ... and I wanted to read it again. To savor it this time.

So, just before my "24 days gone out of 36"--and so much time on a plane--I opened the front cover of the book and dove in for a second time.

Was it better the second time than the first? OH YES! And I thought it was wonderful the first time!

Set in Birmingham, AL and spanning over a hundred years, this is the story of one amazing wedding dress and the four women who wore it on their "most special day." Rachel Hauck, within the pages and words of this work, shows why she is a master storyteller and why this book not only was nominated for several awards, but also won several awards.

Highly recommended.


Amazon:  The Wedding Dress

ChristianBook.com: The Wedding Dress

Barnes and Noble:  The Wedding Dress

Rachel Hauck: Official Website

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Let's Eat Like Southerners

Molded Banana Cream Salad

You will need:

1 8-oz pkg cream cheese
2 TBS mayo
2 TBS lemon juice
1 tsp salt
1/2 c crushed pineapple
1/4 c maraschino cherries
1/2 c walnuts
3 medium-sized bananas
3/4 c heavy cream, whipped

What you will do:

Soften cream cheese. Add mayo, lemon juice and salt. Beat until creamy. Add fruit and nuts; fold into whipped cream. Chill until firm. Can serve on a bed of lettuce.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Let's Learn to Talk Like Southerners!

Yes, it's annoying, but it's also true. Southerners know everybody by their first name. Of course, we only have 3 we really go by:

Honey (Hunny...)
Darling (Darlin')
Sugar (Shug-ah)

And we really don't care how old you are, what sex you are, or where you came from. To us, those 3 names do just fine.

And that's your lesson for talkin' like Suthenahs for today. 

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Let's Eat Like Southerners!

Or, in this case, drink!

Coffee Punch

Pour 2 quarts hot coffee over 3 quarts vanilla ice cream in serving bowl.

Stir until partially melted.

Sprinkle with nutmeg or cinnamon.

Makes 16 one-half cup servings.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Let's Read Like Southerners

What do Southerners know better than sweet iced tea?

Or... is it "sweet ice tea"?

Actually, it's either/or.

Another thing Southerners know well is how much they LOVE Jesus. FAITH is an integral part of Southern life.

That and football.

And barbecue. (But I digress...)

Check this book out. God, Me, and Sweet Iced Tea is the premier book by Rose Chandler Johnson.

Description: Life is full of challenges that keep us from spending time with God, and hinder us from discovering his presence in our day-to-day activities. But He is always there, ready to pour out His blessings. If you desire to experience the reality of God in the everyday moments of life, this devotional journey is for you. God, Me, and Sweet Iced Tea will help you find the strength you need to weather every storm and experience new mercies every day.

God, Me, and Sweet Iced Tea is an excellent choice for reading on an early morning--whether you live in the North or the South, the East or the West. Find a spot while the sun is rising and read a little. Find a spot in the late afternoon while the sun is starting its descent, and rest in the promises of God. 

Whatever you do, bring along a glass of sweet iced tea!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Let's View Life Like Southerners

Rolled Hay

from ecoglimpse.com 
Don't ask me why, because I don't know the answer, but the sight of rolled hay bales always makes my heart leap. Maybe it's the look of work having been done. Maybe it's the continuity of the hay bales. Maybe the reason I'm often found glancing to the right and left of the road while driving through my homeland is because I see the farmer's artistry.

Southerners work hard. We always have. We believe in a good day's work, a hard week's pay. Most of us--sadly, not all of us--are honest when it comes to putting our "hand to the plow."

We've been known to play hard too. Some Friday nights you'll find us out and about, though sometimes we're just too blame tired ("tard") to do much more than head over to the local pizza joint. Or maybe we'll go out and get us some barbecue. Lord willin'.

But Saturdays are a whole different story. Saturday is for going to the river or the creek ("crick"). Swinging off ropes tied high to a tree and dropping down into the water. Saturday is for heading over to the beach or the lake. Water sports or fishing.

Of course we'll get too much sun, so on Sunday you'll find us sitting in our favorite pew, sun-kissed and trying to stay awake.

Of course that whole scenario changes in the winter months.

Now Sunday ... Sunday is about meeting with God. Singing His songs. Greeting one another in brotherly love. Family dinner around 1:00. Afterward, the game. Whatever game that is. And if there isn't one, we'll make one up in the side yard. Or take a long nap. Or watch an old movie. Or maybe go see a new one.

So maybe that's why I like rolled hay. It reminds me how blessed I am to have been born and reared in the South.

American by birth. Southern by the grace of God.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Let's Eat Like Southerners!

Grapefruit Dip*
Perfect for an afternoon tea, a BBQ ... or anytime!


6 oz cream cheese
8 drops Tabasco sauce
1/2 tsp. Worcestershire Sauce
1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 grapefruit


Mix cream cheese, Tabasco sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and lemon juice together until well blended and fluffy.

Remove sections from grapefruit, cut them into small pieces and add to cheese mixture. Spoon mixture into grapefruit shell.

Garnish with paprika and parsley.

Place shell in dish and arrange raw veges and/or cold shrimp around shell.

* Dip will keep several days in the fridge. Yields about 3/4 cup.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

And the Winner is ...

Our LATEST WINNER for the "write about it" contest is: Debbie Burgett!!

Debbie be on the lookout for your PRIZE!

Eva Marie Everson

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Early Morning Train Contest Begins!

The mist from the morning rain rose like tiny clouds, blending with the smoke from the train. A conductor walked out onto the steps near the platform. Checked his watch. Jane wondered if it ticked with the same rhythm of her heart. Or of the too-small spike-heeled pumps she wore. The ones he'd chosen to match her red dress and the umbrella he carried over her head. In front of them, not by more than twenty steps, another couple--she in red, he in a trench coat matching Jane’s husband's--had made it to the car in the middle. The one they'd ride over the next week. Unless, of course ... She darted her eyes to the ornate door of the station, and the hair pulled tight in her chignon tugged. She winced. His hand, cinched around her arm, closed in tighter. "Look ahead," he said. "And don't even think about it."

Your turn!
Here are the rules:
1) enter by writing your own story to this painting. No more than 150 words. If your name does not automatically show up, please put your name at the bottom of your entry.
2) tell others. We want this to be a real contest.
3) this part of the contest is open for two weeks. 
4) mark your calendars and check back in two weeks. Once the voting begins, you call tell everyone you know and their brother to "vote for me!" Voting takes place by hitting "reply"under your writing and typing in the words "this one!"
5) then, check back a week later. I will announce the winner. If you win, it is up to YOU to notify me once I have announced the winner.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013


Alan Daughterty!

Alan, contact me at PenNhnd@gmail.com ...

Your prize will be on its way!

Eva Marie Everson

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Morning Light Writing Contest

Frederick Childe Hassam - Morning Light

Rebecca made a choice, every morning, to take the time to look at herself in the mirror and in the morning light. Not as harsh as at noon or as unforgiving as the evening's. She rose early each day, spent agonizing moments choosing just the right gown--Pink. He loved pink.--and then retreated to the quiet of her boudoir to sit near the window with its lacy curtains. To apply the expensive lotions (Oh, if he only knew how she'd sacrificed!), and to style her hair, drawing it up the way he liked it. With tendrils falling soft around her high cheekbones. All this for him. Only for him. But how much longer, she wondered, before the ministrations wouldn't matter? Before they wouldn't matter at all. c.Eva Marie Everson, 2013

Now it's your turn. And, I've finally figured out how to make this work. 

We'll take two weeks in which you can add your work, keeping it between 100 and 150 words. At the end of two weeks, I'll open the contest. Be sure to have your family and friends come to the site to vote for your work by REPLYING under your entry. All they have to do is say "This One" or "I like this one" or something close to it. We'll keep the contest open for one week.


Remember, if you sign in anonymously, you will need to put your name, email etc. 
If your name is registering, please add some way that I can get in touch with you.
The winner will receive a gift card at the end of the contest.

Ready? Write!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Let's Do It Again!

In the dream, he waited at the end of a great hall. Marble walls, white and gleaming, lined with thick columns and arched windows where light streamed in, led the way. Overhead a canopy of alabaster artwork hung over me, catching my echoed steps. And then the water, crystal clear, casting shadows of blue, swept in, dividing me from my one true love. Or did it make the way? I swept up the skirt of my wedding gown, full with taffeta and satin, slipped my feet out of tiny slippers, and stepped into the coolness. He was now within eyesight, just beyond the crystal river, seated on the throne, waiting for his beloved. Waiting for me. Me. (Rev 22:1)
c Eva Marie Everson

Okay! Your turn! Keep it under 150-200 words!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Something New ... and Creative!

Lately I have found painting/prints on the internet and have "pinned" them to my Pinterest account. At Pinterest I am allowed to write about 90 to 100 words about whatever I have pinned. I began to see if I could write the "story" behind the painting/print. 

As a writer, I've enjoyed this exercise very much. How about you? Give yourself about 100 words (you can type in a .doc and then copy and paste in the comments below). What does this story tell you? (You can see my story in the caption)

Book Shop, she thought, was not necessarily a creative name for the store. But she walked in anyway, drew the musky dust into her nostrils, and ran her fingers along the crackling leather. When she came upon a title locked somewhere in her memory, she slid the book from its tight place, found a seat on an old churhc pew, and opened the volume with reverence. "Ah," she said, after reading the first few lines. "I remember you. I remember you so well." And then she read some more.
Copyright: Eva Marie Everson