Early on I attempted to rid myself of all things Southern except, of course, my charm. I believed the accent and expressions made me sound ignorant, and I wanted to be cosmopolitan, sophisticated and smart. Then over dinner once in the North Country suddenly, “Well, that ’bout knocked me slap dead” came flying out of my mouth.
It occurs to me that, as Thanksgiving approaches this year — the second Thanksgiving of the economic plunge — some people may have a difficult time being thankful. Just recently the jobless rate reached double digits, and that does not include the underemployed. That’s still not as bad as the rate during the Great Depression, when about a fourth of the workforce were out of work. Ten percent is not as bad as 24 or 25 percent, but for the person who is unemployed, it is 100 percent.
Most of us are thinking about gratitude this week. And why not? Everywhere we look there are reminders of our wealth of blessings.
As a young girl, Jean Wilder remembers her mother baking apple crunch pies for the Country Store Bake Sale. It was only one of the delicious homemade goodies Laura Pennington made to support the preservation of the historic Stephen D. Lee Home at 316 Seventh St. N.
If you are lucky enough, your mother or grandmother had a recipe box that now lives in your own kitchen. I don’t know many cooks who actively keep one nowadays. I think the advent of instant recipes via the Internet, along with enough published cookbooks to warrant their own section in bookstores, have lessened the importance of saving passed-down recipes. And, many of these passed-down recipes have lost their relevance to today’s cook, with amounts given in pinches, or ingredients that include such items as oleo or prunes (lots of prunes in those old recipes).
Mississippi State University welcomes the holiday season with a two-day arts and crafts fair Nov. 30 and Dec. 1, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. both days, at the Joe Frank Sanderson Center on campus.
It’s dusk on Christmas Eve. All is cold in London’s darkening streets. As gloom settles in the accounting office of Scrooge and Marley, old Ebenezer Scrooge, that bitter miser, sparingly lights a candle at his desk. Nearby, his shivering clerk, Bob Cratchit, copies accounts.
Have you asked yourself, “Why can’t I find anything about my people in my county’s heritage book?” Do you wish your ancestors had left behind a narrative of their own lives, rich in details about the people, places, and things that were most important to them?
Dozens of poinsettia varieties and novelty plants will be on display and sale at the Dec. 4 Holiday Open House hosted by Mississippi State University’s Department of Plant and Soil Sciences. Additional poinsettia displays will be available Dec. 5 in Kosciusko and Jackson.
Mississippians may find themselves with many people on their gift lists and a small budget this year, but a few ideas and some creativity can help them give good gifts.
The Columbus Arts Council presents the award-winning Saint Petersburg Classic Ballet Theatre of Marina Medvetskaya in a “Classical Holiday Ballet Gala” Sunday, Dec. 6, at 2:30 p.m. The professional dance troupe of Russia will bring to life Tchaikovsky’s most beloved numbers from the second act of “The Nutcracker,” as well as other classical gems. They will also perform “Remember When,” a new one-act ballet to the music of George and Ira Gershwin during the festive event at Rent Auditorium on the Mississippi University for Women campus.
Our world is so very full of need. It is overwhelming, trying to understand the vastness of poverty and suffering. Humans everywhere (and voiceless animals) are hurting. Sometimes scarcities are created by war, or natural disaster, or the unwise actions of a government. Misery may be the direct result of choices made by those most in distress. However, the causes hardly matter when the results are tragic and immense.
My mother was definitely a Southern mother, and I appreciate her more and more the older I get. I feel that I must apologize to the following generation, especially the young women, for spending more time and money trying to preserve my own youth and less acquiring the wisdom necessary to pass on to their generation. “ ... older women ... train the younger women ... ”
Once upon a time, big family-style Sunday meals were the rule rather than the exception. Aromas drifting from mom’s or grandmother’s kitchen promised delicious home-cooked dishes, hot from the oven. Children, changed out of their church clothes, romped and played, before being told to go wash up.
You may spout any praise of America, but you cannot conceal the fact: America has no hedgehogs. Not native ones, anyway. Oh, we have hedgehog hobbyists who enjoy having imported hedgehogs as pets, and even have them compete in the International Hedgehog Olympic Games (the Olympic Committee who runs the human version wants you to be sure they do not themselves sponsor or endorse the hedgehog version).
Charles Darwin’s name is so firmly linked with evolution that it is often forgotten that he was interested in specifics of biology. For instance, while he was fretting for 17 years over whether to publish about evolution, he was busy investigating barnacles. He was to publish an authoritative work on them. He also wrote about the geology he had seen on his travels in the “Beagle,” and did experiments on whether eggs or seeds could travel the oceans to get to new lands. He was constantly busy on other projects, constantly enquiring and doing his own research simply because he had an exemplary curiosity.
The late Tennessee Williams, born in Columbus in 1911, is most often associated with the vivid plays and characters he created and twice winning the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. But it is the Mississippi native’s poetry which inspired his induction Thursday, and in a special service today, into the American Poets’ Corner at the magnificent Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine in New York City.
The newly-formed Columbus Choral Society will present its first concert Sunday, Nov. 15, in the First United Methodist Church Artz Fellowship Hall located at the corner of College Street and Sixth Street South in Columbus.
WEST POINT — On Nov. 15, West Point will showcase its own Clay County artists and authors as part of Christmas Open House. The West Point Arts Council is hosting the second annual Artists and Authors Showcase, from noon-4:30 p.m., in the historic McClure Furniture building on the corner of Broad and Commerce Streets downtown.
Vendors of all things locally grown, made or conjured up still have time to sign up for the Nov. 21 Hitching Lot Holiday Market, Main Street Columbus has announced.