Recently I got a phone call from my niece Mary Louise, who lives in Florida. Since her only child, Elizabeth, has never had a chance to meet many of her family members, she asked that I write for her daughter's 16th birthday something about her family.
I am a product of public education, which means, well, not much I fear. My generation was taught to learn by rote, possibly the most boring and least effective method of instruction ever used. Like most students of my era, I remember very little.
According to Robert Frost, "Good fences make good neighbors." To that I might add -- only sometimes and with some neighbors.
Growing your own food, especially tomatoes, is a very rewarding experience. It does not come without the usual headaches, however. Producing a perfect red tomato is not as easy as many people think.
When it's hot in the summer months like it has been lately, I always look for low-maintenance plants that carry the color load. I imagine I'm not alone.
The ponytail is the default hairstyle for most Southern gals, especially in the summer when everything is wilting.
Some of the most familiar faces seen in Mississippi during the summer are found in our gardens. Most gardeners across the state recognize the yellow petals and dark centers of black-eyed Susans.
This has been a flag-waving week. We celebrated the signing of the Declaration of Independence over 300 years ago, and the 50th anniversary of the signing of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Both are very good reasons to eat hot dogs and drink beer.
I have been away for a while, and I have to say coming home in time for the recent Fourth of July takes on special meaning.
I believe it was on an airplane a few years ago that I first met humorist David Sedaris. Well, I didn't meet him exactly, but it sure felt like I did.
Mississippi has a long history of independent thinking. Our individualism dates back 200 years or more. We resent being told how to run our lives -- especially by the Federal Government.
Most people I know like to celebrate our nation's birthday with fireworks, and gardening and fireworks have something in common.
One of the many things my mama and I did to pass the days of my childhood was to meticulously pry open sunflower seeds, licking the salt off the shell first, more often than not sitting side-by-side on her porch swing.
Summer is a magical time for children. They get a vacation from school that seems almost endless. There is nothing to do except have fun. What a luxury it must be to find infinite ways of amusing themselves.
Last week Karen and I attended the annual meeting of the Mississippi Heritage Trust in Tupelo. Our house, the Ole Homestead, received the 2014 Trudy Allen Award for residential restoration in Mississippi.
I knew three things with certainty moments after my four-o'clock flew into the salon sideways in a minivan.
Now that the truly hot days of summer have arrived, vitex is ready to show its colors. This is one of the few plants that make Mississippi gardeners and nongardeners alike stop and take notice.
This week, Chris and I attended a party celebrating the marriage of our dear friends, Meagan and Clare. They had a romantic destination wedding, saying their vows under a vine-covered gazebo in New York's Central Park.
I adore magnolias. There's just something magical about the purity of those delicate blooms peeking from the backyard tree through the library windows at me while I write.
Last month, I wrote about getting mom the perfect Mother's Day rose. With Father's Day just a couple of weeks away, it's gift time again.