Category: the South

Little bitty Christmas trees.

A rerun from 2011 that’s been on my mind. Merry Christmas, y’all. — “I’ve been a pastor for more than 15 years, and I am still amazed at folks in nursing homes, many unable to remember the majority of their own lives, who will begin to sing and nod and clap when they hear Christmas […]

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The pleasure of collards.

As the days shorten and daylight “savings” time – what a name! – is about to make oncoming winter even more official, I come in from canvassing for my chosen presidential candidate and turn to the stalwarts still waiting patiently out in the garden, which a little cold only improves: two kinds of kale, two […]

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Bittersweet.

You pull up to the little grocery store in a distinguished area of a small west-Georgia river city, near the country club and a ladies dress shop named after a Confederate novel.  There are beautiful old homes here, and old white people of the genteel and eccentric kind that live on mostly in Southern caricature […]

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Common ground: politics, water, and life.

Checking my email on what is going to be my last full morning in Alabama for a while, I found some very troubling news: fracking may be coming to our beautiful little corner of northeast Iowa. You might say it’s technically not fracking, since the proposed mine in Allamakee County would be for what’s called […]

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Moving home: (re)thinking the organic South.

Sometimes I think “home” in my mobile life has become less a specific place than a kind of place where certain conditions obtain — the sense of comfort, practicality, and freedom that comes from being able to move around on foot and bike as well as car; the ability to eat healthy food that didn’t […]

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Roots.

This stem of Hibiscus mutabilis, a.k.a. Confederate rose, flourishes in a Mason jar on my kitchen counter, ready for repotting.  Its mother plant, originally a cutting from my parents’ yard in Alabama, is resprouting too.  Last summer I planted a cutting like this in my yard to see whether, as the plant encyclopedia promised, it […]

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Paula Deen and American appetites.

“Southern or not, we all live somewhere on a continuum between Tofurky and Terducken.” — Bob Rini Today the news broke that Paula Deen has Type 2 diabetes. <Pause for Inner Moral Battle that probably ends with Guilty, Helpless Succumbing to Pithy/Catty Line about Oh, The Irony.> Me, I immediately flashed on the recent MLA […]

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