Category Archives: 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 … Continue reading

Posted in community, mystery, seasons, spirit, the South | Leave a comment

Life in the word.

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that … Continue reading

Posted in animals, conservation, home, resilience, spirit, the South | 2 Comments

The pleasures of okra.

If I had a dollar for every time somebody, emboldened by my Southern accent, asked me a question about okra — “What is that?” when they see it growing (once somebody asked, “Is that marijuana?”), or “How do you cook … Continue reading

Posted in attention, food, gardening, gratitude, the past, the South | 8 Comments

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 … Continue reading

Posted in food, gardening, gratitude, the South | Leave a comment

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 … Continue reading

Posted in community, food, the past, the South | 6 Comments

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 … Continue reading

Posted in community, conservation, corporations, Driftless region, frac-sand mining, fracking, politics, resilience, spirit, the past, the South | 7 Comments

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 … Continue reading

Posted in community, conservation, food, gratitude, politics, resilience, self-reliance, the South | 6 Comments

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 … Continue reading

Posted in body, community, gardening, politics, spirit, the past, the South, women | 5 Comments

“No pleasure but meanness.”

Near the end of Flannery O’Connor’s classic short story “A Good Man is Hard to Find,” an old woman gets drawn into bargaining for her life with a killer.  The Misfit, as he’s known, is escaped from prison and rampaging, … Continue reading

Posted in community, politics, spirit, the South | 1 Comment

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 … Continue reading

Posted in body, community, food, politics, the South, women | 17 Comments