Remembering Tootsie

With its red digital message, the hotel clock shouted my wake-up call that Saturday morning. It was 5:30 AM. Not until later in the day did I realize the timing that only our Heavenly Father could arrange. My second mother, Ruth “Tootsie” Blige, began her eternal reward that morning – she died at 5:30 AM. Tootsie worked for my family just shy of fifty years. I can still see the large yellow Buick with my mother’s silhouette behind the wheel and next to her sat Tootsie. River Road was their highway to heavenly places such as Piggly Wiggly and, in Continue Reading

Momma's" Fur" Coat

It was time to tackle the closet in the front hall. My mother’s many coats, collected over a lifetime, hung in the closet appearing lonely and neglected. If they could talk these coats would say that they were sad and confused. But there was one coat that stood out, Momma’s fur vest. It was a reversible leather and fur vest and was the perfect length and weight. This was my mother’s dream coat. I remember when mother called me one morning to share the news, “I got a surprise today; a reversible fur and leather vest. It is just what Continue Reading

Wall Street Need a Main Street

Protests fascinate me. I have actually participated in a protest. It was during the farm crises in the late 1970’s. Dressed to fit the occasion in my hog-washers and protest cap, we drove the tractors into downtown Charleston to the Post and Courier Newspaper building and revved up the engines. It was fun to be a rebel with a cause. The farmers’ wives including my mother, Evelyn, Miss Ann and Miss Ada, rode in pickup trucks. That was pretty much the extent of it. Our protest did call attention to agricultural issues and the rising costs of farming. And then Continue Reading

Gumpa was our Weather Channel

My daddy’s old metal map of the Southeastern United States hangs with the magnets still in place from Hugo’s tract to Charleston some twenty one years ago. It is like a wall monument. I recall constantly listening to the shrill sounds of the Charleston airport weather updates during tomato and cucumber season. This was our constant companion growing up on a Lowcountry vegetable farm. The old weather radio is a far cry from the today’s sophisticated weather tracking. I imagine if we had had the Weather Channel back in the day, you may have heard something like this, “In 10 Continue Reading

Imagine That!

I spent two wonderful days in Georgetown, TX speaking to the Texas Baptist Weekday Education Association. The close to 1,000 attendees were nurturing women who deeply love children. The group had hearts as big as the Lone Star State. The conference theme was entitled, “Imagine That” based of the fabulous Christian song by Mercy Me, “I Can Only Imagine.” My transporter, Celina, was delightful and drove me to see where I was speaking. Yes, everything is bigger in Texas and proven again when I saw the Georgetown Texas Baptist Church looming in the distance. I toured the education building and Continue Reading

Spanx, False Eyelashes, and a Spray-on Tan

I opened the letter from the Miss South Carolina Organization.It read, “Join us for the 75th Anniversary of the Miss South Carolina Pageant where we will honor you for your reign……” All of this translated in my mind to….”Jane, you have to lose 15 pounds, try to erase 20 years, buy a new gown, Spanx, false eyelashes, a spray-on tan, make sure your roots are covered, get a facial, pedicure, manicure and take half a valium in case you don’t get this all together. What would I do if the weight will not come off my body? I had heard Continue Reading

Lowcountry Tides and the Changes in Life

Memorial Day weekend ushers in the official beginning of summer. Along with the obvious tribute to our brave men and women in the armed forces, the sun seems a little hotter and the water temperature is not as cool. Sunscreen, bottles of water, bread, peanut butter, etc., are all on my list to take in the boat. My daddy, a seasoned Johns Island boater, always said to never leave the shore without food and water. So with the coolers packed and boat in good shape, off we went to Abbapoola Creek to join a ka-zillion other boaters in Charleston. To Continue Reading

Families: If the Old Kitchen Table Could Talk

As I began writing my book, Bury Me with My Pearls,  I knew there  had to be a chapter on families and children.  Dusting my kitchen table gave me the perfect story since I noticed marks and scratches all over one part of its surface. On closer examination, I saw some beautiful reminders of the importance of family.  Families: if the old kitchen table could talk, it  would tell priceless stories….#pearlsbook  Enjoy an excerpt from a chapter in the book, “Children: Our Most Precious Pearls I dusted the kitchen table and saw the words, “Daniel C. Herlong” imprinted in the Continue Reading

What Happened to the Friendly Skies?

I knew better than to let Thomas book airline tickets to New York City.He will try to get the best deal like he does when he grocery shops at BI-LO.Our pantry looks like a distribution center for Southern Home products. The airline I fly most often is Delta.I have some status on that airline which comes in handy these days when the dream of the flying experience has become a nightmare. Thomas called to inform me that he got a fabulous price on an airline I will not disclose that is based out of Charlotte, NC (US hint, hint) through Continue Reading

God Bless The Good ol’ South

MI crooked letter, crooked letter I, crooked letter, crooked letter I, hump back, hump back I. Mississippi is only state I can spell with ease since there is an unforgettable way to spell its name. My impression of spending a week in Vicksburg made an indelible mark on my memory. The week was spent doing my favorites things….laughing, eating, laughing, eating, and watching extraordinary young women compete for the title of Miss America…….I mean they were all Miss America material. We stayed in a casino/hotel compete with the continuous sounds of slot machines being played 24-7. I believe Vicksburg was Continue Reading