Miller: Mississippi life

Published 11:06 am Tuesday, March 8, 2022

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Mississippi life


I really enjoy bringing things back to life. There is so much pleasure in my gardener heart when a wilted, scraggly plant responds to some love and extra attention by returning to its former glory. The same holds true for fixing up a house, so I’ve been having a grand time this week with a little help from my friends.

We have had a turnover in one of our rentals, and that is always a busy, busy time. Today the glass folks, painter, roof guy, floor guy, and general helper all popped in to give estimates or bring materials. Since Mike and I have been messing with rentals for a few years now almost all the workers feel like old friends.

Lately, I have been feeling so blessed to be back in my home town, and one of the things I love about living in our relatively small town is word gets around. I don’t necessarily mean gossip, although that is usually pretty prevalent in any small town. What I’m thinking about is the ease of hearing through the grapevine which people are reputable and which ones aren’t. In a town like ours if you don’t actually know someone you at least know their reputation, and believe me that is a big plus.

I have been extremely fortunate to be able to coordinate all the repairs in one short week. There was a little time crunch since the new tenants were anxious to move in as soon as possible, but things have worked our beautifully. If all goes according to plan the projects will be finished in time for moving day on Saturday.

Actually, a young man is in the other room painting while I’m getting my own work done. I’ve never been one to delegate very many things without at least being on sight in case something comes up. I just hoped up to see the paint color that I carefully selected. It looks very different from the picture of said color on the website, but I’ll bet when it dries it will be just the right shade. My painter assured me that it would dry much lighter so that makes me feel better!

My new tenants have moved from Texas so I’m doing my best to give them a good old Mississippi welcome. We aren’t called the Hospitality State for nothing! I do have to say that I’ve noticed something that has no place in my beautiful town. I’ll spell it out. We don’t honk the horn when someone doesn’t take off at lightning speed when the light turns green. That is rude, and unacceptable, but I know that my dear readers would never do such a thing so why am I preaching to the choir?

Undoubtedly, our laidback Southern charm will lull the culprits into such a sense of well being that they will soon be smiling and waving with no thoughts of bumping their horns. It probably just takes a while, but we must teach by example. If this phenomenon ever happens to me I just smile and wave, and if they ever honk too long I may even slow down a bit. Just our Mississippi way of saying, settle down now.

Jan Penton Miller can be reached at