Southern Living Enabled Me to Win Over My In-Laws

January 27, 2016 | By | Comments (2)


In 1977, I was a 21-year-old Hispanic woman newly married into a college-educated white family. With only a high school education, I sometimes found it a little painful—if not embarrassing. But my dear mother-in-law gave me a subscription to Southern Living, and my world changed. It was like a homemaking class came to my home every month. Through Southern Living, I learned how to bake a cake from scratch and decorate for each holiday. Who knew homemaking could be so fun?

Our first home was a neglected ranch house that you helped me remodel on a budget. With your instructions, our children grew up with vegetable and herb gardens. You introduced us to crepe myrtles and container gardening. Our pool, pergola, and outdoor fireplace all started with ideas from you. Even our two daughters’ weddings were Southern Living inspired.

Thank you for taking me by the hand and walking with me for 38 years. You have been a fun friend and great teacher. Regardless of race, education, economic background, or social status, you have shown me that a gracious life is available to all. —Sylvia Riddle, Mission, Texas


  1. Ashley Kappel

    Well isn’t this the most adorable story ever!

    January 28, 2016 at 5:06 pm
  2. Michelle Shaffer

    Amen sister! Your story could be my own- Thanks for sharing, and thank you SL!!

    January 28, 2016 at 10:38 am

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