Southern Humorist, Marlene Ratledge Buchanan has been entertaining readers with her observations about life through her column, Hey Y'all, published in the Gwinnett Citizen since 2015. Ms. Buchanan column first appeared in the life section of the Snellville Patch. She has combined a collection of essays into her first book, Life is Hard Soften It with Laughter. The subject matter for her columns primarily center around life events she has experienced, but no topic or any person is off limits.
After thirty-four years of being in public education either as a teacher or counselor, Marlene "fully" retired in 2007. Her first teaching position, as an art teacher, was at Duluth High School in 1972. She moved to Parkview High School in the fall of 1978 and remained for the next tweny-four years. It was in the classroom where she earned the name "Ms. Rat." that has stayed with her and garnered her a collection of rat figurines and collectibles over the years from her students. After her first attempt at retirement, Marlene returned to the education arena as a counselor for students in special education or required academic support in 2002 for Central Gwinnett High School.
Marlene is quick to say that she'd plan to marry someone old and rich, but she only got old. This is often immediately followed with how she knew on her first date with her husband, Snell, she was positive he was the one for her to the point she proposed. After his refusal, she considered getting him pregnant. Marlene and Snell have celebrated forty-two years of marriage.
After seven years of marriage, Snell asked Marlene if she could be pregnant. The answer was yes and a beautiful olive skin baby boy with a head full of black hair became a part of their lives. James suffered a lack of oxygen during delivery, resulting in him having special needs. Marlene refers to James' condition as a special gift.
Their family is complete with several feline, two of which are often referred to as flying monkeys, and other rescues James has brought home. Her computer is known as Hissy Prissy. Marlene believes dust is just and admits she is not a domestic diva and has allergies to cooking,. The only reason their home has a kitchen is for the resale value it adds. She is a connoisseur of coffee and finds therapy in bush hogging around her home. Guest are welcomed to visit. There is a shovel at the back door to help navigate your way into her home. She does ask that the fur tumbleweeds are not disturbed.