5 Things Appalachia

5 Things


1. Having a jeweler in the house can come in handy. The string in my JCCFS Bird Necklace broke. I guess I should have been expecting it, the necklace is close to 40 years old. Pap’s Mother, my Mamaw, worked in the gift shop at the folk school and gifted Granny with the necklace. At some point through the years I claimed it as my own. For the longest time I thought the pieces were wood, but they are actually clay. Chitter fixed the string mishap for me. She said she could make the bird lay better but she’d have to add a few of her beads. I told her I thought adding her craftsmanship would make the piece even more special than it already was.


2. This time of the year there is mud everywhere. You can forget about walking down the hill or out to the chickens without pulling on the rubber boots. And by all means be careful getting in or out of the car…unless you don’t mind wearing a big smear of dirt down your side.


3. I’ve become slightly obsessed with The Josh Williams Band’s version of Gordon Lightfoot’s Redwood Hill. I first heard the Country Gentlemen do the song, but there is something about the video above that just keeps hanging in my mind and on my computer screen. Maybe it’s because the manner in which the video was filmed makes you feel like you’re right there with them. Or maybe it’s that the videographer captured the special chemistry that exists between musicians who are making music and enjoying it. I’ve always told The Pressley Girls: “Make the music about you, about what exists between the two of you and you’ll always be successful. I’m not saying you’ll be rich, but the music you make will be worth something, it will be real.”


4.  A few weeks ago The Deer Hunter, Chatter, and I took Pap to the VA for his first re-check after the heart attack. While Pap and I waited, The Deer Hunter and Chatter wandered around the hospital. A veteran who lives at the VA Nursing Home told Chatter he sure did like her water bottle. He said a bottle like that would probably keep his coffee warm all day. Chatter gave him her water bottle. When she told me she gave it to him, I’m ashamed to admit my first thought was that she shouldn’t have. It’s one of those fancy hiker type bottles and she’d saved up the money to buy it back before Christmas. Of course she should have given the bottle to him and I’m proud of her for doing so. Often the girls teach and lead me instead of me teaching and leading them.


5. I took the extremely blurry picture above out of the back window of The Deer Hunter’s truck as we were traveling through the snowy Nantahala Gorge. I was trying to capture the hanging icicles that lined the road. Chatter was riding in the backseat with me and was amazed by the length of the icicles. I told her when I was a little girl Pap stopped and got me one, just broke it right off and handed it to me. Chatter was totally impressed by my story and now I’m wishing we had stopped and broke one off for her.

Tipper

 

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23 Comments

  • Reply
    Mary Lou McKiliip
    March 2, 2016 at 7:47 pm

    Tipper been off FB WE MISS A LOT OT GOOD STUFF.
    WE ARE NOW IN Missouri. YOUR Posts are still great

  • Reply
    Mary Lou McKiliip
    March 2, 2016 at 7:47 pm

    Tipper been off FB WE MISS A LOT OT GOOD STUFF.
    WE ARE NOW IN Missouri. YOUR Posts are still great

  • Reply
    Mary Lou McKiliip
    March 2, 2016 at 7:47 pm

    Tipper been off FB WE MISS A LOT OT GOOD STUFF.
    WE ARE NOW IN Missouri. YOUR Posts are still great

  • Reply
    Mary Lou McKiliip
    March 2, 2016 at 7:47 pm

    Tipper been off FB WE MISS A LOT OT GOOD STUFF.
    WE ARE NOW IN Missouri. YOUR Posts are still great

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    March 2, 2016 at 7:14 pm

    Tipper,
    Wonderful “five things” post today…Enjoyed every one and can relate to all. As for Chatter’s kindness…The old saying goes….”What goes around, comes around!” I am sure that soon she will have more expensive water bottles than she could ever use!
    Thanks Tipper,
    PS. Snow flurries and very cold here today. It feels like I have dangling icicles on my fingers and toes! ha

  • Reply
    Jane Bolden
    March 2, 2016 at 6:08 pm

    I have a sweet memory of my daddy holding me and breaking off an ice cycle and handing it to me on the way to Gatlingburg.

  • Reply
    Howland
    March 2, 2016 at 5:08 pm

    Fine young’uns, raised well…

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    March 2, 2016 at 4:14 pm

    OOPS ! I see it was Chatter who gave her water bottle away. But anyway, I, like other BP&Ars, think she both learned it and it also reflects her nature. The world can’t have too many tender-hearted and caring people.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    March 2, 2016 at 4:13 pm

    I am a pushover for beggars and panhandlers so I don’t ever carry much cash. I was in a grocery store one time and a woman in a hot pink dress approached me asking for money to buy some food for her kids. I only had $2.00 and some change. I asked her if that would help. She looked disappointed but took the money. I finished my shopping and paid with a debit card. As I left the store I saw the woman leaving the parking lot riding a scooter that was exactly the same color as her dress. I followed her across town where she stopped at a convenience store. Another scooter was parked there. She pulled in beside it. I circled around and went back by there and the hot pink lady and a man where going in the the store. I guess they had pooled their resources and had enough for a 6 pack and a bag chips. I know I got suckered but it was worth the two dollars and something just to watch the show.
    Another time I was in Lowes and was approached by a man that had a $50 gift card and a receipt showing how much it had on it. He said he was going to Maiden and didn’t have money for gas. He said he would sell me the card for $25 and we could go up front and I could check the card for myself. That day I happened to have $6 in my billfold. I gave it to him and told him I was sorry but that is all I had. I knew $6 would buy him enough gas to get him to Maiden. Had I had $50 and the card checked out I wouldn’t have given $25 dollars for it, I would have given him $50. I cannot stand the thought of profiting off someone else’s misfortune.
    I think that God puts angels in our path disguised as ordinary people as tests of our character. Chatter’s friend from the VA nursing home might not have been a veteran at all. Either way she passed her test with flying colors.
    PS: I wouldn’t think God would send an angel dressed in a pink dress and riding a matching scooter but who knows. He might have a sense of humor too!

  • Reply
    Charline
    March 2, 2016 at 1:43 pm

    Nice package of thoughts and visuals for the day!

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    March 2, 2016 at 1:19 pm

    1. At one time I thought about making jewelry.
    2. I take it that the mud was on the car and you got against it when you got out. I thought cars are supposed to have mud on them. My truck has side steps on it just to collect mud. You don’t even have to get out to get mud on your feet.
    3. I don’t know who Gordon Lightfoot is. Sounds like a good name for a dancer.
    4. Acts 20:35
    5. There used to be a place up Needmore Road, starting just passed the water gauge and extending about a quarter of a mile, where icicles grew as big as your body. Sometimes they grew together into curtains that the more adventuresome would crawl in behind. Some years the ice would last way up into June. We would be tubing on the Little Tennessee and would get out and break off chunks of ice to lick on.

  • Reply
    Ron Banks
    March 2, 2016 at 12:18 pm

    Great post! The one thing that touched me most was the generosity of your daughter. It reminds me of my wife. If she has something that she thinks someone else might need she has no hesitation about giving it to them. That’s what the Good Book tells us to do right?
    When you give with a cheerful heart then those blessings are returned to you in some way. The fact that she worked and saved for the bottle and then gave it away to someone who was in need is an act of kindness toward her fellow man.
    That speaks volumes about her and I know you are very proud of her.

  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    March 2, 2016 at 12:12 pm

    Tipper,
    I can tell both your Appalachian Girls have soft hearts and it’s no wonder Chatter gave her water bottle away. One time I was sitting in the audience waiting for their concert to start and one spied me and here they both come. It made me feel Special too, but I couldn’t get out an answer till the other’n asked a question. Then they went back up on the stage and here came Pap to say Howdy.
    Jim mentioned Ledbetter Creek and I have to agree, that is the best shady spot for a Picnic. Daddy use to tell me stories of catching Speckled Trout and wild hog hunting when he was a boy on Ledbetter.
    There ain’t no place to pull off, but there’s some awful big Icicles
    in the Brady Curve when it’s cold…Ken

  • Reply
    Wanda Devers
    March 2, 2016 at 12:07 pm

    I’d like to see your necklace with the beads on it, too. It’s wonderful to have these things to pass down through the family.
    Year before last we were watering the garden and I went out to move the hose wearing my super great gardening clogs that I ordered online for more than I usually would pay. Anyway, a big muddy spot had formed & one foot sunk up & when I finally got it out my clog was still buried. No way could I break the suction to get it out and we couldn’t find it later. It was finally plowed up the next year & cut up by the plow.
    I’m prone to these mishaps–years ago I was going to work early one morning and hit a patch of ice as I went to get in the car. Actually slid up under the car till only my head was sticking out. You can tell how thin I once was–it was a Pontiac Firebird and pretty low to the ground. Nowadays I would have stuck at about hip level. Wasn’t hurt at all except scared half to death.
    Fell out the front steps on the way to the kindergarten party with the beautifully (if I do say so myself) decorated cupcakes flying up and away. My old hound dog had a field day. Never saw him move so fast! I had to go buy Little Debbie’s in a frantic hurry.
    What lovely daughters yall have raised! They are beautiful inwardly as well as outwardly.

  • Reply
    Ed Karshner
    March 2, 2016 at 11:20 am

    I love number four. It reminds me of my own Mom. We had a bit of a family upheaval last Fall (I’ll spare you the details) and my brothers and I rallied to the family’s side. Afterwards, my Mom told me that she couldn’t believe how understanding and generous we all were. I said, “Mom, you raised us to be tolerant and accepting. Why are your surprised we are?” My Mom’s reply was priceless. She said “I raised you to tolerate other people–not your own family.”
    It does get to the point where it is hard to figure out where learning and “fetching up” meet.

  • Reply
    Dee Parks
    March 2, 2016 at 9:48 am

    How very heart warming to hear of Chatter’s compassion and actual action!! I believe the Holy Spirit shows us a need and it is up to us to take action. I hope Pap’s recheck went well.
    I have been in that area of Nantahala Gorge but not in cold weather. I am always drawn to the little streams and could probably sit there for hours, if I was warm enough.
    Didn’t have time to listen to the music but I will check it out later.

  • Reply
    Carol Rosenbalm
    March 2, 2016 at 9:42 am

    Tipper,
    Chatters kindness was absolutely the most unselfish act from a young lady that is not seen or heard of in today’s time.
    God bless you Chatter!
    Carol Rosenbalm

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    March 2, 2016 at 9:30 am

    I think perhaps the watchword for today’s post, indeed for BP&A generally, is “real”. It underlies everything you post. I’m glad I have gotten acquainted with all you all, even if only virtually.
    I should not be at all surprissed if your telling Chitter her modifications of your necklace would only make it better has a relationship to her giving her water bottle away. Bless you both. Reminds me of my Mom. If anyone admired anything at her house she was quite likely to give it to them. Among us kids, if we remember something that can no longer find we default to thinking she gave it to someone.
    Anybody as silly as I am that the ever think of ‘saving’ icicles ? I wonder if any of the old time Appalachian folks had an icehouse. I’ve never heard of it …

  • Reply
    dolores
    March 2, 2016 at 9:11 am

    It’s amazing how five things can change the meaning our life for a day. Kudos to Chatter for her generosity!

  • Reply
    Richard Beauchamp
    March 2, 2016 at 9:04 am

    I think you are blessed with 2 girls of many talents as well as being Beautiful! There as a water fall along cave creek when I was a boy (before Rough River Dam was built) I have seen icicles there that were 10 to 12 feet long and as big around as my body at the top, in winter. They were beautiful, but sad to say I never took a picture of them,

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    March 2, 2016 at 8:12 am

    Tip, I want to see the necklace that Chitter fixed. I love the idea that three generations later it is added to, improved, and still in use. It was a lovely necklace before and I am anxious to see it after Chitter’s touch.
    Of course Chatter gave him the bottle, that’s who she is. Just look at her in that picture, deep in thought. That’s what she does, she thinks!
    Icicles and mud, but spring is coming, I know it is!

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    March 2, 2016 at 7:27 am

    Tipper–Good stuff this morning and here are five responses:
    1. It looks like the necklace was restrung with monofilament fishing line. A strand of 30- or 40-pounds test is just the ticket for such things.
    2. I do believe that you might have been more accurate to say a big smear of dirt on your behind, or at least that’s the way I have always tended to fall.
    3. I hadn’t thought of Gordon Lightfoot in a while, but now I’ve got to listen to his great ballad, “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald”
    4. Bless Chatter’s warm and generous heart for her gesture–it shows thoughtfulness well beyond her years.
    5. Next time you are in the Nantahala Gorge in bitterly cold weather, try and make a point of pulling off into the little picnic area on the right in the upper end of the Gorge as you are heading towards Andrews. There’s a small stream, Ledbetter Creek, that flows under the road there. If you’ll walk up the stream no more than 200 yards of easy going, there’s a series of waterfalls or cataracts that produce spectacular ice displays when it’s cold enough. Rest assured the view is worth the effort.
    Jim Casada

  • Reply
    Carol Isler
    March 2, 2016 at 7:21 am

    Yay for Chatter!

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