5 Things Appalachia

5 Things

1. I like to do my Spring cleaning right after Christmas. As soon as I start taking down the decorations I have an urge to clean up and clean out. Since a new year is about to start it seems like an appropriate time to deep clean and sort items. Once Spring arrives I’m way to interested in the garden to worry about cleaning inside the house. Although it is cathartic to clean the house from top to bottom and get rid of things we no longer need or use,  putting away the sparkle of Christmas always leaves me feeling a little lonesome. This year I left a winter treescape in the kitchen to hold onto the good spirit of Christmas just a little bit longer.

Photo from the Cherokee Scout

2. The rainy season continued right through Christmas in Cherokee County. I read somewhere we had over 12 inches of rain during the month of December whereas last year we had about 3. The heavy rains would have been bad enough, but added to the already saturated ground it was just too much. Lots of folks had their houses flooded, not to mention the damage done to driveways and roads across the region. Then sink holes started showing up in Murphy and Andrews. Most of the sinkholes in Murphy are along the 4 lane by McDonalds leading out towards TN. Pap said there’s a creek that runs through the affected area, but as businesses built along the highway over the years most of the creek was relegated to flowing underground through culverts and pipes. He can remember the creek meandering along back when fast food joints didn’t even exist.

3. If you really want something…its worth waiting for it. My pantry has always been there, but somehow the shelves never appeared during the 20 years we’ve lived here…until recently. I’m in love with my pantry shelves. Sometimes I go in the kitchen just so I can open the door and stare at them.

4. Sometimes the best gifts are the ones you didn’t know you needed. My friend gifted me the metal cookbook stand you see in the photo. I thought it would be useful in the kitchen-and I like useful things so I was pleased with the gift. My computer desk is nothing more than a small table. Thirty-six inches from one end to the other. If I want to quote something from a book I typically lay it in my lap and try to transpose the words from book to screen by looking down in my lap and up to the screen-down and up down and up. The first time I needed to quote from a book over Christmas I remembered the stand and decided to see if it would fit on the corner of my desk and hold the book I was typing from. It worked perfectly. I’ve probably used it a dozen times already and every time I use it I wonder why I didn’t think of the book holder myself. Ever heard the old saying – handier than a pocket on a shirt? Well my book stand is handier than a pocket on a shirt.

5. Sometimes gifts are free and so magical you can’t really describe them. A magic table full of rocks waited patiently for decades for a lovely Angel to find it and give it to a mother who loves the history  of her community so that the mother could then give it to her daughter who loves rocks so much that she can’t go anywhere without picking them up and filling her pockets to overflowing. Yep sometimes gifts are free and so magical you can’t really describe them.



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  • Reply
    Rev. Rose Marie "RB" Redmond
    January 8, 2016 at 7:42 pm

    Interesting! When we moved into the house we live in now, there was an empty closet in the kitchen that had absolutely nothing in it but a broom – no shelves, no hooks, nothing. So we went out and got some of those metal wire shelves from Lowe’s, cut them to fit the closet, put several in a foot apart, and it’s filled with pantry items along with hooks from the shelves from which hang measuring cups and spoons, cleaning brushes, gardening shears, cat/dog grooming items – and the broom and a dust pan.
    I wonder where the people who lived here before put those things.
    God bless.

  • Reply
    January 8, 2016 at 4:19 pm

    Taking down the Christmas decorations at our house wasn’t a problem. Getting them to the attic was a full days job. First the stairs wouldn’t come down. Then with a HARD yank they came down with a bent hinge support. Once that was removed, straightened and replaced it wouldn’t go back up. After careful examination of the neighbor’s stair it was learned the hinge was on backwards. Once it was reversed and worked it was time for supper.

  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    January 8, 2016 at 2:34 pm

    The five things you started back in July are fun to read and see the pictures of our
    Appalachia. We sure had a lot of water awhile back, my creek washed limbs and trees and caused it to jump out into my road too. If it’d been cold, we’d still be digging out.
    I had a nice visit from mine and your friends, the Casadas from Swain County. I had just ate breakfast, so I just watched them eat at a Suchie Place while we reminisced about old times. It’s hard to find friends or anyone to talk about The Good Times of youth. It was nice to see Don and Jim and we just had to bring up the Nabors’ happening…Ken

  • Reply
    January 8, 2016 at 1:09 pm

    1. I always feel a sense of relief right after Christmas. That’s when I can release my grip on my wallet til February when birthdays begin.
    2. Back in 2009 there was a sinkhole opened up in Hickory and ate a brand new Corvette and tried to eat a Buffalo Wild Wings Restaurant full of people. The car was totaled, the restaurant closed and the property was sold to a developer for $1.00. The last time I was by there, it was still a sinkhole.
    3. Hellmans ain’t real mayonnaise. Dukes is the only real mayonnaise.
    4. I was gifted with a parlor sized guitar this Christmas. Best gift I’ve had in all my 65 years.
    My computer sets on an old oak school teachers desk that my late brother in law had in his office in Andrews when he worked for Baker Furniture years ago. When they closed they transferred him to their Hildebran plant but he died before he ever got moved. He served in Vietnam and was exposed to Agent Orange. He died of lung cancer.
    5. Have you ever seen people so skinny they have to fill their pockets with rocks to keep the wind from blowing them away?

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    January 8, 2016 at 12:28 pm

    The way I see 5 things today….
    One can never go wrong with trees…the more trees the merrier…plus an angel or two! Also, one could leave a bit of the holidays out to procrastinate on the Spring cleaning just a week or so more….Me, I always find something, a Christmas whatnot or window candle that I forgot to put away…days later!
    Holey, holey, holey….good grief! I don’t like to think about sink holes around here, very scary! Especially, after hearing the strange stories from kin folks about men plowing and the ground just opening up and they were “gone” as yesterday! ooooohhhh!
    I have an easel or three…handy-pandy…also have a cookbook stand somewhere…ha I read my new cookbooks like novels and seldom refer to them again…I might save an extra special one in the PC storage, like the ones you so nicely share on your blog!
    My Grandson loves rocks…I bought him two special rocks at a show….He would love that display case…It does look very magical! My Mom was a rock hound…I think half of Madison counties smaller rocks were in her house and garden…toted him with protest by my Dad!
    Thanks Tipper,

  • Reply
    Bill Burnett
    January 8, 2016 at 11:20 am

    re: Pocket on a shirt; I have always heard it as handier than a hind pocket on a shirt. My beloved bride accuses me of being a procrastinator but it’s simply not true, when a man promises to do something he will do it, there’s no sense in bringing it up every two or three years.

  • Reply
    January 8, 2016 at 10:49 am

    I thought I was the only one who did Spring cleaning after Christmas, and for the same reason. Spring means starting plants for the garden and cleaning off the garden spot. No time for dust bunnies and painting in the Spring. I get the paint supplies and set them out in my way so there is no chance to back out of cleaning and painting. While many see technology with great interest, I think low odor paint to be one of the greatest advancements ever.
    I have one of those stand up thingies for my desk, and I like to use it for urgent mail so it is not lost in all the junk mail and gardening catalogues–Keeps me from getting 3 months behind on bills during gardening and canning season. Actually, I could use one of those in about every room.
    I have those free magical gifts everywhere designed and molded by little hands at school. Other gifts may wear out or fall by the wayside, but sometimes the best gifts have no monetary value.

  • Reply
    January 8, 2016 at 9:57 am

    I enjoyed reading your five things. As I get ready to take down Christmas, I never thought to leave some part of it up. I usually put all away. However, this year I had a set of holiday legos; I forget to put them away during my big cleanup. I have to admit, I enjoyed a few more days of the legos. Okay, so is it Chitter or Chatter you collects the rocks? It looks like they are glowing. Maybe they can be finished into a tabletop and add to their usefulness. Oh, shelves in a pantry – definitely a must! Keep a’dustin!

  • Reply
    January 8, 2016 at 9:12 am

    Somehow I never imagined your Deer Hunter as a procrastinator – but he does so many things, and you seem to be so capable of managing any situation that perhaps the shelves were simply overlooked.
    I can relate to delayed projects – seems my husband’s procrastination skills far surpass those of any of the folks we know. A project will go undone for 15 or 20 or more years and he’ll start saying, “See, you didn’t really need it.” And no amount of attempts to explain how much easier it would be to organize things, to access things, to reach things will get the job done.
    A friend of mine is married to a minor procrastinator. She could spur him to action by starting a job; he couldn’t stand the way she was doing it and he would get right to it and finish the job with a fine hand. He was only a beginning procrastinator. Not my husband – Some 45 years ago I had purchased a medicine cabinet for the bathroom; after 5 years, I propped it up in the bathroom and put a few things in it; after 10 years I carefully cut a hole in the wall for it but couldn’t finish the job because some re-wiring was necessary. 15 years later when we sold the house, the medicine cabinet was still propped in the bathroom. Even the realtor couldn’t get him to do a job he didn’t want to do.
    His procrastination is not for lack of skill: he’s an electrical engineer and recently installed a large solar array and wired the shop and my Dad’s house to take advantage of it. He’s just an extraordinarily stubborn procrastinator!
    . . . so, enjoy your shelves, and keep finding all the beauty around you. Appreciation of that which does not require a husband’s skills can get you through each day.
    . . . hmm – maybe this is why my daughter has become a Jane-of-all-trades – she does her own carpentry, electrical, plumbing, etc. !!!

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    January 8, 2016 at 7:21 am

    Tip, your five things seem to sum up the time of year nicely. That hand made lighted table of rocks is stunning AND perfect for Chitter the Rock Hound.
    Remember, that simple 36″ computer desk is actually a re-purposed antique fine oak desk with a new finish. … it’s all a matter of perspective.
    That’s a really big sink hole!

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