1. I was surprised and pleased to find a bloodroot wildflower growing in one of my flower beds.
2. The purple and white violets have taken over the floor of my greenhouse this spring, but I don’t mind, I mean who could complain about walking on a carpet of violets?
3. For a good long while Chitter has wanted to incorporate her great love of the creek that runs through our mountain holler into her jewelry making. A few years back she ground up soft porous creek rocks to make a dye or paint. Since the result didn’t really lend itself to the jewelry she was producing she put the thought of using the creek on the back burner and turned her attention to becoming a silversmith. There’s something special about the Stamey Branch that runs through our holler. It’s larger than a branch, but not really a big creek either. Sometimes it calls to me and its often at the most inopportune times like in the middle of the night or when I’m knee deep in cooking super. I know Chitter hears the call of the creek just like I do. I believe it calls to her in a louder voice. I guess the longing to be near the small creek comes from having spent so many days of childhood along its banks. It was a favorite place for me, Paul, and my cousins to play and when the girls were little you couldn’t keep them out of it no matter the time of the year. As you can see from the photo Chitter finally figured how to combine her beloved creek and her jewelry making: she’s setting creek rocks! I’m so excited about her new pieces. So far she’s come up with pendants, earrings, and key chains. It’s wonderful to have a piece of handmade jewelry with gem stones like garnets, rose quarts, or agate but a piece of jewelry made from an Appalachian creek rock? I just don’t think it can get any better.
4. At work I usually have Pandora playing music in the background. A few weeks ago I heard a song I had never heard before, but immediately loved. I’ve always been a huge fan of Tony Rice so I knew it was him singing and a quick google told me the song was written by Bill Monroe. After listening to the song several times a day since I first heard it I’m still in love with it. The song has repeating parts and I’m always partial to that style of singing. The song also has the strong symbolism of rivers, redemption, and loved ones calling come and those things always stir my heart. But it’s probably the last verse that gets me the most because I know that’s exactly how Pap felt before his death: My life down here will soon be over And this ole world holds nothing for me He saved my soul and he made me happy That beautiful land I’m going to see. Later this week will make two years since we lost Pap. In one way it seems like forever and in another it seems like he just left last week. You can go here to see if you like the song too.
Chatter, Tipper, Chitter
5. Every once in a great while I’ll dream about one of the girls being exactly like they were when they were little. For some reason I dream of Chitter being young more than Chatter, but this past week I had the great fortune of dreaming about them both. They were about the same age as in the photo above which was taken in one of those weird photo booths at amusement parks. In the crazy manner of dreams we were with their school class going on a field trip to Johnny Hampton’s farm. Why anyone would go to his farm for a field trip is beyond me, besides Johnny Hampton has been dead for many many years. There had been a hard freeze after a heavy rain and the cows were all laying down on the ice to enjoy the coolness. Crazy uh? But the part that wasn’t crazy was the way Chatter set in my lap on the bus and talked with her funny little kid voice leaning close to put her small hands on each side of my face so that I could smell her sweet hair and feel it brush across my cheeks. We found Chitter in another part of the barn and she came along telling me about her adventures in her small child voice filled with excitement as she brushed hair out of her eyes to see. How my brain holds those beloved memories, scents, and sounds in safe keeping and then brings them out for me to enjoy again is astounding. Actually its beyond astounding, I’m just not sure what the word for that is.