5 Things

5 Things

bowl of blueberries

1. My weekend’s have been filled with canning and more canning. While the work is exhausting the joy of looking at my jars lined up on basement shelves is beyond rewarding. There’s such a joy in putting up the bounty of your garden for winter eating.

view of trees mountain and river

2. The Deer Hunter has been seeing some amazing views lately. He might enjoy them more if he wasn’t strapped to a metal basket holding a chainsaw.

greenbeans growing up pole

3. Over the weekend Granny had a bad fall. The Deer Hunter and I were in her garden picking beans while she piddled around the yard. Neither of us seen her fall and didn’t realize it until she yelled at me to come help her. We were scared to death and went running. She fractured her left wrist and has a lot of soreness and bruising. Thankfully she’s already on the mend.

man sitting by window smiling

4. About a month ago I had a weird experience. I was getting in my car to go to work and I swore I heard Pap yell “Tipper” from the backyard. I nearly dropped my lunchbox as I quickly looked around like a crazy person. I drove to work and studied on why my imagination would make me think I heard Pap yell at me. I thought “He sounded so normal; like when I answered he was going to ask me to bring him a bucket to put corn in or something.” Then I thought “Well maybe he was trying to tell me something, that something was wrong.” I’d just left the girls, but as soon as I got to work I called Granny and The Deer Hunter. They both were fine and as far as they knew everyone else was too. I felt uneasy the rest of the day, but nothing out of the ordinary happened. After my unease went away I was glad I thought I heard him. What a wonderful thing that my human brain can play back to me a sound I heard my whole life: Pap yelling Tipper when he needed a hand with something.

the louvin brothers

5. I’ve been on a Louvin Brothers kick lately. Even though I’ve been a fan of their music my entire life I’m still blown away by their musical genius. I’ve always been partial to “There’s a Higher Power.” You can hear the toe-tapping number here.


p.s. You can catch The Pressley Girls over the next few weeks at the following places:

August 3, 2019 @ 8:00 p.m. Mountain Dance and Folk Festival – Asheville NC

August 17, 2019 @ 2:10 p.m. Swain County Agriculture Fair – Bryson City NC

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  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    August 5, 2019 at 6:32 pm

    Loved this post this morning…I also have heard family members call out to me! One evening I swore I heard my son yell..Mom! just as plain as day! My heart pounded for a while…plum skeery! I’ve heard my Mother call my name as well. In all honesty, I have heard the voices too, of living relatives call out in a dream and of course since the better half is always a’yellin’ something or other hear him by accident too..LOL
    As far as hearing the voices of the deceased call out, my opinion is may be the familiar circumstance at the time and also the time of year or maybe some activity that the family or you did together triggers the memory to voice out the memory. Always scary for me.. For, I remember you talking of you all working the garden and picking corn, etc..and of course Pap’s working in it as well..

    I haven’t gotten blueberries this year or blackberries…I sure wanted to make blackberry jam/jelly this year..We love blueberries in pancakes and cobblers too. I make blueberry syrup as well with fresh ones..so good.

    I am glad Granny is better..I fell a fractured my wrist a few years ago…they put two pins in it and a bar across the top of my wrist until it healed…It was a square fracture in both ends…whatever that meant! LOL I was fine, but it hurt like the devil on the third day…because I felt so good I continued to use my hands the couple of days afterward…Don’t do that, sit and keep it elevated until all swelling ceases…LOL

    I wonder if being in that high-rise bucket “Deer Hunter” if it ever gets “air-ish” this time of year…guess when if it does it feels good when he is working and taking in the view! Tell him to keep his ear-muffs on and a mask over his face if he is around those high trees near street light…or he might get “millers” up his snoot or in his ears…!

    Love this post today Tipper…

  • Reply
    Marylou Sweat
    August 3, 2019 at 11:08 am

    My daughter took over my aunts room at my moms house after my aunt passed…they were very close. My daughter would wake up to my aunt calling her name. It did not bother my daughter at all! After my DH passed 1/2017 he would come to me…one time, not long after his passing, I saw his silhouette in the doorway of our bedroom, then suddenly he was beside me in our bed, stroking my hair…never said anything but I was sure he was telling all would be fine…still miss him so so much!! Marylou Sweat Dover, Florida

  • Reply
    Bill Burnett
    August 3, 2019 at 12:35 am

    The only way we’ll be canning green beans will require killing and canning a bunch of rabbits, I planted beans five or six times and the many rabbits we have this year ate the tops off as fast as they came through the ground. I hope Granny mends rapidly and well.

  • Reply
    August 2, 2019 at 4:00 pm

    Your photo of blueberries look good enough to eat. We picked at least 35 gallons this year. Two neighbors picked a couple of times when we were gone and I grazed every time I went by them so there may have close to 40 gallons. There will be I – 2 more pickings on the two late bushes.
    Sorry to hear about Granny’s fall and injury. My mother-in-law fell several years ago and cracked two ribs. At the ER she told the doctor, “Jackie pushed me.” He was from a foreign country and had no concept of our kidding around. It took a lot of time to convince him the police weren’t needed.

  • Reply
    Tom Deep
    August 2, 2019 at 2:44 pm

    Tipper: I do hope Granny continues to get better.

  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    August 2, 2019 at 11:42 am

    When I was just a little thing, I went to Topton Baptist Church with Daddy, while he got the place warmed up. We didn’t have a car back then, so we walked, but Daddy was the Sunday School Superintendent for a long time. He also taught the Adults during Sunday School. It was a good mile from our house to the Church or farther, but as soon as he got the place warmed up, he’d go get Mama and the rest of the bunch.

    Daddy or Mama didn’t have much of an Education, I recon the 7th grade was as far as it went back then, but he could pronounce words in the Bible that I just marveled at. Like in the first book of Genesis where so and so begat so and so, he would lay in bed at night and read the Bible for hours. Both were well versed, that’s where my brothers and I learned the Bible.

    After our Parents were gone to be with the Lord, my only brother left would call and talk for hours. He’d tell me things that I didn’t know about my oldest brothers and I paid attention. …Ken

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    August 2, 2019 at 10:54 am

    Your story of hearing Pap reminds me of a gospel song;

    “I hear voices far off somewhere calling me,

    Voices of my friends I knew they seem to be,

    When I look around and see

    there’s no one so it must be,

    Voices somewhere up in glory calling me.”

    When it time to go, wouldn’t it be sweet to hear a voice we knew say ‘Come’?

    • Reply
      Ed Ammons
      August 2, 2019 at 12:13 pm


      • Reply
        b. Ruth
        August 5, 2019 at 5:54 pm

        Thanks for posting the link to the music…haven’t heard this one in ages…

      • Reply
        Margie Curtis
        August 5, 2019 at 10:08 pm

        I love this song and thanks for sharing this. Love blind pig and the acorn very much.

  • Reply
    August 2, 2019 at 10:31 am

    So sorry to hear of your Mother’s fall but good to know she is healing. I recognized that word “Piddled” right away as my grandparents used it all the time and recently I heard my cousin use it when I asked her what she was doing that morning. I will have to wait til my son gets here later this month to listen to the song. For some reason, I can’t hear sound when I click on anything that has it so I guess I unknowingly have turned off the sound. My son builds computers so he can figure it out when he gets here. The corn crops here in south central PA are as high as they get and look beautiful! Peach Orchards are full of delicious fruit and I need to get up to one and buy some to put up for winter.

  • Reply
    Jeanette Queen
    August 2, 2019 at 10:27 am

    Oh, how I enjoy gardens and canning, I was blessed all my life to help my precious Mother, Grandma Prince and Aunt Bertie can….I got to enjoy them laughing and talking as they broke those beans, I of course was just a little girl, so I was the “stringer”. Oh, just to get to spend one more day listening to them….
    So glad Pap hollered to you and let you know he was watching over you ! Their voices never fade from our memory but its great to be reminded. They are always with us, watching over us, I believe.
    So glad Grannie is on the mend, bless her.
    I love that song, my family and I sing it often when we are together.
    Have a wonderful day, Tipper.

    • Reply
      August 2, 2019 at 12:10 pm

      I’m glad to hear your Mom is on the mend. I’ve heard and used the word piddle all my life.

  • Reply
    Melissa P (Misplaced Southerner)
    August 2, 2019 at 9:26 am

    So sorry Granny had a fall, but so glad she’s mending. If you think about it, Pap may have hollered to help make you more aware when you’re called – like when Granny fell. Just a thought. My daddy truly saved my life. I was at a 4-way stop, stopped, no one there so I started to make my lefthand turn. Just then, I heard my Daddy yell, “GAS!!!” I was so startled I hit the gas. Darned good thing he hollered. A car came flyin’ out of nowhere right through the stop. If I hadn’t hit the gas, he’d have hit me right in the driver side door. Shook me up quite a bit, but I was so grateful to Daddy and to God for letting him save me.

  • Reply
    Wanda Devers
    August 2, 2019 at 9:24 am

    Canning here, too! Just green beans so far but tomatoes are starting to ripen. I freeze our purple hulls & have some to do today. It is a big satisfaction for sure.

    I’m sorry to hear of Grannie’s fall. Hope it heals quickly. Mama fell off her front porch, broke one arm and pulled muscles in the other. She had an operation on the broken arm. I happened to call her as she & her neighbor were waiting for the ambulance. Just about makes your heart stop–they are so precious.

    I’ve never heard Mama call my name but for months after her death I dreamed about her so much. It was a comfort to me.

  • Reply
    August 2, 2019 at 9:11 am

    No canning going on around here, unless the deer have some magical way of preserving bushels of green beans they ‘picked’ in one evening. Hopefully, they will leave me a few peaches that should be getting ripe this weekend. The trees are so full their limbs are touching the ground.
    The Deer Hunter’s job sounds like one I would not want. I don’t know how much they pay him, but it’s not enough!
    Praying for sweet Granny to get well soon.
    Pap just wanted you to think about him the day he yelled your name. And it worked.
    I could listen to he Louvin Brothers all day. They are almost as good as Pap and Paul.

  • Reply
    August 2, 2019 at 9:11 am

    Your number 3 probably has a vocabulary test phrase if you haven’t already used it, “piddled around”. For much of my young life I heard the word ‘piddle’ used to describe aimless, inconsequential, unimportant activities; “Quit piddlin’ with that and fetch me a….”, “I never saw such a piddlin’ business as that. Get something done…”, “Lordy, you’ve wasted a whole day piddlin’ about….”. I was a full grown adult before I learned that to piddle means to urinate to the world outside our mountains. I hope Granny heals quickly and I mean no disrespect in mentioning the word’s wider meaning.

  • Reply
    August 2, 2019 at 9:07 am

    Enjoyed your writings…. and I know the feeling of ‘hearing a voice’ again …it is so real !

  • Reply
    August 2, 2019 at 8:52 am

    We can’t always explain everything, but I have also experienced happenings I could not explain. I am limited by a human mind, and do believe there is a much higher power that knows all and reaches us in other ways. Pap’s spirit is always right there in your heart.
    My Mom fell and broke her right wrist not long after she came to live with me. It is difficult to walk that fine line between trying to keep them safe and letting them retain their own independence. I hope Granny mends well, because that busy little lady needs both hands to do all she does.
    I suppose the Deer Hunter does see a lot of beautiful scenery in his work. I saw breathtaking views, and back then cell phones could not take pictures. I had an old bag phone in the car, and once stopped to call and share a breathtaking view atop Peter’s Mountain going into Waitesville, WV. I had the feeling I was right up there in the heavens.

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    August 2, 2019 at 8:23 am

    I have heardboth my mother and grandmother call my name. Sometimes it wakes me out of a siund sleep. My grandmother died in 1989 and my mother 2007 still jear them

  • Reply
    Ed Karshner
    August 2, 2019 at 8:14 am

    I’m so glad your mom is ok. We went through a series of worrisome falls with Kim’s parents last year.

    I just told Alex the other day that this moment in the seasons, as summer starts to give way to fall, is my favorite. I love the clear sunny days and the cool damp nights and mornings. You get up early enough you can do two seasons in the same day.

    Sadly, the long, cold, rainy spring washed out our gardens. We have some tomatoes and strawberries. But, our local farm store did well and the last few weeks we’ve feasted on corn, taters and green beans. So, I’m not complaining.

    Like I’ve said before, our loved ones are always with us. That you would hear your dad acknowledge you is no surprise. Thanks for sharing that.

    Your “5 Things” posts always set me toward a better day!

  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    August 2, 2019 at 8:10 am

    I”m glad Louzine is OK. Maybe she needs a Walkingstick, like me , to get around safely.

    I like The Louvin Brothers too, not quite as good as Jim and Jesse McReynolds. I just Love Jim when he sings “Walking My Lord up Calvary’s Hill.”

    I had an awful thing happen to me yesterday, so I checked it out. Seems my Door drops down when I get in the Driver’s Side. The top Roller in my Jeep Cherokee is broken off. I went to the Carquest Auto Parts and Derwin took care of that. I called my other friend, James, and he always makes room for me. He said to bring it over today at noon and he’d take care of it. …Ken

    • Reply
      b. Ruth
      August 5, 2019 at 6:07 pm

      I love the fact that you referred to getting granny a cane as a “walking stick”!
      That brought back one of the funniest memories of my Dad’s quick witted Appalachian thoughts when answering a question.
      For instance…Some guy asked my Dad why he didn’t fly to a destination that he had to get to quickly instead of driving! Also, asked him did he ever fly in a plane!…Dad told him right quickly. “NO, he would rather use a “fast walking-stick” any ole day than get in one of those “air-eo-planes” for if it fails he would be a heck of a lot closer to the ground and it wouldn’t hurt near as much! LOL

  • Reply
    August 2, 2019 at 7:25 am

    So glad Granny is in on the mend.
    Harvest canning is my favorite time of year and oh, the satisfaction to hear each of those jars pop. Music to my ears.
    After my Pap (grandfather) passed I could hear him call my name and smell him – an endearing scent that was uniquely his – a mix of Old Spice, musk, and frequently a hint of shop work (grease and wood shavings). Oftentimes, I’d hop in my truck to head to work or on a trip and smell that familiar scent and shortly thereafter “Seven Spanish Angels” (nelson and Charles) was aired on the radio. That was Pap’s favorite song. I knew it was Pap watching over me and letting me know that he was there.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    August 2, 2019 at 7:17 am

    Tip, I think it so sweet that you heard Pap call your name. I think he’s reminding you that you are never alone, he will always be with you in your heart.

  • Reply
    Betty Jo Eason Benedict
    August 2, 2019 at 7:02 am

    Tipper I wish I had your gift for putting into words so many things that I too have felt or experienced. Everything from the satisfaction felt from seeing all those shiny filled fruit jars lined up on the counter…to hearing that voice. My Dad had a way/tone to his voice when he called me “Jo-Jo” from out of nowhere or in a dream that made me feel something was wrong or a premonition that something was about to happen. Always enjoy your stories!

  • Reply
    Leon Pantenburg
    August 2, 2019 at 6:33 am

    Loved your post, and I love the Louvin Brothers also.

  • Reply
    August 2, 2019 at 6:29 am

    Harvest time is in full swing in most gardens here, I noticed yesterday the corn in the fields are turning colors, it will not be long and the farmers will be in the fields trying to pick the corn before a big rain slows them down, most work long hours just to gather as much as they can in as short a time as possible. It’s funny how the mind works, for a long time after my Mamaw died I could hear her voice just as plain as could be, that was back in the early ’80s now if I think about it I can still hear her call me, but not as clear as it once was.

  • Reply
    Donna W.
    August 2, 2019 at 5:50 am

    I enjoy the Louvins too, and Ralph Stanley and Ricky Skaggs. I wonder if you’ve ever read a book by the name “The Best Cook in the World”, by Rick Bragg. He describes all the foods his mother made when he was growing up in Georgia and Alabama. My husband and I listened to the audio version (read by the author) on a recent road trip and were enthralled at the way his southern accent turned the book into pure poetry. Unforgettable!

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