5 Things Appalachia

5 Things


1. Just like the rest of the country, Snap Chat has taken Appalachia by storm…at least the younger generation anyway. One day Chitter entertained Paul and me with the latest filters that were available. Things like turning yourself into a deer, a dog, or the Statue of Liberty. I said “You should show Granny and see what she has to say about that mess.” Paul said “Well it will be one of two things: she’ll either be scared or thinks its cute.” A few days later Chatter showed Granny the filters on her phone. Paul was almost right. She thought some of them were cute and she thought some of them were scary. About one filter she said “Oh who’d want to make themselves look that awful!” I don’t snap chat nor am I very fond of the idea of it, but its like one of my co-workers said “It is what it is. Whether we like it or not-it’s here.”

2. The girls have performed as part of Vogel State Park’s Summer Concert series for the last several years. After last summer’s gig we were thrilled when a family member shared the photo above with us. Back in the day The Coleman Family held their yearly reunion at Vogel. I’m not sure who the lady with the accordion is, however it’s very clear that Big Grandma (Carrie Coleman Elliott Wilson – Pap’s grandmother) is standing against the tree and I’m pretty sure the man with the hat is one of her brothers because I’ve seen him and the hat in other photos that are noted with the names. Big Grandma played the piano in church. Although her piano playing days were over by the time I came along, Pap had fond memories of her banging out the songs as the congregation sang along. Pretty cool piece of history for The Pressley Girls and me.

3. Granny made crocheted flowers to go on the graves of her family member’s at Shady Grove last spring. You can see the navy blue one she stuck in the bouquet on her brother George’s grave. I’ve been wondering how the flowers have held up through the weather. She made a crocheted wreath for every season for Pap’s tombstone. I’ve barely been to Pap’s grave since he died. It’s like I don’t think he’s there, so I don’t think about going. When I feel like I need to be a little closer to Pap I go to Granny. I know Paul and Steve keep a close check on his grave though and that makes me feel better about not going myself.

4. Chitter and Chatter both have music saved to their phone. Most of the time if they’re working on something they wear ear buds and I’m shut out of hearing the tunes…sometimes that’s a good thing especially in Chitter’s case. Chatter’s more likely to be listening to something that I like and recently I’ve heard a whole lot of Gene Watson coming out of her phone. I’ve been reminded of how much I love his voice and reminded of how I used to listen to 14 Carat Mind over and over. I wasn’t even a teenager yet when the song came out, but somehow it drew me in. I was certainly familiar with men who had a saw mill occupation and even at that young age I suppose I was already familiar with the fact that adults had problems to, some of which they seemed to bring upon themselves. Go here to give the old song a listen.

5. The girls and I were headed out one evening before Christmas and we spotted this rainbow before we even got to the main road. They made me stop so they could take a picture. After I looked at it I was glad they did. Dark and gloomy below but the wonder of the rainbow says it’s not so bad after all.

My heart leaps up when I behold
A rainbow in the sky:
So was it when my life began;
So is it now I am a man;
So be it when I shall grow old,
Or let me die!
The Child is father of the Man;
I could wish my days to be
Bound each to each by natural piety.
[Wordsworth, 1802]


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  • Reply
    January 12, 2017 at 1:43 pm

    God put a rainbow in the clouds
    God put a rainbow in the clouds
    When it looked like the sun wudden gonna shine anymore
    God put a rainbow in the clouds

  • Reply
    January 11, 2017 at 10:58 pm

    Is Big Grandma wearing an apron? My Grammaw always wore an apron. No matter what else she had on, her ensemble was not complete without her apron. She didn’t get to wear her apron when they laid her next to Grandpa and that’s a shame. That is the only time I remember seeing her without it.

  • Reply
    Perri Morrison
    January 11, 2017 at 9:29 pm

    I laughed at the snapchat thing! I just tried a ‘selfie’ with my Mama and sister on Christmas Day, and I reckon modern technology only works well for some folks. I know THAT photo won’t be found in the public domain anywhere.
    I visit Daddy and my other sister in the graveyard, but it just makes me sadder, so I don’t go very often. I am the only one who ever goes at all, though, so I feel guilty if I don’t.
    I love Gene Watson music, old photographs, and rainbows, too! Love and peace from Marshall.

  • Reply
    January 11, 2017 at 1:12 pm

    I love anything by Gene Watson and I don’t know anything about Snap Chat stuff or any other Social Media, except Twitter. I only did that to get what Trump had to say. But I don’t want to clutter my mind with nonsense, I got the Blind Pig and the Acorn.
    Most of my folks are buried at Red Marble Cemetery and my spot is there for me when it’s time. But I’m like you, I don’t go there unless I have to. Anyway, both Mama and Daddy said to us boys not to worry about flowers and stuff. …Ken

  • Reply
    January 11, 2017 at 11:30 am

    Tipper, I feel the same way about my father as you do Pap. I need to go to my father’s grave more often, but he just doesn’t seem to be there. I agree with Miss Cindy, Pap is everpresent within you and I feel the same way about my father.

  • Reply
    Edward Karshner
    January 11, 2017 at 11:00 am

    I always look forward to these. Another great 5 Things.
    I’m still not sure what snapchat is…but Alex (she’s 6) uses it on her mom’s tablet. She made herself look like Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton–I guess she isn’t partisan!
    That is a cool piece of history. Don’t you love it when you find that no matter how far you have come, there it all is? I just discovered that my 6th great grandfather’s kitchen is part of a museum in Delaware. So, this summer my Dad, my son, and I are headed that way to see where the first Karshners took their breakfast. Weird.
    Most of all, I really like the hat the man is holding in the picture. I love a good hat and wear one often.
    Thanks for a fun break this first week of the semester.

  • Reply
    Garland Davis
    January 11, 2017 at 10:59 am

    Where I live there are rainbows, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lqJLfkr-h18

  • Reply
    Julie Hughes Moreno
    January 11, 2017 at 10:23 am

    The snap chat stuff only helps to reinforce the silly notion that nothing is kept or on your record. My younger kinfolk are all up in it too. I guess we will see what comes of it. Tipper, I am with you on the grave visiting. I might go now and then but I know they are not there. The one thing it does is bring back memories of taking my Granny to Kentucky to decorate graves. We cleaned them up and left flowers to show they were remembered. It was a good time. We told stories about the person and shared memories if we had them. Since these were my Granny’s people long gone, I listened to her memories. What I would give to hear her talk about her people again.

  • Reply
    Lisa Snuggs
    January 11, 2017 at 9:25 am

    One Gene Watson song, one Wordsworth poem, an honorable man’s grave and a rainbow are enough to make me say, “Snap-what?”

  • Reply
    Mike McLain
    January 11, 2017 at 8:32 am

    Tipper, just remember that only Pap’s body is under that grave marker. The important part of him is not there.

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    January 11, 2017 at 8:20 am

    I’m not sure just when or how it begins. Maybe is just cumulative aggravation or frustration. But somewhere along the way, some of us – maybe most – stop chasing technology. There is just not enough perceived value to offset the trouble. And then we know it is a chase. It isn’t as if we can catch up once and be done.
    I really like the rainbow picture. Not only are the clouds dark enough to make it bright, but the dark blue of the mountains set it off as well. The little spotlight of sun at the end of the rainbow is also an unusual light show. Makes me think of Jan Karon’s “Patches of Godlight”. Even the rainbow being behind the gate could be thought of as an allegory. It would have had a very different mood if you had taken it at the gate so that the gate and fence were not visible.

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    January 11, 2017 at 8:16 am

    Tipper–I don’t know whether to feel hopeless or full of hope. That Snap Chat stuff, along with Facebook, Twitter, and most of what is called social media is beyond me. I actually think much of it is anti-social, because when I see a bunch of youngsters (my granddaughter is squarely in their ranks) fixated on their smart phones (is that the right term?) when friends or family are all around, I wonder what the world has come to. In other words, I feel hopeless.
    On the other hand, when I learn that Chitter is listening to Gene Watson with some regularity, I am filled with hope. Like you, I love “14-Carat Mind,” and Watson had a real knack for choosing songs with memorable lines and a voice that penetrated right to one’s soul. Another of my favorites with similar attributes is Mel Street.
    Even more uplifting is the discovery that you are apparently conversant with and a great fan of the English Romantic poets. In general I’m not much for poetry unless it has an almost singsong rhythm to it (I love Rudyard Kipling and Robert Service), but the likes of Wordsworth, Keats, Lord Byron, and Shelley are right up my alley. That’s in part because of their choice of subject matter but also the manner in which they bring one a sense of closeness to nature. I bet B. Ruth would agree.
    On the balance, I reckon I’ll try to remain hopeful even as I recognize that I have enough built-in Scots-Irish mule-headedness to resist things associated with Millennials the same way I’d avoid a yellow jacket nest in late September.
    Jim Casada

  • Reply
    January 11, 2017 at 8:05 am

    I’m with Miss Cindy in regard to snapchat being of no interest…l also don’t visit graves of loved ones and understand there are other ways to cherish memories. However,I do like to visit old cemeteries from an historical/genealogical perspective.

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    January 11, 2017 at 7:54 am

    I haven’t been introduced to snapchat yet. Love the rainbow photo, good eye. Woodsworth is a wonderful poet. My writing group must write a love poem this week. I feel it should be about a special place in my heart. Can you guess where that is?

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    January 11, 2017 at 6:49 am

    Tip the whole Snap Chat thing is beyond me….I have not one drop of interest!
    I love the rainbow and its juxtaposition with the storm clouds!
    The child is, indeed the father of the man!
    Your right, Tip, he’s not there, he is here, everpresent within you!

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