Appalachia Granny Pap

A Hard Day’s Work

Matt and Tipper on Porch

I feel such a sense of satisfaction at the end of long day of hard work. Last weekend we started at sunup and barely finished before the rain arrived in late evening. The Deer Hunter and I were both exhausted, but as we set on the porch swing we were pleased with all we accomplished.

The feeling reminded me of a time when I was a young adult.

One late fall day Granny had been digging potatoes and hadn’t gathered them into the basement yet.

She yelled at me to come help her get the potatoes in before it stormed. We ran around like crazy gathering potatoes till we had them safe from the rain just as it began to fall.

Dirty and out of breath we smiled at each other in triumph. I told Granny I felt like we were living out a “Little House on the Prairie” story, getting the harvest in before the cold winter wind came blowing. She got the biggest kick out of me saying that and it was the first thing she told Pap when he got home from work.

We all used to kid Pap about his love of work. He was never one to sit around, until his health forced him to. Pap genuinely liked to work and by work I mean work hard. Granny always said he got it from his mother. She said Mamaw Marie was the workingest woman she ever seen.

During WWII Papaw Wade, Pap’s father, was rejected for service due to a leg injury he’d suffered as a boy. So instead of going off to war, Papaw Wade went off to Newport News VA to work in the ship yards.

Pap’s mother went to see Wade and left Pap in the care of his Grandmother Carrie.

One day Pap was helping Carrie in her flower garden when he suddenly said “I just wish you’d go ahead and die.” Carrie said “Jerry now why in the world would you say something like that?” Pap said “Well then I wouldn’t have to work in your flower beds no more.”

Granny said over the years Pap’s parents would tell the story about Pap and laugh.

When Granny told Paul and me the story about Pap we both said we couldn’t believe he didn’t like to work as a child since he loved it so much as an adult. Granny said “Well he probably would have liked it fine if they’d been working in the garden instead of the flower beds.”


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  • Reply
    Catherine Spence
    June 29, 2021 at 8:57 am

    Native Americans believed that sweating was a way of cleansing your soul, and I can believe it. My favorite feeling still to this day is to come in after a hard day of working outside, take a shower, and climb into a bed made up with fresh, clean sheets. These days I can work fine until I stop and sit down for a minute – then it’s hard to get back up and back to it!

  • Reply
    June 27, 2021 at 10:09 am

    I just loved that story. My dad and mom was hard working people. Dad would work sun up till sun down. I don’t know how he did it. I really don’t. Momma too. When we got out of school in the summer, we were right there in the fields to. Every day. We raise all of our food. We canned and canned. But looking back, just spending time together was priceless. Thanks Tipper.

  • Reply
    June 26, 2021 at 3:44 pm

    My family taught us to love hard work. As a matter of fact the worst shame you could suffer was to be lazy. I often felt bad about this later on seeing so many sick people in my work, and often hoped nobody accused them of laziness. We were also taught not to brag, but as hard as I try I seem to brag at times. I can remember working terribly hard landscaping around a house with a huge pile of dirt and bags of mulch. At nightfall I practically crawled into the house. Not certain if that is bragging or just crazy. Quite the opposite of how we Appalachians are protrayed sometimes, I always saw the people I knew as extremely hard working people. We enjoyed work!. I continue to mow my own grass, as it gives me a grat sense of accomplishment, and I get in a lot of exercise. You are so efficient with your work, Tipper, I have watched you in your videos. This will serve you well in many ways including health.

  • Reply
    Sharon Cole
    June 26, 2021 at 1:25 pm

    It is the best “tired” when you can look around and see what you accomplished. I am 70 now and miss digging in the dirt. You and your family are hard workers & come from good stock! God bless you!

  • Reply
    Lisa I
    June 26, 2021 at 1:09 pm

    Every time, my husband and I finish a project together, it feels good. It’s a blessing to be able to look around at things a family does together and it brings good memories. Thank you for sharing your memories!

  • Reply
    lynn legge
    June 26, 2021 at 11:32 am

    tipper, you certainly are one of the most workaholic and generous woman out there. i am blessed to hear your stories and songs. make sure to take time to smell the roses and hug the ones you love.
    have a blessed weekend
    big ladybug hugs

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    June 26, 2021 at 11:20 am

    There is great satisfaction from working in the dirt. In part I think it is the satisfaction of being able to see the results of our labor in a way that you never get from a job! Then there is just the joy and healing properties of dirt! It’s a little like touching God!

  • Reply
    June 26, 2021 at 9:36 am

    A hard day’s work is the most rewarding thing when you can see your accomplishments. A good nights sleep is sure to follow a day like you described. The rain is a big bonus knowing how it will benefit your garden and be a lullaby to help you sleep.

  • Reply
    Greg Church
    June 26, 2021 at 8:37 am

    My grandfather , Howard Church (Pap to me), would come home from the railroad shops, walk into the house long enough to say hi to my grandmother (Nannie) and set down his dinner bucket, and then it was off to do whatever was needed on the farm. I would often be sent to find him when supper was about ready and that could be a job in itself. His sent reply was always the same ; “Tell the misses I’ll be there directly.”( I having a kids ear would always say Pap will be here “the reckly”. ) Directly as my Nannie would say might be half an hour but she always made allowances in time so he seemed to get there about the time the table was set. He once asked me if i had any hobbies and said his was good hard work.

  • Reply
    Dennis M Morgan
    June 26, 2021 at 8:20 am

    That is a great memory about Pap and his family. Thank you for sharing it.

    Dennis Morgan

  • Reply
    Margie G (for get outa the city)
    June 26, 2021 at 7:53 am

    I can’t believe Granny Carrie let Pap get away with that sassy talk without a whack at least but his honest candor caught her off guard I guess. Lol. I like the photo of yours and Deer Hunter’s tired legs and feet after working all day. To me it speaks volumes without a word. I must tell you my real mother and half brother live in Portsmouth, Va and I HATE that whole area. It’s filthy, depressing, criminal ridden and just a terrible place in general which I only visit ( help me Lord and Pap for telling truth) in times of disaster or death. It’s THAT HORRIBLE OF A PLACE TO ME. I will just sit here on my Hope Hill living my best life now. I got tomatoes coming on and cucumber flowers. I also got pepper flowers too. But of all the stuff out here, my flowers mean the most to me. They soothe the savage, rushed, PTSD mind and soul and body. I watch the butterflies and bees and all my issues melt away.

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    June 26, 2021 at 7:46 am

    What you write is one of the reasons it is so much better to help someone rather than do for them. Even the Lord won’t do for us as a usual thing what we are capable of doing ourselves. He grants us the high honor of being a partner in our own development just as we do for our children. He knows, and we come to know, that we need the reward of our own accomplishment.

    Accomplishment together as husband and wife or as a family binds us together. It gives children a foundation for life though they probably won’t recognize it until mid-life. But they will never outgrow it.

  • Reply
    Vann Helms
    June 26, 2021 at 7:30 am

    I’ve always believed that people who are “workaholics have developed a passion for doing what needs to be done, and don’t have the time for common leisure activities like hiking, camping, dancing, partying, vacationing, or sightseeing. To them, most of those activities are a “waste of time”. My older brother is a workaholic, and always bragged that his priorities were his business, his children, and his God, “…in that order”. To each his own.

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