Appalachia Appalachia Through My Eyes

Appalachia Through My Eyes – Our Future Is Bright

My life in appalachia - Our Future Is Bright

Last night Chatter and Chitter’s school held a Holiday Spectacular for the community.

The Dramatic Literature Students had the audience in stitches with their performance of Beauty IS A Beast (yes that’s a cowboy hat cowboy boot wearing fairy god mother you see in the photo).

The Band Ensemble filled in all the spaces with some outstanding Christmas songs. And the School Chorale blew us away with their beautiful voices (you know 2 of those voices were Chatter and Chitter’s).

The whole gang of students put on such a good show-I swear they could take it on the road and make some money with it. It really was that good.

Even though the show was laced with humor throughout-I found myself almost crying. Crying over the preciousness of the talent on and around that stage. Crying over the preciousness of those teenagers-at a time in their life that they will forever look back on.

I kept remembering what it felt like to be a teenager-you know one those good moments of teenage life when you felt you were on top of the world-everything was going good and the future was so bright you might have to wear shades?

As I watched the students last night, I knew my moment of feeling the future stretches on indefinetly was over-but I could see that feeling on their faces. And with the small amount of wisdom my years have given me-I seen very clearly they are my future. They are the future of my Appalachia-and I do believe I may have to find my shades because once again my future looks very bright.


Appalachia Through My Eyes – A series of photographs from my life in Southern Appalachia.


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  • Reply
    December 11, 2011 at 1:56 pm

    I love that your girls have their own “style”!
    And this is a beautiful and thoughtful post.

  • Reply
    Kim @ Stuff could....
    December 10, 2011 at 9:59 am

    You are right about the young talent…nice to see kids doing a play like this

  • Reply
    Suzi Phillips
    December 9, 2011 at 10:41 pm

    Keep living in the moment, Tipper, & don’t forget those shades!

  • Reply
    lynn legge
    December 9, 2011 at 8:51 pm

    tipper again you have me sitting here sniffling… but in a good way. we are all blessed by you and your family.. and im so glad that the girls have your spirit and you can be sure that the traditions of your precious appalachian mountain folklore will be passed on… sending much love to you all … you truly are a blessing to me.
    and those songs in the background are making me even more nostalgic this friday evening..

  • Reply
    December 9, 2011 at 8:32 pm

    I think I cried at all my children’s programs! There’s just something about seeing them with the others, taking their places, a kind of sadness that they will go out into the world and take their places there, and never sit on Mommy’s knee again. I am tearing up just remembering!
    I love the fairy godmother in cowboy boots! That young lady has a strong inner voice – and she listens to it – proof that you have done a wonderful job and raised two fine, strong young women!

  • Reply
    David Templeton
    December 9, 2011 at 7:07 pm

    Oh, to be a teenager again … No … Been there. Done that. All ages have their own special fun times and hard times. Well, I would take the nimbleness that comes with a fifteen-year old body.
    It’s been heartening to see the way your kids have been raised and the way they’re turning out. You did good, Tipper.

  • Reply
    December 9, 2011 at 1:30 pm

    That’s another song from Paul and
    Pap’s Christmas CD, “Away in a
    Manger” to start the radio player.
    I love the beautiful, soft melody
    they do.
    As far as the Holiday Spectacular
    show goes, I can appreciate that
    feeling you had during their
    performance. Hold on to those dear
    times of youth, their preciousness
    will sustain you throughout the
    shades of life…Ken

  • Reply
    jackie shound ringersma
    December 9, 2011 at 12:54 pm

    Put on your sunglasses Tipper xoxo

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    December 9, 2011 at 11:45 am

    Tipper—The bright future is heartening, although I have observed one thing in recent years which I find somewhat troubling. Mountain youth are rapidly losing the old-time ways of talking and expression, not to mention familiarity with precisely the sort of colloquialisms you periodically present in the vocabulary quizzes.
    Don and I noticed it, in a distinctive fashion, a few years back when we were at the Ingle’s in Robbinsville buying some supplies for a camping trip. The young girls at the cash register there still sounded “mountain” and epitomized “mountain talk.” For both of us it contrasted sharply with the voices of girls and boys of a similar age working in the Ingle’s in Bryson City.
    I hate to see this distinctiveness disappear, but if anyone has ever searched the Internet and listened to snippets of Mark Cathey and Wiley Oakley talking, realization will dawn that we were losing something long before the current generation. Both men, true representatives of Appalachian ways in yesteryear, had high, keen voices.
    I don’t have any answers and realize it’s impossible to hold back the tides of time, but I do have some explanations—they come in the form of television, cell phones, e-mail (which I’m doing right now) texting, tweeting, and other technology. I genuinely worry we will lose the art of conversation, of letter writing, and most of all, that we will lose the raw materials of history. After all, who keeps a diary anymore? Who writes letters? These sort of resources are what historians have always used.
    On the other hand, what you witnessed sounds to me like an enjoyable exercise in oral traditions and community spirit, and those are heartening things.
    Jim Casada

  • Reply
    December 9, 2011 at 11:39 am

    When I look at the talented and dedicated young people it does indeed give me more hope for the future. Nice post, Tipper

  • Reply
    Lonnie Dockery
    December 9, 2011 at 10:38 am

    You are certainly right on with this one Tipper! That was a fantastic show. It is hard to watch something like that and not be optimistic about the future. Another thing that impresses me is the obvious pride the faculty and staff take in the kids. There must have been a half-dozen of them who asked me, with their faces beaming:”Well, what did you think?” Great people; great kids; great school!

  • Reply
    December 9, 2011 at 9:44 am

    Love the cowgirl fairy-god mother! Sounds like a whole lot of fun.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    December 9, 2011 at 9:42 am

    Tipper, you underestimate the level of the wisdom you have. From my perspective, many years ahead of you, I see an uncommon depth of wisdom in you and a far reaching view that few possess.
    I absolutely love the photo of the fairy god mother with cowboy boots and hat.
    You are 100% correct, the future is bright!

  • Reply
    Karen Larsen
    December 9, 2011 at 9:23 am

    Wonderful! You are blessed, indeed!

  • Reply
    December 9, 2011 at 9:08 am

    Tipper I understand exactly how you feel. We have been getting ready for our Christmas program at church that will be put on by the youth. I have sit through a couple of practices and I am amazed at how hard the kids are working to learn their parts and the songs. The enthusiasm and the talent that these kids have is remarkable. I had some of the same thoughts remembering back to my teenage days and having the whole world out before me to discover. Our future is definitely in the children and knowing that as we pass tradition and values to them that they will in turn pass it on to their children. I can’t wait until Sunday night to see their performance.

  • Reply
    December 9, 2011 at 9:02 am

    What fun it is to listen to our kids use their talents!

  • Reply
    dolores barton
    December 9, 2011 at 8:54 am

    These memories are so precious!

  • Reply
    December 9, 2011 at 8:53 am

    That is so awesome Tipper. I love th picture of the cowboy hat, boot wearing, red leather gloved fairy God Mother. Love those precious moments & lovin’ how you described how you’re treasuring them.

  • Reply
    B. Ruth
    December 9, 2011 at 8:47 am

    I am reading your post and trying to remember what it was like to be a teenager! It was so long ago now that only significant memories pop up from high school..LOL It must have been a great time in my life ’cause it went by so fast…
    Cherish the times with the girls and those memories…while they are still fresh in your mind…
    Thanks Tipper for another wonderful post…I would have loved to hear the girls and Chorale sing…and just think you have double the pleasure! LOL

  • Reply
    Janet Smart
    December 9, 2011 at 8:06 am

    “This is the best time of your lives,” I always told my kids. Enjoy it and make the most of it.

  • Reply
    Eva M. Wike, Ph.D.
    December 9, 2011 at 8:05 am

    Tipper: You will surely shed some SUNSHINE today – and we need it. You know by now how much I love WORDS – as I was very limited and NEVER spoke English until I was about seven years old! If you have seen the movie “NELL” you can imagine my ‘beginnings’ of the English language.
    One word you used today is PRECIOUSNESS! I have never heard the word used but I instantly KNEW what you meant and appreciated it! Last night we listened and watched our grandson play his last ‘high school’ Christmas tunes on his Saxaphone with his JAZZ group! I had the same ‘preciousness’ feelings you discuss here today!
    Eva Nell

  • Reply
    December 9, 2011 at 7:57 am

    I am right there crying along with you! Those kind of things always generate a multitude of emotions in me as well!

  • Reply
    December 9, 2011 at 7:48 am

    It makes a heart proud to know these young folks gave such a wonderful performance. Wish I could have been there.

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