Appalachia Appalachia Through My Eyes

Appalachia Through My Eyes – Got Mud?

My life in appalachia - Mud

This time of the year-mud gets on my last nerve. If I need to run outside for anything-I have to pull on The Deer Hunter’s rubber boots first. My car slips and slides up and down our steep driveway-and then I bring all that mud into the garage when I park. Not to mention if me and the girls aren’t careful we transfer mud to our clothes when we get in and out of the car.

The state maintained road that leads to our house was gravel up until the girls were about kindergarten age. During late winter months of freezing and thawing places on that road got muddy and slick too. One year it was especially bad when I was in high school-and in those days my vehicle was not 4 wheel drive. I worked at CATOs-and wore a dress and heels most days.

On my way home from work one evening, I slid my little black exp car into a muddy ditch. I sat there for a while-but then decided I was tired and didn’t want to wait for someone to show up and pull me out. I shucked off my heels, grabbed my pocketbook and walked the rest of the way home in the mud-barefooted. I don’t know why-but Granny got the biggest laugh out of that incident.

Got mud?


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


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  • Reply
    February 3, 2012 at 8:58 pm

    No, we don’t have mud here in central NC, but to tell the truth, I’d rather have mud than snow or drought. Snow we very rarely get here, and if we don’t get rain (or mud) soon, we’re gonna have drought this summer because we’re at -2″ for rainfall here already and it’s only February. So PLEASE, send us some mud here real soon. ;o)
    God bless.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    February 2, 2012 at 5:40 pm

    I told you a couple of months ago about putting the ashes from your wood stove on your driveway but you didn’t listen and now you’ve got mud. But, I guess with all the warm weather, you ain’t had enough yet. Seriously, it helps. Ask Pap!

  • Reply
    February 2, 2012 at 4:54 pm

    I always say we live in a rainforest here in Dahlonega, so we have plenty of mud! I’d take it over a drought, though. 🙂

  • Reply
    February 2, 2012 at 3:34 pm

    Hi Tipper!
    We are never satisfied are we? One year ago, we received 26 inches of snow with below zero temperatures. Now we are having temperature of 60+ and have not had measurable rainfall in two months or more, and it wasn’t much. It is as if we are having a continuation of the long, hot summer of 2011. Mid-Missouri is supposed to receive rain tomorrow and Saturday. I have dealt with the problems of mud but it has been more dust lately. Our vehicles look like they do in the summer with all the dust from the roads. Dust or mud? Blessings of living in the country maybe?

  • Reply
    February 2, 2012 at 2:41 pm

    I do feel for you concerning all
    that mud. I’ve had to deal with
    what daddy called “the general
    thaw” which happens usually a couple of weeks after New Years.
    Then we have rain twice a week
    making it impossible to maintain.
    I’ve put many loads of big gravel
    on my road over the years only to
    have it swallowed up by the thaw.
    No wonder granny was a laughin’,
    she probably couldn’t find any
    nail polish on them pretty little

  • Reply
    Bob Aufdemberge
    February 2, 2012 at 10:38 am

    Dry out here on the edge of the plains, though useasonably warm. Rain forecasted for the next couple of days; hope they’re right, we need moisture.

  • Reply
    Pam Moore
    February 2, 2012 at 10:22 am

    No mud. We got sand and your crows are down here in Florida having a party.

  • Reply
    Mike McLain
    February 2, 2012 at 10:02 am

    Not much mud here in South Florida, but sand tracks everywhere, rain or shine!

  • Reply
    February 2, 2012 at 10:02 am

    Oh, I do wish we had mud right now. We’ve been in a drought for over a year and a half. Scheduled to get some rain tonight/tomorrow morning. Sure hope we do!!
    Do know what you mean about the slip-slidy roads. Almost ended up in a creek due to a muddy road and had to use feed sacks to get traction enough to get going again.

  • Reply
    Rooney Floyd
    February 2, 2012 at 10:02 am

    I grew up in the Piedmont and will always have red clay in my veins, but I’ve been down here in the sand country for 40 years and don’t miss the mud. Of course, you can get stuck in sand but you have to try harder.

  • Reply
    Pat in east TN
    February 2, 2012 at 9:53 am

    No mud here, thank goodness, but when we lived in WNC we had a 1/4 mile driveway that was dirt and there were times it was a challenge to get up, or down, it. Gravel used it disappear rapidly, and there were a few times we just parked down below and walked in.

  • Reply
    s kalvaitis
    February 2, 2012 at 9:49 am

    I thought I knew what mud was till I moved to TN and honestly I have never seen anything like the “red clay mud” that sticks like glue to everything. The property we bought had been neglected for years and was totally covered with it. A few thousand dollars worth of french drains and mulch and gravel later I thought I had it taken care of but once in a while my dog will step in it still and it always ends up in my bed. Nothing will wash that stuff out.

  • Reply
    February 2, 2012 at 9:25 am

    Your mud doesn’t sound fun, Tipper. I do wish be had some now…that would mean it had recently rained…which we so desperately need. Love the story of you walking home…I would have done the same thing.

  • Reply
    B. Ruth
    February 2, 2012 at 9:08 am

    an mud….Mine has rocks in it…
    What color is your mud? Is it nice and grey or dull or bright red…When you pick up a nice handful, does it clump and stick together? Can you roll it around without it drying to much? Is it nice and smooth and not too gritty? If all the answers above are yes, then you are blessed with a good clay mud that will make many good flower pots and vessels….
    And according to Puxatawny Phil (Feb. 2, weather predictor) we wil be having 6 more weeks of winter..(yes, he saw his shadow)so you go girl and grab that mud and build you a kiln and roast some flower pots and vessels!….
    Thanks Tipper, such a great post and yes I laughed too at the picture of you up to your ankles in mud….sorry!

  • Reply
    Janet Smart
    February 2, 2012 at 8:44 am

    When I was young, we dealt with mud a lot, too. Now, thank goodness, we have a concrete driveway. But, sometimes when my son goes motorcycle riding he comes back covered from head to toe with mud.

  • Reply
    Mary Shipman
    February 2, 2012 at 8:40 am

    We have alocal road that had been paved, log trucks and traffic have really made a mess of it. Budget constraints do not allow for repaving. The county is tearing out the ‘blacktop’ and reverting to gravel. We have plenty of local gravel in the creek bottoms, so it’s cheaper than blacktop.
    It is currently red clay mud in many sectors. Hubby says it is like driving on ‘greased snot’.

  • Reply
    Ed Myers
    February 2, 2012 at 8:34 am

    Why Tipper, I thought mud was what made the feet of Appalachian girls the envy of the world.
    It didn’t do too much for mine growing up, but even now I look at a good old wet clay mix with fond remembrance. And, I have a four-wheel drive, which may be the reason the memory remains fond.

  • Reply
    February 2, 2012 at 8:28 am

    I have lived on dirt roads before and I understand your angst. We live on a paved road now…much cleaner but there is still something I like about a dirt road.

  • Reply
    February 2, 2012 at 8:27 am

    Yep, we got mud. But nothing like you have. I feel for ya!

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    February 2, 2012 at 8:11 am

    I’ve sure enjoyed this year of Appalachia Through Your Eyes. You have a very good eye for the interesting and unusual. Thank you!
    I haven’t lived with a gravel/mud driveway since the Deer Hunter was a kid. He sure did love to play in that mud.
    But Tipper, you don’t just have mud. You have red clay Georgia mud. You live in NC but so close to the Georgia line. That red mud is different from regular NC mud. Well for one thing it is RED and when in gets in your clothes it don’t wash out. I’ve lived in GA and you don’t forget that red mud!

  • Reply
    February 2, 2012 at 8:05 am

    My olde-fashion boots that look like the deer hunters look all muddy like his too—they sit right outside my door for before I can hop down off the porch they have become a stable of my life— this property is always wet so boots are a part of my life year round and especially during mud season which seems to have been lastly months now —and of course that makes the barn yard a bunch of mud and muck as well—lucky for me though our streets are paved and we have stoned the driveway—and good for you to take off those heels–I find it hard to picture an Appalachian gal in heels–bare-feet is what comes to my mind.

  • Reply
    Tim Mc
    February 2, 2012 at 7:36 am

    I was raised on a dirt road, we always new when it was going to rain because no matter what time of the year it was, when we saw the road graders coming we new it was going to rain with in a day or so, and usually it did, and the roads would be just a muddy mess until the locals packed it all down again, we never got new rock very often because the county just didn’t have the funds to keep rock on the roads, but a few times in my life we did see a nice covering of rock and it did help, for a while… I know mud….

  • Reply
    dolores barton
    February 2, 2012 at 7:25 am

    You were brave to walk through the mud, especially if it was dark out. Who knows what you might have stepped in or on. Today there are cell phones to get us help if we need it. Don’t you wish you had one back then!

  • Reply
    Canned Quilter
    February 2, 2012 at 7:03 am

    Actually we have no mud here in Northern Missouri right now. This time of year we are usually up to our armpits in it. No mud. Got DUST : )

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    February 2, 2012 at 5:44 am

    As I read this I start to hear Mommy saying “Git back outside an git yore shoes off. You’re trackin mud all over the house!!!!

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