Appalachia Through My Eyes Holidays in Appalachia

Appalachia Through My Eyes – On Mother’s Day I Wear Red

On Mother's day I wear red
Mom you are like a beautiful boundless flower

Kind, caring, and loving.

Even at night when you close up

You are still watching

There is only one word to describe you-Mom

Chitter wrote that little poem for me when she was 10 years old. It still makes me smile. I wish all you Mothers a Happy Mother’s Day and I hope this day is full of smiles for you.

Here in Appalachia we have a tradition of wearing a certain color flower depending on if your Mother is still living or not. Red or pink for a living Mother, white in remembrance of a Mother who has passed away.


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


You Might Also Like


  • Reply
    May 9, 2011 at 1:28 pm

    What a precious child! That poem brought tears to my eyes! We have the same tradition here in Ohio,usually it is a carnation, for those who get gussied up and wear a flower. Thankfully I would wear a red one. No gussying up yesterday, spent the day at my parent’s home with my granddaughter, mostly playing on the lawn. A belated Happy Mother’s Day!

  • Reply
    May 9, 2011 at 10:37 am

    you don’t see people doing that as much any more. But I remember this custom when I was growing up. Unfortunately, I would wear a white carnation. My mother passed away in 1996 on my husband’s birthday. But I still have her memories on Mother’s Day.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    May 9, 2011 at 9:07 am

    That would be white for me. It sure was nice to spend Mother’s Day with you guys and I have the flowers Chitter and Chatter picked for me in a glass on the counter to enjoy.

  • Reply
    Dee from Tennessee
    May 9, 2011 at 2:23 am

    Thankful to still be wearing red and all glory to God.

  • Reply
    Vicki Lane
    May 8, 2011 at 11:28 pm

    When I was growing up in Florida — back in the fifties, folks wore the red or white flowers.
    My flower is white — and has been for almost 25 years.

  • Reply
    lynn legge
    May 8, 2011 at 11:23 pm

    sending big hugs to you and granny this mothers day 🙂
    sadly i will be wearing white. .. sniff sniff it is the first mothers day since my mom passed last year .. im thankful for my memories, and thankful that my two daughters came and gave me a hug and kiss and that meant more to me than anything .. bless all mothers everywhere.. and special ladybug hugs to you tipper

  • Reply
    Suzi Phillips
    May 8, 2011 at 11:21 pm

    This is a Mother’s Day story about a beautiful daughter.Today was my family’s first Mother’s Day without my daddy & very bittersweet. I went to Chattanooga to spend the weekend with my mom & to make the most of our “first of firsts” without him. When we left church this morning,we were surprised & thrilled at the sight of an amazing young woman who had driven 2 & a half hours (on her only day off) to present her mom & her granny with Mother’s Day roses. Words just can’t explain what her love in action did for our hearts. Precious, precious child-proud, loving mom!

  • Reply
    SandyCarlson (USA)
    May 8, 2011 at 10:37 pm

    Happy Mother’s Day! That is a great poem.

  • Reply
    Sheila Bergeron
    May 8, 2011 at 9:47 pm

    It is late and I wanted to wish you and Granny a Happy Mother’s Day before bedtime. The poem is lovely.

  • Reply
    May 8, 2011 at 8:38 pm

    What a treasure you have, Tipper, in that precious poem, and I am sure that your daughters are themselves Treasures.
    My sweet Mother went to glory last summer, so I cut pale pink, almost white flowers for the table from her nearly 60 year old bushes that we transplanted here.
    They were her favorite.
    Down in deep South Mississippi, the tradition of white and red flowers is fading, but still alive in small, usually rural churches.

  • Reply
    Cheryl Soehl
    May 8, 2011 at 8:00 pm

    Well, it’s white for me. My complicated mother passed away in 1987 and I continue to come to terms with our relationship. It was not always easy to be her child, but I understand much more now of what her challenges were and how hard it was to cope with them. I have grown closer to her over the years and miss her still. I like this year’s new Facebook tradition of making my mother’s image my profile picture. A happy day to all the mothers and all the women who have mothered others’ children with love and patience.

  • Reply
    May 8, 2011 at 7:29 pm

    Love your daughter’s poem, how sweet! My flower would be red and I am looking forward to our eldest daughter (25) having her first baby due in 4 weeks. We will be first time grandparents… Yeehawww!! Happy Mother’s Day Tipper.

  • Reply
    May 8, 2011 at 6:15 pm

    Happy Mother’s Day Tipper! This year finds us with white flowers to honor our Mother for the very first time. Although today has been bittersweet and full of tears, we have also smiled just thinking about all the good times we had and the wonderful memories she left us as gifts.

  • Reply
    May 8, 2011 at 5:30 pm

    I’ll be wearing white.**sniff**
    Happy Mother’s Day, Tipper and Granny!

  • Reply
    May 8, 2011 at 5:09 pm

    Sad to say, I must wear white. My mom passed away 24 years ago, at a young age, and I still miss her. However, she lives in me, and I rejoice in being a mother… happy Mother’s Day to all!

  • Reply
    May 8, 2011 at 2:50 pm

    Here in Knoxville we still use the same colored roses that you mention. Red for me as my mother is still living and white for my wife.
    Happy Mother’s Day Tipper. You are doing a great job with your daughters.

  • Reply
    May 8, 2011 at 1:15 pm

    Happy Mother’s Day Tipper, Granny and Miss Cindy and other mamas.
    Two close friends would be wearing white roses for the first time today. Thankfully it will be a red rose here. I called Mom this morning and she was relaxing on the front porch, looking at the Cinerara plants I gave her for Mother’s Day.

  • Reply
    May 8, 2011 at 12:08 pm

    And to all the mothers out there
    whether you wear red or white,
    Happy Mother’s Day. If I had one
    it would be white…Ken

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    May 8, 2011 at 10:07 am

    Tipper–How gratifying it is to know that there are places and people who cling to this old mountain tradition (and many others). When I was a boy we had rambling roses and it was always a Mother’s Day ritual to pick buds to wear to church.
    Another custom related to Mother’s Day was tomato planting. Grandpa Joe just wouldn’t plant them until after Mother’s Day. Given the fact that the local frost-free date is May 10, and that blackberry winter brought a light frost here a few days ago, he was making perfectly good sense (as he did with so many folkways established by generations of experience).
    Jim Casada

  • Reply
    May 8, 2011 at 8:57 am

    What a sweet tradition to the mothers. Hope you have a nice Mothers Day.

  • Reply
    May 8, 2011 at 8:19 am

    As a child I remember crying because I didn’t have a red rose to wear; our bush was late in blooming that year. How fortunate are those who can still wear that red rose!

  • Reply
    grannis little corner
    May 8, 2011 at 8:10 am

    What a beautifully written poem from your sweet daughter, and at such a young age. A very Happy Mothers Day to you Tipper, and may you have many more wonderful memories.
    I will be wearing a white rose :-(, I miss my Mother so much, but I know we will be together again one day…praise God.

  • Reply
    B. Ruth
    May 8, 2011 at 7:46 am

    We were at the store on Friday and I was just thinking about this very tradition…Years back there usually would be a large display of orchids or other flower corsages in the front isle of the store, with a sign saying Mother’s Day corsages or flowers.
    I noticed no sign anywhere but did see a cooler on the end cap grocery isle with a small handful of (5 or 6) corsages on the bottom shelf. They were mostly orchids with white or red ribbons tied around them. I assumed they were for Mothers Day…I thought at the time, there goes another tradition that I always loved…We always got our corsages or flowers on Saturday for church on Sunday. Dad wore a white rose bud in the lapel of his suit. He was the one that bought Mothers flower for Mother’s day too..and she sure looked forward to that orchid..
    The only other time we pinned a flower on our dresses to wear to church was Easter.
    This year it will be a white flower for me for the first time…..
    What a sweet poem from your daughter…
    Happy Mother’s Day Tipper..Hope you have a wonderful day!

  • Reply
    Sue Crane
    May 8, 2011 at 7:27 am

    this is the year that I should wear white. How Mom loved Mother’s Day and never missed a chance to tell someone that there were five generations of us all together. So, yesterday evening we went down to take her flowers and we took one of her great-great granddaughters with us.

  • Reply
    May 8, 2011 at 7:04 am

    white for me. i’m no longer a fan of mothers’ day; haven’t been for going on 20 years now…:(

  • Reply
    May 8, 2011 at 6:13 am

    until i moved to Florida, every mothers day, in church we all had on flowers, mine would be white today, if i were wearing one. here in FL they do not follow the old tradition. i like the tradition and am happy it is still where you are. the poem is so sweet

  • Leave a Reply