Appalachia Appalachia Through My Eyes

Appalachia Through My Eyes – Pallet On The Floor

My life in appalachia pallet on the floor

There’s been major chaos in the Blind Pig house over the past few months. Its the type of chaos that ends in something wonderful but is a pain in the neck before you get to that point.

Chatter and Chitter have always shared a bedroom. There were times over the years when one girl would get mad at the other and they’d plead with me to let them have the dangerous room as their bedroom. (remind me to tell you about the dangerous room someday)

I’d always tell which ever girl that was mad at her sister “You can have the dangerous room any time you want it-you just have to prove to me you’ll sleep in there without your sister.” Neither girl could ever manage to sleep without her sister-so they continued to sleep in the room they shared since we first brought them home across Blood Mountain 17 years ago.

Sometime last summer Chatter decided she really did want her own room-and she wasn’t even mad at her sister. Since then we’ve been dismantling the dangerous room-giving things away and finding new places to store the rest.

Once the room was cleared out it was easy to move Chatter in it-there was already a twin bed in the room for her to sleep in.

After Chatter moved into her new digs, Chitter was left with the remnants of custom bunk beds The Deer Hunter made for the girls after they’d out grown their toddler beds.

Since Chatter got to move into a new room, Chitter was anxious to make their old room seem new-with a real bed that sit in the middle of the room among other things. Last weekend nothing would stop her from nagging us into tearing out the bunk-beds. I said “We can’t get you a new bed right now so why don’t you just sleep in yours until we get a new bed then we’ll tear the bunk beds out?” She was having none of that-she said “I’ll sleep on a pallet in the floor. And we’ll be that much ahead with the work cause the bunk beds will be gone.”

Chitter got her way and for the last week she’s slept on a pallet in the floor. Coincidentally we’ve had the coldest nights of the year in the last week too. I think Chitter secretly wished she wasn’t sleeping on the cold floor-but she wouldn’t own up to it.

Today we finally had time to go look for her a bed. Man who knew they were so high? We went to one place and almost bought something but decided we better look around a little more. The next place was so high we made one circle around the store and immediately left. The next place was perfect. We got everything we needed for what the first place was charging for the headboard. Even better the lady who owned the store entertained us with stories about Pap’s family.

She said “I’ve spent the night right there where you live before. I used to spend the night with your Aunt Carrie. And I remember your Grandmother Carrie too-I believe she’d be your 3rd grandmother back wouldn’t she?” I agreed she’d be Chatter and Chitter’s great great grandmother-and told the girls we called her Big Grandma. The lady talked on saying “And I remember how your grandmother could play the piano. She played down at Maggie’s Chapel. Back then we all walked to church everybody did. Sometimes, your grandmother, she’d walk all the way over to the house to see my Daddy because he had heart problems and couldn’t go no where. Yes she would walk all the way over there to see him.”

*pallet: an improvised bed on the floor or ground.


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

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  • Reply
    November 17, 2013 at 4:31 pm

    I can’t wait to see all the changes. We will have to visit again soon.

  • Reply
    brenda s 'okie in colorado'
    November 16, 2013 at 11:04 pm

    So many great memories of sleeping on pallets with cousins and friends when I was little. At 63, I wouldn’t be so happy to sleep on the floor. This old lady might get on the floor, but someone would have to lift me up. I’m sure I would not be able to walk the next day.

  • Reply
    Gina S
    November 16, 2013 at 8:50 pm

    I’ve slept on pallets many times. But I have a favorite story about another of my sleeping spots. Daddy’s Mama came to spend the night with us before I was walking good. Daddy was working out of town then. Mama gave up their bed and put me behind her on the couch, one of those old ones where the back let down and formed a smallish double bed. Mama slept on the outside and put me against the wall. There was a window in the wall. Mama woke early the next morning to make breakfast then panicked because she couldn’t find me. Half asleep she noticed the window screen pushed out. I had crawled up on the window sill and rolled off it onto the porch. Mama didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. She always said she was so thankful that her mother-in-law never knew that Mama let Daddy’s baby roll out the window.

  • Reply
    Eva Nell Mull Wike, Ph.D.
    November 16, 2013 at 8:20 pm

    Tipper: YOU ARE OUT OF SIGHT! Thanks very much for noting my “Fiddler” signing in Hayesville this weekend. The rain came down but lots of folks came by the Book Store at the Moss Memorial Library in Hayesville. It was delightful meeting folks who were visiting from FLA, GA, IOWA, and lots of other places. We sold more copies of “Fiddler” than I expected we would. THE VERY LAST ONE I SOLD THIS AFTERNOON WAS TO THE ‘upcoming’ Mayor of Hayesville, who grew up in Jackson County. Asd you can imagine, he and Jim had LOTS to talk about afterwards! MY NEXT BOOK SIGNING WILL BE NOV. 30 @ the Byron Herbert Reece Center in Blairsville. SPREAD THE WORD.
    Best regards, Eva Nell

  • Reply
    Glenda Beall
    November 16, 2013 at 5:04 pm

    I can’t imaginesisters not wanting to share a room. My sister, two years younger, and I slept in the same room until I went to college. When she was a sophomore at the university, she and I shared a room again. Gay was the best room mate I ever had. I think it was good for us to share because we learned that we could not always have our own stuff. Our parents couldn’t afford two of all the things we wanted except at Christmas when we each found a lovely doll under the tree.
    We never minded having things together. Besides our bedroom, we owned our first car together, and always shared puppies and kittens. We could not share clothes because she was much shorter than I, and we wore different sizes.
    With seven of us kids,we learned early that we had to share.
    Wonder if Chitter and Chatter would share a dorm room in college?

  • Reply
    November 16, 2013 at 4:02 pm

    B-none of those furniture factories near here-but I agree with you EVERYTHING has went up thats for sure : )
    Blind Pig The Acorn
    Celebrating and Preserving the
    Culture of Appalachia

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    November 16, 2013 at 3:09 pm

    I reread your post! The thought slipped through when I was readin’ it the first time, but it didn’t stay in my head.
    I pondered and pondered this…
    My sister-in-law and others I know made the extry effort to go to North Carolina to buy and/or order their furniture!
    All say that the furniture is much cheaper, you can get exactly what you want and know where it is made, etc. etc. etc….
    Did you check on any of those nice type furniture stores or are there any factories near Brasstown!
    Maybe it was just the folks lookin’ for Oak or woodsy type cabin furniture??
    Rite now I’m just tryin’ to find a good well made 3foot swing for the little cabins 4 ft porch. Guess I will have to have it spacial made…
    Thanks Tipper,
    PS…no matter where you live, everything has gone up…even the ole porch swangs…LOL
    PSS…We got the ‘coon! Not the one we saw, guess it was its competition for King of the Bird Feeder!
    PSS…Don’t know if anyone cares or knows but it makes me sick! We are catch and release, unless the varmit is comin’ in the house after us!…But the euthenized (sic) that poor love sick elk that was head buttin’ that photographer…I understand their reasonin’ somewhat…but I would have took it in on my place..had it neutered, dehorned and petted like a baby!

  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    November 16, 2013 at 1:10 pm

    I was in about the 9th grade in
    school before I got my own room.
    Had to wait on my 5 older brothers
    to either get married or join the
    Armed Forces. But whenever we had
    company for overnight, that was
    fun to get to sleep on palates in
    the living room…Ken

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    November 16, 2013 at 12:18 pm

    Many a time I’ve heard my Granny say, “Don’t you’all leave tonight, you spend the night, and go on tomorrow. We’ll make a “pallit” on the floor for the “chilren” or they can have my bed!…We were slappin’ our hands in the background sayin’ please, please can we stay! Of course we knew, it would be a pallet on the floor ’cause Mom would never allow my older Grandmother to give up her bed a’tall!
    Thanks Tipper and I am excited to hear about the dangerous room as well. I am wondering how each gal will color and decorate her own room?

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    November 16, 2013 at 11:21 am

    So was the Dangerous Room where you had all your Blind Pig stuff that you had to crowd into the three by six the other day? Did Chitter chase you out? Shame on her!

  • Reply
    November 16, 2013 at 11:04 am

    Yep, you’ve done it now! Peter, Paul and Mary will be singing in the back of my head for the rest of the day…

  • Reply
    November 16, 2013 at 10:55 am

    I had to share my room with my sister until I married and left home. She was almost ten years younger than I, so I watched her grow up. I am happy that your girls now have their own space, but you might have found a nice set in a resale/consignment shop. Not for matresses; I wouldn’t buy a used matress as one never knows where it had been. I am very anxious to learn about the mysterious ‘dangerous room!’

  • Reply
    Ann Applegarth
    November 16, 2013 at 10:40 am

    I loved sleeping on a pallet on the floor because it meant that our family had company from out of town and, of course, the honored guests got to sleep in my bed!

  • Reply
    November 16, 2013 at 10:06 am

    LOL! I thought we were the only ones with a dangerous room in our house. So glad that Chitter has her own room and a new warm bed!

  • Reply
    November 16, 2013 at 9:49 am

    It is great that the girls have their own rooms and their own space. Wish I lived close enough for them to pick out something for their rooms from my clutter room. I have an extra bedroom that always gets filled with extra lamps, curtains, and comforters. and it sure does become a dangerous room.
    My best memories was spending week ends with cousins, sleeping on a pallet, and sharing wild ghost stories.

  • Reply
    Lola Howard
    November 16, 2013 at 9:49 am

    Yeah the girls are getting their own room . Just wait and see how much they’ll be visiting in each others room .lol
    I couldn’t tell you the times I have slept on a pallet on the floor ,and my great grand children love to do it .

  • Reply
    Kerry in GA
    November 16, 2013 at 9:48 am

    When my kids were babies, I didn’t fool with getting a playpen because they were happy and content playing on a pallet in the floor. 🙂

  • Reply
    Don Casada
    November 16, 2013 at 9:34 am

    I shared a bed with my much older brother up until he went off to college, and as a youngster, went to bed at 9 while Jim and Annette got to stay up until 10. The upstairs bedrooms in our house were unheated, so I’d just be getting my spot under a slew of covers warm when Jim would come up and shove me over to the other side of the bed, taking possession of the warm spot. Brotherly love or something like that.
    Speaking of sharing, there was also the party telephone line. You could pick up most any afternoon around 2 and hear all the latest town gossip.
    We also only had one bathroom in the house, which was equally shared by two parties: a)my sister and b)the rest of the family 😉

  • Reply
    November 16, 2013 at 9:15 am

    My girls shared a room for years. When they finally started sleeping in their own rooms, the youngest would stand in the doorway at least one night a week begging and pleading for her sister to let her sleep with her…just tonight. I hope your girls aren’t doing that!
    I have a dangerous room, too. I’ve been trying to “work on it” and usually just stand in the middle of the room and shake my head while wondering where to start.
    I’ve slept on many pallets while growing up. Sometimes we would end up sleeping 6 to a bed-three at the head and three at the foot.

  • Reply
    November 16, 2013 at 8:58 am

    I remember getting my own bedroom way back when…my sister was 7 years younger than I; when I was a teenager I thought she was a pain in my neck, so they agreed. I still remember that room! And I’ve slept on a pallet as well, when I was a young adult and didn’t want to spend my money on a bed…and I figured if I feel out of bed, there wasn’t far to go, LOL!

  • Reply
    Sue Crane
    November 16, 2013 at 8:24 am

    Congratulations on your new bedrooms Chitter and Chatter. I must say I was expecting Pap & Paul to be singing “Pallet on the Floor”.
    It’s a drizzly Saturday in Florida today but we need the rain. I’d druther be in the mountains!!

  • Reply
    Uncle al
    November 16, 2013 at 8:19 am

    What a nice story. Whether sleeping in the same room or not I’m sure those young ladies will always be “together” with that special connection twins have. I couldn’t possible,recall how many times I’ve slept on a pallet on the floor.

  • Reply
    Darlene Debty Kimsey
    November 16, 2013 at 8:03 am

    We did pallets all the time when I was growing up. I don’t remember being cold even though it had to be cold on the floor.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    November 16, 2013 at 7:48 am

    For a teenage girl happiness is having your own bedroom. I’m glad both girls have their own space to develop their individual identities. They are such beautiful, bright, and talented girls the world is their’s for the taking!
    I sure hope Mom and Dad are surviving all this change.

  • Reply
    November 16, 2013 at 7:35 am

    Haven’t been around in awhile, I’ve been sleeping in a recliner of late due to a broken leg, but some nights I think a pallet in the floor would have been more comfortable!

  • Reply
    Judy Mincey
    November 16, 2013 at 7:21 am

    I remember sleeping on a pallet many times as a child. We would go to Oklahoma to visit my great-aunt, Belle, and all her family would come to see the GA folks. There were a bunch of us kids and it was fun for a night or two. And many other times visiting relatives for a reunion or funeral, we would all be beded down on a pallet of piled up quilts.
    My back would rebel these days, but we younguns thought it was great.

  • Reply
    Annette Casada Hensley
    November 16, 2013 at 7:17 am

    Ah, the girls are growing up! Can’t wait to hear about the dangerous room.

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