Appalachia Appalachia Through My Eyes

Appalachia Through My Eyes – Slip Off

My life in appalachia slip off

Do you ever slip off? Granny is forever accusing Pap of slipping off down to Paul’s or somewhere where she can’t find him. Every once in the while The Deer Hunter slips off and I have no idea where he went. Most of the time he either slips off down to Pap’s or slips off up in the woods.

Me-I don’t seem to have time to slip off-and if I did somebody would follow me so it wouldn’t do me much good.

When Chatter was about three years old she got mad and decided she’d slip off. The Deer Hunter had the garage door cracked a little for the dog. Chatter went down in that pitch black basement; crawled under the garage door; and down the hill she went. Once I started missing her I was worried to death-she knew I would be but thought Granny and Pap would protect her from my wrath.

A few weeks ago, Bradley left a comment about a different kind of slipping off:

Once I had a friend that was the assistant to the top person in management. Well, this person was to retire and before he left my name was brought up in conversation. He reportedly said that I amazed him. No, he didn’t find me special in any way but one. “He seems to be moderately intelligent but, I have watched him and no matter how tedious or repetitious the jobs they put on him he seems to be totally unaffected; it never bothers him.”

I never told my friend how I did it. Actually, the reason it never bothered me was because I WAS NEVER THERE! I learned I could always lose myself in my own little world or just go wandering into that vague geography of the heart. Sure, I get lonesome for people and times past like everyone but, the good memories can in most cases compensate for the lonesome.

It’s nice to slip off for real-to leave behind the work-worries-or just daily life in general for a short escape. But being able to allow our mind to slip off while our hands and feet are still present is a pretty cool thing too.

Ever slip off?


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



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  • Reply
    January 24, 2013 at 12:39 am

    Bro Tom is good at slipping off, but usually he’s on the property puttering about. Every so often he takes off in the car without a word; if I did that he’d have a hissy fit and worry until I got back even though I’m going on 66-years of age. If I fuss at him for doing it, he says he’s a grown man and doesn’t need me to mother him. sigh
    Our dad use to slip off too, but like Bro Tom, he was usually puttering about the property too. Like Father like Son. ;o)
    So anyway, Tipper, did Granny and Pap protect Chatter from your wrath? LOL
    God bless.

  • Reply
    January 22, 2013 at 12:17 pm

    Tipper, my goodness, you have such a way of taking words that are so familiar and part of me and focusing on them and it brings a smile. I am told that as a small child I would find a hole big enough to get my head through in the fence and “slip off” to my cousin’s house down the road and I would get stung by a bee every time! I would be barefooted and they had lots of clover.

  • Reply
    January 22, 2013 at 11:27 am

    I’ve “slipped out” of big meetings and such, but don’t know if I’ve ever heard “slipped off.” But it’s so clear what it means, maybe I have and didn’t even notice!
    Jim C, you may be thinking of a Paul Simon song, with the refrain:
    Slip-sliding away
    Slip-sliding away
    You know, the nearer your destination,
    the more you’re slipsliding away.

  • Reply
    brenda s 'okie in colorado'
    January 22, 2013 at 12:50 am

    Oh yes, I have slipped off many many times. When I was a small child of the 1950’s, I would find a penny, a nickle, or a dime, and slip off. A block a away in our very small town, was a grocery store with a great display of penny candy. I loved being able to fill a small bag with different kinds of candy and gum. Even when I found a penny, I could still get 2 or 3 pieces. I’m 62 and still love my candy. I also find that getting older, I tend to slip off during the day or evening to places and past experiences I’ve had. I think that’s what making memories is all about. Keeps your mind happy when you get older.
    Lovely post Tipper.

  • Reply
    Ron Banks
    January 21, 2013 at 11:00 pm

    When I was a lad I would slip off from time to time. One Sunday morning before church I slipped off to the neighbors house and got my Sunday best clothes dirty by sliding down the bank. My dad who did not give many whippings came and found me. Well,he gave me one of his few whippings. I knew I was in trouble deep when I saw him coming and taking his belt off as he walked. Needless to say I did not slip off before church anymore! I used to slip off and climb to the top of a tall Magnolia tree in our yard. I would just sit up there while my mama was walking around calling for me. She never thought to look up and I found that very funny until she saw me climbing down one day. She whipped me for climbing too high in the tree and for slipping off too. Now I just slip off in my mind and hide in plain sight!

  • Reply
    Mary Rutherford
    January 21, 2013 at 7:51 pm

    Tipper, my daddy slipped off from home back in the 30’s. I will write that story and share it with you in the future. It’s a good tale. We lost my sweet daddy last week so those stories are more precious than ever. The mountains sure lost a good native son.

  • Reply
    B. ruth
    January 21, 2013 at 7:38 pm

    Did you notice that I “slipped off” today?
    I’ve been working on a new piece of art, drawing of the little people…
    I got in trouble for letting my brother slip off one time. I had forgotten I was supposed to be watching him, I was too busy playing myownself…Yep, I got in trouble for something he knew better than to do hisself…Nope, I never let him forget it…LOL
    Why does it bother the other person so much when one “slips off” when especially an adult. My husband starts calling, “B. where are you, where are you?” and I admit I do the same when he slips outside to the mailbox or garden without mentioning where he is going!…LOL
    Thanks Tipper, I’m about to slip back into my zone for part of the night….the colors, and fairy glitter are waiting.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    January 21, 2013 at 7:15 pm

    I wonder what Miss Chatter would have thought if you had told Granny and Pap, “Oh, just keep her. We have a nuddin at home just like her!”

  • Reply
    January 21, 2013 at 6:30 pm

    I find when I get stressed I just ‘slip off’ and do something away from living things, that is, except for the cat. She ‘slips off’ a lot. I learn my lesson from the life of my kitty. After ‘slipping off’ for a while, I am usually refreshed and ready to go back to what needs to be done. Often I just call it ‘ chillin’ out.’

  • Reply
    Mike McLain
    January 21, 2013 at 4:52 pm

    I slip off mentally all the time. It is a great way to take a break from work. Looking forward to getting back up to the mountains this summer so I can slip off for real. I can’t wait to slip off down a trail or just slip off into the woods to harvest some peace.

  • Reply
    January 21, 2013 at 3:38 pm

    As a child I had slipping off down to a science! I usually slipped off when it was time for church or working in grandpa’s garden. Mom and Dad tried whipping and grounding, but neither worked. I think they finally gave up! I don’t think I was naughty or lazy, just too young and fidgety to be tied to one spot for any length of time. I am happy to say I outgrew most of my fidgets, and since I became a mother most of the slipping off I’ve done has been the mental kind, though now that the children are gorwn I get more chances to just disappear for a while.
    I was relieved that neither of my children inherited my talent for vanishing. Little Miss Chatter must have scared a few years off your life when she slipped away!

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    January 21, 2013 at 3:08 pm

    Tipper–We always said “sneak off” rather than “slip off,” and I can think of more than once when that exercise in escape resulted in a rather harsh does of hickory tea.
    These days I tend to slip off in my mind, a form of escapism which I think we all need–there are lines in a song which go “slip sliding away” but the rest of the lyrics won’t come to me right now. They’ve done up and slipped away too.
    Jim Casada

  • Reply
    January 21, 2013 at 2:58 pm

    “Slippin’ off” is a reg’lar thing around here; sometimes I just get in the truck and go visit my gunsmith friend or hang out at the hardware store for a while. It doesn’t last long though for soon the cell ‘phone rings and I am obliged to explain my whereabouts and lack of attendance at home to The Mountaineer.
    Then there’s the opportunity each day to slip off to the mountains with y’all as I read the daily posts on The Blind Pig And The Acorn. I can’t say which is the better, slippin’ off physically, or mentally, but I DO say that I’m the better for all of it.

  • Reply
    January 21, 2013 at 2:03 pm

    Every once in awhile, I still need
    to slip off and gather things back
    in. And since I live in the Mountains, that’s the most comforting place I can think of.
    It always helps to clear one’s
    mind a bit. My oldest daughter is
    like me in that respect. When she
    was about 11 or 12, I’d notice her
    packin’ a lunch and slippin’ off
    with our dogs way up to our water
    reservoir. Sometimes one needs a
    little peace and quiet…Ken

  • Reply
    January 21, 2013 at 1:27 pm

    As a kid, I’d slip off across the field to the cousins. Mama would come get me and mostly threaten me not to do it again.Then one day, guess she had enough, and that time she brought a keen switch. Everytime I took a step she was switching my bare legs all the to the house. That was one whipping I’ve never forgot!

  • Reply
    January 21, 2013 at 1:16 pm

    I appreciate the nice comment by Ethelene. All the words were mine with the exception of “Geography of the heart”. I first heard this from a remarkable woman by the name of Mildred White Greear in an email she sent when we were discussing a poem by Byron Herbert Reece. I added the word “vague” to the phrase so to say “That vague geography of the heart.” I think there was an author by the name of Fenton wrote a book named Geography of the heart. At any rate I just wanted to clear that up.

  • Reply
    Lisa Snuggs
    January 21, 2013 at 1:12 pm

    One of my sisters “slipped off” from school one day, only to meet car-to-car with our daddy in the neighborhood. She feared the worst from him as he flagged her down, put his car in park, got out, and signaled for her to do the same. Then, he simply told her to trade cars with him so he could take that one in for an oil change. It was never spoken of again. She was busted and she knew it, and she was a lot more careful about slipping off in the future.

  • Reply
    Sue Crane
    January 21, 2013 at 11:23 am

    I slipped off — I got switched with a keen “with” of hickory — I didn’t learn — I kept doing it!!!

  • Reply
    Canned Quilter
    January 21, 2013 at 11:21 am

    I have been known to slip off from time to time : ) Just remember to turn off the cell phone because as soon as the kids realize you’re gone they start calling every other minute. They just want to know what you are doin : /

  • Reply
    January 21, 2013 at 10:29 am

    Much like the ability to sleep with the head up and eyes open…I see that a lot, and try it myself once in a while. If you move once in a while, no one ever knows.

  • Reply
    Garland Davis
    January 21, 2013 at 9:29 am

    The older I get the more often I ‘slip off’ in my mind back to my Navy days; a beautiful evening at sea with the sun reaching toward the horizon, the white clouds floating above,and the flying fish playing in the bluest water you will ever see.

  • Reply
    January 21, 2013 at 9:14 am

    When the girls were young, I had to slip off when I was going to an appointment or somewhere they couldn’t go. Their daddy had to do some heavy entertaining in another room as I slipped out the back door. Those trips didn’t happen very often.
    When Dolly Parton was being interviewed by a talk show host, she was asked her secret for staying married so long. She said, “when we argue, I just slip off and go somewhere…like California.”

  • Reply
    January 21, 2013 at 9:08 am

    In times past, I used to love to “get away from it all.” It was fun to slip off. I would drive around to yard sales, eat Moonpies and drink RC Cola for lunch…just let the world go by. With maturity (actually old stodginess) I rarely do this. Unfortunately, I now have concern about high gas prices or car breakdowns in remote areas.
    Sometimes, accompanied by a grandchild, we will slip off into some exciting adventure and eat Pizza on the river bank or throw snowballs at each other. That inner child is still there! Slipping off is fun, Tipper.

  • Reply
    Ethelene Dyer Jones
    January 21, 2013 at 9:00 am

    My friend Bradley has penned two incredibly wise and penetrating–hence memorable quotations in his excellent comment on “Slipping Off.”
    He wrote: “I learned to lose myself in the vague geography of the heart.” How rich! How aptly stated! That’s a keeper! So is his: “Good memories compensate for the lonesome.” With due credit to Bradley–and to Tipper for posting “Slipping Off” today, I offer this:
    Slipping Off*
    The mind has abilities
    far beyond the body.
    Confined to be present
    in one place
    The body is hampered by
    limitations of time and space.
    Untethered, the mind soars
    inward, outward, upward,
    Wherever “the vague geography
    of the heart”** travels,
    Where “good memories compensate
    for the lonesome”**
    And where just-occurring thoughts
    weave a tapestry
    For present and future viewing.
    -Ethelene Dyer Jones
    [*Title used by Tipper Pressley for Blind Pig & Acorn Post 01/21/2013.
    **Written by “Bradley” on post.]

  • Reply
    January 21, 2013 at 9:00 am

    Like you I don’t get much time to slip off, but I sure do enjoy it when I do! It seems I lead such a scheduled life that it is such a treat to have a day that I can just slip off by myself. It is nice to be able to get lost in a shopping trip or a walk in the woods without knowing someone is with you and hurrying you to get back to the routine. I have to do more of my slipping off now in my mind like Bradley. I plan on retiring in a few more years, and then I hopefully I can do more of the other slipping off.

  • Reply
    January 21, 2013 at 8:37 am

    Oh yes, as a child staying at my Granny and Papa’s, I slipped off to my cousins house, down the dirt road a piece,to play…without asking permission…Papa came looking for me and I ran from him….Big Mistake!
    I got a switching…lol. A lesson learned!

  • Reply
    Janet Smart
    January 21, 2013 at 8:31 am

    My husband’s accused me of slipping off before. It’s good to get away from it all and slip off every now and then. When my oldest son was around 2 or so, I couldn’t find him anywhere. I was getting a little scared to say the least when I got a phone call from our neighbors telling me where he was. Seems they’d been watching him (kinda keeping an eye on him)since they didn’t see us anywhere. They finally decided they’d better call us, since we had never showed up to get him, we must not have known he was there. He was down at our cornfield walking around, since he was so small we couldn’t see him. How he got down there without us knowing I’ll never know.

  • Reply
    Jane Bolden
    January 21, 2013 at 8:20 am

    When I was around four, I slipped off, and my mother was frantic. I was playing in the front yard when these teenage girls in these tight sweaters and big long skirts came walking down down the sidewalk.(50’s) The word word wasn’t in my vocabulary, but I was thinking “cool”. They were walking home from school talking and laughing. I followed them into a house and they started playing records and dancing and I thought “way cool”. They didn’t pay me much attention until the mother came in and asked about me. Needless to say she called my mother, and we were reunited. It was scary for my mother, but I loved every minute of it.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    January 21, 2013 at 7:56 am

    As a kid I would “sneak” off all the time. I did my time at the bitter end of a keen hickory for it.
    Now I have a haven I can go to when life’s pressures start to hiss. In fact I’m there right now!

  • Reply
    Tim Mc
    January 21, 2013 at 7:53 am

    Slip Off, is as Martha Stewart would say a “good thing”. I don’t get to do it as much as I once did, because of our situation, but when I am able it’s like therapy, it enables one to regather your thoughts and for a short time releases the stress, and anxiety.. shuuuu, I feel better already.. When I found the Pig it’s to me like reading the morning paper to some, which I don’t do, but for a short part of the day I can read and “slip off” in my mind to things I use to do or things I say or the music, just let’s you go some where else,, If you know what I mean…

  • Reply
    Barbara Woodall
    January 21, 2013 at 7:25 am

    Mama would say, “Ya’ll just try t’ slip off n’ I’ll slip after you with a dose of peach tree tea. I’d rather be sick that worried.”

  • Reply
    Sheryl Ormond Paul
    January 21, 2013 at 6:58 am

    Oh yes, I have “slipped off” many a time. A time to myself for silence and peace. Seldom available in a home with 3 children. Now that they are grown and gone I miss the reasons I had for “slipping off”.

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