Appalachia Appalachia Through My Eyes

Appalachia Through My Eyes – Spoiled With Love

My life in appalachia spoiled with love

A few weeks ago I ran into a lady I hadn’t seen in ages and we got to talking about what was going on in our lives. As we finished talking, she said she better git, she was going to babysit and didn’t want to be late. She said she enjoyed staying with the little one, but he was awful spoiled. Then she said, “Oh don’t get me wrong I love that baby to death-but I was spoiled with love not with getting my way.”

Spoiled with Love. I’ve had that thought on my mind since the very minute the lady said it. Most of the time spoiled has a negative connotation to it. If someone is spoiled they are hard to be around-if something is spoiled it needs to be discarded. My friend taught me to use the word in a new way: Spoiled with love. The expression so fits how I was raised-and I believe it fits how we’re raising our girls. Spoiled with love but taught to respect, to work, to help, and to be grateful.

This past week the girls were spoiled with love by an amazing group of people. Due to the generosity of an anonymous donor, Chatter and Chitter got to participate in the John C. Campbell Folk School’s Dance Musicians Week.

Throwing 2 talkative teenage girls in the midst of a group of older musicians might not be some folks idea of fun-especially folks who’ve paid good money to be in the class. But the other students treated Chatter and Chitter so great!!! They interacted with them as equals-they looked out for them-and taught them more than I could ever tell you about.

The same can be said of the 4 Instructors: David, Naomi, Sue, and Peter. Not only did they teach the girls an unbelievable amount of material in one week-they poured out a boat load of confidence on the girls and made sure they had fun to boot.

Each night of Dance Musicians week the folk school holds a contra dance. It’s a great feature of the week on two fronts: all those student dance musicians have dancers to play for and the community gets to hear what they’ve been learning while dancing up a storm.

It’s hard to find words to express the joy the class brought to the girls, and to me as well. At some point in every night of dancing I’d find myself teary eyed as I watched a fantastic community of people shower my children with love.

By the end of the week, I was feeling downright silly as I tried to hide my tear rimmed eyes. I thought to myself “good grief you need to get a grip!” But as I slipped outside and looked at the distant mountains dressed in their green dress of summer with the sound of music and dancing feet in my ears I realized I was spoiled too. Spoiled with love from family and friends (including you!); spoiled with being born into these Appalachian Mountains I call home.


If you’d like to see some of what the girls learned, put your waltzing shoes on and go here.


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


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  • Reply
    Rev. RB
    July 21, 2013 at 8:12 pm

    What a lovely phrase: Spoiled with love! Not to be confused with “spoiled – getting one’s way”. Easy to understand indeed! I pray some parents raising children see this.
    God bless.

  • Reply
    grandpa Ken
    July 20, 2013 at 7:19 am

    Amen to that, Love is not about always getting their every whim.
    grandpa Ken

  • Reply
    July 19, 2013 at 10:07 am

    believe me, those girls brighten up every place they go! i know how much a provilege it was for all of us, musicians, dancers and bysanders alike, just to have them there!

  • Reply
    July 18, 2013 at 11:01 pm

    Such Blessings! Thank you, as always, for sharing a slice 🙂

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    July 18, 2013 at 9:24 pm

    It’s not until you watch your grandchildren grow that you really know what kind of a parent you been. The things you pass on to your offspring are wasted if they don’t pass it on to theirs. Hopefully your children have a good bit longer to learn from their parents and to digest what they have learned. What they learn from outside sources will be sorted using paths and processes you programmed into them long ago. I’m feeling a bit philosophical about now. Can you tell?

  • Reply
    July 18, 2013 at 5:31 pm

    Have not heard of spoiled by love but think it’s great. How wonderful for the girls to have been accepted in the music group.Know you must be so proud of them.

  • Reply
    July 18, 2013 at 3:39 pm

    That shy little girl inside you
    just happen to let loose on this
    one. And we’re SO proud of you!

  • Reply
    lynn legge
    July 18, 2013 at 1:39 pm

    aww tipper.. you are just a wonderful mom and proud of your girls.. and thankful for others kindness.. im so glad that they got to experience such a fun and educational experience.. i hope you are keeping cool.. we are having such a heat wave here.. in pa
    sending big ladybug hugs

  • Reply
    July 18, 2013 at 1:26 pm

    Spoiled with love. Such a beautiful thought, especially for the girls. That’s why I love being in the NC foothills. There is so much love and care. Your family is so blessed to have that kind of life. The girls are just wonderful and talented!

  • Reply
    July 18, 2013 at 12:03 pm

    Congradulations to Carol on winning
    the Sugar Scrub.
    I have the utmost respect to Chitter
    and Chatter relating to older folks
    and doing their part to help with
    the band. We enjoy Spoiling all the
    Blind Pig Family with Love…Ken

  • Reply
    July 18, 2013 at 12:01 pm

    Wow Tipper, what a great post! I have to admit that I got a little teary eyed reading it and the responses of the other BP readers. I am so proud that I am Appalachian and have been spoiled with love!

  • Reply
    July 18, 2013 at 9:31 am

    Oh Tipper,
    they sounded so good. I love that kind of music and listen to it often. Spoiled with love, that’s the best gift we can give anyone, especially those dear to us.
    enjoy this great day,

  • Reply
    Gina S
    July 18, 2013 at 9:21 am

    Spoiled with love, what a great concept. I loved the smile that swept across the face of each girl. Their joy in the music came alive in their faces.

  • Reply
    Carol Stuart
    July 18, 2013 at 9:13 am

    I am pleased as Punch to be receiving the sugar scrub! Thank you so much. Loved today’s blog….”spoiled with love” is the only way to go.

  • Reply
    July 18, 2013 at 9:04 am

    I agree with Sheryl Paul – you can’t be spoilt by love. And still – “spoiled by love” has a nice ring to it. Knowing that folks around you care enough to be constantly attentive to your needs – your real needs, not your “I want. . . .” needs is wonderfully life affirming.
    Thank you for caring enough to share some “spoiling” with us your readers and listeners.

  • Reply
    steve in Tn
    July 18, 2013 at 8:46 am

    Nice post. Most of us are spoiled with love and need to be reminded. Life goes by without our noticing if we don’t stop and acknowledge the good stuff.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    July 18, 2013 at 7:54 am

    Come on now! Don’t forget where you come from! Them girl ain’t spoiled, they’re spoilt. And deservedly so!

  • Reply
    July 18, 2013 at 7:53 am

    Well Tipper all I can say is your family is very blessed and spoiled in love—–

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    July 18, 2013 at 7:28 am

    AWESOME, that is my word for today!
    The music is awesome, as are the girls and their mother, and their father. Yes, spoiled with love.
    Tipper I am so pleased and proud that you are the mother of my only grandchildren. You have taught me some things about love that I’ve never seen before.
    It’s awesome that Chitter and Chatter got to attend Music Dance Week again this year. I love how they are enfolded into the loving embrace of the teachers there.
    They are very special girls and they have had ‘Special’ demonstrated to them every day of their lives by you and the Deer Hunter.

  • Reply
    Uncle Al
    July 18, 2013 at 7:23 am

    Truth be told, I’d say we, your readers/listeners are the ones that are spoiled. For reading and listening as you and your family share the love of the mountains and the music, history and just plain good times. Included in the beginnings of most of my days is a visit with you and yours. As you say, being spoiled isn’t so bad.

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    July 18, 2013 at 7:14 am

    I like this phrase, although I have always been told you cannot spoil some one by loving them.

  • Reply
    B. ruth
    July 18, 2013 at 7:12 am

    Great post…I must remember spoiled with love. What a wonderful gift of love!
    Thanks Tipper,

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