Appalachia Blog

Blind Pig & The Acorn – 2016 In Review


Blind Pig and The Acorn 2016 in Review

I’ll always remember 2016 as the year I lost Pap and that makes me want to say it was a horrible terrible low down mean year, but I know that ain’t no where near the truth.

The truth is even though 2016 brought the loss of Pap to our family it also brought a multitude of blessings.

Every January I take a look back at what I’ve written during the course of the year. Looking back through the posts from 2016 gave me tangible proof that it was a good year indeed.

I’ve listed my favorite posts for each of the last 12 months below (if you want to revisit any of the posts-just click on the colored title of the post).


Oil Lamps in Appalachia

Oil Lamps is my favorite post for the first month of 2016. Since Granny and Pap grew up with oil lamps they each had a fondness for them and over the years Granny has collected more than a few. The post brings back a sweet memory of the girls, Granny, Pap, and me. If I listen hard enough it seems I can hear Pap and the girls beating around in the bathroom closest looking for a new lamp wick while Granny shouts out instructions from her chair as her fingers fly along crocheting.


Lonesome moonlight waltz

My favorite post from the month of February is Lonesome Moonlight Waltz. As I read back over the post I can see clearly that even if I didn’t admit it to myself, I knew Pap wasn’t long for this world. I still love listening to the song-amazed by Paul and Chitter’s talent and pleased they made it for Pap.


yellow bells forsythia in Appalachia

How would Spring of the year be the same without yellowbells? It wouldn’t! I love the post The Yellow Bells are in Bloom for it’s hopefulness. And I love this quote from the post: “I believe the bright yellow blooms of the bushes that continue to grow where people have long since stopped living carry forth part of the beauty and hope from the caring hands which planted them so many years ago.” Pretty deep uh? Sometimes I surprise myself.


Brush Arbor in Appalachia
We are still teasing Chitter about not knowing what a brush arbor is. I don’t think she’ll ever live that one down and that’s why my favorite post for March is Do You Know What a Brush Arbor is? Cause Chitter don’t!


donnick is old word for rock

I learned a new Appalachian word in May and I always get excited when that happens. He Threw a Donnick at me! is my favorite post for the merry month of May.



the pear trees homeplace brasstown nc

The Pear Trees is my favorite post from June. I’d been wanting to write the post for several years so I was happy to have finally gotten my thoughts down about the beautiful old home place. The weekend before Pap died The Deer Hunter, girls, and I spent the entire day hiking in the woods above the house-a good portion of that time we spent at The Pear Trees. The following day we visited Pap and told him about our travels and listened to him recount the lay of the land when he was a boy. I recorded him on my phone as he talked about the folks who still lived large in his mind even though they’d been gone for a good 60 years or more.


feeling fainty

Even though it seems crazy, my favorite post for July is Faintified – Feeling Fainty which was all about the girls getting their wisdom teeth cut out and Chitter scaring us to death by passing out. I think its my favorite because I’m still so very thankful its over.


My life in appalachia a normal appalachian family

Always mindful about showing the REAL Appalachia instead of the cardboard cut out that is so often shown Appalachia Through My Eyes – A Normal Appalachian Family is my favorite post for this month.


Use of the word put in appalachia
Put = Lots of Things in Appalachia is my favorite post for the month of September. The post is a wonderful example of word usage in Appalachia.


Traffic pulls to side of the road out of respect for the funeral procession
I loved the post Death Superstitions and Traditions in Appalachia because it highlights the longevity of traditions and folklore that are still being passed down in the mountains of Appalachia.


My life in appalachia helicopter pilots and little boys
Appalachia Through My Eyes – Helicopters and Boys is my favorite for the month of November. I just love the photo! I think its one of the best I’ve ever taken. The expression on the pilot’s face, the stance of the little boy with his hand in his pocket and his sunglasses pushed up on his hat just like a grown man makes my heart sing. Probably doesn’t hurt that I know the little boy-he’s a real stem winder as Pap would say. He’s also one of the cutest kids I have ever seen.


Spider Web Canyon composed by Katie Pressley in honor of her Grandfather Jerry 'Pap' Wilson

You could probably guess my favorite post for the month of December, it’s From Brasstown to Vermont and Back. I’m still awed, humbled, and immensely happy that Chitter composed Spider Web Canyon; that David Kaynor cared enough to learn it; and that the Vermont Fiddle Orchestra was willing to learn it. Sigh…a blessing indeed.

Drop back by in a few days and I’ll tell you what my hopes are for the Blind Pig and The Acorn in 2017.



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  • Reply
    January 4, 2017 at 9:39 pm

    I love this Blind Pig Family! Thank you, Tipper. for letting us share all this love you pour out! I love the baptizing picture especially. God is so good. You and your family are a treasure. I went to the library and tried to find the Zane Grey book The Last Wagon Train, but they didn’t have it. Spider Web Canyon and Ruby in the Kitchen are so very delightful.
    Cannot wait to see what wonders we will experience in 2017.

  • Reply
    January 4, 2017 at 5:23 pm

    I don’t know that there is ever a year when we could say “not much happened” but some years sure do have big milestones and 2016 was one of those years for a lot of folks, I think.
    My hat is off to you for choosing ONE favorite post per month – I have so many favorite Blind Pig posts, I would never be able to do it!

  • Reply
    Janis Sullivan (Jan)
    January 4, 2017 at 4:18 pm

    Tipper and family, thanks for being my new friends in 2016. I am so blessed and happy I found you. I am so happy to know there are other people like me with memories like me and love of Appalachia like me. You have greatly blessed my life. I hope yours is even more blessed in 2017. Jan

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    January 4, 2017 at 12:07 pm

    New Year, new beginnings, however it doesn’t keep memories from falling from our eyes! I however, have a different feeling about those falling memories. As long as one can continue on following their path in life, there is hope always. Stumbling blocks, set-backs and sadness are forever in our paths. With God’s help we will climb over them, rise-up from them and see the spark of happiness in our sadness that will heal the pain.
    Love your posts today as all of the past years, Tipper.

  • Reply
    January 4, 2017 at 12:03 pm

    Yes, Tipper, 2016 was a very special year!

  • Reply
    January 4, 2017 at 11:59 am

    Every day I get a blessing from your Posts, Thank You for that. Just yesterday I was playing lots of The Trio songs. I thought Chatter did a lot of the Harmony in all of them, and I also enjoyed Pap singing “Precious Memories” with Paul and Chatter coming in on the chorus. I look forward to reading the Blind Pig and the Acorn each day. …Ken

  • Reply
    January 4, 2017 at 11:14 am

    All very good post.. I guess 2016 was a Bitter Sweet year..

  • Reply
    Ethelene Dyer Jones
    January 4, 2017 at 11:11 am

    Loved, loved, your review of favorite 2016 posts, and glad your listed them so we can review them, too. May you keep writing the wonderful Blind Pig Appalachian teaching-learning posts in 2017, and this time next year we’ll expect the same favorites of the year! Best wishes. Yours is one of my favorite of all posts to access. I don’t always comment, but I nearly always visit!

  • Reply
    kay dallas
    January 4, 2017 at 10:30 am

    I too loved your 2016, but the 2015, 2014, 2013 and 2012 were good. Heck even the 2011 when you were trying new templates, were good. Really love you keeping alive my thoughts, my remembrance and my heart of Appalachia. Just love, wish there was another word as strong, hmmm

  • Reply
    Ron Banks
    January 4, 2017 at 10:17 am

    Your blog is like a good book that you don’t want to end. It has everything a good story needs. From being funny to being sad and everything in between. It is like looking at my own life and the people I know or have known. Appalachia is such a wonderful place full of wonderful stories and wonderful people like you and your family. Thank you for keeping our ways alive and for reminding us of the importance of our culture. It’s funny but it’s almost like you and your family are like the neighbors down the road that you love and care for. It just happens to be the electronic road and not the dusty roads of my youth.
    Thanks for all the hard work you put into this. It is a part of my day that I don’t want to miss.

  • Reply
    Dee Parks
    January 4, 2017 at 10:07 am

    It is never ever easy to lose a loved one but God is so good, he walks with you through everything. The wonderful memories of your father will always be with you and put a smile on your face or a tear in your eye. Enjoyed all your blogs and I remember when my parents came up to visit us one year about end of March our Forsythia was blooming. Mother looked out and said, “Oh, your Yellow Bells are blooming!” I had never heard them called that and I think they were also called February Bells in MS. It seems whenever I see an old Oil Lamp, it invokes a loving look to me. I remember many stories my mother told of reading by the old Oil Lamp. And oh, yes, the country creek baptismal pool brings back the time my mother and four of her seven sisters sneaked off one Sunday afternoon to cool off in a little creek not far from their house. They were very young and not supposed to be in the creek, plus the fact that they decided to baptize one who could not swim created a hilarious scene. Their screams brought an older brother to jump in with his Sunday best on to rescue one. Their mother got to the scene and seeing all were alive, promptly cut off some switches which were applied to the sisters legs as they headed for home. I’m sure your blog brings back these kind of memories to many of those who read and enjoy your blog. It’s a smile in our day.

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    January 4, 2017 at 10:03 am

    Taken as whole, those 12 amount to a well-rounded look at Appalachia today with one foot in old traditional folkways and one foot in the modern world. In an indirect way, the whole mirrors my own life and – I expect – the lives of many others.
    I’m glad I found your blog. Through it I have at the least acquaintances all over the country, each one of which I think has the potential to be a friend if we were ever to meet. I guess about all it would take to start is just to use the passwords “blind pig and the acorn”!

  • Reply
    January 4, 2017 at 8:56 am

    Tipper this was much like getting into a good book. I thought I always read faithfully, but actually found posts that were unfamiliar. That is a lot of writing for a busy lady, so thanks for starting my days.

  • Reply
    Steve in Tn
    January 4, 2017 at 8:40 am

    Nice. A good reminder of how much I enjoy your blog. Happy new year.

  • Reply
    Julie Hughes Moreno
    January 4, 2017 at 8:37 am

    Tipper, while you have walked the road of sadness and grief this past year, the Lord has given you hope and the ability you see all of your blessings too. That is a wonderful thing.

  • Reply
    Paulette Tonielli
    January 4, 2017 at 7:49 am

    Tipper, i remember each of these – and they are all good ones. I should comment more often that I read your blog every morning, and it’s a wonderful way to start the day. Thanks for writing!

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    January 4, 2017 at 7:01 am

    I don’t know whether to smile, cry, or laugh. It was a year!

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