Appalachia

Checking on Daffodils

 

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I recently had to go to a weekend conference for the Folk School. Since I was going to be working on the weekend I got to take a day off during the week.

Of course I had a blue million things I needed to do.

After taking Granny to a doctor’s appointment I sat down at my computer to get some things done.

Chitter came in and said “You know what? It’s a really pretty day we should go up the creek.” I said “Well I’d really like to but I’ve got so much to do.”

A little while later Chitter came back saying “You know if we set a time limit for ourselves then we’ll only be gone a small amount of time.”

Even though I knew I should stay home and work I said okay and we headed up the creek.

It was a glorious day! As you can see from the video at the top of this page Stamey Creek was rolling! All the rain we’ve had has increased the speed and size of the creek. You can really hearing it roaring through the holler.

Chitter had a specific place in mind that she wanted to search for rocks. When we got there she got right in the creek and started looking.

I realized we were close to Pap’s Grandpa Wilson’s old homeplace and knew I had to go check on the daffodils.

daffodils mark old home sites

The house they lived in burnt down either just before Pap was born or shortly after. They moved closer down to where we live after the fire.

If you poke around you can see remnants of old detritus from the house. We’ve also found old jars and bottles near the area. But its always the daffodils that speak to me.

They make me think of my Great Aunt Mary Jo and Aunt Francis and their brothers Frank and Wayne. There were others in their family, but those are the ones that come to mind when I see the daffodils. I also think of their mother Carrie and wonder if she planted them or if they were already there when her family moved in.

old spring in woods

Just beyond the daffodils is the spring Pap used for our gravity water system when I was a child. I suppose Grandpa Wilson used it for his family too.

I failed to tell Chitter I was going to wander off and she was worried about me. She’d been yelling but the creek was so loud I couldn’t hear a thing. She finally called my cell phone which struck me as very funny somehow 🙂

view of trees overhead

Once  I made my way back to the creek and Chitter, I laid on the leaves beside the rushing water and stared into the tree tops. As I lay there and let my mind wander I decided Chitter’s idea of going up the creek was a really good one.

Tipper

canning jars full of food

Come cook with me!

MOUNTAIN FLAVORS – TRADITIONAL APPALACHIAN COOKING
Location: John C. Campbell Folk School – Brasstown, NC
Date: Sunday, August 23 – Saturday, August 29, 2020
Instructors: Carolyn Anderson, Tipper Pressley

Experience the traditional Appalachian method of cooking, putting up, and preserving the bounty from nature’s garden. Receive hands-on training to make and process a variety of jellies, jams, and pickles for winter eating. You’ll also learn the importance of dessert in Appalachian culture and discover how to easily make the fanciest of traditional cakes. Completing this week of cultural foods, a day of bread making will produce biscuits and cornbread. All levels welcome.

Along with all that goodness Carolyn and I have planned a couple of field trips to allow students to see how local folks produce food for their families. The Folk School offers scholarships you can go here to find out more about them. For the rest of the class details go here.

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12 Comments

  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    March 3, 2020 at 8:02 pm

    Tipper,
    When daddy would get in from work, he’d usually take us boys fishin’ up the Nantahala River. We’d pass by Piercy Creek, knowing it would be dark by the time we got to where the Specks were. Besides, there was Falls about 20 feet high, so it was better to come thru the Mountains from the Topton side. (and a whole lot closer)

    One time Daddy took me and Harold Sang Hunting with him. He picked up a stick and showed us how not to get lost by tapping on the trunk of trees. Harold was better at Gensing Hunting than I was, but was no match for Daddy. He could spot that stuff better than anyone I ever knew. I suppose he had lots of practice, growing up before the Great Depression hit.

    I could throw Flies much farther than Daddy, but he caught just as many as we did. Anyway he was Comical too, one time he met a person from Fla. That fellow was in Misery. He called our Daddy out of the river and asked him how to get rid of those pesky gnats. Well, he climed the banks and said “here, put your hands in my fishbag and rub that stuff on your neck and head. Works for me.” A little while later, me, Harold, and John saw this fellow and he asked if we had seen a little man with a blue Stetson Hat on, that he was gonna whop him. We didn’t know what he was talking about, but he had met our daddy. …Ken

  • Reply
    Jackie
    March 3, 2020 at 9:54 am

    I remember my mother always wanted to stop and listen any time we passed a stream tumbling over rocks. I guess that was a peaceful sound for her. I am always looking to see signs of fish in the water.

  • Reply
    Dee
    March 3, 2020 at 9:54 am

    Sounds like a wonderful “break.” And you were wise to take that little break any time to make a memory with your daughter.
    There is a little meandering creek near where I live named “Yellow Breeches” which finally reaches the Susquehanna near Harrisburg, PA., and flows on down to the Chesapeake. I have driven over to it and just sat and watched the sun reflecting off like tiny diamonds or the water ripples as they cascade off rocks. It is my refreshment spot. You used to see kids wading in shallow parts, but now in the summer you see it covered up with people kayaking down and it looks like they are having a wonderful time.

    • Reply
      Frank
      March 3, 2020 at 7:38 pm

      Oh, yeah…that’s over there by Shepardstown… Wow, it’s been ages since I’ve been out that way…went to the Civil War Museum in Harrisburg and the National Clock Museum down in Columbia…

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    March 3, 2020 at 9:10 am

    You know we all should set aside time to do nothing but see, smell, hear, taste and touch the nature around us. To leave the artificial existence we have created for ourselves and experience the world God made expressly for us. It can be very hard to do. Not the finding time to do it but the strength to leave it and come back.

  • Reply
    Shirl
    March 3, 2020 at 9:00 am

    When I came home yesterday, I noticed the daffodils are blooming on the old graveyard across the lane. It’s way too early! It must be warmer in Stamey Creek than it is here in Cox’s Creek. You laid on leaves and Chitter got in the water while I’ve been indoors snuggled up with my heated throw.

  • Reply
    PinnacleCreek
    March 3, 2020 at 8:52 am

    So very glad you went to Stamey Creek, so we could see these lovely pictures. They stir beautiful memories inside me of a place called Sherrod Branch. Most of the time it was just a branch one could wade, but after a lot of rain it would turn into a roaring creek. There was not a steep enough slope to make it a full blown water fall. The work you needed to do will always be there, Tipper, but those memories with your lovely daughter will be there forever.

    I will probably make a total mess of what I am trying to express, but here goes anyway. When a child is exposed to all this beauty of nature, it gives them a depth they will never be able to achieve out in a world that can sometimes be uncaring. Many times when I had deep thoughts and problems to work out I would seek solace parked beside a river or waterfall, and this kept me grounded me in a way that seemed to simplify the problem. It renewed the inner spirit, and took me away from the daily cares. The problem became easy to solve when I compared it to the great scheme of things. I carry a lawn chair in the car to use now since its difficult to get up when I try to sit on the ground 🙂

  • Reply
    Charline
    March 3, 2020 at 8:38 am

    What a wonderful respite!

  • Reply
    Ann Applegarth
    March 3, 2020 at 8:38 am

    You made the right decision, Tipper! Such an outing is IMPORTANT WORK!
    And your sharing it with us makes is even more so! Thank you!

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    March 3, 2020 at 8:31 am

    Good for you and Chitter. You made a priceless day. You are blessed your grown daughter would come get uo to go “up rhe creek”. Btw, I suppose you were without a paddle? 🙂

    My Mom usually wanted to go flower gathering on those sunny spring days. We would all pile in the pickup or the old Jeep truck and go to old house places on the Daniel Boone National Forest. Over the years she brought in various kinds of flowers. Back in those days, I don’t recall ever seeing any daffodils but the plain yellow kind.

    I saw my first violet here the other day. We have several patches of daffodils to. But taken altogether what I grow the most of is moss.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    March 3, 2020 at 7:00 am

    There is nothing like water, or better, moving water, to sooth the soul! I go stand by my creek and just listen and feel the water rushing by. I’ve always loved the water whether it’s ocean, creek, lake, or bathtub. I love to lay in a bathtub of hot water and read a good book.
    I’m so glad to hear that you let your soul go out and play!

  • Reply
    tmc
    March 3, 2020 at 5:28 am

    Nothing like a little walk in the woods for a little therapy session.

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