Appalachia I Am From

I Am From The West Virginia Hills

Today’s guest poem was written by Carol Stuart.

From the west virgina hills


I AM FROM written by Carol Stuart

I am from kid curlers, and Ovaltine, and radio shows

I am from the West Virginia hills, beaten pathways and fragrant soil through my toes

I am from the tall hollyhocks, purple violets, bushy pink roses

I am from prayer before meals, and strong opinions, and Betsy and Bob and “Kennycotachee”

I am from homemade clothes, ironing the dish towels and eat everything on your plate generation, I heard “waste not, want not” and “Don’t talk back” and visits with family were our only vacation

I am from hymn sing nights and Bible school days, baptisms in the creek and church on Sundays

I am from the Scots and the English and the Cherokee; cornbread with onions and beans also homemade cottage cheese

My one Grandpa engineered roads, while the other walked daily miles in the hills and my Dad went to college after his time overseas

I am from photo covered tables, quilts from treasured scraps, lists of names and dates in the family Bible marking the measure of our days.


Loved Carol’s poem! Like Carol’s family, the only vacations we ever took was to visit family-and those were far and few between-but man how I looked forward to going.


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  • Reply
    Rev. RB
    August 16, 2013 at 11:06 pm

    These poems paint pictures for our minds, don’t they.
    I only remember taking one “vacation” when we were kids, and that was to visit some people who had been neighbors who’d moved to Sandusky, Ohio. Whoopee!!! But then driving even short distances with six kids in a car was often more of an adventure than most people would want – back then and still today. LOL
    God bless.

  • Reply
    August 14, 2013 at 10:46 am

    Ron-Fields of the Woods is in my county : ) It is an amazing place. I should write about it here on the Blind Pig someday : )
    Blind Pig The Acorn
    Celebrating and Preserving the
    Culture of Appalachia

  • Reply
    Mary B.
    August 14, 2013 at 8:10 am

    Girl, you know I can relate. I loved your poem. It brought back fond memories of our childhood together in our own special little world.

  • Reply
    Susie Swanson
    August 12, 2013 at 5:44 pm

    Beautiful poem. Thank you carol and thanks Tipper for posting. I can surely relate to it. Visiting family was a great vacation back then.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    August 12, 2013 at 1:39 pm

    I can relate to most of what Carol speaks of although we never had Ovaltine or Grandpas. Both of mine were gone before any of us were born. My father never saw any of his grandchildren. I had to break the tradition. I have the two best grandsons the world has ever seen.

  • Reply
    Peggy Lambert
    August 12, 2013 at 1:14 pm

    Great poem and great comments.
    Peggy Lambert

  • Reply
    Julie Hughes
    August 12, 2013 at 12:04 pm

    Carol, thanks so much for your poem. I was baptised in a creek also. I remember the water seemed really cold.

  • Reply
    August 12, 2013 at 11:43 am

    Thank you dear Carol. This poem is so much like my own upbringing–somewhat like my present life, as I hung on to the best parts. With numerous extended family, I learned how to play rough growing up. We always had that Ovaltine, and I tried it later and wondered why I once drank it. I always said my entire social life was spent going to wakes and funerals. I remember one vacation to N.C. to visit family. It seemed normal at the time, and seems to have left me with an acceptance of death. Feeling soil through my toes left me with one almost severed toe. These are our memories, Carol, and I love Tipper for giving us the opportunity to express them!

  • Reply
    Gina S
    August 12, 2013 at 11:26 am

    Words fail to describe how deeply these poems touch me. Thank you, Tipper.

  • Reply
    Eva Nell Mull Wike, Ph.D.
    August 12, 2013 at 11:14 am

    Carol: Your words are so meaningful and familiar. The only thing special we got to do was stop hoeing the corn by the 4th of July. Then we got to go to Lake Chatuge (Clay County, NC) and cool off a bit. None of us knew how to swim so Daddy had his work cut out for him – keeping an eye on six or eight of his eleven children! He was a mighty fine father!
    Eva Nell

  • Reply
    August 12, 2013 at 10:05 am

    Carol, your poem sounds too familiar and I loved it. We also ate everything on our plate. Seems we never got bored with beans, taters and cornbread. Our summer “getaway” meant taking a watermelon, a knife and a salt shaker to the Breaks Interstate Park and finding a wide place along the road to have a picnic.

  • Reply
    Ron Banks
    August 12, 2013 at 9:30 am

    Loved the poem, and we never had a vacation either. Being out of school for the summer was considered a vacation to me. I remember going to Lafayette Ga to see dad’s aunt and spending the night there which was very strange since I had never slept anywhere but our home. I remember dad taking us to Cherokee, NC on a day trip to see the “Indians”. And we went to a place called Field of the Woods once. It had the Ten Commandments written out on the side of a hill. It was a religious themed place out in the middle of nowhere.

  • Reply
    August 12, 2013 at 8:57 am

    I really enjoyed Carol Stewart’s
    poem and it seemed as if she was
    my neighbor, here in the beautiful
    mountains of Western North Carolina.
    The deep commitment of Faith,
    Family, and Religion are what most
    of the folks of Appalachia are all

  • Reply
    August 12, 2013 at 8:43 am

    I loved the poem; you really did a great job of giving a picture using words. Okay, whose feet are romping through the field of soil?

  • Reply
    Susan Cook
    August 12, 2013 at 8:05 am

    I have been listening to Pap and Paul this am. So enjoy them. I grew up (in Michigan) listening to this music. It is so comforting to me. Thanks to the men for doing it.

  • Reply
    Janet Smart
    August 12, 2013 at 7:25 am

    Hi Carol, loved your poem. I, too, am from the West Virginia Hills. How I remember the huge pot of pinto beans served with cornbread and fried potatoes. It was made almost weekly. We still cook them, but not as often.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    August 12, 2013 at 7:15 am

    Family stand out large in Carol’s poem. All the things in her poem have a familiar feel to it.
    Thanks for the memories, Carol.

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    August 12, 2013 at 7:07 am

    Beautiful, our vacations did not exist until I was in JR high school, day trips to visit family every Sunday though and they were great times to visit and play with the cousins.

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