Appalachia Holidays in Appalachia

Laboring with One’s Hands

Wagon at Folk School

Photo courtesy of JCCFS

Over the last few months I’ve relished my labor. That statement might sound sort of strange, but doing work by the sweat of my brow and knowing it all directly benefits my family gives me a really good feeling.

This past week The Deer Hunter had a few late nights of work after his regular day shift.

A friend offered to install heat and air in Chatter and her fiancé’s house for the cost of the equipment and The Deer Hunter pitched in to help him. Even though he was thoroughly exhausted after working day and night, he said it was a good tired. He knew he’d helped his daughter and our future son in law with something that would benefit them for years to come.

There is something so rewarding about using your hands, feet, back, and entire body along with your brain to get a job completed.

I’ve been blessed to know a lot of hard workers in my lifetime—men and women. Today my hats off to them all.

Enjoy your Labor Day and as Pap would say don’t bust your belly if you’re having a special meal.

Last night’s video offers a peek into our late summer life: My Life in Appalachia 16


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  • Reply
    Ronnie Westbrooks
    September 7, 2021 at 8:29 pm

    Where i grew up in Sugar Hill Ga. we called the fruit of the passion flower may pop. We would have battles with them when we were cleaning off the church cemetry

  • Reply
    September 6, 2021 at 11:53 am

    You know Tipper, as the ole saying goes hard work never hurt anybody. ( maybe a little hard work but alot of hard work might kill us) lol I know we have had to work hard all our lives. My husband is off today but still at hard work outside and myself to. Good Labor Day to you all. Bless you. Tell Granny, Gigi said hi.

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    September 6, 2021 at 11:48 am

    Tipper–The feeling is far better experienced in person than described in print, but Matt pretty well nails it when indicates that his weariness is a “good tired.” The quiet satisfaction, inner peace, and keen awareness of having worked diligently and productively has to rank high among the Appalachian traits I personally value most. I was raised, like you, in a family where no one was a stranger to diligent work, and on a personal level there’s almost a tangible degree of guilt whenever I haven’t put in a good day’s labor. It may take any of many forms, but the end result is always the same–one of accomplishment and understanding why what is often described as the “Protestant ethic” looms so large in many of our lives. The drive, indeed almost compulsion, to work is to me a good thing, and when it gives way to frolics and what the Scots describe as “festivaling,” that makes them all that much more enjoyable.

    Jim Casada

  • Reply
    September 6, 2021 at 10:23 am

    As always, I enjoyed your video!! Loved seeing it all, especially the view of the road and country side, Granny is always precious and music and singing was beautiful. My parents were worker bees and I try to be too. It is especially a good feeling when you can help your children by installing, building, or repairing something. I mow two acres and I do feel good that I can still do it.

  • Reply
    September 6, 2021 at 10:01 am

    ‘Hats off’ to YOU, Tipper, and your husband! And to all who do labor &/or have in the past

  • Reply
    September 6, 2021 at 9:49 am

    So grateful to have been taught to love work.

  • Reply
    Jeff Brewer
    September 6, 2021 at 9:09 am

    Dad will soon be 91 but he has plans for working every day. Whether splitting and stacking firewood with his homemade hydraulic splitter or tending his large vegetable gardens, he needs to accomplish something every day. He instilled this same work ethic in his children and hopefully it will pass to the grandchildren!

  • Reply
    September 6, 2021 at 9:03 am

    Daddy used to say hard work ain’t never killed nobody. Well, I don’t know if that’s true. My daughter said she would love to call and ask what I’m doing and have me say I’m kicked back watching TV. I’m always busy and like the Deer Hunter, I know that a good tired is so rewarding.

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    September 6, 2021 at 8:56 am

    I agree about the ‘good tired’, one where the tireness has its compensating match in being glad a job is done, done well and promises future blessings. Like your canning that captures a whole summer of labor in those multi-colored jars.

    I am not gifted like others I know and have known in working with my hands. I’m not inventive about things and ways to do. I’m not accomplished in many hand skills. Because of how I was raised, those lacks have always kinda haunted me. I think that is true for many men. I have been very slowly learning to have apostle Paul’s attitude that “by the grace of God I am what I am”. And learning to ‘cut others some slack’. I rather think there are very few people who are completely satisfied with themselves. If I ever met one I would be concerned about them.

  • Reply
    Margie G
    September 6, 2021 at 8:18 am

    Happy Labor Day to all BP&A readers and of course Tipper and her fam!!! It’s nice to hear an update on Chatter and her fiancé getting their home fixed up. I wish them much love and a lifetime of happiness! I have canned tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers this summer and my stash looks pretty! I’m proud of the work of my arthritic hands and put tomatoes in a chili I made last night for a trial tasting—- the tomatoes I made added the taste and flair I was hoping for!!! The cornbread ( TIPPERS RECIPE) has made me a household success with my Hubbie! I’m a worker and always doing. Here’s to all the workers living from the sweat of their brows!!! Gods blessings to all!

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    September 6, 2021 at 7:55 am

    Tip, every time I’ve been to your house this summer you’ve been hard at work and obviously enjoying it. I always notice the peace that surrounds you, I love it!

  • Reply
    Ray Presley
    September 6, 2021 at 7:35 am

    Nothing wrong and everything right about putting in a good, hard day’s of work, especially for family. Tipper, your Pap’s saying, “don’t bust your belly,” reminds me of my Mother who might remark when one of us picked up a couple of pounds, ” Yer getting a belly, ain’t ya” That often spurred me to cut back on the biscuits and to hold my gut in.

  • Reply
    September 6, 2021 at 7:29 am

    Hi Tipper,
    I know that good kind of tired feeling after a days work. We have 8 acres of mostly open land, 7 of which a local farmer plants crops in. We have an acre that has a veggie garden and several other gardens that we mow. It takes about 2 hours of me and my husband mowing, on two riding mowers to complete the job, 4 if I mow by myself. But what a good feeling after it’s completed. To see how nice everything looks.

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