Lamp Lighting Time

chatter alex katie

Our minds takes us all back to different moments in time. Happy times, sorrowful times, bittersweet times-doesn’t matter which-at some point they call to us.

Lately my mind has fallen back to the days when Chatter and Chitter were small. Back to the days of wearing pantyhose on their head with their friend.



When I was an overwhelmed stay at home mom of 2 rambunctious girls who never for one moment stopped their busyness or their talking, I sometimes longed for the day they would grow up and give me some peace. One day when I was having a particularly hard day, Pap said “If all I had to do was stay home with 2 little jewels-I’d never complain.” Pap was right. Those days spent with my little jewels were without a doubt the best days of my life.

chitter and chatter Snaggle_tooth


I suppose my mind has chosen to wander back to those days due to the ever increasing speed with which the girls are hurtling themselves towards adulthood. I recall thinking middle school was eons away-now I’m realizing high school will be here in the blink of an eye.



Gone are the days of wanting to be the best mud pie makers in the south. Those dreams have been replaced by wondering who might ask them to the winter formal this year. I wish I could pinpoint the exact moment the change took place-but I can’t because it’s so gradual you don’t even notice. That’s how our mind works. Not remembering changes that link together like water in a stream-but drawing us back to times and events that stand out like beacons calling to us from the past.

I have an absolute jewel (to borrow Pap’s word) for this week’s Pickin’ & Grinnin’ In The Kitchen Spot. It’s Lamp Lighting Time In The Valley a beautiful song that talks about going back to a place in time.

I hope you enjoyed the great old song and the outstanding 2-part harmony. Leave me a comment and tell me what your mind has been drawing you back to lately.


How time flies! When I wrote the post above I was worried about Chatter and Chitter entering middle school…now they’re headed for college in the fall. Earlier this Spring Ben graduated from Yale and Mark just completed his second year at Yale.


This post was originally published here on the Blind Pig way back in August 2008. The high school graduation hoopla of the last few weeks brought it to mind.

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  • Reply
    Granny Norma
    June 23, 2014 at 2:27 am

    Thank you, Tipper. This is a tender, sad song and brings a tear to my eye. Happily, that tear is balanced by the smile when I start to go down the rabbit hole. Whenever I visit your blog, I find myself clicking on the links at the bottom of articles. Traveling back and forth in time, sometimes re-reading stories I’ve read before, I find woven in and out through so many adventures and reflections your strong love for Chatter & Chitter. It is easy to see why you are so very proud of them. They are blessed with beauty, intelligence, and talent. The Lord has been generous. Oh yes, they must be funny too. How do I know? Because I see them making shines in the photographs you post. I haven’t the slightest doubt that they will be be very successful in their university education. And I hope they have a lot of fun while they’re at it!

  • Reply
    June 22, 2014 at 11:47 pm

    My mind has been going so often lately to the realization that I am in the Autumn of my life. I lived so much of my life entertaining my childlike spirit at as many opportunities as life allowed me, and it was grand.
    But lately, delayed aches and pains from a changing body have slowed me down, and though I’ve had difficulty admitting it, I can no longer do all the things I once did, and those I can still do, I can’t do as quickly or easily.
    It’s left me with many thoughts, memories really, of days gone by, things I feel I must share with family, so that they get remembered and passed on, so they don’t get forgotten entirely.
    Such is life, and I am blessed that whatever comes next, I am prepared for because I love my God and when He calls me, I will go without worry or fear, only with a bit of sorrow for those left behind that I love so dearly, that I pray one day, I will see again.
    Deep I know, but you asked for it Tipper, and that’s what’s been on my mind lately. LOL
    I wonder what’s been on the minds of everyone else.
    God bless.

  • Reply
    June 22, 2014 at 11:28 pm

    This post has surely got the wheels of my mind turning, thinking about so many long-ago times. Kids grow up so fast, in the blink of an eye. Before you know it, your daughters will be in careers of their own. I hope they live in the moment and soak up the whole college experience. These four years will also sail by. Pap is amazing as usual!

  • Reply
    June 22, 2014 at 1:44 pm

    Thank you for that beautiful song. I am drawn more and more to those mountains. Getting RV road ready and Lord willing…will head for those sweet mountains. Your girls are such a blessing not only to you, but to all of us. Thank you, Lord.

  • Reply
    James Smithson
    June 22, 2014 at 11:53 am

    The music is so good!!!! I look forward to visiting here each day. My Mom was from Western NC and moved to E TN later. This reminds me of those times in the mtns.

  • Reply
    Annette Casada Hensley
    June 22, 2014 at 11:17 am

    Love the song, the picking’, and the harmony. Just returned to Michigan from a brief trip to WNC. I can’t think of home without remembering the youthful peace and joy of sitting in a rocking chair on the front porch of the house in Bryson City and singing to the hills. The view from this porch overlooks the river valley and the downtown area with the Smoky Mountains as the backdrop. What a beautiful sight! Mom and Dad had two rocking chairs on this porch. By the time I was a teenager, I had literally rocked the back portion of the rocking shafts off the chairs!

  • Reply
    Barb Wright
    June 22, 2014 at 11:07 am

    Great post! Time surely does fly..our little ones are now in their 30’s,and our oldest grandchild enters 7th grade this fall. I remember my father-in-law telling me when I turned around a couple times and blinked the kids would be grown. At the time I thought “no way!”,but he was right. The cd would be nice,hubby plays banjo,and we always look for new music.

  • Reply
    Gina S
    June 22, 2014 at 10:31 am

    My mind often wanders back to my grandmother and aunts sitting around the kitchen table down on the farm. Their voices drifted to me as I crouched in a corner or under the table. I wish I could return with a recorder to save their voices, recipes, and family tales.

  • Reply
    C. Ron Perry, Sr.
    June 22, 2014 at 9:14 am

    They grow so fast. The older we get the faster time goes.

  • Reply
    Ken Ryan
    June 22, 2014 at 9:12 am

    Very often, I remember of the milestones of my young’un as she grew up, and I’m always amazed at how quickly it all happened. Sometimes I’d like to do it all over again. Thanks for starting my Sunday morning off with such a great song.

  • Reply
    June 22, 2014 at 9:12 am

    Thanks for sharing your sweet memories. Anniversaries and celebrations tend to do that to us – bring out the warm, the bittersweet, and the anticipation of what’s to come.
    June 25 – that date alone sets the memories to whirling. My mother and one of my granddaughters share that birth date.
    Memories of Mom singing in church, greeting her 1st graders at the grocery store, making potato chips for the first time as a treat for Dad’s lunch out in the field (we would picnic with him once or twice a week during the summers), reading the mail with news of family and friends at the dinner table,taking off on her walks (long ones – into town and back!) and almost running in the door to tell us the news she and her friends chatted about as they walked, beaming as she welcomed each grandchild and just as enthusiastically (perhaps more-so) welcoming each great-grandchild; smiling (or trying to smile) from her bed with each hospitalization and stroke, straining to express herself yet smiling as her mind and mouth cooperate less and less. Mom will be 92 on June 25th.
    Then there’s ‘little’ Liz, who, even at birth had the biggest eyes which gaze at everything with the wonder and curiosity unique to a child; who rode the black rocking horse, Mariah, for hours decked out in a straw hat she’d decorated with flowers, gloves, dress up heels, and (of course) a pink boa; who at two and 1/2 was already 3 ft tall (it was always easy to pick her out of her day-care and school line – still is), who the day she turned 4 woke me up early in the morning shaking my arm with “gwanma!! – do I look fo-war?” as those great big eyes beamed with excitement, who at three was putting such detail in her artwork that we think surely she will follow in her mother’s footsteps; then suddenly, after so many other little milestones she’s a 6 year old girl who wants a frog of her own, takes her toy cell phone apart and demands that her electrical engineer daddy tell her how to make it into a real one, talks her great-grandpa out of some of his store of copper wire so she can make a radio with her mother (they succeed), and emphatically and authoritatively tells her friend “you’re just jumping – you can’t fly, your dolly can’t fly, if you see someone flying on the TV or at the theater they’re just being swung around by ropes in front of a green screen – only fairies can really fly!!” She will be 7 on June 25th.
    You’ve opened the floodgates, Tipper, to a a lifetime of memories. This is just a peak through the knothole.

  • Reply
    Darlene Debty Kimsey
    June 22, 2014 at 9:08 am

    I would love to win the CD so I can have part of your family with me at all times 🙂 I have one CD that actually has Gail singing on it and it’s one of my dearest treasures. I’m so sentimental about the people I grew up with. I look forward to reading your posts each day. It takes me home.

  • Reply
    Bob and Inez Jones
    June 22, 2014 at 9:05 am

    Tipper- Time marches on! I recall vividly a few years back (probably 19 or 20) of how I longed for a granddaughter as I had 3 grandsons already.I wanted to buy frilly girlie things! Finally a wee lovely granddaughter 18 years ago is born. This week has been a flurry of tears, smiles, parties and all sorts of celebrations as this beautiful young lady graduated from high school and is already preparing to go to university this fall. We thank God for the gift of this baby girl and as with Chitter and Chatter, we pray God’s guidance as they step out into a different world than they have been used to. Congratulations Graduates, we love you! Bob and Inez Jones

  • Reply
    June 22, 2014 at 8:54 am

    There are so many nostalgia times in one’s life and it is the trigger that starts them. Sometimes its just the birth of a baby, maybe the knitting of a new blanket for a friend or relative, coming across pictures of times spent together, getting through the rough times,etc. Yes, off to the time of independence where adulthood begins on its own. God bless your girls in college. Love the singing!

  • Reply
    Patty Howe
    June 22, 2014 at 8:48 am

    I love watching and listening to y’alls music. I enjoy it a lot.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    June 22, 2014 at 8:36 am

    It’s hard to believe that those precious little girls are grown now. It seems that as long as they were in high school I could look on them as kids. Now they are going to college. I have to find some way to see them as women….young women, that’s the best I can do.
    The song is beautiful! Pap has the sweetest voice in the world. His voice is a perfect reflection of who he is.

  • Reply
    Mike McLain
    June 22, 2014 at 8:05 am

    Time flies. A pastor at our previous church once observed, “Life is like a roll of toilet paper. The closer you get to the end, the faster it goes!”. In my retirement years now, I realize how true his observation was.

  • Reply
    Louise Grenell
    June 22, 2014 at 7:53 am

    I had a great aunt that used to say “you can’t wrap kids in cotton and you can’t put a rock on their head”.
    She meant you can’t keep them from harm and keep them from growing up. I have thought of that a lot as I have watched my two grow tall and move away from me. I know now how my mother felt as she watched her kids move so far away from home.
    The music is so heartfelt and special. Would love to win!

  • Reply
    Garry Ballard
    June 22, 2014 at 5:01 am

    I would to love to win that but postage to Australia would be more than the cd costs originally. I love to hear your posts from way across the world, where it’s daylight there and night time here, summer there and winter here. They loose my imagination and let it roam all over the world. My wife and I have just been watching videos of our seven children when they were young and it just seems like yesterday. They’re all married now and have seventeen children of their own between them now.

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