Appalachia Music Pap

Lonesome Moonlight Waltz

Lonesome Moonlight Waltz

Chitter – ETSU Appalachian Conference 2015

Back before Christmas Paul helped Chitter record the old Bill Monroe song Lonesome Moonlight Waltz for Pap’s special Christmas DVD. I asked her where she learned the song fully expecting her to say she learned it at the John C. Campbell Folk School since that’s where she’s learned most of her fiddle tunes.

Chitter surprised me by telling me she learned it from Youtube.

I said “What you just stumbled across it and decided to learn it?” She surprised me again by saying “No. I’ve heard that song all my life.” I said “Well I don’t know where I was at when you were hearing it.”

I’m feeling like a waltz today so I thought of the song and decided to share it for my weekly Pickin’ and Grinnin’ in the Kitchen Spot.

Many of you have been asking after Pap. He is doing pretty good. If you asked him yourself he’d give you his usual answer of very well. I think answering someone’s inquiry about how you’re doing with very well may be an Appalachian thing. Sort of like saying you’re doing as well as common when someone asks. He sometimes says that too.

How is Pap really doing? I guess you’d say it’s complicated. He has had a few very very good days since his week long stay in the hospital. He’s had a few not so good ones too.

In typical Pap fashion he says he’s going to Praise the Lord for His mercy in giving him a pain free day even if it’s his last one.

Years ago when Papaw Wade (Pap’s father) received the news that there were several suspicious spots on his lungs he politely, but forcefully, said no thank you to the various treatments the doctors could have started. He never even let them look further than seeing the spots.

Papaw Wade went around to every house in the holler and said his goodbyes. Then he went home to wait until death received him. He seen all of us again during his sickness-seen us many times over, but somehow it was important for him to visit each abode and say farewell before going home for the last time.

By no means does Pap have Papaw Wade’s readiness to meet his maker, but he has decided he’ll just ride out the rest of his travels here on earth at home. No more hospitals, no more procedures. Unlike Papaw Wade, Pap still feels like getting out and about every now and again. Just this week him and Granny took off gallivanting over to Blairsville GA. I worried about them every second they were gone like they were 2 teenagers let out into the world for the first time.

A great group of palliative care folks have been checking on Pap a few times a week to make sure he’s comfortable and has every thing he needs. The changes made to his medicines while he was in the hospital seems to have made a real difference in his overall situation and we’re all so very grateful for that.

It was 3:00 a.m. one morning this week when Granny called saying I better come. Oh Pap was in a bad way when I arrived breathless from running down the hill in the dark of the night. I used all the tools we’ve been supplied with by the Palliative care team…seemingly to no avail.

Pap wrestled with that horrible pain till I felt so helpless. I doctored I paced I called the nurses and along with Granny I helped Pap stand upright which is the only position he seems to get relief from.

By nearly daylight Steve and Paul came and they held Pap upright in front of the heater so he could warm. Finally that horrible pain finally began to recede back into the darkness where it belongs.

Between then and now he’s had all good days with no pain and high spirits. As Pap says this heart business will keep you guessing.

I love the video above because Paul and Chitter sound good! But mostly I love it for the same reason Pap does: the way Paul handles the arch top with such ease and the way Chitter looks so cute in her glasses making her silly faces with her hair all piled on her head like a small girl from a storybook.



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  • Reply
    February 22, 2016 at 8:13 am

    That is absolutely beautiful!

  • Reply
    James Smithson
    February 22, 2016 at 5:45 am

    The road you are traveling is one I travel also. My wife Sherry has terminal cancer and Hospice is helping. The last time she was seen by her doctor they told her she had only months left. Pain is a constant companion. It’s very hard to watch a love one fight with cancer. Sherry is a mountain girl from West Virginia and she has a lot of fight left in her. We laugh and we dance. We live one day at a time and cherish every day to the fullest. I feel like I know yawl as well as I know anyone from reading BPATA.

  • Reply
    Velva-Tomatoes on the Vine
    February 21, 2016 at 7:33 pm

    This was a beautiful waltz. Chitter did an amazing job.

  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    February 21, 2016 at 3:59 pm

    Chitter and Paul do an excellent job on that song, and I just love the confidence Chitter shows during and at the end of the song. Both Chitter and Chatter are such beautiful girls, and when they smile and those gorgeous, thick eyebrows make the world stop turning for just a jiffy.
    My prayers continually go up for Pap and I hope he rests better. Thanks for keeping us informed. We all think you’re Something Special! …Ken

  • Reply
    Kenneth Ryan
    February 21, 2016 at 3:17 pm

    Wow! That was great playing. Hang in there Pap. Everything’s gonna be ok.

  • Reply
    February 21, 2016 at 2:30 pm

    Thanks so much for the tune, which made me feel I was sitting there with them.
    I can just hear my Mother saying “very well”, when asked how she was doing. I always took it to mean “pretty good”, or best expected. Her mother did the same- the inflection on ‘very’. Once when Mamma was describing how her paternal grandmother liked to fix-up to go to town, I asked how she looked in those days. She said, “Oh, very well”, which I interpreted as presentable as best she could.
    I will continue to pray for you all, as Pap keeps on inspiring with his wonderful outlook.

  • Reply
    February 21, 2016 at 1:30 pm

    What a nice way to spend a Sunday afternoon! Paul and Chitter are awesome as usual. We have been keeping Pap and the whole BP Gang in our thoughts and prayers. Wishing Pap lots more good days and happiness!

  • Reply
    Phyllis S
    February 21, 2016 at 12:19 pm

    Once again, special music to start my day. Loved the
    hauntingly beautiful tune. Good thoughts sent for
    your family.

  • Reply
    February 21, 2016 at 11:29 am

    My doctor said that every medication available has some type of poison in it. While it solves a problem in one area it damages something else. I usually say, “Fine as a frog hair.” When questioned about it I explain that frog hairs are so fine they can’t be seen. Sometimes I’m ‘as fine as a frog hair split four ways’. I’m praying Your dad will be able to live on many years without pain or that if that’s not God’s will that God will send two of His most gentle angels for him.

  • Reply
    February 21, 2016 at 11:27 am

    Gosh, I just felt like I had my dancing shoes on as I practiced my waltzing across the kitchen while planning dinner for tonight. The music was just spectacular! In addition, Pap sounds a bit like my dad. He was almost ninety when the good Lord called him to do his work in heaven. Prayer was all he wanted, so for your dad I will send him a daily prayer that his pain will not be too intense and that his meds give him some relief and help to continue what brings him joy and peace. God bless!

  • Reply
    Sue Crane
    February 21, 2016 at 11:12 am

    the music is lovely! But, God Bless Pap for his wisdom and faith. So sorry to hear of his pain and discomfort. All of you are in my prayers. Hold close to one another and give each other strength. Please tell Granny that she is especially in my prayers as I can empathize with how much this pains her as well.

  • Reply
    February 21, 2016 at 9:43 am

    Very nice fiddle song. Looks like the “kitchen spot” was in the den. Sorry to hear about Pap’s tussle with the medical problems. Hope the palliative care is more of a curative nature, and he has a lot more gallivanting days ahead.

  • Reply
    David Wilson
    February 21, 2016 at 9:29 am

    Keeping Pap and your family in our prayers.

  • Reply
    February 21, 2016 at 9:22 am

    When the video first started, I wondered who the girl with the fiddle was. She looks thinner and I had never seen pictures of her wearing glasses. Behind the glasses and hair all piled on her head is still the beautiful and talented Chitter. Pap sounds like my daddy who said hospitals will stress you to death and all that medicine in your body ain’t no ‘count. Still praying for Pap every day.

  • Reply
    Richard Beauchamp
    February 21, 2016 at 9:13 am

    that girl is cute with or without glasses !!

  • Reply
    February 21, 2016 at 9:06 am

    Prayers for your dear Pap, Tipper. Your family’s strength and love will do more to help Pap than anything.
    I can relate to the feelings of helplessness, as I spent many years trying to stay ready for my parents’ unpredictable bouts of illness. Sometimes prayer was all that carried us through. I learned to keep all the small things caught up so I could handle the big matters without distraction. On the bright side, I’m still caring for a mother the docs gave up on year’s ago.
    Please take care of yourself also…so many count on you including your Blind Pig reader. God Bless!

  • Reply
    February 21, 2016 at 8:59 am

    5 things that keep me coming back to the Blind Pig
    1) Good Music
    2) Good Stories
    3) Good information and ideas
    4) Admiration for a strong expansive family
    5) The best loving reality show around of what a real family is through all their joys and challenges.
    You are all held in my thoughts and prayers as you support Pap and each other through this journey.

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    February 21, 2016 at 8:49 am

    Your Dad sounds much like mine. He to reached a point, after being paralyzed 25 years, when he said, “Enough!” I don’t know for sure whether he convinced my Mom or she just went along unconvinced. I have reason to believe it was the latter. I recognize the ‘very well’ also. Your Dad is probably one of those who sees no good reason to impose his troubles on someone else. That’s how I am anyway.
    I know where you all are, not fully but in large measure. I can’t express it. I simply ask for the needed grace and peace for you all for these difficult days.
    As my Dad used to say, your Dad is ‘much of a man.’ He had no higher praise.

  • Reply
    Ed Karshner
    February 21, 2016 at 8:37 am

    I think it was John Wayne who said something to the effect that getting old isn’t for cowards. Your Pap sure doesn’t sound like one. He is in my family’s prayers as are you and your family.
    I’ve been wanting to say how much my kids and I have enjoyed your family’s music. My daughter (5 years old) loves your girls playing Spotted Pony. We listen to it on YouTube daily. She wanted to listen to it in the car, so I bought another version off Amazon. We listened to it and Alex said “No Daddy, not that one. The one with the girls.” I said “it’s the same song.” She said “No. I like the one where the girls laugh at the end.” So, they need to get a cd out before Alex has a fit.
    Will you be at the Appalachian Studies Conference thus year?

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    February 21, 2016 at 8:34 am

    Tipper–That song’s as lonesome and mournful as a grey, cloudy day, but Chitter’s periodic smiles bring brightness and joy. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
    Thanks for the update on Jerry. His statement that he’s doing “very well” and your comments associated with his health brings back memories of how my Grandpa Joe and Uncle Hall would respond when asked how they were doing.
    Grandpa would say “fit enough, I reckon,” or if arthritis was bothering him something to the effect of “I’ve got a tetch of the miseries but they’ll go away soon enough.”
    Uncle Hall, on the other hand, rather than saying he was “out and about,” would say he was “so as to be about.” Grandpa sometimes used that phrase as well.
    You’ve got to love Jerry’s cheerful attitude and your comment about worrying when he and the missus ventured off on an outing tickled me pink.
    Jim Casada

  • Reply
    February 21, 2016 at 8:32 am

    “he says he’s going to Praise the Lord for His mercy in giving him a pain free day even if it’s his last one” Now that’s inspiration, and I’m grateful for it. Please tell Pap a creaky woman in Massachusetts said, “Thank you very much.”
    And Tipper, I wish I could give you a big hug.
    Keeping you all in my thoughts every day.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    February 21, 2016 at 7:54 am

    Fine job by Paul and Chitter! That was a sweet little smile we got at the end.
    Pap has lived his whole life with conscious integrity just like Papaw Wade did, holding to their truth. When it’s time to go they do that the same way.

  • Reply
    February 21, 2016 at 7:20 am

    Mighty good on the song, so sorry to hear about Pap.. We will pray for strength and guidance, to help during this time..

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