Appalachia

Mountains Held up for us to Behold

mountain scene

This time of the year my eyes are awed by the mountains of Appalachia. Their green covered slopes reach out to me like loving arms.

When I suddenly notice the mountains are fully clothed in their new garment of green I’m always reminded of a quote I read in a Foxfire Magazine from way back in 1988.

“Down in the flat country, what is there to see? Here in the mountains the world is held up for us to behold.”

—Willie Stewart

After the barren look of winter the verdant mountains certainly do look like someone has suddenly held up great pieces of fabric for us to behold.

When we were kids Paul and I would bunch up one of Granny’s quilts in the floor over a couple of her couch cushions. We made roads through the mountains and valleys of fabric for our toy cars to travel along.

As I look back I realize, at that age, neither of us had ever thought of a land where there were no mountains to traverse. The only way we knew how to build roads was to make them go up and down like the ones we traveled on in the backseat of Pap and Granny’s car.

Tipper

Appalachian Cooking Class details

Come cook with me!

MOUNTAIN FLAVORS – TRADITIONAL APPALACHIAN COOKING
Location: John C. Campbell Folk School – Brasstown, NC
Date: Sunday, June 23 – Saturday, June 29, 2019
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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15 Comments

  • Reply
    Gigi
    May 22, 2019 at 5:29 pm

    I love our Mountains the valleys. The leaves on the trees whisper and talk. I love the sound and quietness, the peace. Beautiful!! God made it all.

  • Reply
    Mary Lou McKillip
    May 18, 2019 at 3:01 pm

    Some scientist claim that melting of glaciers moved and formed the mountains but do you believe that(not for one minute) God made these mountains streams which I caught trout and fried them Johnny on the spot. Oh how I long for the mountains rocks and Valley if pure joy for me

  • Reply
    Mary Lou McKillip
    May 18, 2019 at 2:42 pm

    Tipper, How I enjoyed their comments about the mountains I never thought of those mountains how they put on their finery years after years (when the sap rising and fall) I for one I guess never knew I would miss those mountains until I was taken to Texas. Every place that God made has its beauty but the mountains are God’s Beauty Masterpiece He every created.

  • Reply
    aw griff
    May 17, 2019 at 9:37 am

    Love those beautiful blue ridge mountains. The high places on the blue ridge parkway always gives me a special high and I can sit forever on a lofty perch looking over to distant mt. tops and valleys. They are refreshing to the soul.

  • Reply
    Shirl
    May 17, 2019 at 9:31 am

    The mountains back home are such a huge part of my childhood memories. Many picnics of potted meat sandwiches and a Mason jar of Kool Aid were enjoyed in the hills as my cousin and I looked for caves to explore. There is an old saying that folks from eastern KY always have one leg that is shorter than the other, caused from climbing mountains. When I think about that saying, I realize we did climb the hills while turning our body sideways for secure footing.
    The roads we traveled were similar to yours, except we never had a backseat to ride in. Daddy always drove a truck and never thought twice about driving everywhere with a truck bed full of kids.

  • Reply
    Tmc
    May 17, 2019 at 8:50 am

    We both love the Mountains, I remember years ago when my Brother and Sister-in-Law took a trip to the Smoky Mountains, our Niece was only about 3 or 4, and as they were driving along one afternoon enjoying the scenery the road got pretty windy for a while and you could only see thick vegetation out both sides of the car, then all of a sudden from the back seat yelled “Timmy” ( her Father) get me out of these Butchies ( Bushes ) they both laughed so hard their sides ached.

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    May 17, 2019 at 8:29 am

    I recall you posting some time back about the relief of seeing the mountains after having been to the coast. I know for myself I like the feeling of being enfolded in the hills. I did some checking on the map once and figured out I liked open valleys about one-half mile wide with a view of the surrounding hills. One of my favorite places when I was a boy was No Business Creek valley in Scott County, TN. At that time there were fields that were just reverting to woods but still allowed distant views. It was really like a canyon because there was a more or less continuous rock rim. Now that valley is in the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area and I expect is all grown up.

    • Reply
      aw griff
      May 17, 2019 at 10:07 am

      Ron, while my Dad was living we would take a canoe on a cart over the mountain to the big south fork river. This was on the Ky. side of the national recreation area. When we made it to the bottom there was hardly a flat spot to camp. The hills came right to the edge of the river. This might be a bad place if a person has claustrophobia. A beautiful place with huge boulders in the river and fast water in spots and good fishing.
      Yeah, no doubt your beautiful view is grown up.

  • Reply
    Pinnacle/creek
    May 17, 2019 at 8:14 am

    In my opinion there is nothing quite as spectacular as the mountains unfolding as far as the eye can see. Dad, in his humble way, put it better than anybody when he said, “When you live in a city or where it is flat, you can only see what is around you.” ” In the mountains you can see everywhere!” I always felt bad for my younger sister, as she felt trapped by the mountains. At every opportunity she would head for the beach. I think she made peace with these mountains before she died, and enjoyed the feeling of protection and safety they provided. She chose her final resting place in our mountains her family loved.
    I enjoyed your story of bunching up a quilt on the floor. Our favorite rainy day fun was a blanket or sheet thrown across Mom’s ironing board on the long porch. We would play for hours running into the rain and rescuing each other from the storm. The ironing board became our cabin in the woods. With no IPad or cell phone to distract, we were left with only our imagination to decide our rainy day adventure. I recently picked up a friend of my grandson, and he sat the entire trip staring and fiddling with his cell phone–What will his memories be?
    Boredom after dark never happened, as we could imagine UFOs landing on far off mountains where we could barely see a twinkling light. Tipper, you always remind me of those wondrous days when we didn’t plan days, but Appalachia offered quite enough to keep us happily occupied.

  • Reply
    Sherry
    May 17, 2019 at 8:03 am

    I love your post this morning. I grew up in those mountains. Being surrounded by such majesty made me feel secure. I realized that when we moved to the flatlands of Florida. I never knew there was so much sky.Tipper, your writing caught me up in those beautiful mountains this sunny Florida morning. Thank you. 🙂

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    May 17, 2019 at 7:49 am

    There is Majesty is these mountains and I love them in the spring when they display their new green dresses I also love them in the winter when they stand bare and tall against the cold. Sometimes when driving down the road i look up and am completely awed by the beauty!
    Sanford, Long of Tooth usually means it’s an older horse.

  • Reply
    Ed Karshner
    May 17, 2019 at 7:31 am

    I went home yesterday to go to the dentist (yes, I drive 6 hours round trip for my teeth…this may be the only place where that makes sense). Anyway, we don’t have mountains but we have the prettiest hills. The Hocking Hills are “holding up the world” and it is beautiful there.

    It felt good to be home and have lunch with my parents. The lay of the land is good for my health.

  • Reply
    Susan Jones
    May 17, 2019 at 7:27 am

    A friend and I were gazing at the near-full moon last night and pondering why, after almost 60 years of looking at it, we were still mesmerized. Like the mountains, the good Lord put it there for us to behold.

    Thanks for today’s post, Tipper. I love the image of y’all driving toy cars on your quilt mountains. Precious!

  • Reply
    Sanford McKinney
    May 17, 2019 at 6:32 am

    Tipper,
    This is completely off today’s subject, but I was thinking about words and phrases. Did you ever hear someone
    refer to a horse as being “Long in the tooth?” Horse traders used to look in a horse’s mouth to determine, apparently by the length of their teeth, if the horse was older than they were being led to believe.

    • Reply
      Tipper
      May 17, 2019 at 6:45 am

      Sanford-I have heard that saying! And one time I had a horse that had to have his teeth floated 🙂 which basically means his teeth were too long and they had to be filed down!

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