Appalachia Overheard



I’m an eavesdropper. Ever since I was a kid I loved to listen to snippets of conversation and let my imagination run wild with the phrases I hear.

Sometimes we get hung up on the major milestones of life, but the older I get I see clearly the things that matter most are the day to day rhythms of life, things like: getting the kids up for school every day, tucking them in every night; drinking coffee every morning, sitting down to supper every evening; planting the garden each year, laying the garden to rest every fall; the anticipation of the Thanksgiving Christmas season each year, and the relief January brings once the celebrations are all over.

I was thinking about those small details of life the other day as I simultaneously thought of a few snippets of conversation I recently overheard. Then I got a brilliant idea-at least it seemed like it was brilliant at the time-who knows if it really is.

I’m forever eager to share real life in Appalachia with the world at large through the Blind Pig & the Acorn. So my brilliant idea is to share the interesting snippets of conversation I overhear as part of a new blog series titled: Overheard.

I would never share something embarrassing or harmful-but sharing the interesting things I overhear would be a recorded history of real life conversations taking place in Southern Appalachia in this day and time.

Only time will tell if my idea is worthwhile or not-but just in case it might be-stick around for future posts from the series Overheard.


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  • Reply
    Rev. RB
    October 13, 2013 at 7:13 pm

    I’m a people watcher (and listener), have loved doing both since I was a small child, but back then, I was often loudly repeating what I’d overheard, sometimes getting adults into trouble with other adults for gossiping.
    More than once back then, I heard the phrase, “Little pitchers have big ears” and the conversation would suddenly turn to whispers or stop altogether. Have you ever heard that phrase? LOL
    Am looking forward to the new “Overheard” series.
    God bless.

  • Reply
    Paula Rhodarmer
    September 19, 2013 at 6:37 pm

    Just enjoy your blog so much! Those thoughts about every-day life and its beauty resonate with me.

  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    September 19, 2013 at 12:16 pm

    I think “overheard” is a nice topic for every reader of the Blind Pig.
    This morning I was listening to our local radio station, WKRK on cable channel 25 and overheard a familiar person speaking. It was Paul Wilson (your brother) and he’s the Principal at Martin’s Creek. He announced a Car Show at his school’s parking lot on October 12th. A lady from the Cherokee County School system was with him making other announcements. But after Paul
    finished, Bill Younce (the radio
    announcer) shared warm memories of
    Pap too…Ken

  • Reply
    Gina S
    September 19, 2013 at 12:05 pm

    ‘The rhythms of life,’ what a beautiful phrase. I’ve been guilty of overhearing bits of conversation then coming to my own conclusion. Looking forward to your overheard blogs.

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    September 19, 2013 at 10:56 am

    I love this idea! It is better, for the most part, to overhear before making presumptions…which this word is a no no in itself…
    For instance, I was sitting in the parking lot of a local grocery store one evening waiting on the better half. Two cars pulled in in front of ours. A young man got out of one, the woman the other. He gave her money! They both looked worn and tired, sortof like they both walked out of a meth lab! He was dirty and scruffy. My mind went into overdrive. Until he said, “Here, you go get the groceries, and I’ll go pick up the kids, it was so hot out on that road today, I just hate to go in!” She had on some sort of restuarant uniform, stained with food of the day…They kissed and he said, “I’ll see you at home for supper!”…..Well, I could have slapped my own face! I usually never prejudge, mostly, but I learned myownself a little lesson that evening.
    There is so much bad news, drug news war news etc., etc. we forget that there are hard working young folks out there just honestly trying to live and make it raising their children the best that they can with love!
    Thanks Tipper,
    PS…Don’t forget to post the good stuff…you know my imagination runs wild with ideas!

  • Reply
    Sue Crane
    September 19, 2013 at 10:30 am

    okay Tipper, I’m listening……

  • Reply
    norma downing
    September 19, 2013 at 9:46 am

    Tipper…Once again you have touched a chord in our hearts of what is most important in this life…ordinary yet extra ordinary phrases, happenings that give our daily lives it’s color, it’s memories that “stick” in our minds to bring a smile.
    This world today and the news, the harsh sounds of city life for most of us jar our senses with reverberating clashes…Having your snippets of Appalachian life to look forward to is,indeed, a treasure.
    Anne -LA

  • Reply
    September 19, 2013 at 9:35 am

    That’s an interesting idea, however, you might want to add – you didn’t hear it from me – just in case. It should be fun to read some overhearings in Appalachia. Who knows – they might change some ways of life and routines.

  • Reply
    September 19, 2013 at 9:13 am

    I love those snippets that enlighten or gives us a change of heart. Like: You know that old grouch that I always thought was so calloused, well I overheard some of the guys at work talking about how he always will buy cookies from the Girl Scouts even though they say he has had diabetes for years. I guess he has a side we didn’t know – maybe we should. He doesn’t say much but, you know, I guess his actions speak loudest.
    These snippets are the kind that always take my time the most.

  • Reply
    Sheryl P aul
    September 19, 2013 at 8:44 am

    Can’t wait to read them, I think it will be fascinating.

  • Reply
    steve in Tn
    September 19, 2013 at 8:32 am

    I like your idea. Life flies by and if we don’t stop and listen, we will miss it. I too am trying to remember to enjoy the small things that once were routine tasks. Music is a big part of that. I am now enjoying old songs I learned and then passed over as they became familiar.

  • Reply
    September 19, 2013 at 8:30 am

    Fantastic Idea – when I was a child we lived “far out in the country” so I seldom saw much of the day to day life in other families. As we drove home from Wednesday night choir practice or Sunday night services I would see glimpses of families through their windows and imagine what they were talking about, what led up to that moment, and what might follow that brief glimpse into their life.
    Other imaginings came from the snippets I tuned into as I played under the church ladies’ quilting frames or in the back of the pick-up as Dad jawed with the men at the Co-Op. I wasn’t allowed to ask questions about most of what I heard (children should be seen, not heard) but my imagination took flight.
    You might imagine what wild concoctions stormed my mind when I heard things like “iron lung” and “taking her bed” – learning what they really meant was quite shocking and, I must say, disappointing. The childish adventures I fantasized were certainly more exciting. On the other hand I knew all too well the meaning of “serious dry spell” and “patching things up” – – or thought I did. That’s how I came to learn about metaphorical speech.
    It will be interesting to see how you approach “Overheard”. How much context you will give and how much you will leave to the imagination.
    Isn’t there a phrase, “glimpses of truth”? Seems I heard that in a sermon somewhere – – I look forward to reading the glimpses of truth you will offer. Just hope my imagination doesn’t take me too far afield.

  • Reply
    Ron Banks
    September 19, 2013 at 8:12 am

    Tipper, That sounds very interesting… I await in anticipation!

  • Reply
    Tony Maynard
    September 19, 2013 at 7:55 am

    Great idea Tipper! Looking forward to it!

  • Reply
    Eva Nell Mull Wike, Ph.D.
    September 19, 2013 at 7:47 am

    Well, Tipper, I do believe it is time to focus on such down to earth topics as you have mentioned today! The ‘news’ now days is so discouraging it makes me want to STOP listening.
    A heart-warming experience I just had yesterday was to take a beautiful stone with an engraved note on it reading “POLLY My best Friend 2005-2013 J.C.W.” to our grandson. His bird had died and we wanted to share in his sadness. I feel he will never forget our gesture!
    Eva Nell

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    September 19, 2013 at 7:18 am

    Tipper, that’s a good idea! You are absolutely right, life is in the every day living. I love the routines and traditions.
    Snippets make very good food for thought. I can’t wait to see what treasures you find in ordinary everyday conversation.

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