Pap’s Advice of Being Your Ownself

sunshine behind clouds

Last week the girls uploaded a video of the old Merle Haggard song “The Way I Am.” The music portion of the video had actually been added to their channel back in 2016 the day before Pap died.

After I listened to Chatter talking about the day they sung the song in the greenhouse I wondered if I ever shared the video here on the Blind Pig. A quick search showed I did the song in August of 2016.

In the post I wrote I talked about Pap telling me “Be your ownself and don’t worry about what everybody else is doing or not doing” when I was a teenager.

In those days I struggled with being my ownself.

I’m thankful my girls always walked to the beat of their own drum and didn’t worry about what everyone else was doing or not doing.

Knowing the way you are makes it easier to live in this world and do the things you need to do even when you don’t want to do them.

I’ve been a Merle Haggard fan since I was a girl sneaking and listening to my older brother Steve’s tapes and records when he wasn’t home. Many a Merle song was the background music to mine and The Deer Hunter’s courting days. Although it’s hard for me to pick a favorite Merle song, “The Way I Am” is right up there at the top.

I hope you enjoyed the flash from the past. So many things come to mind as I watch the old video of the girls. Foremost is how different they look.

When they were babies growing into toddlers every once in a while Pap would tell me one was looking too much like the other. I felt that way when I watched the video—Chatter looked way too much like Chitter 🙂

Mostly I felt an overwhelming sense of gratefulness when I watched it.

Being blessed with two girls who can sing and play makes my heart beyond happy; I was blessed with a father like Pap who shared wisdom that still guides me today; and I am beyond blessed to be able to do what makes my living with a willing hand.


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  • Reply
    Lisa Miller
    October 11, 2021 at 9:08 pm

    Which is Chitter and which is Chatter?

    • Reply
      October 12, 2021 at 7:43 am

      Lisa-Corie is Chatter and Katie is Chitter 🙂 My niece gave them their nicknames when they were little.

  • Reply
    October 10, 2021 at 11:01 pm

    I saw the video on the girls YouTube channel and loved it! They sang it very well. Merle Haggard would’ve been proud. I was amazed I couldn’t tell the girls apart. I realize they are twins, but haven’t really seen them when they were younger since I’ve only been following y’all’s channels this year. The girls have both grown even more beautiful as young women with each being uniquely different, but still having love and passion for their family and Appalachian heritage. You and Matt have truly taught them well, just as both yours and Matt’s parents taught y’all well too. The old saying, the apples don’t fall far from the tree, definitely applies to y’all’s families. Your Pap gave you very wise advise and I’m thankful you heeded to his wisdom. You are indeed blessed! Thank you for sharing!

  • Reply
    October 10, 2021 at 8:03 pm

    An old man told me when a young teen, You are you and don’t try to be like John-Mike-or Henry. Just be you and don’t follow the crowd. Who knows they may wake up and follow you. You know right from wrong so just be you.

  • Reply
    October 10, 2021 at 5:05 pm

    Being yourself is the best advice. My daddy always said, be yourself and don’t try or pretend to be someone else. because that’s not who you are. Love who you are and everyone else will love you to.

  • Reply
    Allison B
    October 10, 2021 at 5:03 pm

    Love the post!

  • Reply
    Ann H Applegarth
    October 10, 2021 at 1:33 pm

    Your girls who are very much themselves are a blessing to all of us Blind Pig folks!

  • Reply
    Sara Stewart
    October 10, 2021 at 1:07 pm

    Thanks for sharing this beauty! Here in Canada, tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day, so from our home to yours, Happy Thanksgiving!

  • Reply
    Patricia Wilson
    October 10, 2021 at 1:06 pm

    You have indeed been blessed by the generations before you and the one after…exactly as God meant for families to work. Thank you for sharing a bit of that blessing with us, your readers.

  • Reply
    Donna Sue
    October 10, 2021 at 1:06 pm

    P.S. – I forgot to sign my name! The phone rang and I quickly signed off. It was a sales call, nothing important.

    Donna. : )

  • Reply
    Donna Sue
    October 10, 2021 at 1:02 pm

    Tipper, what you said in this blog post is so true – “Knowing the way you are makes it easier to live in this world and do the things you need to do even when you don’t want to do them”. I always knew what I loved, my passions in life, but when I was a teenager I felt so self-conscious that I doubted my own abilities. It took some hard times in my 20s and early 30s to prove to myself that I was capable to do anything I set my mind to. And I love my life now. I don’t feel I have to be like anyone else. And if someone doesn’t like me – that is sad, because I do like everyone – but I enjoy being myself enough that I don’t let it bother me anymore. Does that sound self-centered? What kind of friendship can you have if you act like “I am going to stay here and make you like me!”. There are many other people in the world to be friends with. There are so many people that share the same interests as you, and the internet makes finding a group of like minded people in your area so easy now. I am so glad I found your blog so long ago. You have increased my interests in many different subjects. I read, or hear, something on your blog or channels, and it is a springboard to me to research it, and most of the time, add whatever it is to my growing list of passions in life. I do have to applaud you – your daughters are awesome young adults! I love their wisdom! And they have such a fun and wonderful sense of humor! They keep me laughing. You have done an excellent job being a mother! And I enjoy the friendship you and I have developed – the internet does have it’s good points! Thank you for this post!

  • Reply
    Kat Swanson
    October 10, 2021 at 11:15 am

    I heard a saying long ago….BE YOURSELF…EVERY ONE ELSE IS ALREADY TAKEN
    I always had a strong sense of self, a confidence in my self that was founded by being smart at school and by being with elders that were witty , creative, talkative, honest, hard working, intelligent Appalachian people.
    The examples they set have helped me in so many ways . I try hard every day still to live up to their legacy . Even though our people went through poverty and many hard times, I always say I was blessed to be born Appalachian.

  • Reply
    Linda Logan
    October 10, 2021 at 10:15 am

    Just. Precious. How many times have I used that word, PRECIOUS, when commenting on a Tipper or Pressly Girls’ post? Ha! Warm. Inspiring. Nostalgic. Sweet. LOVE. … Precious.

  • Reply
    Sharon Cole
    October 10, 2021 at 9:55 am

    Tipper, you are blessed. You and your family have truly blessed me. My husband and I were watching the video of the girls singing and then one of you making the pumpkin bread. My husband is not a big fan of YouTube, but commented to me that y’all are real. That is why we watch!!! God bless.

  • Reply
    Don Byers
    October 10, 2021 at 9:35 am

    Good advice…..and I an a Hag fan too…….

  • Reply
    Larry Paul Eddings
    October 10, 2021 at 8:58 am

    Your father gave you some excellent advice. I want to thank you and your family for the things you share with us that are truly a blessing.

  • Reply
    Dennis M Morgan
    October 10, 2021 at 8:38 am

    Your posts on Sunday mornings are always extra special. The girls do a good job singing. It is interesting to see how they looked in the past. Your father gave you very good advice about being your self. Every teenager worries much to much about what other people think about them. I know I did. Checking your posts is one of the first things I do on Sunday morning. Thank you for what you do. Dennis Morgan

  • Reply
    Brad Byers
    October 10, 2021 at 8:32 am

    I left a comment on the girls’ post. I love the song, and they do a wonderful rendition. I’m so glad to learn that I’m not the only one who got these two beauties mixed up a little. When I first watched it I kept thinking “Did they switch instruments?” Now I get it. Bless you all.

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    October 10, 2021 at 8:18 am

    Amen. Your Dad was a wise man. (But you know that.) We each and all can only ever be who we are and within that try to be our best self. (And fail and fall and rise and try again.) I think I hear that message from Paul when he wrote, “by the grace of God I am what I am.” I reckon all of us BP&A readers are glad you are who you are. I sure am. I’m glad for a bunch of your commenters being who they are to.

    I had to laugh about your Dad saying the girls looked too much alike. I guess I have thought a dozen times I could tell them apart. Then something they do or say or you post puts me in doubt again. Anyway, I’m glad for them to. They help make this troubled world a better place.

  • Reply
    October 10, 2021 at 6:59 am

    You truely are blessed for such a family, and we the followers of your blog and YouTube videos are blessed for you endeavors.
    The Haggard song ” Rainbow Stew” is one of my favorites.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    October 10, 2021 at 6:40 am

    Like you are beyond proud of your girls, as their Grandmother I am way beyond proud too! Pap was such a wonderful teacher and role model to all of you, he didn’t just talk he lived what he said.
    I’ve had that same experience with looking at pictures of the girls when they were small and for a moment I wondered which was which!
    I also love to see your quiet and gentle way of guiding the girls…just like Pap gently guided you!

  • Reply
    John Hart
    October 10, 2021 at 6:28 am

    Any Merle song is good for me. This one is great. Try This is not the way I planned by Tom T Hall.
    Your girls are wonderful also.

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