Appalachia Granny Pap Seasons

Spring in Brasstown

spring-of-the-year-in-Appalachia

Spring has surely arrived in Brasstown. I know there’ll be a few more cold spells before the heat of summer arrives to stay, but Spring is abounding every where you look in Wilson Holler and on down through the settlement of Brasstown.

Apple-blooms-in-Brasstown

There’s more fruit trees than you count in full bloom, including my own two apple trees.

Texas-Rose

Granny’s yellow rose is a riot of color spilling over onto her back porch and into the yard.

daffodils-speak-of-the-past

The second flush of later blooming daffodils are shining their cheery faces all around and birds are singing a new song of glory.

Spring is a symbol for new birth. The whole world seems to come alive anew each spring. But if one looks closely they can see the past trying its best to push right along side the rebirth of nature.

I see it in the clumps of daffodils growing in seemingly odd places like by roadsides and deep in the woods. They shout a calling from those who once called the area home and planted them in hopes of a brighter future.

One clump between here and Granny’s tells of my own past.

I remember it like it was yesterday although it was well over fifteen years ago.

It all started with me wishing we could pave our steep driveway. Somewhere along the discussion The Deer Hunter explained to me if we paved it we could never hope to enlarge our small yard because heavy equipment would tear the road up.

Before I knew it we’d decided to forgo the paved driveway in favor of a larger yard. A larger yard would mean a place for the girls to have a swing set, to ride bikes, and more importantly a place to grow a garden.

For days I tried to dig up every flower I had and move them into the woods between here and Pap’s so that the grading wouldn’t kill them and I could move them back once the job was completed.

With my moving job nearly done, Pap had one of his spells that caused me to make a mad dash to the VA Hospital in Asheville in the middle of the night.

It was a hairy ride with Pap dealing with great pain and me trying to hurry without killing us in the process.

I remember afterwards Uncle Henry said “You shouldn’t have taken him that far. You should have taken him to Murphy Medical.” I said “If I had he’d still be there with them trying to figure out what was wrong with him.”

The VA diagnosed Pap with an infected pancreas, gave him medicine by IV, and some meds to take home, and by 3:00 a.m. we were on our way back to Brasstown.

I’ve never in my life been so sleepy as I was that night. I pinched my leg all the way through Nantahala Gorge trying to keep myself awake. I gave up the fight in Marble and pulled over leaving Pap to drive the rest of the way home. When I told The Deer Hunter he said “My Lord I think I would have drove the rest of the way if I’d made it that far.” But I couldn’t have driven one more mile without closing my eyes.

As you might imagine I went straight to bed when I got home. I slept like the dead until The Deer Hunter woke me up to tell me they were almost finished grading out the yard. I couldn’t believe the progress they made while I slept inside the house.

Every year when Spring makes its entrance in Brasstown I notice the daffodils in the woods that I somehow missed when I retrieved my other flowers all those years ago and I think of the goodness of life. The greening of the mountains, flowers blooming, bees buzzing, birds tweeting, Granny, Pap, The Deer Hunter, and the little girls Chatter and Chitter once were.

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
    Aaron Patterson
    April 16, 2019 at 7:49 pm

    There is a dark and shady hollow a couple miles out from “downtown” Sharon and there must be couple hundred buckeye trees in bloom. Most are red blooms but a few are creamy white. I guess they must like shade because it’s mighty shady down there.

  • Reply
    Quinn
    April 16, 2019 at 3:24 pm

    What a story! I’m glad you and Pap made it home safe that night, and you must have been done in to sleep through a grader outside your house!
    Here is was just a whisper above freezing when I got up this morning, but yesterday I saw the first tiny edges of violet leaves breaking through the earth to join the hyacinth and tulip bulbs that are slowly putting up leaves. A couple of warm days in a row and everything will be rushing into green, I think.
    Oh, and I also have a Kerria japonica, though I’ve never heard it called a yellow rose – or anything at all, actually. It was here when I bought the place, and I only found out what it was when I looked it up a few years ago. It’s hardy, that’s for sure – it’s survived me and the critters!

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    April 16, 2019 at 2:56 pm

    Our pastor and I were talking Sunday about the seasons and we agreed we both liked spring somewhat more than fall. In spring one sees the new bursting out in every direction but in fall it is the graceful death of the old. Fall makes me a bit sad for time and opportunities gone by but spring is full of promise and hope.

    Your comments and story about the daffodils in the woods reminds me of my Mom. Every spring she wanted to go to hunt up old house places on national forest and save the flowers from them. In those days it was not an issue like it would be now. Goodness at the trees and shrubs and flowers hauled in over the years. One thing I have learned though. It is best not to try to dig up a yucca.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    April 16, 2019 at 12:29 pm

    My white oaks are already leafed out here. Early last week some of them still had a few last years leaves. Everything has turned green here all of a sudden including my black truck. I don’t know if it is pollen or mold from all the damp weather lately.

  • Reply
    Gigi
    April 16, 2019 at 11:13 am

    Thanks for showing those beautiful flowers. And your granny, s yellow rose bush. I love yellow . Tipper, what a wonderful person you are to take your pap to the dr. Glad you didn’t fall asleep while you were driving. Glad you let him drive the rest way back. God Bless!

  • Reply
    Dee
    April 16, 2019 at 10:58 am

    Such sweet memories. Spring is busting out here in south central PA too. Our daffodils, hyacinths and bleeding hearts are blooming as are the pear trees and our pink dogwood is ready to pop open. Every where you look you see beautiful colors. I have always noted clumps of daffodils in a wooded area with seemingly nothing around. When I look closer I notice some old cement steps leading to no where now but at one time a thriving farm house. Even when I go back down south to my grandparents farm place, I see clumps of daffodils around the yard and it brings a smile to my face because i know my grandmother planted those first daffodils more than 50 years ago. No one has lived there for many years to take care of them but they multiply and keep signaling Spring is here. My grandmother also had Granny’s Yellow Rose but my mother called it a Texas Rose when I went to a nursery to buy one I found that they called it a Kerria Japonica. I recognized it immediately in your picture by the flower and the leaves. Spring is inspiring and uplifting to one’s soul.

    • Reply
      tipper
      April 16, 2019 at 1:38 pm

      Dee-Granny calls it a Texas rose too 🙂

  • Reply
    Tamela Baker
    April 16, 2019 at 10:41 am

    Lovely story. One with which many of us empathize; and one in which so many recognize the hopes and dreams of springs present, past, and future.

  • Reply
    Pamela Danner
    April 16, 2019 at 9:04 am

    I just love seeing the flowers bloom! Daffodils, tulips, forsythia, azaleas, and the other day I saw lilacs, I just love lilacs!

  • Reply
    Shirl
    April 16, 2019 at 9:01 am

    All the trees are in bloom here as well. We have had wind advisories several times within the past month that has blown so many of the blossoms off the fruit trees. I sure hope they have enough blooms left to produce some fruit this year.

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    April 16, 2019 at 8:28 am

    Tipper–From a literary perspective, a stellar effort. I think that spring and its sensations fill you (and me) with the same sort of spirit which motivated William Wordsworth when he wrote his poem “Daffodils.” He starts by talking of wandering lonely as a cloud, and all we mountain folks cherish our times of solitude and lonesome rambles. But it is final lines of the poem I find powerful, poignant, and almost personal:
    Then my heart with pleasure fills,
    And dances with the daffodils.
    I have no doubt your heart has been waltzing with the wonders of blooming daffodils, those lovely sentinels of spring.

    Jim Casada

  • Reply
    Gayle Larson
    April 16, 2019 at 8:06 am

    Remember the old saying….If you are lucky enough to live in the mountains you are lucky enough. Just sitting on the deck and breathing deep is pleasure enough. Happy, Happy Spring. This is when you realize just how precious life is.

  • Reply
    Melissa P. (Misplaced Southerner)
    April 16, 2019 at 7:47 am

    Thank you for sharing your spring (and lovely memories). It will be a couple more weeks before spring arrives in Michigan. For once, I’m almost glad to be here where I can’t see the destruction of our old home in Georgia. I’m told that new owners chopped down all 40+ of our azaleas, 20 or so camellias, our blooming cherry, and pulled out all the honeysuckle. Must not be much left. Makes me wonder if they even dug up our old cat’s bones. He was buried under a white camellia. Sometimes memories aren’t so pretty.

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    April 16, 2019 at 7:21 am

    Spring in the mountains, I miss that more than anything else except maybe fall. Thise 2 short spurts of perfect weather

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    April 16, 2019 at 5:24 am

    Tip, I remember those night time mad dashed to the VA Hospital. I made many of them and every one was nerve racking and exhausting. They do good work there tough.
    Yes, our spring is going full blast and it seems a little early to me but I am glad to see it, as always. It represents life and new hope.

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