Appalachia Smoky Mountains Thankful November

Thankful November – November Nostalgia

Collage of 2021 photos

“To me, November always evokes pleasant thoughts—they include fond memories of boyhood rabbit hunts with a bevy of human and canine companions, the culinary joys associated with Thanksgiving, the wonderful weather the Smokies so often provide in this month, spawning speckled trout on the move, and the sort of crispness in the air at daylight that fills youngsters with juice and puts a bit of added spring in an old man’s step. But it’s also a time, as Scottish poet Robert Burns reminds us, “When chill November’s surly blast, Made fields and forests bare.”

—Jim Casada – “A Smoky Mountain Boyhood Memories, Musings, and More”

Today’s Thankful November Giveaway is a copy of Jim Casada’s wonderful book “A Smoky Mountain Boyhood Memories, Musings, and More.” To be entered in the giveaway leave a comment on this post. *Giveaway ends November 30, 2021.

To pick up your own copy of Jim’s book, visit his website here.

Last night’s video: Thankful in Appalachia.


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  • Reply
    November 27, 2021 at 9:22 pm

    I love reading these special thankful November articles! Thank you!

  • Reply
    George Boland
    November 27, 2021 at 7:01 pm

    My wife and I have been watching your Youtube videos recently and we surely enjoy them. I was born in Charleston, WVA in 1944. We moved to Port Arthur, TX in 1946, when the Dupont Plant opened in Orange, TX. My Father worked at Dupont in Charleston and was transferred to Port Arthur in 1946.My Mother always told me we lived in “Creed” a community outside of Charleston. While growing up My Mother said a lot of the things you and family mention in your videos. One thing a will always remember from my Mother: she always told me “when anyone asked you where you born; always tell them “I was born in West ‘By God’ Virginia”. I think I absorbed my awareness of Appalachia in my memory and sub-consciecous, even though I lived there for just 18 months. Tipper, have ever heard of “Creed” outside of Charleston along the Kanawha River. I just love “yaw’s” Appalachian talk and especially your music! I think this is were I developed such a love for Country & Western Music; Classic Country that is, (Hank Williams, Patsy Cline, Hank Snow, Bob Wills) to name a few . Happy Thanksgiving and God Bless You and your Family, Tipper.

    George Boland

  • Reply
    Don Byers
    November 27, 2021 at 2:51 pm

    Was able to visit Robbie Burns’ birthplace as well as visit his Masonic Lodge. Being a Mason, I had the honor of sitting in the Master’s Chair where he sat a Master of the Lodge about 1792 I believe. Also want to read the Casada book as I love the history of the area and this has to be a good one…my paternal Gndma was Nancy Jane Bryson Byers.

  • Reply
    Sandra Henderson
    November 27, 2021 at 2:28 pm

    Thanks for introducing me to Jim Casada! He’s great! I love reading his writing.

  • Reply
    Wayne H.
    November 27, 2021 at 2:05 pm

    Please include my name in the drawing for Jim’s book. I have been a fan of his for quite a while as my boyhood years were very similar to his.

  • Reply
    Pastor Lon
    November 26, 2021 at 9:33 pm

    Yes mam I would love to read Mr. Jim’s book! The things you spoke about and the details of his book A Smoky Mountain Boyhood Memories, Musings & More… really bring the past in my own life to light. I can really relate to the rabbit, bird & deer huntin in the month of November! To me November always speaks THANKFULNESS in many different ways. Btw since I’ve started following The Blind Pig And The Acorn my desire to read more has really increased!! Thank you!

  • Reply
    Ruth Binder
    November 26, 2021 at 4:51 pm

    Have been reading Jim’s monthly newsletter for a number of years and truly enjoy his writing. Would love to be included in the drawing for his book.

  • Reply
    Kelly Cole
    November 26, 2021 at 4:13 pm

    I think that this book would remind me of my Dad. I wouldn’t be sad because it would be comforting to know how others of his generation and upbringing experienced life.

  • Reply
    Donna Brewton
    November 26, 2021 at 3:54 pm

    Sounds like a great book to read & then gift to a fella hard to buy a gift for. Good idea !!! Please enter my name in the drawing. Thanks bunches.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    November 26, 2021 at 3:45 pm

    I grew up not far in time and distance from Mr. Casada. My memories,musings and more do not parallel his in any way. He lived in town. I lived in a shack back in a holler. We didn’t do Thanksgiving. There was too much work to be done. “Thanksgiving” was the time to kill hogs, hand ‘baccer, cut wood, and gather walnuts, and a million other things.Things we couldn’t afford to hire someone else to do.
    Rabbit ans bird hunting were frivolous endeavors. We had one gun. A .22 JC Higgins bolt action single shot. Hardly a weapon for sport shooting but one that could dispatch a hog cleanly and with hardly a twitch. We did a little fishing but not with long rods, braided line, tapered leaders and hand tied flies. We had a big strong hook tied to a piece of nylon builders twine and that tied to a tree limb hanging out over the river. The fish we caught weren’t sparkly, flashy and colorful. They were dark and ugly befitting the times in which we lived.
    I’m not trying to degrade Mr. Casada in any way. He is an excellent writer! I just wish though that some day in his time of reflections he would consider the lives of the many who grew up in the shadows, much as I did, perpetually stuck on the bottom rung.

    • Reply
      November 26, 2021 at 5:31 pm

      You, also, are a great writer, Ed. There’s important purpose to painting a picture from another point of view. We need to get some glimpse into other’s lives. Keep reminding us!

  • Reply
    November 26, 2021 at 3:22 pm

    Hope you had a great Thanksgiving. I love anything about the Smokies. If you have lived it, you know it and I wouldn’t change nothing. I would live to hear what Jim has to say.

  • Reply
    Colleen Holmes
    November 26, 2021 at 3:11 pm

    Jim Casada’s Smoky Mountain Boyhood Memories, Musings, and More would be a great gift. My grandchildren love the old ways. I’m 72 and they help me keep our homestead up. Canning, weeding, carrying in wood, and they love to cook and bake with me.

  • Reply
    Kathy Gautier
    November 26, 2021 at 2:31 pm

    Love Jim’s writing. I know I would enjoy this book. On my list of things I am thankful for you will find both Tippers writing and Jim’s. So enjoy writing that reminds me of growing up country. Thank you Tipper and Jim.

  • Reply
    Rita gilbert
    November 26, 2021 at 1:30 pm

    Just saying I truly miss the olden days I’m sixty nine an I sure do miss those days when I was young there so precious I hate that my children an grandchildren will never have those memories.

  • Reply
    November 26, 2021 at 1:25 pm

    Several cousins showed up at our house every Thanksgiving Day to rabbit hunt when we were all much younger. They all had shotguns and I always used my 22 rifle. A rabbit would jump, they would miss and I would then drop it. They never could understand to take careful aim. Each one wanted to get off the first shot. They were all “city kids”‘ while this ‘”farm boy” used his gun on an almost daily basis.

  • Reply
    November 26, 2021 at 12:39 pm

    I would really enjoy reading that book. My father loved hunting quail, pheasant and I remember squirrel too. Most of all he loved training his bird dogs. My husband loved fishing and my oldest son loves hunting and fishing.
    I enjoyed your video and Paul singing Thankful!! I’m thankful for my faith, family, friends and the many times your blog jogs my memory of a special event in my growing up years.

  • Reply
    Kat Swanson
    November 26, 2021 at 11:08 am

    We cooked a big Brunswick stew in our huge pot yesterday here in Central Virginia. A perfect weather day…served a dozen outside …used to feed 30…40 on big stew day but covid has changed things again this year. Every family is doing the best they can to be safe and stay together in these difficult times.
    I am so lucky to still be here almost 3years years after my cancer diagnosis….so blessed and so grateful. I am blessed with family and friends….and this daily posting that takes me home every time I read it…..thanks Tipper…so very much.

  • Reply
    Sharon Cole
    November 26, 2021 at 9:49 am

    Words are beautiful. Would enjoy this book! Take care and God bless!

  • Reply
    Allison B
    November 26, 2021 at 9:36 am

    Would love to read more of Jims writings from this book. Great work to ponder…can tell from the excerpt.

  • Reply
    Paula Rhodarmer
    November 26, 2021 at 9:33 am

    November has a special beauty, quieter than that of October, but still spectacular. The leafless trees against a cloudy sky have their own appeal. I do love November.

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    November 26, 2021 at 9:24 am

    There is a sadness and remembering with the end of fall and the beginning of winter, not the calendar dates but by what nature tells us. The trees are getting bare. Winter is not far away. Another year is nearly gone. Watching the leaves come down somehow says, ‘Time has passed and is now passing.’ And I am one who has some regrets for not having done more and better. It is in my nature and I don’t expect to outgrow it. Still, it doesn’t stop me from enjoying now.

    You have a way, Tipper, of bringing to mind long thoughts, at least to me; the meaning of home, the measure(s) of a life, how sight-unseen friendships can be made and kept, the many ways that love is and/or can be shown, how pouring oneself out somehow fills one up. The kinds of things for which words are necessary but in the end not up to the need. Those kinds of thoughts to are in my nature but I try not to afflict others with them too much.

  • Reply
    Margie Orr
    November 26, 2021 at 9:22 am

    Thanks for the quote from Robbie Burns. He’s one of my favorite poets, and November is one of my favorite months.
    Would love to win a copy of the book.

  • Reply
    Jenny Young
    November 26, 2021 at 9:04 am

    I love reading anything about the Smokies but especially stories.

  • Reply
    November 26, 2021 at 9:00 am

    As much as I hate cold weather, I do love the month of November. Preparing for deer hunting, Thanksgiving and Black Friday keeps me busy until really busy starts all over in December. Trout fishing is fun no matter which month you try it.

  • Reply
    November 26, 2021 at 8:53 am

    It would be great to read about boyhood memories. Childhood is such a magic time, and would be a pleasure to read about boyhood in the smokies. Thanks to Jim Casada for putting pen to paper and recording his experiences.

  • Reply
    Angelyn McLain
    November 26, 2021 at 8:39 am

    What a beautiful passage from his book. I love when authors transport right to the place they describe.

  • Reply
    November 26, 2021 at 7:55 am

    What a wonderful giveaway! Jim can capture you and take you along for the ride in the first paragaph of his writings. I read some of his recollections in Smokey Mountain Living, also.

  • Reply
    Greg Church
    November 26, 2021 at 7:50 am

    November to me has been the time of year when the hard work of summer in the fields was mostly over, when my dad would be in the house more because it got dark early, when feeding cattle, snaking out a little deadfall firewood from the mountain, handing burly tobacco and packing on baskets for market, hog killing, and a host of other work that made the life that made me who I am. So much to be thankful for but it sometimes takes a lifetime to come to recognize it.

  • Reply
    Danilee Varner
    November 26, 2021 at 7:39 am

    How beautiful this post is and all if them that you share with us!
    I seem to be drawn to you as we have si many things in common! I enjoyed yesterday’s Thanksgiving thoughts and cooking with the girls!
    Thank you all

  • Reply
    Margie G
    November 26, 2021 at 7:28 am

    I cannot add a word to perfection describing November in the Smokies. Very vivid to draw a picture in my mind so clear, I can almost see what Jim saw. That’s what a writer does. Excellent excerpt!

    • Reply
      Sherry Whitaker
      November 26, 2021 at 8:34 am

      Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Would love Jim’s book. I am making a list of all the books for future reading !

  • Reply
    Martha D Justice
    November 26, 2021 at 7:17 am

    Even though I’m not from Appalachia we have visited them quiet a lot ,especially in November, celebrating my birthday.We’ve even taken as many as seven of our grandchildren at one time and believe me the crisp air certainly put a spring in their steps. Such fond memories

  • Reply
    Mary Anne Johnson
    November 26, 2021 at 7:10 am

    I would so love to receive this prize remembrances of Jim. I have been hospitalized the past week, am home and feeling much better. Your daily blog brings me so much pleasure and takes me back so many times to how I felt growing up in a small WV town. You are a blessing to me.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    November 26, 2021 at 7:07 am

    I had a wonderful Thanksgiving Day with my family, the Blind Pig family. It was a wonderful day with VERY good food, good company, and lots of memories. With four generations present! The food included, turkey, ham, AND venison…mighty fine!
    A day to remember!

  • Reply
    John Hart
    November 26, 2021 at 6:35 am

    Jim Casada writes what I want to hear.

  • Reply
    Larry Paul Eddings
    November 26, 2021 at 6:34 am

    November is certain proof that winter is once again upon us. Autumn leaves have given up their glorious colors and all but the stubborn ones have fallen to the cold ground. The trees now stand sleeping until the warmth of springs return awakens them from their slumber.

  • Reply
    Wandena Swartz
    November 26, 2021 at 6:25 am

    I love reading Jim’s thoughts and remembrances. I grew up in rural N C and can easily relate to his writing. Oftentimes I wish I had a diary or journal written by my grandparents- I think there would be many similarities.

  • Reply
    Sheryl A Paul
    November 26, 2021 at 6:15 am

    Sounds quite perfect

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