Appalachia Appalachian Writers

Thinking Of The Little Things

I was feeling a little down yesterday. Not really down I guess, but more frustrated at how busy our lives have become, how time seems to fly by at warp speed. I cannot believe the year 2012 is half over and before I know it I’ll be moaning about the year 2013 being almost gone too.

As I set on the couch last night I reminded myself life is about the little things. The first ripe tomato of the summer, the excitement of the first day of school, the soft whispers and giggles that come out of the girls bedroom every night after they go to bed.

I woke up this morning thinking of Glenda Barrett’s poem Echoes. I posted it way back in 2008, but thought I’d share it again with you this morning.

Mountain folk


Echoes written by Glenda Barrett

I cannot silence

the talk of war,

a rising drug market

or the cries of the homeless.

Yet, sheltered in the Appalachians,

I can be grateful for simple pleasures:

the surprise of the first snowflake,

a newborn colt on wobbly legs,

wild violets in the spring,

pink sunsets over blue mountains,

bales of hay in green pastures,

and a freshly plowed garden patch.


The people of appalachia


Yes, I am only one,

but I can follow in the footsteps

of my faithful ancestors,

people who were truthful,

who said what they meant

and meant what they said,

who held firm to their beliefs

and rose above their hardships.

People whose voices still echo

across these Blue Ridge Mountains,

I was born here, and I’ll die here!


I hope you enjoyed Glenda’s poem. What are the little things you’re thankful for this week?



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  • Reply
    September 8, 2012 at 9:43 am

    Right now I am thankful for a weekly paycheck!

  • Reply
    August 11, 2012 at 9:08 am

    What a lovely poem! So powerful and beautiful.

  • Reply
    August 10, 2012 at 9:16 pm

    hmmm…I’m not sure what I did by my comment went away…but I’m thankful for a great many little things…and it was supposed to say in it’s ramblings that they are what keep me going when I get discouraged…like the sun peeking through the curtains at first light and a lot of other things…silly computer!

  • Reply
    August 10, 2012 at 9:13 pm

    I’m thankful for the lovely poem you posted Tipper! Also for the rose hips I just put in the food dryer, for the Queen Anne’s lace jelly turning out so lovely. For frogs in wet grass, for my children and my grandchildren and for my husband of 34 years…at least most days I’m thankful…unless I’m down and cranky. It’s hard these days…I’ve been the sole support of our family for oer 20 years now…working full time when I’d rather be a full time homemaker and unable to make ends meet makes me frustrated and discouraged at times, but….reminders of the beauty of the little things like the sun sneaking through the curtains at first light or a gentle breeze blowing…for the promise of my garden maybe producing a little this year…got such a late start and the nights have stayed cold…in the 50s even during the 100 degree days, so very little is growing or putting on fruit this year…but I’m thankful for the flowers that bloom and for the hope in my heart for a better harvest next year.

  • Reply
    Gorges Smythe
    August 10, 2012 at 8:34 pm

    I know how you feel, and I liked the poem.

  • Reply
    B. ruth
    August 10, 2012 at 5:47 pm

    I’m thankful to be home…I’m thankful that I could get online after fussing with this computer.
    I’m thankful our motorhome didn’t quit on the interstate and quit moving just as we pulled into a truck stop. I’m thankful it broke down only 300.00 dollars worth of tow not 15 miles from the RV service…I’m thankful that the people that were supposed to put up our tents…(since Roy was just getting over cancer)…didn’t come back after scamming us and 5 other people out of our downpayments which came to several hundred dollars, and try to get more money…Never did show with our tents..and he had a website and a business card…Police are hunting him but probably will never find the scam artist…What is the world coming to.
    I’m glad we made it home and back driving every day and got to see the grandchildren since the show was about and hour away…I’m thankful we sold enough ‘tiques to pay for fixing the motor home. I’m thankful for meeting wonderful folks on the 127 Trail…of which were a Scotsman from North Carolina and such a wondeful talk we had..and the folks from Buncombe and Madison county…that knew our stomping grounds such nice folks…all that drove so far for the Worlds Longest Yard 127 Sale.
    I look for them on the Blind Pig one day…
    Finally, I’m thankful for all the folks on Blind Pig and Tipper…these gloomy rainy days will soon pass…Now if Comcast will just keep me tuned in…LOL
    Thanks Tipper, loved the poem

  • Reply
    August 10, 2012 at 4:38 pm

    Tipper, you squeeze more out of life than just about anybody I know. And you are certainly more grateful than most. Would that we all could be more like you.

  • Reply
    Joy Newer
    August 10, 2012 at 4:33 pm

    I Am thankful for Breath Of Life, For the articles that i read here that inspire me, for my precious son, we often set early in the mornings giving our gratitude’s, it is a wonderful way to begin each new day. Bless you all, Grandmother Joy.

  • Reply
    Mike McLain
    August 10, 2012 at 4:28 pm

    I really enjoyed the poem. It really is true – we get so tangled up in the big things that we often completely miss the really special little things that happen in our lives.
    I am thankful for my heritage and my family.

  • Reply
    Barb Johnson
    August 10, 2012 at 3:41 pm

    Rain~finally…bullfrogs..8 yr old smiles, coffee… 15yr old I love you on the phone…fishing with my teenager coming home from a wonderful vacation!

  • Reply
    janet pressley
    August 10, 2012 at 3:22 pm

    I know how ya feel. This past weekend when you were all here went by like a flash. I think about taking the girls swimming and how much time I used to spend with them around the silly table. Those days are gone. Onward and upward! Nana

  • Reply
    Peggy Lambert
    August 10, 2012 at 2:42 pm

    Good Afternoon Tipper!
    Sorry that you are feeling low . We all have those days.
    Well, at least I do. We tend to forget all of the blessings the Lord gives us each day.
    We had our 60th wedding Anniv. this past week, now that is a long time to live with one man. Now that is a blessing.
    I use to have this slough of dispond and just roll a round in it like a big fat pig. Not so much
    any more. I cannot help my husband with the yard work and I get mad, but this is because of the pace maker. I can’t use the machines that vibarte because it will go crazy and might stop. The electrical system in my heart burnt out. Doc. said I got there just in time. It was beating only 25 times a minute. He took it loose after he put the pace maker in to see if my heart would beat and it wouldn’t. No more weed eater, tractor, plow, trimmers and no more vibrating bed. No not really. lol. Here, I go again telling all our secrets.
    But, we are just human and we tend to forget what the Lord has given , big or little. Nowadays we live to fast and the days seem to fly by. I did go fishing to forget about my worries, little or big and take my anger out on the fish. Love to hike on the mountains we have about 45 acres of mt. land, did have 60, but one daughter wanted 15 acres so we gave that part to her and husband. Love to hunt arrowheads on one part of it. I think about the family of Indians who lived there and who made the arrow heads and the pottery sherds that we find. Guess I will stop for now. Keep up your good work. Do genealogy also, I
    can’t get started on that.
    Peggy L.

  • Reply
    August 10, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    I enjoyed the poem as I did the
    last time. It makes you think and
    the “little things in life” are
    what really count. Recently, I
    got to hear over the telephone, one of my granddaughters playing
    a tune she learned with her mama.
    I taught her mama and played it with her over 35 years ago…Ken

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    August 10, 2012 at 11:40 am

    Scooter is finally walking or should I say strutting. He has accomplished something and he knows it. He looks like a happy little drunk stumbling and falling then laughing about it.

  • Reply
    August 10, 2012 at 10:36 am

    Funny you shoud ask that question this morning because as I was working in my garden yesterday evening that was exactly what I was thinking about. I am so very thankful that I have been allowed to live in such a wonderful place, to have close family and good health to fully enjoy them all. The rain we had early in the afternoon cooled things down and it was a wonderful time to be outside. Thanks for posting that poem, it is simple and beautiful.

  • Reply
    Tim Hassell
    August 10, 2012 at 10:08 am

    Hey Tipper,
    Your post this morning made me think of two wonderful people that have touched my life. The first is my Granny (maternal grandmother) I spent almost every day with her when I was little and I thought she was really the best. I was visiting her one day after I was grown and married, I lamented about how busy things seemed and how fast time seemed to get away from me, she looked at me with that special twinkle in her eye and said “You wait’ll your my age (90 yrs. at that time) it’ll seem like you are in a barrel turnin’ end over end.” And of course she was right.
    The second is aunt Mallie Glasgow (she was not related to me but a very dear friend. Do ya’ll use aunt, uncle, grandmaw and grandpaw as a kind of title of respect for people you are not related to?) Anyway every time I ever saw aunt Mallie she would say “Have you looked at the sky today?” Now,nearly 50 years later, I look at the sky every day. I try to take notice of the subtle colors and the quality of light and how they play with the clouds and remember the sweet smile of aunt Mallie Glasgow. I’m sure she’ll want a full report when I see her in Heaven.

  • Reply
    August 10, 2012 at 9:35 am

    I am thankful for my family, friends and God’s blessings. I am thankful for your website and the joy it brings to my family!

  • Reply
    Bill Burnett
    August 10, 2012 at 9:30 am

    I loved the poem, it’s short but so true. In reference to the passing of time my favorite analogy is “Life is like a roll of toilet paper, the closer you get to the end the faster it goes.”

  • Reply
    dolores barton
    August 10, 2012 at 9:15 am

    I am thankful that I was able to reach retirement age and have a home in the foothills where each morning is a given blessing. Mother Nature is just so peaceful. I am thankful that my children are taking care of themselves, and I get to spend some time with my precious grandchild. Of course, the biggest blessing is that each day brings me a new beginning. God has been good. I loved reading the poem; thanks for sharing it again.

  • Reply
    August 10, 2012 at 9:10 am

    A quarter inch of rain two days ago and cooler weather this morning—definitely thankful for these here in Oklahoma.
    Love your post this morning!

  • Reply
    August 10, 2012 at 9:01 am

    I am so thankful for so many things. Reading your wonderful posts each morning is one of them. I am amazed at how fast the time flies by too. The older I get the faster it goes. Everyone is just so busy these days. I feel like I meet my myself coming sometimes. That is when I have to slow down a little and take time to enjoy the small wonders of this world. I like to sit on my porch and watch and listen to the wind softly rustling through the leaves, the birds singing, and the squirrels playing on the limbs. Seeing a baby smile, watching the little kids hard at play, and talking to old one about the good old days brings me so much joy. The poem is beautiful. Thank you for sharing with us!

  • Reply
    Just Jackie
    August 10, 2012 at 8:44 am

    Stop making me cry 🙂 It took me many years to realize that it’s the little things that make life worthwhile. Here in the mountains we are surrounded by wonderful small thing. We went on vacation last week and for the first time in my life I wanted to go home after the first day.

  • Reply
    August 10, 2012 at 8:42 am

    God has blessed me with so many things to be thankful for but I guess as I look out my window and see the beautiful trees, green grass and the mountains in the distance I am thankful for my family and friends that I have come to know since I have moved to the mountains 20 years ago. My children have grown up here and will always have this as their home no matter where life may take them they will always remember their youth in the Mountains of North Carolina

  • Reply
    August 10, 2012 at 8:34 am

    Yes sure is easy to overlook the little things in life. The cat basking in the sun, the birds singing in the trees, the bees buzzing bringing in the last of the seasons harvest (I keep bees by the way) the early morning sun on the wet grass, the smell of the oak wood I am planing in the workshop. So many things.
    In our busy lives we often refer to a phrase from one of Dr Dobson’s parenting books from the 1980s which reminded us that in building relationships with our children we needed to find time to go to the park or the woods and just kick the leaves.
    Now when we need to take time out in our family we just say we are going to kick the leaves.
    By the way was thinking of you guys at our village fair where our local group of Appalachian dances were performing. There’s a picture on my latest blog post.

  • Reply
    Tony Maynard
    August 10, 2012 at 8:26 am

    We had an inch of rain last nite!The garden really appreciated it.Its been a dry spell here for abit.It smelled so good walking out this morning.Have a great weekend Tipper and to all my BPABs (Blind Pig Acorn Buds)

  • Reply
    Lisa Snuggs
    August 10, 2012 at 8:22 am

    I’m thankful for lots of rain this week and for your reminder to keep things in perspective.

  • Reply
    Canned Quilter
    August 10, 2012 at 8:05 am

    Continuing health, a bountiful garden and grandchild #4 on the way are this weeks little blessings.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    August 10, 2012 at 7:57 am

    Tipper, it breaks my heart to think of you down or sad. The very next time that happen I want you to call me quickly and I’ll remind you of all the wonders of the world and the wonders of you and the wonders of your home, garden, chickens, Ruby Sue, these mountains, your two nephews going to Yale, your mom and dad, your green house, your flowers, this blog that is your gift to Appalachia, your new washing machine-even if the stupid thing wont let you wash with whatever temperature water you want, your apple trees, and the very most of all two extraordinary daughters and sweetheart husband.
    I love the poem, it tells us to forget all the crazy thing in the world and let these mountains cradle us in her arms.

  • Reply
    August 10, 2012 at 7:52 am

    i just told a friend yesterday that poems make no sense to me, when i read one, i just don’t get it. THIS poem i GET and love and it makes perfect sense. beautiful and true. when i was younger the little things were not as obvious to me, now they are. the small thing that makes me happpy is our dogs, when they sleep, play, wander, beg. i look at their sleeping faces and it blesses me. i love the flowers in our yard, the seed pods the dead fronds and this morning i saw a tiny screech owl just at daybreak, fly into the tree and sit there and i held my breathe in awe.

  • Reply
    Mary Shipman
    August 10, 2012 at 7:43 am

    We spent a couple of nights camping. I got to read, explore the bluffs,, check out a cave and enjoy the wonders of the river. No electronics nothing but the gentle sounds of the river, wildlife and peace!
    I laughed when a couple of teenagers aat the next camp site asked how far it was to get a cell phone signal… about a mile up the road, to get high enough out of the river valley to get 2 bars.
    They were appalled, and not motivated enough to make the hike.

  • Reply
    Janet Smart
    August 10, 2012 at 7:34 am

    That was a beautiful poem! It speaks so true and is the way I feel. Time does fly by and it seems we never have enough of it to do the things we need to do. If everyone would be like the person in the poem, the world would be a much better place.

  • Reply
    Ethelene Dyer Jones
    August 10, 2012 at 7:26 am

    What are the little things I enjoy?
    A telephone call from a relative or friend I haven’t heard from in awhile;
    the sound of birdsong on a clear morning;
    the glow of flowers blooming in the morning dew;
    a neighbor who comes to share fresh vegetables from his garden or fresh fruit from his trees;
    great grandchildren who smile, laugh and give me a hug;
    and just the every-dayness of every day:
    to be alive, to be thankful, to breathe and laugh and live…

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