Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Where I'm From

I'm From Gravel Roads
I am from pea shelling and pinching pennies; from Vick's salve and Syrup of Black Draught.

I am from the Tennessee hills, with its lush creek bottoms and rocky ridges, where panthers screamed, thunder shook the house, and whippoorwills lulled us to sleep.

I am from corn fields and morning glories, black walnuts and hog killings, wood piles and canned vegetables, poke sallet and fresh promises.

I am from big people.  I am from sharecroppers and quilters, from the scattered clans named Stricklin and Gean.

I am from the weary with calloused hands and burned necks.

I am from moonshiners and midwives, herbal healers and hell-fire preachers.  I am from Shall We Gather at the River and I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry.

I'm from the South, from catfish and clotheslines and chasing chickens for dinner, from homemade ice cream and blackberry cobbler; from the cotton pickers, the recyclers, and the storytellers that crowd my mind.

I am from Eve, the Scots-Irish, the Germans, the slow-talking, the stubborn, and the lasting.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Write it Down

So many times, I've heard people say, "I really need to write that down for my grandchildren." It is a shame that when an old person dies, a whole library of knowledge is lost if  their stories were not written down.  I think the trouble with a lot of us is we just don't know where or how to start.

Here is one easy way to get started.  Last week, my friend, Tipper, at  Blind Pig and the Acorn shared a beautiful poem and the template she used to write it.  If you click on the template, there are instructions on writing a poem about "Where I'm From".

I would love for all of you to use this template and tell us where you are from, especially those of you who grew up in the same place I did.  Don't worry, you will not get a grade! :)

My granddaughters adore their great-aunt JoAnn, who tells them funny stories about their Poppy when he was a little boy.  JoAnn has written a notebook of stories for them, a treasure for when our memories fade.  

I'm planning to post my poem from this template on Wednesday.  Feel free to send me yours, and I'm put them all on here.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Sunday Scripture: Dancing

You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy. ~Psalm 30:11

Saturday, July 27, 2013

A Hundred Flowers

I will be the gladdest thing
          Under the sun!
I will touch a hundred flowers
          And not pick one.

                                            ~Edna St. Vincent Millay, Afternoon on a Hill

Friday, July 26, 2013

Pine Hill Haints in Tuscumbia

It didn't rain here yesterday; at least, not anywhere I was.  It was a rare July day with low humidity and temps in the eighties.

 It was a perfect evening to listen to the Pine Hill Haints in beautiful downtown Tuscumbia.

W.C. Handy festival continues through Sunday. 
We have birthed a new word here, Handying. Example: Where are you Handying tonight?

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Crepe Myrtles

Our beautiful city of Florence, Alabama, is painted with crepe myrtles this month.

They peek out just about everywhere.
This is just a small sampling; there are hundreds of hundreds of them.

They seem to be more beautiful than ever this year.  Could it be the copious rain that has fallen?

Come and stroll through Wilson Park for some close-up views!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Heritage Award at Uncle Dave Macon Days

Since 1980, the Uncle Dave Macon Days board has presented a Heritage Award to individuals whose careers have preserved and promoted  old-time music. Some winners in the past have been Roy Acuff, John Hartford, Bill Monroe, Grandpa and Ramona Jones, Mac Wiseman, Marty Stewart, Kitty Wells, Rhonda Vincent, Bobby and Sonny Osborne, and many more.  This year's winners were Ricky Skaggs and Sharon White.

Ricky Skaggs has been performing for more than 50 years, and he just turned 59 years old.

Sharon White has performed with her family on the Grand Ole Opry for many years.  It was Sharon who sang Sunny Side of Life in the movie, O, Brother, where art Thou.

Sharon and Ricky Skaggs have been married for almost 32 years.

Together, they put on a fine concert for us and several thousand others after the award had been presented. So good, in fact, most of us sat through a heavy rain storm which turned out to be a rather large adventure.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Sunday Scripture: Getting Close

When you draw close to God, God will draw close to you.  ~James 4:8 TLB

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Mud Pies

Recently, I heard it said that little girls no longer enjoy making mud pies.

I beg to differ.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Uncle Dave Macon Days


Every year, on the second weekend in July, Uncle Dave Macon's life and legacy are celebrated in Cannonsburgh Village, Murfreesboro, Tennessee.


I can't think of a better way to spend a sweet, sultry, summer Saturday.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Coming Home

You could stand on any cruise ship dock and know which people are just starting their cruise and the ones who have just finished.   The ones boarding are smiling, being patient, and high-fiving each other, celebrating when their time comes to board.  The ones disembarking are tired, grumpy, and wearily struggling with their too-full luggage.

It is the stuff of life, that all good things have to come to an end.  This cruise was very enjoyable for Hub and me.  We are thankful that we were able to go, both physically and financially.  It couldn't have happened just a few years ago.

We met some fantastic people and some who were slightly less than fantastic.  The food was excellent, as always, except for the green beans that are served almost raw.  After eight days of eating wonderfully rich foods that we are not accustomed to, we stopped at Cracker Barrel on the way home for some comforting cornbread and fresh veggies.

I can't wait to go again.  In the meantime, I had to put Hub's suggestion for a 2,000 mile car trip on hold until I recuperate from having so much fun on the cruise. that the mountains that I hear calling?

Wednesday, July 17, 2013


Aruba is the last island we visited on this cruise.  It is part of the Southern Caribbean chain of the Lesser Antilles.  Like Curacao, it is part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. 

Sometimes, it felt more like Arizona than a Caribbean island. Because of the arid climate, there is no farming done and all their food has to be imported. The only grass I saw was at resorts; most people there can't afford to waste water on grass.

The California Lighthouse, named after a shipwreck near the site.


Open bazaars selling items from China.

The downtown area is modern with high-end shopping and casinos. 

 I wonder how many years it will be before I can hear "Aruba" without instantly thinking of Natalie Holloway.