Union County Historical Society - The Pressley Girls
I Am From The West Virginia Hills

When It's Lamp Lighting Time In The Valley

This post was originally published here on the Blind Pig in 2008. At that time I was wondering how my little girls had turned into middle schoolers. The girls start their final year of high school this week. I'm proud of what they've accomplished-but my how fast 12 years of school has flown by.


We all go back, in our minds, to different moments of time. Happy times, sorrowful times, bittersweet times-doesn't matter which-at some point they all call us back to them.

Lately my mind has fallen back to the days when Chatter and Chitter were smaller. Back to the days of wearing pantyhose on their head.


When I was an overwhelmed stay at home mom of 2 rambunctious girls who never for one moment stopped their busyness or their talking, I sometimes longed for the day they would grow up and give me some peace.

One day when I was having a bad day, Pap said "If all I had to do was stay home with 2 little jewels-I'd never complain." Pap was right. Those days spent with my little jewels were without a doubt some of the best days of my life.


I suppose my mind has chosen to wander back to those days due to the ever increasing speed with which the girls are hurtling themselves towards adulthood. I recall thinking middle school was eons away-now I'm realizing high school will be here in the blink of an eye.


Gone are the days of wanting to be the mud pie making champion of the world. Those dreams have been replaced with wondering who might ask them to the winter formal this year. I wish I could pinpoint the exact moment the change took place-but I can't because its so gradual you don't even notice. That's how our mind works. Not remembering changes that link together like water in a stream-but instead drawing us back to specific times and events that stand out like beacons calling to us from the past.

I have an absolute jewel (to borrow Pap's word) for this week's Pickin' & Grinnin' In The Kitchen Spot. It's Lamp Lighting Time In The Valley a beautiful song that talks about going back to a place in time. 

Readers have asked me to give a shout out to the folks who show up in my videos. In this video there is Pap (my father), Paul (my brother), Mark on mandolin (my nephew), and Ben on guitar (my nephew). 

(*Before you watch the video you need to stop the music player-the music controls are along the top of this page on the far left side-just under the Blind Pig logo. Click the center round button to stop the player.) *For those of you who have trouble viewing the video-go straight to youtube to see it by clicking here

I hope you enjoyed the great old song and the outstanding 2-part harmony. Leave me a comment and tell me what your mind has been drawing you back to lately.


Subscribe for free to Blind Pig & The Acorn by Email


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

I know what you mean - memories that make up the fabric of our lives, so sweet and bittersweet at the same time.

God bless.


Awww, this brought tears Tipper. My mind often goes back to those days when my son sat on my lap. I know I'm telling my age now but he's 41. You have brought up two beautiful young ladies with so much going for them. And the talent your family has is so awesome. Thanks for this post and this beautiful song.

Patti-YES! Papaw Tony has always said put a rock on their head LOL : )

Blind Pig The Acorn
Celebrating and Preserving the
Culture of Appalachia

Aw, I'm gonna cry! Nice post. Seems like not so long ago to me when we were at the pool doing swim work and play. Love having them here. Thanks

I loved the pictures and the singing.Enjoy your family as much as you can ,they do grow up and don't have much time for mom and dad then,but that's life.

I loved this post. The girls have grown into beautiful young ladies.
One of these days, like me they will be thinking of Lamp Lighting time in the valley. The last sentence of the song, I miss you Mother dear most of all....and I do...
Thanks Tipper, for all you do and the Blind Pig music is so wonderful as usual.

Loved the song! Raising my daughter was the happiest time of my life. Adorable pictures!

Your Pap is a smart man to remind you of the most important job in the world, raising those girls. You have done such a great job, too. Time passes much too fast, and soon they are grown, but you have provided them memories and a written legacy with this blog, Tipper. Good work!

Tipper--My, how time does fly. First thing you know, the fledglings are grown and almost ready to fly from the home nest. Savor their senior year, as I know the girls will, and think about all the excitement connected with their next steps in the adventure we call life.

Soon enough it will be college, then the real world, but they will have had 18 years of home magic to serve as their flying carpet for what lies ahead.

Jim Casada

Tipper: Your beautiful daughters, now SENIORS, make up a wonderful group of students who keep good teachers in the Classroom. In my 25 years of teaching Physics/Mathematics to 'grown up' students like your girls, I learned just how much they contribute to making our world better!

Keep smiling!
Eva Nell

We've had the pleasure of watching
those cute little girls grow up into
beautiful young ladies. I know you're proud of 'em!
Lamp Lighting Time in the Valley
was on the first CD I bought, along
with "Way Back in the Hills" and
my favorite "Just a Touch of the
Past." I've found nothing on the
Internet any better! ...Ken

Yes, they grow so fast. Did you Pap tell you to put a rock on their head?
LOL, Blessings

Your precious family have added much to this world. Kudos to you and your family successes. I will enjoy reading about Chitter and Chatter's escapades of their senior year as well as their choices for the future.

This song takes me back to many thing about growing up especially since I was raised in a home without electricity and one of my jobs was filling the lamps, trimming the wicks and lighting the lamps we used for lighting. When thinking back I realize that the "Good Old Days" are really a product of the mind forgetting the hard times and holding on to the good memories. The older I get the more I realize and appreciate the sacrifices my parents made for their children.

As always, great job by the fellers.

There are places on the southern flanks of Mt. Kephart and Mt. Ambler (Appalachian Trail, couple miles east of Newfound Gap) where you can watch the sun set in the winter and see the (electric) lamps lighting up in the valley that I call home - Bryson City. Here's a photo from Icewater Springs on a balmy February evening:


The two finest times of day to be out in God's Sanctuary are just after dawn ("alone, while the dew is still on the roses") and in the evening's gloaming - Lamp lighting Time.

Thanks for sharing both the songs and the pictures of the girls growing up. What happy memories you have.

Tipper, thanks for the walk down memory lane. The song and the harmony are excellent, as they always are.
The girls are beautiful, as they always are. I can't believe this is their last year of high school. The last time you visited, just a few weeks ago, I noticed that the girls are no longer grown up kids they are now full young women. Beautiful young women inside as well as outside.
The little girl pictures remind me of when the Deer Hunter was a little boy. Like the girls he was a beautiful child and had the same sweet spirit. That seems so long ago now!

It seems like it's no time from when you get babies out of diapers that are graduating school. Enjoy every day of them while you have them close. Sure is an empty feeling when they leave the nest. Paul & Pap's harmony was great as always. Such a talented family.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)