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Appalachia Through My Eyes - Homeland

My life in appalachia my homeland


Old homeplace in the Smoky Mountain National Park

homeland noun The area where one grew up, one's native territory.
1973 GSMNP - 79:7 I guess if they got to set down and making a list out, they'd have one as long as your arm of all the good things and the nice things that they miss since they've left their mountain homelands. ibid. 8 They wanted to be buried as close to their old homeland as they could when they passed away, so the children took them back, up on Roaring Fork, so that's their resting place. 2000 Spencer Memory Lane III:7 She, too, loved the beauty of our homeland, and did much work in the yard. 


*Source: Southern Appalachian English.

Appalachia Through My Eyes - A series of photographs from my life in Southern Appalachia.

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After rereading the posts with less haste I added to my short verse. The comments of home have touched me in their sincerity. Oh my rolling hills and hollers deep, my meadows wide and rushing creeks, valleys low and ridges steep you're in my blood and bones, my very heart and soul.
(Kentucky) Judith

Oh how I love these beautiful posts. My heart is overwhelmed.

Homeplace. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, well this is one word that is worth a thousand pictures. I think that our home place permeates all of our senses. I can close my eyes and see, smell, touch and listen to the sweetness of my East Tennessee home. Years ago my daddy took advantage of a good job with the Civil Service and moved us way down to Middle Georgia. It was a really hard transition for me - I mourned for my creek, treks across the cow pasture picking blackberries and sniffing bee balm, seeing the delicate little Rue Anemone burst through the soil to welcome the spring. I grew to love my adopted home in Georgia, and later North Carolina, but my heart always belonged to Tennessee. Homecoming for our family means walking our hills at least once a year. We lost my daddy a year ago this week. I always thought he would have his final homecoming at that beautiful spot but being a practical man, he chose to be buried at Andersonville National Cemetery in Georgia rather than Andersonville, Tennessee. His military service meant a great deal to him and he knew his grave would always be cared for. His Great Grandfather survived Andersonville prison during the Civil War and as a little child my daddy sat at his knee and heard him tell about the suffering there. My father is buried in the soil where his Great Grandfather trod during those hard times so in a curious twist our family story has circled full round. In my last private moment before my daddy's casket was closed I placed a jar of our beloved Tennessee earth at his side. Home place. No matter where we are it travels with us in our hearts.

To me my homeland is pretty much southern Appalachia but especially the Tails Creek area of Gilmer County Georgia. That is where my ancestors settled when coming from the Carolinas. They are all buried there and the old home place still stands. When I go there I am at peace and connected. They can scatter my ashes in the hills and streams as well for that is home.

Oh my hills and hollers, my meadows and valleys, creeks and rivers, in my heart and in my bones. Judith

One of these far away days I am going to miss reading b. Ruth's daily comment on the Blind Pig and will remember today's. I will go outside and look toward the west northwest, "What's that blowing over the mountains?" "is that snow?" "it's white and flaky!" "but no it's not snow!" "ahhh, it must b. Ruth!"

In my old writing in haste mind...I forgot to put the most important county of my youth...Madison...although I was born in Buncombe, NC...Please add after Buncombe, Madison and Haywood NC.....LOL
Thanks Tipper,

When I think of homeland and homeplace I think not only of the land but of the people that made it special. My folks moved away from Ky. and always spoke of their old homeplaces fondly. But they never mentioned wanting to return except to walk the hills and visit. In my opinion, the fondness comes from the actual ground and the memories made there. If you have the memories and the actual ground it is a bonus blessing!

I had an inheritance from my father, it was the moon and the sun. And though I roam all over the world, the spending of it's never done.

- Ernest Hemingway -

That quote seemed appropriate for today' post. No matter where we are, we have the sun and the moon - and Nature to be our "homeland". The quote comes through another blog I follow: http://www.dailygood.org/story/644/giftivism-reclaiming-the-priceless-pavithra-mehta/

Based on Miss Cindy's comments, she might find it an interesting read - not that others wouldn't - - I just thought of her.

Homeland means more to me than words
or money can offer. "There's No Place
like Home."...Ken

Just put me in a great big "shaker" and "shake me" all over the Southern "highlands" and Appalacians...Try not to get one or two "ash flakes" on the Northern (Yankee) side, of the mountain range, if you please! Make sure some of me falls in and around Buncombe and Haywood counties, the rolling, hilly farming country outside the towns. Also, a portion of me should fall in and around East Tennessee, especially Anderson, Roane and Knox counties....A sprinkle or three in the high streams, branches, creeks and waterfalls, so I will trickle down the mountain, making stops along the way, to the ocean I liked to visit. With any luck at all, a sea gull that flies inland to our Tennessee lakes for the winter, will pick a piece of me up and drop me here to start the process over again!
Be sure and wash out my "shaker" and pour the water in the little wet weather spring behind the house!
Thanks Tipper,
PS..At 73 I'm beginning to have those "laid to, resting spot" "idees" slip into my mind...along with a bunch of other stuff that I still have and need to do!
PS...2..Whatever you do, don't take me out of my country (USA), I would prefer to trickle out with the ocean, if that sea gull don't pick me up and save me back to the mountains!

One's sense of Homeland can affect so much of their and others lives. My parents had such strong ties to their Kansas roots that even though moved from there in their early 20s and my father's parents and grandparents also left for Texas around that time, both Mom and Dad always considered Kansas home. They will be buried there when the time comes.

Whether accompanying them or driving them back to high school reunions, I was always astonished at how much their "homeland" stayed almost the same. In the meantime, the orange groves and the cotton fields I played and worked in became home to winter visitor trailer parks and to new subdivisions. The gravel road I walked along to my granny's house became a 5 lane (4 lanes plus passing lane) road. The surge wells which carried life-giving water to the crops became covered with graffiti and many were toppled after being rammed by careless (sometimes intentional) drivers. We also experienced towns being flooded as flood control lakes were built.(I know y'all are familiar with that courtesy the TVA and such.)

But still, it wasn't until their 60 something high school reunion that Dad said he didn't want to go back until he was buried. Things had just changed too much. Even so, the Kansas of his memory is still his homeland.

And that colored my sense of "homeland". I never had a sense of where I belonged. I loved the place I grew up in as it was then but somehow I didn't have any kind of "ownership". I love any patch of "country" or piece of a city I've lived in but have always felt like an appreciative visitor - not a part of it. Just something that floats through and tries not to disturb the place too much.

I wonder how career military families feel? Immigrants refer to their homeland and their home of choice. - even migrant workers have a place they call "home" to which they return after following the crops. What about those moving to find jobs - or to escape bad memories?

A very thought provoking post.

I am fortunate to have returned to an area that my family left in 1830. It has been over 183 years since our family was here, but I am back. Even though I never lived here, I consider it my "homeplace" now. It is definitely where my heart is.

Tipper--One of the giants of Appalachian literature, Wilma Dykeman, used the word homeland in a book she wrote in company with her husband, Jim Stokely (of the Stokely-Van Camp line of canned foods for those old enough to remember). "Highland Homeland" is a gracefully written paean to the wonders of mountain life. For readers who aren't familiar with Dykeman, she was an Asheville native, and her husband was from Newport, TN. Her writings were a mix of fact (such as "The French Broad" in the Rivers of America Series) and fiction (such as "The Tall Woman").

I greatly admire and enjoy her work.

Jim Casada

I couldn't agree with Miss Cindy more, it certainly is a different world today with very different values. Beautiful picture you have posted today, who wouldn't want to call this "Home".

My homeplace will always be called home, but I wouldn't want to live there anymore. When I think about the area, I think about the book "It's Not My Mountain Anymore" written by Barbara Woodall.

Pardon me for posting twice the same day--but I've written so much about "The Hills of Home" that I wanted to share yet another poem. And I relate to the Collins folks Don Casada wrote about. My genealogical line includes Collins ancestors--strong, stalwart mountain people!

The Hills of Home

The hills of home draw me
Their crenelated heights a magnet
Propelling my heart homeward.

The streams of home beckon me,
Refreshing water singing songs
Cascading over rocks and rills.

The fields of home entice me
Their call to hard labor
To plow, to plant, to till and harvest.

The folks of home hold me
Their love a blood-bound bond
From patriots of all generations.

The faith of home sustains me
Giving courage in the darkest night
Hope for each new day's dawn.

The hills of home will enfold me
The ground my ancestors settled
Where I will finally come to rest.

This was the cause of some deep thinking. I guess I never really thought of death and where my final resting place should or could be. I'm approaching the time of my life where I need to think about this more seriously. I think I have been lucky that I am here as long as I have been.

When I pass on I want to be buried as close to my homeplace as possible. Oh how I relate to these words today. Renea W

The Land ofs Home-Again

Far away the birds fly toward the forest's quiet vales;
Above the fields the mountains rise in blue crests.
Choestoe Creek runs over shoals, murmurs and hails
The leaves that drop quietly from above hidden nests
That rest on limbs outstretched above the stream.
This scene is real, a paradise, not some wild dream.
Go with me there, to the land of home-again,
Where we will quietly and slowly regain
Perspective for the years that yet remain.

Tipper didn't mention the exact location of this place or who lived here, but this is the Doc and Maggie Conner homeplace, located on the east side of the Lufty, about a half mile above the mouth of Collins Creek and two miles above the Ocona Lufty Baptist Church. For those who read Tipper's entries of a year or so ago about that church, one of the names mentioned was Rev. William Henry Conner. Doc was his son.

William Henry Conner, his wife, Rachel Gibson, and family had bought this property and moved here after the death of Elizabeth Beck Collins, wife of Robert.

This area, in my view, is one of the most historically significant locations in the Smokies, in large part because of the connection to Robert and Elizabeth Collins. Their home was used by Arnold Guyot in 1859 as his base station when he came to the area to measure the elevations of peaks in the Smokies.

The high ridge seen in the background is the southern boundary of the Collins Creek drainage.

Home is where the heart is. That's a saying that is true. Homeland, homeplace was where people lived and worked. It provided all resources. Now people go out and work at a job and move frequently in search of a better paying job. I guess where home and land used to be the constant in peoples lives now the TV and Computer are the constants because wherever we go they go with us.
This is a different world with different values

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