No matter which way you look the landscape is lush and green with blooms that intoxicate the air with their sweet alluring scent.
Gardens and orchards are hanging heavy with nature's bounty just waiting to be picked. Folks are taking advantage of the hot sultry air by wading in creeks and rivers and taking swims in lakes, ponds, and pools. With the kids out of school this time of the year is perfect for camping and playing in the great outdoors.
Summer is the season for homecomings, decorations, and all day singing on the grounds. People in Appalachia take the opportunity summer offers to visit one with another as they talk about those they miss, those that are still hanging on, those that are coming along, and the heat.
You might remember me saying I wish the girls would learn the song Summertime for me...well they never did! But Paul and one of our long time friends Wayde Powell III managed to film themselves doing the song not once but twice.
Was that some fancy picking and singing or what!
Summertime will be gone before you know it so soak up all you can.
If you're around a camping area or attend an evening cookout after dark in Appalachia (and in other places) you're likely to see citronella candles sitting around in an effort to ward off the bugs.
Instead of using store bought candles or torches Pap built a small fire and placed green or damp leaves and branches on it to produce a smoky haze to ward off the bugs.
Pap's fire didn't smell near as good as the citronella, but I do believe it worked a whole heck of a lot better.
The Deer Hunter is the man who can fix anything. I swear it doesn't matter what is tore up he can figure out a way to make it work like new. Sometimes I think he's MacGyver-remember him from tv?
Unlike most musicians we don't own a sound system so we're always at the mercy of whoever we're playing for and often have to just make the best with what's available. At a recent show they were one vocal mic short which meant Paul or Chatter one would have to play and sing into the same microphone. The gentleman helping out thought he saved the day by finding another stand in the back until we noticed it was missing the mic holder. Oh well we all said, we'll make do.
Before I knew what was going on The Deer Hunter followed the man back to the room where he found the extra stand to see if he could find something else that might work. When he failed to find anything he taped the microphone to the stand allowing the audience to hear Paul's amazing flat top picking as well as his beautiful voice. I said "Where in the world did you get the tape?" The Deer Hunter said "I had it on the handle of my knife, all I had to do was take two pieces off." See what I mean about MacGyver? Who carries tape on their knife handle just in case?
I know there are resourceful people like The Deer Hunter all over the world, but it seems my area of Appalachia is chock full of them: folks that can figure out how to fix things with what they have on hand and I'm mighty glad to be married to one of those people.
p.s. The Pressley Girls will be playing Saturday June 10, 2017 @ 8:00 p.m. at Vogel State Park - Blairsville GA.
I've been noticing a clump of weeds just out the backdoor. The green bunch is growing right in the portion of gravel that leads you to the back steps.
Even though it's in the way, for some reason I've kept ignoring it choosing to walk awkwardly around it instead of pulling it up.
I was beginning to think I had another fairy tale on my hands. Every time I passed that way I felt the small plant nudging open the file cabinet in my brain, but I could never get the drawer it was in open until today.
As I side-stepped the plant on my way down to the garden I realized what it was trying to tell me.
The skinny spiky top heavy stems were trying to remind me of long recesses at Martins Creek Elementary School and of a group of sweet girls who played together, argued together, and made bracelets, necklaces, and crowns from narrow leaf plantain stems.
p.s. It was way back in 2012 when I shared my own personal fairy tale with you here on the Blind Pig and The Acorn-would you like to hear it again?
p.s.s. The Pressley Girls will be playing Saturday June 3, 2017 @ 1:30 p.m. Art, River & Music Festival - Murphy NC and on Saturday June 10, 2017 @ 8:00 p.m. Vogel State Park - Blarisville GA.
Over 1200 elementary students recently watched a professional theatre show at a college in Appalachia.
Students working hard to better the lives of their families and ours.
hoe down noun A type of lively dance or music; by extension a noisy, lively square dance, usu with a string band supplying the music, the event occasionally accompanied by drinking. Joseph Hall participated in and recorded a number of these events varying from just good fun to hilarious occasions, providing excellent recreation and graceful creativity for both the musicians and the dancers. They are an outstanding part of traditional mountain life.
~Dictionary of Smoky Mountain English
The hoe down tradition is still going strong in my area of Appalachia. Last Saturday the girls and I helped out at a hoe down at a nearby elementary school. Fun was had by all!
The old saying cute as a speckled pup is still alive and well in Appalachia - especially when a pretty girl is holding a seven week old puppy and it falls asleep.
Chitter made me the afghan in the photo for Christmas. I'm telling you the girl can crochet , well actually both girls can crochet. Chatter gifted me with a beautiful scarf she made out of the softest yarn.
Granny's mother Gazzie loved to crochet and she passed that love on to Granny. I've told you plenty of times before, Granny is crochet crazy. She spins out things faster than we can keep track of them or find a place to put them.
Granny taught the girls to crochet and they've stuck with it. Pap used to get so tickled at them. We'd go somewhere to perform and while we were waiting to go on stage they'd pull out whatever they were working on and start crocheting. He said "They really are like two little grannies."
Granny is always telling me I'll be sorry I never let her teach me to crochet and someday it'll be too late. Even though I never picked up the skill, I sure am glad the girls did. Three generations of crocheters is pretty cool if you ask me. And if you count my cousin Tina who is my age and learned from Granny Gazzie-that makes 4 generations which is even cooler.
In Appalachia we have helicopter pilots who criss cross the mountains ferrying folks who are in need to hospitals which are capable of filling those needs. We also have little boys who think whirlybirds and the people who drive them are pretty cool.