Born thy people to deliver, born a child and yet a King,
Thursday, December 21, 2006
Born thy people to deliver, born a child and yet a King,
Monday, December 18, 2006
And even a little "homemade" mountain liquid refreshment filled the evenings
Sunday, December 17, 2006
Thursday, December 14, 2006
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
Words & Music: Dr. William S. Pitts, 1857
(words tweaked by bmm...)
"There's a church in the valley by the wildwood
No lovelier spot in the dale
No place is so dear to my childhood
As the little white church in the vale
How sweet on a clear Sabbath morning
To listen to the clear ringing bells
Its tones so sweetly are calling
Oh come to the church in the vale
There, close by the church in the valley
Lies one that I loved so well
He sleeps, sweetly sleeps, 'neath the willow
Disturb not his rest in the vale
There, close by the side of that loved one
'Neath the tree where the wild flowers bloom
When farewell hymns shall be chanted
I shall rest by his side in the tomb
(Oh, come, come, come, come)
Come to the church by the wildwood
Oh, come to the church in the vale
No spot is so dear to my childhood
As the little white church in the vale "
- The photos are of the church Aunt Sarah and Uncle Curtis (see prev. post) attended. It lies on a hill across from their farm...Sarah's childhood church. And they are both buried in the churchyard, under a grove of trees. Sarah lying just feet from her childhood home.....
Monday, December 11, 2006
Through fate and serendipity, my husband's job has landed us within an afternoon's drive of a county that has deep family roots for me. My great-grandfather settled here and raised his family in the deep hills of Appalachia. The above farm belonged to my Great Uncle Curtis and his wife Sarah. Sarah was raised in this farmhouse, which was originally a log home (the logs can still be seen inside). She and Uncle Curtis inherited the farm and lived out their lives here- Aunt Sarah never leaving her childhood home.
Aunt Sarah and Uncle Curtis were very resourceful, as the isolation of the mountains necessitated: growing most of their food, making their own clothes, and raising animals. Sarah taught school and Curtis was a carpenter. They never had children, but raised a local orphaned boy as their own. Sarah always had homemade bread and fresh-churned butter waiting for any visitors that stopped by, visitors that included some of her students- some of whom I have run into, living close by, and they have related what a treat it was to be invited into their teacher's home.
My Uncle Curtis died in a tragic accident when I was two- felling a tree on his property, something he had done hundreds of times before...so I never knew him. But Aunt Sarah continued to live there on the farm and teach and we visited her numerous times growing up. I remember her wood cookstove that she would bake fresh bread in, her sparkling eyes that would light up when we came to visit, and playing in the creek running along side of the house. Memories cherished..... and now passed along in the retelling to my son, who gets to relive them vicariously through our afternoon drives to the land of his ancestor's.....
Friday, December 08, 2006
these were taken on
a drive down a winding backroad to where my husband works. I take this route often even though it's a little longer...... you can see why.
Part of this river snakes through a narrow, mountainous trough area that you can't see from the road, and is only accessible by canoe/kayak or by a local scenic excursion train.
There are many bald eagles that nest in the trough and they say you see them 90% of the time when you go through it...... hopefully a summer excursion for us in the coming
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
Lulling me......This is what happens when I see old farms and old
buildings. I'm drawn to them and their timelessness. I imagine what went on within their walls, all the joy, tragedy, heartbreak- mountain life was hard in the Appalachians back when these places were in their prime and every home had it's share of both pain and sorrow. But I also picture the family sitting on the porch in the evening, telling tales, playing the fiddle, banjo, or dulcimer, singing the old mountain ballads- as that was their sole form of entertainment and a respite from the hard life they lived.
I grew up in an an old farmhouse with lots of history. It was, in fact, the oldest house in our county. I always believed there were "good ghosts" there- not literal ghosts, but echos and memories of all its former inhabitants. And maybe that is why I still feel so connected to places with history.
When I see an old farmhouse, church, or school building set against the backdrop of the mountains, I feel a stirring inside my soul, a connection with the mountain people who once inhabited it. So you'll see this theme in a lot of the photos I take. And I hope to soon post pictures of my grandfather's homeplace that he and his brothers built. I am so proud to have roots in Appalachia and am grateful that I get to raise my son in the mountains. I hope he will feel that deep connection to the land where he is growing up, also.
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
Sunday, December 03, 2006
Raking Leaves...... we still haven't finished raking all the leaves from our yard and it is now December. We have the only yard on the block with trees, so we feel the neighborly duty to rake so the leaves don't blow into everyone's yard. But we tend to rake up one bagful here, one bagful there. And we get plenty of "help"- the kind of help that makes it "one step forward, one step back". But that's the best kind, isn't it?
Saturday, December 02, 2006
“We wake, if we ever wake at all, to mystery, rumors of death, beauty, violence…” -Annie Dillard
The above artwork is a work by my friend, Faryn Davis. Although she originally hails from the mountains of western NC, she now resides in Seattle. Faryn is an incredibly talented artist and uses a lot of mixed media, including natural objects, resin, wood, clay, and paint to make wonderfully unique, organic art. Her resin ornaments and paintings are my favorite and she will even personalize text in them.
Faryn also makes jewelry and sculptures. You won't be able to see the full scope of what she does until you browse her site, which is here. Enjoy!!!