During my childhood I had recurring nightmares about little red and green elves climbing over my bed and hanging from the ceiling. Their unintelligible chatter and ghoulish laughter were akin to the buzz of a marauding mosquito circling one’s head at night. The frequency and severity of the their intrusion was probably in proportion to… Continue reading Things That Go Bump in the Night
Most of the homes in Grayson County had red, pink or white roses climbing over the yard or garden fence, blooming with a profusion of small flowers in the spring and early summer. Ours grew over the embankment at the road in front of our house. The roses and an old hymn often sung at… Continue reading Spring Is for Poets
My sisters and I have an inbred aversion to snakes. It runs in the family. Our Mother feared the repulsive things, as did Grandma, as did her Mother, and so on back to the Garden of Eden. Who knows but that the Genesis story may have underestimated the situation when it says that Eve was… Continue reading Snakes I Have Known and Loved – NOT!
Seasons in the Blue Ridge country of southwest Virginia march by like a colorful parade, each with its own display of unique beauty and drama. As children, we greeted the seasons with eager anticipation. The seasonal activities we observed became like rituals that we established without realizing it. Among the rites of fall was the… Continue reading Rites of Fall
Aunt Viola’s Gift Like the flower for which she was named, my Aunt Viola was a vibrant, colorful person. But she was no “Shrinking Violet.” Typical of the mountain women of her time, she lived the harsh life of the Appalachian farm wife of the 1920-40’s. She was robust and strong, as she needed to… Continue reading Gardens Are for Sharing
(Lessons Learned from the Animals at Flatridge) The Energy-efficient Sheep When I was perhaps 4 or 5, we had some sheep on the farm. The lambs in spring were cute, with little black faces and ears and gray woolly bodies that would whiten with maturity. The buck was a frightening fellow who challenged everyone. For… Continue reading Animal Wisdom
The apple orchard on the Appalachian farm where I grew up was my favorite place. In summer I would often scurry to the top of the Yellow Transparent tree to snatch the perfect golden apple from the highest branch. From my leafy fort I could see the rugged blue-gray mountains in the distance and the… Continue reading An Orchard in Spring