The pocket watch had a shiny silver-toned back, a big honest face, and it ticked loudly. I was maybe five or six when I got it, but I remember it clearly. It was the sixties, but you would have never known it in the little mountain town of Boone where I grew up. Time moved slowly there. I purchased the watch at the local dime store down town. It was extra special to me because I had bought it with my own allowance money. I think that the watch cost a dollar. I’m not quite sure why I preferred a pocket watch over a doll or stuffed animal, but I carried it around in my blue jeans pocket with pride, and I smiled every time I heard that loud, echoing ticking with its never ceasing reminder of the passing of time.
Winter Solstice, 2017:
On this, the darkest day of the year, our family would like to wish each of you light and joy throughout the year to come. And we thank you for being part of our farm family.
I Heard A Bird Sing - Poem by Oliver Herford
I heard a bird sing
In the dark of December.
A magical thing
And sweet to remember.
The year that she turned six, my youngest daughter put a pig on her birthday list. The pig was part of a list that also included sparkly gel pens, a new purple backpack for first grade, and a pink leotard for her just-enrolled dance class. But the pig was at the top. Since Lina was so young, I figured that she could not be serious. After all this practical little girl with long braids and steady eyes—the kid who never begged for anything--surely didn’t really want a pig. I tried to talk her into a Barbie instead. It would be so much easier, I pointed out, since we wouldn’t have to feed it. No deal. Lina looked at me with earnest eyes and explained that any girl could have a Barbie—but that she wanted a pig. We had a farm so we needed a pig, she reasoned, and a pig would be “way, way better than a Barbie.”
We are thrilled to host The Mountain Minor filming on the farm. We appreciate their passion for our Appalachian region--and for the very authentic and sincere story that the movie relates. Our farm dog Heidi (aka the dog star!) adored being the center of attention, and our family loved the sound of fiddle music filling up the holler and elevating everyday farm life into a concert.
Spring continues to unfold around us in greens and golds. We are reminded of the Robert Frost poem :
Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leafs a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.
Wishing all of you happy planting and beautiful beginnings ...
A real mountain woman is supposed to be tough enough to wring the head off of a chicken and serve the bird up to a whole passel of younguns. She has to know how to use a shotgun, an ax, and an outhouse even as she sings old ballads and tells enchanting tales by the fire at night. In short she’s supposed to be more comfortable with the world the way it was a hundred years ago than the way it is now.