Walking On Hillsides

 

By Darlene G. Snyder (find me on facebook)

Kentucky Hillsides

Kentucky Hillsides at Poosey Ridge

                                                             A Shadowy Kentucky River     

                                     Shadowy Kentucy River

Road to the River 

The Road to the River on Poosey Ridge

 

Late this evening, Mike and I took a motorcyce ride to Poosey Ridge and the Kentucky River.  It had been a while since we’ve been able to ride because of Mike’s carpel tunnel in his hands.  If you know anything about riding motorcycles, you know that the clutch and brakes are on the handle bars and must be squeezed tightly when it is nesessary to use them.  This simple thing isn’t simple if you have tender hands.

Anyway, riding motorcycle is a huge stress relief for me, not to mention the thinking time I get it for my next writing project. This evenings ride conjoured up many memories of days on the farm.  Poosey Ridge is mostly a farming community even though the tobacco buyout has changed the way of the farmers. It’s always a pleasure to me to see much of the countryside in this area has been untouched by modern times.

New houses dot the landscapes all along the way, even so there aren’t subdivisions and such taking over the fields and hills. I love how there are still huge open fields with livestock enjoying the grassy fields.  The cattle. goats and horses look as if they are walking on two short legs and two long legs from grazing the hillsides in search of richer pastures.

When I was a lot younger, and had plenty of time to roam, I enjoyed walking – I mean, climbing the hills and walking the cowpaths.  As children, my cousin, sister and I walked the valleys and discovered unique areas and wondered about things like, what would happen if we saw a snake, or what if the bull chased us, what would we do.  Silly things, but we loved playing in those fields.  We made play houses under shade trees and used water from the creeks and streams to mix with dirt for our mudpies.  When we ride I always look for some of the fields and hills where we played.

I wasn’t raised in the Poosey area, but had family who lived there.  I recall as a child riding in the backseat of the car as we traveled down the long winding road.  For those of you who don’t know, most of the road  leading to Poosey Ridge narrows into a one lane, black topped road that is actually a ridge that runs along top of the hills and between hillsides and valleys.  The hills and valleys make for bad farming, but is pleasant to the eyes, especially to a country girl like me.

I took several photographs on my way down to the river and snapped even more once we arrived.  The water level was significantly lower than the last time we rode down.  One of my favorite things about going to the river in the evening is to see the shadowing of the trees against the water.  Looking at the pictures that I snapped, it’s difficult to tell the water from the sky and which way one should hold the picture.

Better stop here for now.  I’m driving an hour tomorrow morning to go pick up my grandbaby and bring him home with me. I have the pleasant opportunity and privilage to babysit him all day Saturday.  I’ll probably bore you all with every detail later!

Ridgecrest is a Beautiful Place, But I’m Happy to be Back Home!

Two \   The two squirrels in the photograph put on a show for attendees of the Blue Ridge Christian Writer’s Conference at Ridgecrest North Carolina.  I also saw the biggest, fattest blackbird that I’d ever seen.  He was hopping on the ground outside of one of the hotel rooms.  It was evident, he and the squirrels were well fed. One thing about it, that blackbird was lucky to be in the mountains of North Carolina cause he sure wouldn’t last to long in the hills of Kentucky.  Farmers don’t take to kindly to blackbirds, you know.

Anyway.

My trip was awesome.  I went for writing inspiration, but I think the awesome worship services inspired me more or at least equally.  I met the song leader who’s name was Dan Snyder.  Since I have a brother-in-law named Danny, I told Dan Snyder that I was telling everyone that he was my brother-in-law, but I really didn’t do that.  I enjoyed all of the speakers who shared words that were insightful and encouraging. I was reminded of the power of words…written and spoken.

I met many fantastic writers and authors.  It was great being around people of like mind and interest.  The faculty of the conference, the employees and volunteers at Ridgecrest all were wonderful and kind.  I really enjoyed this conference, but was sad to learn that Yvonne Lehman was resiging as director.  She’d been at this for many years and helped make the conference what it is today.  Al Gansky is taking her place.  He will do a good job.  He is a great author and leader.  Yvonne is leaving the conference in good hands, but we will miss the fun and life she added to it.

I was able to speak to someone from B & H Publishing about Bits and Bites, Advice and Inspiration for the Pastor’s Wife.  They are the ones who are currently reviewing my proposal. I’ll provide an update when I hear from an email I just sent off. This is a slow process, but from what I learned, patience and perserverence is the key to success. 

Before moving on to other things, I just wanted to say that I have never climbed as many stairs and walked as much as I did these past few days.  As you can imagine, with everything built on the side of a mountain, getting from one place to the next at Ridgecrest required walking up stairs or up steep inclines.  Whew!  I’m glad I took comfortable shoes.  I thought I’d have to have shots of cortisone in my knees when I returned home.  I usually don’t have knee problems, but I did this week.  Luckily, the cure to better knees came when I stopped climbing stairs and mountains.  The beauty of the mountains and scenery made it all worth while though.  Ridgecrest is a very peaceful place.

Now to important things…

Boy, did I miss my grandson!  He is growing so fast that it is hard to remember how much he weighs – his weight and height changes everyday. He’s already eating cereal added to his bottle.  When he eats, he can’t seem to get it fast enough.  I guess he gets that from his daddy. 

and to less important things…

Bill Clinton was in town while I was away.  From what I understand there were around two thousand people on hand to greet him.  I can’t imagine what downtown was like with all the secret service people around.  My boss came out of the courthouse and about had a heart attack when she saw what she thought was a sniper (I didn’t tell her, but I don’t think she’d seen him if it had been a sniper) standing on the building across the street from the courthouse holding a big  gun.  It was the secret service people. I think I’m glad I was in North Carolina.

and I’ll leave you with this…

Be careful when choosing the words you will speak.  When you speak them, you can’t take them back.  If you hurt someone with the words you speak, they might forgive you, but the pain you inflicted with the words will remain forever.

Now, go say something nice to someone.

 

 

 

 

I’M OFF TO SEE THE WIZARD

The Yellow Brick Road 

If Dorothy, in the Wizard of Oz  was searching for help when she set out on her journey, then I am going to follow in her footsteps. After all, she found what she went in search of, didn’t she?

I’ve been packing for my trip to Ridgecrest North Carolina (Oz) to attend the annual Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writer’s Conference.  Of course one can only pack so much in advance.  My make-up and hair supplies are the last items to go into the suitcase. 

Not only am I packing, I’m busy trying to make sure there is plenty of food in the fridge and pantry for hubby. It is a busy time, but I am writhing with anticipation of my trip. Trying to decide what to take and figuring out the weather forcasted for NC has been amusing to say the least. I’m packing for warm weather and for cool mountain weather.  I don’t like being cold, but I have some cute new warm weather outfits I’d like to wear.

I just spent an hour or so studying the bio of each instructor and the notes about what they plan to teach.  I’ve highlighted the ones I’m most interested in attending.  There are several authors, editors and publishers whom I’d like to meet and then there are those instructors that attend annualy who are my favorites.  Decisions, decisions.

I’m particularly interested in talking to editors, agents and or publishers about my Bits and Bites, Advice for the Pastor’s Wife book and then maybe take a class on self-publishing for my church history and members memoirs book that I’ve titiled The Village People.  I also have an interest in learning more about magazine writing opportunities and writing devotions/Bible studies.  I think I can do all that in four days.

Thankfully, I don’t have to make the trip alone.  My friend Margaret has traveled with me for the two years that I previously attended.  She loves the Ridgecrest campus and uses the time away to make final preparations for our church’s annual mission trip. She meets me for all the meals and attends each evenings worship service with me.

I don’t know if I’ll have a chance to update my blog while I am away from home.  I usually take my laptop, but don’t always have much time to write. 

Wish me luck in finding my way.  Like Dorothy, I’m searching for help, but my Oz is located in the mountains of North Carolina.  I won’t find magic there, but I’m still going.

Let’s Talk Cash

My two brothers, sister, mother and meMy brothers, sister, mother and me.

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

Money, Money, Money!  Our Stimulus Payment from the IRS is now in our bank account!  I’m using my portion to attend the annual Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writer’s Conference. I go each May to Ridgecrest in North Carolina where the conference is held. 

The reason I even mention the money, is as a precursor to what I really want to talk about…recalling childhood allowances or the lack there of.  Did you receive an allowance when you were a child? 

My older brother along with my sister and I received .25 cents each.  Wow!  Of course that was in the late 1960’s. Our allowance came on Saturday, and we knew not to expect it every week.  It depended on my parents financial status whether or not we would receive our quarter or not.  I suppose not receiving it didn’t harm me in any way.  I don’t recall disapointment or being upset over not getting our allowance. What I do recall is what we did with the money each week without fail.

When Saturday morning’s housework was completed, mom would go to town.  No, I mean literally, she would get dressed, jump into the car and drive the twelve miles or so into town to purchase groceries and do other shopping. Mostly, we stayed home – alone.  Never thought about being scared or concerned. We were nine, ten and eleven years old.  Our fun started when she left. We had a baby brother that we took care of while she was gone.  He wasn’t old enough during this time to receive an allowance.

Before heading to town, mom gave each of us our .25 cents.  We walked to what amounted to about a block up the road to the store and purchased with our one quarter, a soft drink, potatoe chips and a candy bar.  When we were back home (mom didn’t leave until we returned from the store), we’d put our chips all together in one bowl – we all had purchased different kinds, then share in our feast together.  Sometimes one of us would buy a bag of peanuts.  We’d all put some into our drinks.  Um, good!

I don’t think we had to do anything to earn the allowance, but we were always expected to do chores and help around the house regardless.  Money was never promised nor expected. 

We never considered saving our money. My husband and his brothers received .10 cents each.  He always saved his money to later buy a toy. Sometimes if there was a special occasion such as Mother’s day or a birthday coming up, they’d save thier money to purchase the required gift.  He and his two brothers bought thier mother a watch one year and a punch bowl set another time. There were other gifts purchased, but those are the two in particular he recalls.

Now, here I am getting ready to spend my portion of the stimulus payment and Mike is saving his. I guess some things never change.

What Makes A Good Mother’s Day?

Braxton and me on Mother\'s Day  This is my grandson Braxton and me on Mother’s Day.  I had him hold my finger because when Eric tried to snap the picture, Braxton’s hands were always in front of his face.  Isn’t he adorable!

On to other things…

I love listening to Tina Turner.  My son, Eric makes fun of me and can’t comprehend my attraction to her music. At least he respects my choice of music.  The Mother’s Day card  he and April gave me was one of those Hallmark cards that plays music.  Imagine my delight when I opened it and read, “You simply rock and heard Tina singing Your simply the best. The perfect card! Eric actually had purchased one for April and she insisted that I needed one exactly like it.  Bless her heart!

The journal, photo album and my sterling silver grandmother necklace were great gifts and I loved them, but the best part of my day was spending time with my family.  Braxton wanted to sleep most of the day away, but he did wake-up for a feeding.

I enjoyed our church service also. The men cooked and served breakfast early and afterwards I sang in the all women’s choir making sure to stand next to a great soprano singer…I never sounded better!  She sang loud enough that I couldn’t be heard so I was able to sing my heart out.  I can’t carry a tune at all, but I thought I sounded good next to her. Thanks Janette.

Today, I cooked lunch for the family.  My mother came to eat with us too.  While cooking and putting the meal together I recalled a Mother’s Day long ago when my sister and I decided we wanted to cook lunch for mom and the family.  We were probably ten and eleven years old.  I can’t recall everything we cooked, but I can just see us standing in the kitchen mashing those potatoes with a hand held non-electric potatoe masher…they turned out rather soupy. Ugh.  I’m sure that’s why I don’t like mashed potatoes now.

My sister and I took mom out for breakfast yesterday and then shopping for her Mother’s Day gift. She loved her gifts, but the time spent together meant the most to her.  She and I agree that when we try to recall all the gifts we’ve received for Mother’s Day in the past, nothing really comes to mind.  Maybe, gift cards, cash or jewelry, but for the most part, what we remember are the meals eaten together as a family and the fun we shared.

For most mothers, it isn’t about the gifts, it’s more about children acknowledging that the day is special because of thier mothers.  All we really want is time with our children.  Usually, that ends up being the most expensive gift for them to give.

 

 

 

 

 

Rock on a Fence Post

By Darlene G. Snyder (find me on facebook)

 

Rock on the Fence Post  This photo was taken last summer at Buckeye in Garrard County Kentucky near a place where my husband’s great grandmother was raised.  When I snapped the photo, the only two things I noticed was the gate and the old house.  When Mike saw the picture, he noticed immediatly the rock sitting on the fence post.  He reminded me that farmers always left rocks to use to hold the gate open while they drove through.

That litte tid bit caused a flood of memories.  I can’t recall how many times I’ve gotten out of a truck to open a gate and looked for a rock to hold the gate open.  Sometimes if there were more than one of us in the truck, one would stand and hold the gate open while the other drove through. When I was younger, I loved to jump on the gate and stand on it while it went flying backwards. Sometimes I even had to climb the gate to get to the hook on the other side that kept it locked. This type of memory really isn’t significant.  Even so, I wonder how many of our children ever had to hold a gate open or ride on one.

I’m currently working on preserving memories. I want to write a combination of my mother’s memories and my father’s, and how they met.  The things they experienced are things I will never relate to or understand.  What they went through didn’t seem important for others to know, now small things like gates and rocks are bits of interesting information.

I’m also preserving some of my own memories. I’m reading and working through a book called The Legacy Guide.  There is a website also www.thelegacyguide.com which has helps that go along with the book. It is a guide with questions and statements to help readers recall buried memories in order to record them in a format style suggested by the book.

This got me to thinking…what about you? Do you have insignificant memories like swinging on a gate?

I’d like to hear from you about buried memories of yesterday.  If you have a moment, drop a comment about a memory from your childhood, or life long forgotten.

Have a great week!

Baby Talk

Adorable Braxton You must pardon me while I talk about my grandson.                       

I spent the night with my son and daughter-in-law last night because both had school to attend today.  I was up and down with my grandson whenever he woke and wanted his food last night.  Today, I had him to myself all day!  Don’t tell his parents, but I did my best to spoil him rotten! That child is the sweetest little thing.

The only problem Braxton is having is with his stomach.  The doctors had them change the milk they were giving him to something that is supposed to be easier on the stomach, but so far that doesn’t seem to have helped.  He crys a lot in spite of the malicon drops and the zantac he is now taking. Bless his heart, his belly hurt him most of the day today.Because the new milk seems to be causing the same issues, they started him on soy milk tonight.  hopefully this will help him. 

He is already weighing in at 8 lbs and 4 ounces…He weighed 7 lbs and 1 oz. at birth. He has the biggest blue eyes and cute little pouty lips.  He still has some growing to do for the rest of his body to catch up with his bill little feet and long fingers.

April discovered that if she kisses him on the back of the neck, he cries.  Eric and I too have issues with the back of our necks being touched. I know exactly how Braxton feels – I don’t blame him for crying about that. He is also touchy when it comes to his feet. Both April’s mother and my father had feet phobias.  Helen would kick and scream if anyone touched her feet.  Daddy, could hear the word ‘feet’ and he would instinctly pull his feet off the floor and sit on them to keep people from even thinking about touching them.  Looks like Braxton gets that honest. 

If you’d like to talk about your grandchildren or children, just add a comment – I’d love to compare notes.  Also, if you have advice you’d like to offer to Braxton’s parents, please post a comment here.