Sunday, June 26, 2022

Summer Corn

 We have just a tiny place in the back yard where we can grow things.  This year we decided to devote most of that space to growing a little corn patch.  About the first of April, I planted 65 hills of Peaches and Cream sweet corn.  The corn did well and now we are reaping the rewards.

Now we are eating corn almost every day.  We get the water boiling and then go out and shuck the ears.  What a treat to have right here at home.

I think we will probably try this again next year!

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Ocracoke Storytelling Week

 This past week we were joined by sixteen storytellers and two other family members for our 24th annual Ocracoke Storytelling Week.  Since we have been doing these weeks, now two weeks each year, we have had forty-four workshop weeks through which have come more than six hundred people.

We rent five houses for the week in which participants stay, some sharing houses with each other.  We meet in class each day and all have dinner together at a different place each evening. We also explore the island so people can understand the whole of where they have come for the week.

There are two occasions during the week when participants in the workshop present a public performance.  Here we see Pepper Hagebak from LaGrange, Georgia, telling a story at the Ocracoke Preservation Society Museum.

A new activity this year was a fire on the beach on Wednesday night.  Our informal times together are very important as these are the time when lots of stories come out to be told.

This week ended with a Saturday trip to the Portsmouth Island ghost town.

Thursday, June 9, 2022

OcraFolk Festival

 This past weekend was the 22nd Annual OcraFolk Music and Storytelling Festival held here in the island.  This year it was a great privilege for Trish and for me to have our friend, Josh Goforth, performing at the festival and staying at our house.

The audience instantly fell in love with Josh and their only question was, “Can he come back next year?” His sets were sparkling with energy.  Josh also got to play with several of his friends who were also at this year’s festival and with our Ocracoke friend, Martin Garrish.

On Saturday morning, Josh and I got to have back to back sets on the main festival stage.

The biggest thrill for me, though, was, following my closing Saturday night set, Josh and I got to sing together “Time has made a change in me,” to finish the evening.  We already already looking forward to our next time to have him here.

Saturday, May 28, 2022

Unique Beauty

 When we are here in the mountains at the SWAG, every day is unique and different.  As we go to breakfast each morning, we always take a picture from the same place on the porch.  Now two days are ever alike.

Sometimes the clouds are below us and just the surrounding mountain tops stick up to be seen.

Sometimes the clouds are above us and we hang beneath them. But on other days, there seems to be no description as clouds, land, and light create a picture we have never seen before.

Thursday, May 26, 2022

Back in the Mountains

 This week Trish and I are back near Waynesville at the SWAG, the Great Country Inn of the Smokies, where I tell stories and we lead hikes each day.  This is the land of my childhood and the memories here are rich indeed.

Spring has arrived here and we seem to be alternating days of rain and sunshine.  The rhododendrons are spectacular and the grass is green.

On one of our clear days we had a beautiful hike up to Hemphill Bald where we overlook Cataloochee Ranch and Ski Area.  The Ranch has recently been purchased by the SWAG owners and is being remodeled as a family resort area.  The day was clear and the views were long.

Walking in the other direction we saw a small wren fly out from under a root beside the trail.  We discovered that she had built her nest under that root and there were four beautiful eggs in the nest.  Maybe they will hatch before we have to leave at the end of the week.

Monday, May 23, 2022

Shoals Festival

 Trish and I just finished the Shoals Storytelling Festival in Florence, Alabama.

Held in the great old Shoals art-deco era movie theatre, I was joined by Dolores Hydock, Bil Lepp, and Elizabeth Ellis, as well as several musicians.

The whole event started on Thursday evening with Dolores, accompanied by musician Bobby Horton, performing her historical story of Sallie Independence Foster based on the intact diary of that child who kept a personal daily diary from 1861 to 1887.  Sallie Foster lived in a big house that still stands at the head of Court Street (the Main Street) of Florence just above the Shoals Theatre.  This gave us a wonderful local history beginning place.

The festival concluded with local musicians on Saturday evening.

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Wheels Through Time

 While we were in the mountains, Trish and I had a morning visit to the Wheels Through Time Museum located in Maggie Valley.

The museum houses part of the collection of Dale Walksler in a 38,000 square foot display building.  There are nearly four hundred working motorcycles displayed in settings proper to their era and usage.  There are examples from military to hill climbing to wood track racing to road use and more.

There are also historic vehicles besides motorcycles and worlds of paraphernalia to go with it all.  Even if you have no interest in motorcycles, the museum will still have things to be amazed by.

Summer Corn

 We have just a tiny place in the back yard where we can grow things.  This year we decided to devote most of that space to growing a little...