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Interview with Gail Godwin about Grief Cottage

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Act 5, Scene 1: Irene's Twilight Zone

Act 5, Scene 1: Irene’s Twilight Zone See whole poem, "The Main Show," and index of scenes.  (Spotlight opens on the lobby of the theater.  Characters who remain in the lobby enter the theater, which remains dark.  Joan the nurse tells the tour guide to also go in, and the narrator hangs back awhile.) Joan: Go ahead in. I’ll stay with my patient.Anyway, this is a family…See More
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Julia Nunnally Duncan at Little Switzerland Books and Beans

August 30, 2019 from 3pm to 6pm
Julia Nunnally Duncan will be a featured author at Little Switzerland Books and Beans on Friday, August 30, from 3-5. A book signing will follow. Julia will read from her latest books A Neighborhood Changes, A Part of Me, and A Place That Was Home.See More
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Guide to Antebellum Flat Rock

"The introduction of my new publication, Guide to Antebellum Flat Rock will be launched on Sept 14 2019 at 1:30 PM at the Henderson County Court House 500 Main Street. A talk and a brief slide show follows with refreshments afterward. …"
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Nancy Werking Poling at Black Mountain Library

June 15, 2019 from 3pm to 4pm
Can women rescue the planet from ecological disaster?Nancy Werking Poling will launch her new novel, WHILE EARTH STILL SPEAKS, set in WNC. She'll tell the stories behind the story: How did Mary (more crone than virgin) get into the narrative? And Mary Surratt, a co-conspirator of John Wilkes Booth?See More
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Flat Rock history via a road

Travelling back in time on a Flat Rock roadby Rob Neufeld             If you walk the one mile length of North Highland Lake Road in Flat Rock, you step nearly 200 years into the past.            At the east end, the 21st century reigns.  Fronting six-lane Spartanburg Highway, a super-Ingles sits above a bog; and a CVS store faces an Octopus Garden smoke shop, a chiropractor, a cell phone provider, and a six-lane avenue to I-26 a mile away .            Neither Ingles nor CVS carries the big…See More
Apr 8, 2019

At the center of my childhood Christmas memories stands a White Pine. Granny loves Christmas-the decorating, the cooking, the merry making. Growing up, her excitement made Christmas truly special-even though there was never much money.

I was a teenager before I realized you could buy a Christmas tree specially grown and cut. I figured everyone went out in the woods and cut one like we did. Neither did I realize the White Pine is at the bottom of the totem pole when it comes to Christmas trees.

Most Christmases Granny used a White Pine for a tree. Looking back I can see why-easy to get- just walk through the back yard, inexpensive-as in FREE, fragrant, and pretty in an old fashioned way. The picture above was Steve's first Christmas. Pap was so young and handsome.

Steve is 5 years older than I am-this was during those years of being the one and only- before I came along to share the spot light. I've always loved this picture from his curling hair to his intent studying-makes me wonder what he's thinking. Maybe dreaming of a ball and bat, maybe a hot-rod car. (the tree in this pic looks more like a bush than a white pine-maybe that's all Granny could find that year)

This White Pine Christmas I was there to crowd in on Steve's light. Although, I don't think he minded-he looks pretty happy. I still have the little rocking chair.

This was the last Christmas we spent in the little house we called Sherlocks. Paul was a toddler and soon after this picture we moved into the house Granny and Pap still live in today-Pap built it for $8,000.00.

This was our first Christmas in the new house-you can see bigger house = bigger White Pine. Paul is sitting in my little chair holding Diggety Dog. Granny made his little plaid suit-and he was styling with his striped socks.

This is the Christmas Granny's White Pine tradition was broken. Someone gave her an artificial tree- Granny used it for years until it rusted and fell apart. By then we were grown and she bought a small table top artificial tree. As I look back over my Christmas past, I realize the old fashioned Christmas Granny made each year was true joy to my world.

When The Deer Hunter and I were first married we bought a real tree each year-but I like to decorate as early as Thanksgiving day which makes for a dry brittle tree by Christmas-so we use an artificial tree. I miss having a real tree-and after dwelling on Granny's White Pine Christmases-next year I may take a walk through the backyard.

Hope you'll leave me a comment about what kind of tree you use or a special tree memory you have.

To read more about my Appalachian Heritage please visit me at the Blind Pig and the Acorn.


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Comment by Lynn Salsi on December 16, 2008 at 2:24pm
I love this story. My father was a "farm boy" all his life. He hated to think a tree was cut down to put lights on. That's why we had a pine tree in a five gallon can for our family Christmas tree. Dad built a greenhouse out of discarded brick, metal, and glass so that he could grow fresh vegetables year round. He kept the tree in there in the winter and then set it outside in the summer. After a few years, he planted the tree in our yard. Your blog makes me want to go back to South Carolina and see if it is still growing there.

Until I read your blog, I had forgotten that the next year he brought a gigantic camellia bush (planted in a five gallon can) into the house for us to decorate. I was so upset. Our neighbors had the most beautiful lah-tee-dah tree ever decorated. But looking back, the camellia bush served its purpose and saved my parents a few bucks. I remember decorating it and thinking how "stupid" it looked. I wish I had photos of it. Now, I know that my dad was pushing the envelop. But he was teaching me a lesson about cherishing growing things, about money, and about the spirit of Christmas. He was born in 1910. I'll bet I heard a hundred times how Christmas was too much about gift giving. I don't think he got anything for Christmas when he was little. I was pretty old (southern term) before I realized my dad's lesson.

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