The Bee and The Bard

Luke and little Isobella in a field

The Bard was raised out a little country road just a tad bit over 3 miles from the copper company across from the old white house where my Mamaw ran barefoot as a wee girl, at the foot of an apple orchard, all within the shadows of Big Frog Mountain. I grew up with folks who lived through the great war and the depression and heard stories of how they weren’t really sure when it was over cause being poor was just how life was. The struggle was simply consistent. I fell in love with the mountains, forests, and creeks early on and would wander them often instead of going to baseball practice (much to Daddy’s dismay). And while wandering the area and falling in love with the magic that these old mountains hold, I fell even more in love with its people. The old farts, the weird and unusual, the downtrodden, the farmers whose necks were as of old leather from years in the sun, the preacher’s, the congregations, the teachers, the miners, the mechanics…each of them had, and still have, a story to listen to. A story full of life and hardships, family, and love.

Luke sitting in a pick up truck

I repeated these stories to my own youngins as they wandered these same hills and hollers as children to hopefully instill the same love for both mountain magic and for the good folks who would happily open up a spot at their supper table.

The Bee grew up in the little house upon the hill surrounded by forest but had two very important features: it had a view of the old family orchard and there was a well worn path to Mamaw’s house. The town was a little different by the time that she came around, but the hearts of the people remained the same. The Bee spent many childhood days roaming the great woods that surrounded the house on the hill, Mamaw’s house, and the pine thicket that surrounded the big apple orchard she loved oh so much. She grew up in the backseats of an old Honda element that turned into a little silver Subaru as she aged, but the adventures stayed the same. She learned to write from The Bard’s stories, learned of the magic of the ancient mountains that surrounded her home, and The Bard and her mother taught her to appreciate nature. They made sure she never forgot that the roots of their family run far deeper than the roots of the tallest trees. It’s something that stuck with The Bee and something that always will. No matter how far away she may wander, these hills will always be her home and the muse of her writings. Her stories may differ a wee bit from those of The Bard, but so has the world and a different perspective from the youngins of these hills is what will keep our fading culture alive for the generations to come. 

Isobella as a child with her Papaw

Yes, these are our personal musings, but in reality, it’s just a collection of memories of all of those whose roots can be found buried in this rich magic mountain soil.

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