I wish I was more like my mother. She was a proud, hardworkingAppalachian woman. She learned the value of hard work as a child, hoeing out the corn fields along side her brothers. She learned the value of knowledge, even though she had to quit school, by learning to read the Grit newspaper story section under the tutelage of her neighbor, another fine mountain woman.
She could whip up a poultice of lamp oil and onions to ease congestion. She milked cows, fed chickens, plucked chickens for Sunday dinner, and made the best biscuits ever baked in a wood cookstove. She planted by the signs and knew how to read coffee grounds. She sang as she worked. When she sang an old gospel song, in that lilting old time way, you knew she felt what she was singing about.
When she was first married, she carried water and washed clothes by hand in a wash tub. Her hands were rough, her eyes, gray-blue like that of the beginnings of a thunderstorm in the sky, her heart was soft and tender.
Never complaining about her lot in life, she learned to be content with what she was given and made the best of it. My mother was like mostwomen of her time, living on a farm, away from the small Appalachiantowns that dotted the green rocky hills and valleys of the Blue Ridge.
My goal in writing is to bring to view the wonderful qualities that our female ancestors had, and how it sustained them through good times and bad. I hope to explore some of the many things from the past that was common back in the day that my mother and grandmother lived.
We women today have those same qualities running through our veins, a heritage that is totally ours. I want to preserve it, tend it like a garden, for all to know.
How did they do the things they did with so little to work with? Living in this Lost Providence wasn’t easy and to some degree, still isn’t. We in the Appalachia came from strong mountain women, and we should never forget that.