Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Singing Christmas Tree

Snow usually spread a blanket across the Blue Ridge Mountains in December, but that Christmas in 2,000, seemed like spring.  We wore light-weight clothing and flipped on the air-conditioner.  The forsythias glowed like pots of gold and robins chirped.  Cherry trees bloomed on the streets of Hayesville, North Carolina.

I was in no mood for Christmas, but a friend asked me to join the " Singing Christmas Tree" at Truett Memorial Baptist Church.  We practiced a lot for the program.  Our director wanted us to get the music just right.

Some members quit attending the practice sessions.  I was exhausted after teaching feisty fourth graders, and almost pulled out, too.  I stuck with the program, and finally the music came together.  The director praised us for working hard and predicted it would be a great "Singing Christmas Tree."

We members relaxed and actually began to enjoy the practice sessions.  One person kept us in stitches with his pranks and jokes.  Garland was a born comedian.  One evening he marched into the church wearing a big, shaggy white wig and beard down to his waist.  Everyone including our director had a good, long belly laugh at Garland's "Santa Claus" personification. 

It was just like a miracle when our "Singing Christmas Tree" program came together.  The attendance grew each evening until the fire marshal had to limit the number of people jamming into the church.  Our program was filled with energy and the spirit of Christmas touched me until I was filled with the joy of Christmas.  I'm glad I was part of the program that I'll never forget.

by:  Brenda Kay Ledford

This story appeared in "Tis' the Season,"
                                       Old Mountain Press, 2018

                   I wish all my blogger friends a very Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year.  I really enjoy blogging with my friends and visiting your beautiful blogs.


Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Fabulous Fall

Early this morning,
dewdrops sparkled
like diamonds on the grass.

A cardinal speared
seeds from sunflowers
and twittered autumn's arrival.

Poplars waved golden palms
in the cold wind,
a wedge of geese

honked through the azure skies.
The corn shocks rattled
tambourines in the pumpkin patch,

and Shewbird Mountain
blushed with mauve foliage
as fall made her debut.
           --Brenda Kay Ledford

This poem appeared in "Pancakes in Heaven,"
                                        September, 2018.

I wish all my blogger friends a very happy Fall!

Tuesday, September 4, 2018


As a child savors
her first lollipop
full of wonder
licking her lips

simple joys of nature:
sunflowers pulse on the wind
layers of sapphire mountains
unfurl as a scroll

the wild geese honk in v-shape
marshmallow clouds swirl
through pink lemonade
stars dazzle on black velvet

like a girl tossing glitter
and the Harvest Moon
casting golden coins
on Shewbird Mountain.
           --Brenda Kay Ledford

This poem appeared in:
"West End Poet's Newsletter,"
September/October/November 2018

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Georgia Mountain Fair

Georgia Mountain Fair
July 28, 2018
Prose Poem

     Mauve-colored crape myrtles, buttery cone flowers, and hydrangea with blossoms large as soccer balls, pulse in the wind.  The human cannonball explodes as the performer whizzes 65-miles-per-hour through the azure skies.  Ripples ricochet on Lake Chatuge, a thousand diamonds sparkle on the waves.  A waterwheel spins, children splash through an icy stream.  You savor a cup of fresh squeezed lemonade.  Viewing the photography show, a pink cloud shaped like an angel dazzles the senses.  Another photo depicts a cherub dancing on a flame in the fireplace.

by:  Brenda Kay Ledford

An exhibit of canned goods at the fair.

Beautiful quilts are also exhibited at the fair.

Children enjoy milking the cow at the fair.

The delicious smell of fried apple pies wafts across the fairgrounds.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

The Hiding Place

I discovered a treasure within a stone's throw of my home.  It's amazing what you'll find if you take time to savor the beauty of nature.

Off Myers Chapel Road, you'll find this hidden gem.  Three picnic tables overlook Hiawassee River.  The sun shoots fiery arrows on this spot.

I've passed this place many times and wondered why the TVA installed picnic tables.  No shade.  It's not even appropriate for sunbathing.

What's the purpose for this recreational area?  I decided to ascertain the wisdom of spending tax payer's money for these picnic grounds.  I parked my Jeep in the hot, asphalt parking lot.  The picnic tables looked like salt blocks.  I took the path to the river.

A breeze perfumed with honeysuckle licked my skin . It was heaven sent on this hot, summer day.

Water lapped against the bank that was dotted with tiger lilies.  The river murmured and diamonds dazzled on the waves.  It forked and tiny waterfalls tumbled over smooth rocks.

I was mesmerized by the music of the stream.  Tension melted from my body and washed away worry.

I recalled the baptizing our church held.  I sang the hymn, "Shall we gather at the river where bright angel feet have trod..."

Suddenly, I was baptized with peace.  I had found a hiding place to pour out my sorrow.

By:  Brenda Kay Ledford

Reprinted from:  "Into the Coastal Sun," an anthology of poetry and prose,
                              Old Mountain Press
                              www.Old MountainPress.com

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Hunting Ginseng

Image result for ginseng plant photos

Shewbird Mountain towers in the Southwestern corner of Clay County, NC.  The name came after the shape of a flying bird.  Others think the mountain was named for a Cherokee chief, Shewbird, who lived in a cabin on the ridge.

My father and his family lived at the foot of the mountain in the Matheson Cove.  At one time, Great-Granddaddy Dallas Matheson owned the entire 600 acres of Shewbird Mountain and raised an apple orchard above the frost line.

Each spring the Ledford family hiked to the top of Shewbird Mountain and had a picnic.  They could view both Georgia and North Carolina from the ridge line.

After their picnic on Shewbird, the girls would write notes to boyfriends and leave them between the boulders at the Devil's Post Office.  That was a cave located on the mountainside.

My father and his brothers would hunt for ginseng in the woods.  They never took all the plants from one spot, but some folks stripped the sane from the land until it became extinct.

The Cherokee Indians first owned this land.  When they harvested plants, the Cherokee would apologize for taking them.  They would always leave ginseng to grow back the next season.

Because the ginseng root resembled the human body, the mountain folks used it as a home remedy for all ailments that afflicted them.  The bitter herb was more valuable than gold and exported to China.  Besides using ginseng for medicinal purposes, many mountain folks supplemented their income by harvesting this plant.

by:  Brenda Kay Ledford
This story appeared in Old Things, an anthology published by Old Mountain Press, 2018,

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Mother's Love

A mother's love
is like red roses
perfuming the mountains
on a fog-choked morning.

A mother's love
is like a shade tree
cooling a hot brow
on a blistering day.

A mother's love
is like a cardinal
lifting your spirit
with cheerful songs.

A mother's love
is like a candle
lighting your path
with her prayers.

A mother's love
is like a patchwork quilt
wrapping a wounded heart
in a harsh world.

by:  Brenda Kay Ledford

I wish all my blogger friends a very Happy Mother's Day!

Singing Christmas Tree

Snow usually spread a blanket across the Blue Ridge Mountains in December, but that Christmas in 2,000, seemed like spring.  We wore ligh...