Saturday, April 23, 2016
Gardening. I loathed the word. To me it was nothing but hard, hot, back-breaking work. What pleasure could you get from digging in the dirt?
Each summer my siblings and I worked in the garden. We planted seeds, chopped down weeds, and picked the veggies. We sat on the front porch stringing bushels of green beans, cutting corn off cobs, and snapping peas. Sweat ran down our faces. Work never ended on the farm. Even at night I dreamed of stringing green beans.
I vowed when I grew up to never garden again. Let someone else labor and grow the vegetables. I would just buy some fresh veggies at a road-side stand.
Years passed and one spring I got the call. A desire to get my hands in the dirt churned in my heart. It was the deep-rooted longing of my ancestors to; yes, garden!
I bounded outside and drank in the beauty. Jonquils spread churned butter on verdant grass. Robins lifted praise songs, Bradford pear trees offered vanilla ice-cream cones, and minnows jumped in Hyatt-Mill Creek.
I grabbed my hoe and pounded the clay dirt until every bone in my body hurt. Sweat soaked my blouse. I rubbed my aching back and filled my lungs with the fragrance of wild roses. Silence.
Now I knew how my mother and ancestors felt working the good earth. I was revived, at peace with God, myself, and nature. Gardening! Oh, what a pleasure.
--Brenda Kay Ledford
Now that spring is here
Now that the year's advanced to spring
And leaves grow large and long
Forget each sorry and rueful thing
Hearing the wild bird's song.
--Byron Herbert Reece
Thursday, March 17, 2016
gems glitter on Hyatt-Mill Creek,
purple crocus pop up,
the year's at the spring.
Cotton clouds kiss azure skies,
mountains unfurl royal blue ribbons,
jonquils splash sunshine on banks,
the robins twitter as they fly.
Sound the flute!
The winter is past,
life bursts forth from earth's tomb,
gems glitter on Hyatt-Mill Creek.
The hillside's dew-pearled,
frogs croak on the pond,
there's joy in the mountains,
the year's at spring.
--Brenda Kay Ledford
This poem was published in "Pancakes in Heaven," March, 2016 issue.
Tuesday, February 23, 2016
Ma Ledford always wore an apron.
She churned butter, gathered apples
and baked bread wearing
her white starched apron.
Ma hoed her garden
in her one-pieced apron
and used it as a basket
to carry okra, corn, and tomatoes
into the kitchen.
She built fires in the woodstove
smearing soot on the White Lily apron.
When Granddaddy Bob went to market,
she changed into a fresh
lye-washed apron. She felt
undressed without it.
She used her apron as a fan
to chase flies away from
the dining room table.
I can still see Ma,
plain and practical
wearing her flour sack apron.
--Brenda Kay Ledford
This poem appeared in Farming Magazine, Winter 2015
Saturday, January 30, 2016
Brenda's story, "Angels Over Iraq," was first printed in Angels Magazine. Guideposts selected the best stories that appeared in this magazine and published a hardcover anthology. Brenda's story was included in this book.
Her story is about her nephew who served two tours of duty in Iraq. She had a dream that angels were protecting him and wrote a story about her vision. It was included in both the magazine and anthology.
The Lord did in fact protect John and he got home to America. He was called to preach and is now attending divinity school.
God does great things!
His grandfather was also a Southern Baptist minister for 40 years. We are praying God will lead John in the field where it's His will to use him for God's glory. We appreciate very much the prayers of our blogger friends that John will be used in a mighty way for the Kingdom of God.
Monday, January 25, 2016
You'll step back in time at this old-fashioned ice-cream parlor, burger and sandwich shop. Antiques ranging from a crank telephone, rocky horse, rag dolls, a telephone booth, vintage china, old posters, ice-cold bottled Cokes, moon pies, antique furniture, farm tools, and many other mountain crafts dot this unique parlor.
I often visit the L'il Corner to escape stress. Tension melts like hot butter in this peaceful place. It's also a great place to write while I savor an old-timey cola float, or lick a strawberry ice-cream cone, or chomp a triple-chocolate-fudge brownie.
Besides these deliciously sinful desserts, you'll find sandwiches, burgers, homemade soups, chili and beans, hotdogs, and scrumptious salads. Waiters serve a free bag of fresh-popped corn as an appetizer as you study the menu.
It's a living history lesson in this little shop. I recall in the 1960s we would drop by this parlor every Sunday after church. Back then we didn't have any restaurants in our little mountain town.
Johnny Beal owned the country store back then. We got some bologna, a loaf of bread, hoop cheese, moonpies, and RC Colas for our lunch.
Each time I dine at the Best L'il Corner, it's a pleasant experience. I think you will enjoy a jaunt to this little ice-cream parlor, too.
Thursday, December 31, 2015
by: Connie Biltz
One of my blogger friends, Daisy, at: www.conniebiltz.com, has written a terrific poetry book, Rainbow Chaser. Here's a brief review of her book.
Biltz, Connie. Rainbow Chaser. Bradenton, Florida: BookLocker.com, Inc., 2015. 163 pp., paperback. $14.95.
Connie Biltz chases the gloom away with her delightful poetry book, Rainbow Chaser. Sip a cup of hot cocoa and refresh your soul with her verse. Her title poem seeks goodness in the world:
"Bring on the colors, the glow, and the hope.
...so call me a rainbow chaser.
Bring on the balloons, the chocolate, and the confetti,
I guarantee we won't regret it."
Connie takes the readers on an image-filled journey in her poetry book. She uses sounds and word play to keep the fingers flipping the pages. Her sense of humor amuses and surprises us.
Nature influences her poetry. Not even the rain keeps "Rainy Day Daisy," down:
"Swaying in the wind,
a daisy stoops and struggles
under the weight of heavy rain.
...Springing back after the storm,
tilting and nodding,
the daisy turns
and faces the sun."
We take an exciting walk in her poem, "My Listening Walk." Sounds, word play, and rhythm get our feet tapping:
"Walking shoes, rhythmic feet,
catch in a bit of gravel-
ping, clickety, ping."
Connie's poem, "Whispering of Angels," soothes the spirit at this time of year:
"Midst the clamor of merrymaking, card-sending, and cookie-baking, seek the quiet of the not-yet-frozen lake. Listen closely. Hear the whisper of angels as you savor each glittery snowflake."
She captures vivid word images in the changing seasons. Sparks ignite leaves in "Flames of Fire." Chocolate sauce drizzles over ribbons of peppermint in a winter sunset. Piles of sculpted snow are like slain dragons on the sides of roads. At last a bunny bounces, kicks up spring. Now look! Think of the crocus and its amazing hocus pocus. Winter may cling and linger, but it will eventually slither away.Besides writing about nature, Connie's family and friends are dear to her. "Gratitude List" and "Blessings Counted" cause us to pause. Ponder. Give thanks!
"Bits and Pieces" is the final curtain of her poetry collection. Get connected. "Ditch Those Digital Devices":
...Put the phone down.
Look up and look around.
Communicate one on one:
make a friend, make a point,
win a heart, and stir affection."
Connie Biltz wins hearts with her beautiful poetry book, Rainbow Chaser. It's a great read!
You may order Connie's book at Amazon.com, or contact her at: www.connieblitz.com.
Book reviewed by: Brenda Kay Ledford
the verdant grass
the field--a pond
deer nibble cut corn
in the Blue Ridge Mountains
a black blanket
soars to the pines
squawk, squawk, squawking
a scarlet ribbon
flutters through fog
a New Year!
--Brenda Kay Ledford
I wish my blogger friends a very Happy New Year!