Thursday, November 12, 2015

Freedom Barn

There's a unique barn located on the outskirts of Hayesville, NC.  It captures the Appalachina culture and our country's freedom. 

A replica of the Statue of Liberty and an old tractor grace the front of this historical building.

Bruce Davenport of Hayesville, owns this barn and has restored it.  He and his family decorate it seasonally.  The old girl shines in all her glory at Christmastime.

It's ironic that Bruce placed the Statue of Liberty in front of the barn.  In the Blue Ridge Mountains, the barn was central to farm life.  Here the mountaineers stored hay, housed the livestock, milked cows, fed cattle and horses grain, cleaned the stalls, shucked and shelled corn, and stored the tools to upkeep farm equipment.  Work.  Always work.

The good old days were hard.  There was hardly any leisure time for the farmers.  In this sense, I think freedom is a good symbol for the old barn.  Freedom from working sunrise to sunset on the farm, digging a living out of the earth is a good theme to preserve.

I love old barns and this is one of my favorite in the Blue Ridge Mountains of western North Carolina.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Veteran's Day

It was one of those days.  My list of chores included shopping for groceries.  Most times I don't dread this task, but I was running out of time and needed to hurry, hurry, hurry.
I pulled into the parking lot at Ingles and rushed to get my groceries.  A soldier sauntered across the lot wearing his uniform.  He walked straight as a stick with his head held high.  I wanted to shout and thank him for his service, but he was gone before I had a chance to show my appreciation.
My mind raced with thoughts of our military.  Despite what some folks might think, our country is in war overseas.  Soldiers are giving their lives for our freedom.  How often do we think of our soldiers?  How often do we remember to pray for their safety? 
Many men in my family served in the military.  Uncles fought in World War I and World War II.  My brother served with the US Army in Vietnam.  My nephew completed two tours of duty in Iraq and was wounded in the line of duty.
Other families have suffered great loss.  Their loved ones did not come home from war.
As we observe Veteran's Day, I think we should lift special prayers for the safety of our men and women serving in the military. If we see soldiers at church or at a patriotic  service, thank them for their service.  Also, in my latest edition of "Guidepost Magazine," we can subscribe for members of the military.  What an encouragement to young men or women to read this wonderful magazine while serving overseas, or recovering from injuries in a Veteran's Hospital.
There are many ways we can show thanks for our military.  We can  attend a patriotic service, write letters to the soldiers, send CARE packages, or just sing, "God Bless America." 
I want to thank all of my blogger friends who have served in the military.  It is because of your sacrifice we enjoy the freedom we have in America.


This World War II veteran proudly holds the USA flag.  He served his country with honor and duty.

This is a photo of my Uncle George Lee.  He served in the US Army during World War II and was wounded.  He received a purple heart for fighting for his country.  He was very active in the local VFW organization.  The local veterans named the George Lee American Legion after him because he helped so many people in the community of Clay County, NC.



Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Cherokee Heritage Festival

The Native American fall festival was held at the Cherokee Heritage Center in the mountain town of Hayesville, NC on Saturday, September 19, 2015. 

It was perfect weather for a fall festival.  No rain!  The bright blue skies of September dazzled above the Cherokee village.  Dusty lilac asters, goldenrods and knockout roses dotted the trail.  Cinnamon, nutmeg, molasses, and pumpkin spice leaves fluttered in the wind.

Native Americans demonstrated carving bears and arrowheads, pottery, weaving baskets, blow guns, playing stickball, and other crafts.

Dan Hollifield played a Native American flute in the Cherokee winter house.  He hand makes these instruments. 

A storyteller spun tales about the Cherokee culture.  The smell of barbecue, fried apple pies, and other food wafted across the village.

Cherokee dressed in traditional costumes entertained the crowd performing the groundhog, buffalo, frog, and corn dance.

The Cherokee Heritage Festival was the best ever held in Hayesville.  It gave you a taste of Indian culture that prevailed in western North Carolina before the Cherokees were removed to Oklahoma on the Trail of Tears in 1838-1839.

You may visit my other blog to read more about the Cherokee Heritage Center and Dan Hollifield making flutes at:

This Cherokee demonstrated how to hit a target using the blow gun.  These weapons were used by the Cherokee to hunt small game.

This man is carving weapons the Cherokee used in battle.

Here is a carving of a bear that a Cherokee did at the festival.
This Cherokee is carving a bear at the festival.
Some Cherokees are in the summer Cherokee house with a campfire in front.
You'll find at the Cherokee Heritage Exhibit Center displays of tools the Cherokees used.
Dan Hollifield demonstrates playing the flute in the winter house.
Here is a Cherokee winter house.
This is a Cherokee summer house.
The Cherokee stored corn and vegetables in this little house.
This 92-year-old Cherokee still does pottery.
This lady demonstrates making pottery.
Notice the colorful blanket.
This lady is weaving baskets.
A storyteller spins tales about the Cherokee culture.
Cherokees dance in traditional costumes.
The buffalo Cherokee dance.
The Cherokee performing the frog dance.
This Cherokee and his son are playing stickball.
The Cherokee Exhibit Center in Hayesville, NC is an interesting site to visit.  It is located below the Clay County Historical and Arts Museum which is the "Old Jail Museum."  You may visit the exhibit year round.  When you get off the roundabout and head toward Hayesville, the Cherokee Exhibit is on the left side below the museum.  You might want to also visit the "Old Jail Museum."  There are many interesting exhibits there besides an excellent display on the Cherokee and their artifacts that were found at the Spikebuck Indian Mound near Hayesville on the banks of the Hiwassee River.  Also, Moss Memorial Library in Hayesville has an exciting center on the Cherokee culture. 
Give Hayesville a visit sometime!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Sweet September Memories

Fire on the mountains,
sweet September memories.
Looping across Cherohala skyway
in Daddy's old black Ford.

A magical time,
my parents and I
taking a joy ride
on Sunday afternoon.

Work can wait
on the farm,
time with family
can not wait.

I look down
on the rideline
burning like hickory
sticks in the fireplace.

We stop at the overpass,
eat a moonpie and RC Cola,
a whippoorwill whistles
and the cool breeze

brushes my face.
Daddy and Mama smile,
I feel their unconditional love:
work can wait!

                  --Brenda Kay Ledford

My sister, Barbara, Daddy, Mama,
front row:  little Brenda and brother, Harold.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Good Neighbors

Just as I finished my breakfast, the sun broke through a bundle of cotton clouds.  Rays skipped across a ribbon of mountains, and poured lemon juice on my kitchen.

Something clicked in my kitchen.  It wasn't the clock on my stove.  "Oh, no!  Something's torn up again," I moaned.

I noticed the little solar-powered flowers on the windowsill waving their hands.  Click.  Click.  Click.  The daisies were dancing a jig in the sunshine.

I smiled and thought it would be a good day.  I heard a mower humming.  I glanced out the window and our neighbor pulled into the drive.

Mr. Wimpey asked if we needed any fresh vegetables:

Tomatoes red as rubies,
the aroma of hot peppers,
visions of fried okra!

"Oh, yes!  We would love some vegetables," I said.  I was grateful that our neighbors had thought of us and had graciously shared their garden produce with us.

Until recently, Mama raised a garden every year.  She enjoyed sharing her vegetables with family and friends.

As she said, "There's nothing like stepping out your back door and picking fresh vegetables from the garden.

Thanks to our good neighbors, we can still savor fresh, mountain-grown vegetables straight from the garden.

I had a feeling it would be a good day, and it was a great day!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Echoes of Fall

As I wash the breakfast dishes, I glance out the window.  A cornfield rolls like waves on the ocean, fog lifts from the misty mountains.  Wild turkeys feast on the grain and clouds float as sailboats through azure skies.

Katydids scrape their fiddles and a scarlet leaf flutters on the dogwood tree.  McIntosh apples plop to the ground.  Honeysuckle perfumes a breeze.

I gasp.  Fall's coming and I can't hold it back.  Summer has been too hot, humid, and short.  It seems as through school just closed, and school buses will roar again.  Time marches like a band.

The drumbeat of this season!  Bee keepers harvest their honey.  The shelves of roadside markets glow with golden Mason jars.

Yesterday I stopped at the Misty Mountain Roadside Market.  Queen Ann's lace spun doilies beside the market.

A man greeted me.  "Sample this spoonful of honey," he said.  "This wildflower honey is better for allergies than sourwood honey."

I savored the sweet offering and purchased a quart.  I baked biscuits this morning and smothered them with butter and honey.

Besides honey, fall brings cooler weather.  What a relief from the heat.  I won't grieve the passing of summer.  Soon it will be only a page of history.

The echoes of fall! 

"This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it," (Psalm 118:24).

Summer, fall, winter, or spring; each season has its beauty!

Monday, July 6, 2015


After days of rain in the Blue Ridge Mountains, I wondered if the sun would ever shine again.  Everyone I met complained about the rain.  They complained because the fireworks were cancelled at many places during the Fourth of July.  They complained because they had to stay inside, couldn't enjoy picnics or a parade.  How God puts up with us humans complaining, I'll never know.  I even added some complaints myself into the mix.

God is faithful.  The sun peeked through the clouds, blue skies spread a tent above the earth, and I was amazed.  The sunflowers lifted their faces to the heavens and drank cups filled with sunshine. I ran outside and got a good dose of vitamin D.  What a blessing to see the sun again. 

Darkness just has to flee in the presence of light.