Thursday, June 30, 2022

More Than an Old Lady

 My neighbor is a remarkable person.  Miss Thelma still puts out a huge vegetable garden and beautiful flowers each year at age 93!

You'll see her all hours of the day working out rows of beans.  Not a weed in her garden.  Her corn grows like the Jolly Green Giant, potatoes, tomatoes, leap from the ground.  There's no doubt she's a master gardener.

One day it was 90 degrees and I noticed Miss Thelma hoeing the garden.  I stopped to check on her (but didn't tell her that).

"Miss Thelma, you're going to have a heat stroke working in this hot weather," I said.  

"I may do it," she said with a smile. "I just hope if I pass out, someone won't think this old lady is taking a nap and pass by.  At least I'm wearing a cap."

I chatted with her awhile.  She told me that she mowed her lawn that morning, and this afternoon worked in her garden.

Her red pickup was parked close to the garden.  It had a power saw and some tree limbs on the back.  Evidently she had trimmed some bushes either that day or another time.

I didn't criticize Miss Thelma for working.  I figured it would be better to go on if you were still living an active life.

"You are an inspiration to our neighborhood, Miss Thelma.  I hope if I live to your age, I can be as fit as you are."

She grinned and said she hoped to be able to garden for a long time.  But everybody has to die sometime she added.

Finally, Miss Thelma is a strong person and a woman of faith.  She's a mother figure and shares the fruit of her labor with others.  Her vegetables are delicious and not like store-bought food.  Maybe it's the love she puts into her garden that makes the difference.  Our community is blessed that she lives here.

Saturday, June 18, 2022

Father's Day


Daddy and me when I was about 10 years old.  He was my best friend growing up in the mountains.

Fathers are special.  They make a profound influence on the lives of children.

I was blessed to have a wonderful daddy.  He worked hard to provide for our family.

Daddy was a bi-vocational minister.  He pastored churches (never received a salary) and worked on construction jobs operating cranes and bulldozers for 50 cents an hour.

He instilled faith and the value of hard work in the lives of  my siblings and me.  Unfortunately, some people don't have that work ethic today.

Daddy also valued education.  He didn't have an opportunity to get a college education because he worked as a teenager to help support his parents and siblings.  Daddy was self-educated and loved to read especially the Bible.

Although Daddy couldn't afford it, he bought a set of "World Book Encyclopedias" for our family.  He encouraged us to look up information and to enrich our lives.

"Get a good education," he said.  "That's something no one can ever take away from you."

My siblings and I were fortunate to attend college.  Daddy sacrificed to help with our education.  My sister was the first one in our family to get a graduate degree.  My brother was a 30-year law enforcement officer, and I'm a retired educator.  We owe it to Daddy.

When Daddy had an opportunity to take seminary extension classes at the Dr. George W. Truett Baptist Association, he furthered his education.  After working late each day on the construction job, he took classes at night.  I know he was exhausted, but determined to learn all he could.

He wrote research papers and made an A on all his work.  He was intelligent and  had an amazing memory.  Daddy memorized many books of the Bible, never used any notes when he delivered sermons.

Daddy instilled within me the values of hard work and knowledge.  Most of all, he showed by example a life filled with faith and love!

I wish all my blogger friends a very happy Father's Day1

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Indian Paintbrush Legend

 According to legend, a Cherokee Indian artist tried to paint a wildflower but couldn't get the colors right.  He asked the Great Spirit to help.

He sent down paintbrushes to the Cherokee.  The artist painted a colorful flower that blazed like fire.

The Cherokee artist tossed the brushes into the woods.  Indian Paintbrush wildflowers popped up across the Appalachian Mountains.

This is the legend how these beautiful wildflowers came to our mountains.

The Appalachian Mountains have 2,500 different wildflowers.  What kind of wildflowers do you have in your part of the country?

Thursday, May 26, 2022


 Each night I look out the window before I go to bed.  I savor the full moon rising like a balloon over the mountains.  The stars twinkle as diamonds on black velvet.

But lately I've been amazed at dozens of lights flashing in the trees.  It's like Christmas ornaments in late May and early June.

The fireflies put on a night show.  People flock to the Great Smoky Mountains to behold this wonder for two weeks every year.

The fireflies light up and go dark at the same time.  The National Park Service holds an eight-day event for visitors to view this beautiful display.

When I was a child, our family sat on the front porch and watched the fireflies.  We called them lightning bugs.  My brother and I chased the insects and caught them in Mason  jars.  They were our lanterns, but we always released them unharmed.

It's an amazing show watching  the fireflies flashing.  How they synchronize their glow is another example of God's wonderful works!

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

A Girl and Her Dog

 This is a photo of my great-niece, Reagan Blanche, and her dog, Henry.

A Girl and Her Dog

When life gets hard,
Reagan goes outside
and lopes across the yard
playing catch ball with her dog.

She leaves behind tons
of math and reading assignments,
homework can wait,
but the day will soon end.

Henry, the husky, and Reagan
sing a merry little tune,
free as the rose petals
twirling, twisting, on a breeze.

How good to be alive!
They savor this splendid spring,
a girl and her dog playing:
their blue eyes sparkle!
               --Brenda Kay Ledford

I hope my blogger friends are having a very happy spring!

Friday, April 22, 2022

Mother's Day


Happy Mother's Day to all of my blogger friends.  I appreciate you very much!

This is a photo of my mother, Blanche, who passed away April 14, 2021.  I still miss her very much. We were very close, and I have posted a poem about my mother.  

Lend a Hand

My hands have served

me well as blood veins

crisscross like Blue Ridge Mountains

where I grew up.

I hoed the garden,

picked okra, corn, green beans,

squash and dug Irish potatoes.

I canned food, strung leather breeches.

Brother George and I hacked

firewood with a cross-cut saw

on Davy Mountain, carried water

from the spring for the family.

I scrubbed laundry on a rub board,

pressed clothes with a flat iron

heated in the fireplace.

I married Rondy and we had

four babies, held them closely

knowing life is short.

I made dresses from feed sacks,

pieced patchwork quilts.

            --Brenda Kay Ledford

 I wish all my blogger friends a very happy Mother's Day.  If your mom is still alive, I hope you will be able to visit with her and let her know how much you love her.  It's so sad that we will not always have our mothers with us.  

This is a photo of Mama when we attended the Georgia Mountain Fair in Hiawassee, GA.  She put out many a washing in her younger days in the old wash tub using the rub board.  Thank God for modern conveniences such as the washing machines.  

If you would like to read my book of poetry about Mama, it may be found on

The title of the book of poetry is:  Blanche, Poems of a Blue Ridge Woman.  The book was published last year by Redhawk Publications.











Thursday, April 21, 2022

National Brother's Day

The bond of a brother and sister says that they are there for each other no matter what!

 National Brother's Day is observed Tuesday, May 24th, 2022 in the USA.  This is a photo of my late brother, Harold who passed away in November, 2021 just before Thanksgiving.

The bond between Harold and me was strong.  Due to sharing almost anything from growing up together, playing games, competitiveness, and getting into fights from time to time, we always supported each other.

There are few people who understand you like a brother.  We were able to communicate without saying a word.  Just looking at each other we knew what each was thinking.  Harold always had my back and protected me.  

My story, "Harold, My Big Brother, A Tribute Story to Honor National Brother's Day," appears on the website:  "Daily Inspired Life" at:

If you have a brother, or a friend who feels like a brother, on this National Brother's Day, call this guy and tell him how much your love and appreciate him.  We never ever know when a loved one might pass away and it will be too late to tell them how much we love them.

Wishing all my blogger friends joy and peace on National Brother's Day!

More Than an Old Lady

 My neighbor is a remarkable person.  Miss Thelma still puts out a huge vegetable garden and beautiful flowers each year at age 93! You'...