Saturday, May 15, 2021

Homecoming or Decoration Day


 Many Forks Baptist Church in the Gum Log section of Union County, Georgia traditionally held Homecoming or Decoration Day the fourth Sunday each year in May.  It wasn't held last year due to the Covid pandemic.  It's a long held mountain custom to decorate the graves of loved ones on Sunday morning, then preaching  in the country church.  After the worship service, they had dinner-on-the grounds.  In the olden days, loads of food were spread on picnic tables under the shade trees.  People ate, fellowshipped until that afternoon when a singing was held in the church.  It was a popular event decorating graves and seeing folks at homecoming you hadn't seen for maybe a year or longer.  Unfortunately many young people aren't interested in Homecoming and this mountain tradition is passing away.  I used  to attend each year Decoration Day with my family.  I enjoyed it very much, but like many aspects of our culture, Homecoming is fading away.

Here's a poem I wrote several years ago about the Homecoming or some folks called it, Decoration Day.

It's homecoming
at Many Forks Baptist Church.
Folks come from miles
to meet and to decorate

the graves of loved ones.
The sun ricochets through
pine trees, old-timers lift
hymns in the country church.

Kinfolks congregate
under the oaks, spread
dinner-on-the-grounds:
Aunt Dot with her walnut cake,

Cousin Frances stirs potato salad,
the tables are loaded
with all kinds of food,
nephews break the wishbone.

Aunt Mary Lou cuts up
with the Henderson boys,
Uncle George Lee places flags
on the graves of soldiers.

It's a yearly get-together,
a time  to share memories
of laughter and  tears,
a family gathering at Gum Log.
                  --Brenda Kay Ledford
Reprinted from the poetry book,
Sacred Fire, 
by:  Brenda Kay Ledford



The mountain women outdid themselves cooking, baking, and loading the tables with scrumptious
food at the homecoming held at Gum Log each year.



Here's one of the groups that sang spirit-filled Gospel songs in the  Many Forks Baptist Church
after dinner-on-the-grounds.
 




Friday, May 7, 2021

Mother's Day


It's the first Mother's Day without my precious mama.  I never imagined the deep sorrow I'd experience when she passed away on April 14, 2021 at age 98.

You can't erase 69 years we had together.  We were tight.  Went everywhere together, did everything together.  Church.  Events on the town square.  Dinners.  Trips.  Weddings. Funerals. Visiting folks.

What a loss!

When I think I've gotten over grief, raw emotions spill over like an avalanche.

Mama was always there for me loving and  protecting me.  I cared for her 2 1/2 years bedridden.  Did everything for her.  I would still be caring for her if only...

So what was the purpose of so much pain and suffering?  

Rev. Joel Osteen says, "You have come from being a patient to a physician."

He says when you suffer so much, you move from needing comfort; a patient, to being a physician and giving comfort to others who are going through the trials you endured.

This thing called death is a hard, sorrowful journey.  But I believe through  the eyes of faith, I'm not alone.

I believe Mama is in heaven.  She's happy, set free from pain and suffering, and rejoicing with loved ones who have  gone before.  Best of all, she's with Jesus!

Never take your mother for granted.  If she's still alive, hug, kiss, and love her.  She may not be here next year on Mother's Day.

I wish all my blogger friends a very happy and blessed Mother's Day.  Mothers are special and you are loved.

Brenda




 

Saturday, May 1, 2021

White-Tailed Deer


The horizon burns
like wildfire above
the Shewbird Mountain.

They appear as ghosts
in the Matheson Cove,
nibble tender green leaves

beside the Hyatt-Mill Creek.
They rip blossoms
from the mountain laurel,

purple flowers dangle
from their mouths
and dot the woodland trail.

They startle and bound
into the last ray of light
ricocheting through the pines.
            --Brenda Kay Ledford






Mother's Day will come this month.  I'm wishing all my blogger friends a very happy, and blessed Mother's Day!

Brenda


Needless to say, I love to watch the deer appear in the evening just as the sun goes down.  I love the fawns with dots on their coats.  They enjoy nibbling the tender green leaves and unfortunately, they enjoy feasting on plants just popping out of the gardens.  Deer are really cute, but can be the gardener's nightmare.















Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Tulips


Tulips

After Toi Derricotte's, "Cherry Blossoms"

I drove around the campus
of Young Harris College
to savor the flavor
of the tulips.

There were photographers:
students visiting the campus,
groups huddled beside
hundreds of tulips
blooming like  kaleidoscopes,
a moment frozen in time.

"Oh, tulips,
why can't my life
be so lovely?"

A young woman 
set up a tripod
beside the rock chapel,
took a photo of friends,
tulips framed the background.

All around me
the tulips danced
in lemon, ruby, tangerine,
grape, and cotton candy
streamers on the wind.

They whispered 
to my troubled mind:

" All is well,
you are strong,
you are strong!"
          --Brenda Kay Ledford


For those who live near Northern Georgia, the campus of Young Harris College in Young Harris, Georgia is magnificent now with hundreds of beautiful tulips blooming.  Many people just drive around the college to view and photograph the lovely flowers.  It truly is a visual feast!

I wish all my blogger friends a happy and beautiful spring!

Brenda






Monday, March 22, 2021

Spring

 


Spring!  Wonderful, beautiful spring!  

It seems as though this is the most splendid spring we have ever had in the Blue Ridge Mountains of western North Carolina.  Maybe it's just I am wanting to celebrate new life after such a trying year.  

Everywhere you look there's beauty.  The Bradford pear trees are like giant ice cream cones.  Redbud trees dance in lilac lace, and Josie's tulip tree bursts forth with shades of purple.  The daffodils dot the verdant grass with churned butter, and the forsythia bush rings yellow bells on a crisp breeze.

This morning a bunny rabbit hopped across the purple violets and announced Easter is coming.  Baby chicks crack out of their shells and peep, peep, peep!  Songbirds lift cheerful tunes in the maple trees wearing strands of rubies.  

Nature is putting on a grand show celebrating new life. Sunbeams glitter on mountain streams echoing with bullfrogs blowing their trumpets.  The air is filled with fragrance that you cannot find in any bottle.  

Life.  Resurrection power.  Christ has risen from the grave and there is hope.

I wish all my blogger friends a blessed and beautiful Easter!

Brenda





















Friday, February 12, 2021

Brenda Kay Ledford Publishes Children's Poetry Book


Brenda Kay Ledford's new children's poetry book, Reagan's Romps, was published by Kelsay Books in January, 2021.  This collection is about Brenda's great-niece, little Reagan Blanche.

The book was endorsed by Jaki Shelton Green, North Carolina Poet Laureate; Michael Beadle, a performance poet; and Peggy French, editor Shemom, e-zine, Cardiff, CA.

According to Jaki Shelton Green, " Reagan's Romps, is endearing and uplifting, where one find joy inside of your favorite rain boots.  Brenda Kay Ledford curates a lush, fertile landscape of verse and imagery that is sowing the seeds for the love of poetry and reading."

Reagan's Romps by:  Brenda Kay Ledford is available at:

www.amazon.com

www.kelsaybooks.com


Tuesday, January 5, 2021

My Valentine

 



If dogs were doodle bugs

and strawberries were slugs,

if socks had no toes,

and the cat had no nose,

if tulips had no lips

to sip sunshine,

I would love my little

niece, Reagan Blanche,

all the same even

if she had another name,

another name...

she's my very fine Valentine!

          --Brenda Kay Ledford

Reprinted from my upcoming children's book,

Reagan's Romps, by:  Kelsay Books.



I wish all my blogger friends a happy and lovely Valentine's Day!

Brenda

Homecoming or Decoration Day

 Many Forks Baptist Church in the Gum Log section of Union County, Georgia traditionally held Homecoming or Decoration Day the fourth Sunday...