Appalachian Thursday – 10 Things Mothers & Daughters Should Do Together

Mom and me taking our porch-sitting seriously.

I was winding down the other evening and came across an article link on Facebook with 40 things every mother and daughter should do together. Cool. I clicked. I got about 12 deep and gave it up. Several activities included drinking wine (Mom doesn’t drink). Most were expensive–spa visit, trip to the big city. And some just made me laugh. My mom is SO not doing yoga with me.

So, here’s a list for Appalachian mothers & daughters. Ten things (cause who has TIME for 40?!?) they should do together.

  1. Snap beans or pare apples on the back porch. Ideally, you should have a metal bowl or a dented pie tin for the leavings. And Mom should peel her apples with a paring knife while Daughter uses a vegetable peeler because she’s “modern.”
  2. Make grape jelly. This will begin with picking Concord grapes from the vine and will proceed to a hot stove, a jelly bag, and finally to Mason jar lids happily pinging away. If your fingers aren’t purple, you didn’t do it right.
  3. Pick wildflowers in a meadow. Well, okay, in the edge of the meadow because Dad will holler if you mash down the hay he’s going to cut to feed the cows this coming winter. Arrange your flowers in a Mason jar.
  4. Make a quilt. Warning–this takes a looooong time even if you machine quilt. If you get all Romantic and decided to set up a frame and quilt by hand–hoo boy–we’re talking some serious bonding time for Mother & Daughter.
  5. Go to the swimmin’ hole. You’ll probably have to take the boys with you, too. They can’t resist splashing around in the creek. Take soap (Ivory floats) and shampoo to kill two birds with one stone.
  6. Prepare wild game. My mom taught me how to parboil and fry squirrel, then to make gravy out of the drippings. Yours should, too. If neither of you knows how, find someone who does and learn together!
  7. Go to church. Preferably the same church your grandmother and great-grandmother went to. Sit close to each other and hold hands during the prayers.
  8. Churn butter. They have all kinds of fancy butter churns these days. Mom had a glass one with a crank that turned wooden dashers. After she made the butter she’d spread some on a piece of bread and sprinkle it with sugar for us kids. Soooo good!
  9. Go for a walk. People call it hiking now, but really it’s just tromping around in the woods looking at the trees and the streams and the plants and maybe even the critters. Moms have a knack for finding and pointing out interesting stuff.
  10. Porch sit with a glass of lemonade. This is the time to hash out the meaning of life because mothers and daughters can totally do that. Do this one more than once. Way more. And if you want a glass of wine instead . . . fine by me.

Published by Sarah Loudin Thomas

Author, wife, child of God.

20 thoughts on “Appalachian Thursday – 10 Things Mothers & Daughters Should Do Together

  1. I love this. A lot of these I experienced growing up, of course with a little change. Grape jelly was actually peach jelly. It’s really sad that I haven’t experienced them with my daughter. Still time to fix that though. Thank you for sharing and I will be sharing with my daughter. Blessings

    1. Peach is good, too! Hope you and your daughter have a wonderful time tackling the list. I don’t have a daughter, but I have a niece I foresee doing quite a few of these with . . .

  2. I think we about have your list covered… even the quilting on a frame if we count you distracting me constantly when I quilted my one quilt when you were a toddler! 😉

  3. Wonderful list! Growing up in Appalachia, I’d have to add my personal favorite – Go blackberry picking, pick lots of berries, to make a cobbler, make jam, etc.

    I have fond memories of going blackberry picking with my mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. We had a few favorite spots of wild blackberries. We found them on one of our may walks! 🙂

  4. Never quilted, but you can bet my dolls were all decked out in “designer” homemade outfits, Mama taught me to sew at a very young age.
    Never made jelly, but Mama was out there pickin’ blackberries to sell for my summer spending money. Which usually went for ladies’ dresses at the thrift store to make more doll clothes.

  5. I lost my mother last December a week before her 93rd birthday. She would have enjoyed most of your ideas…..except the wine! One never understands who/what one will miss the most when one they love is gone. Loved reading your list, and I’m so happy to have a daughter.

  6. Great list! I’ve done several of these with my mother – or ordered, along with my sisters, to do them by her 😉

    Between my mother and I, I’m sure we have a cookbook that includes squirrel and other wild game – but I think I’ll just count the deer that my Grandma prepared (likely out of season, like her “hillside salmon”) years ago.

      1. Somewhere on that list should be reading the same authors so there is something to discuss. Haven’t worked that one out quite yet due to our different tastes. But we can watch an old BW classic anytime.

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