Appalachian Thursday – State Flowers

Ever have one of those weeks when you can’t keep track of what day it is? Yeah, me too. On January 23, 1903–117 years ago–the Legislature of West Virginia passed a joint resolution naming the Rhododendron as the state flower. I’ve known our state flower for as long as I can remember knowing there wasContinue reading “Appalachian Thursday – State Flowers”

Appalachian Thursday – Breakin' Up Christmas

We’ve rung in the new year and Christmas is over . . . or is it? I’ve written before about Old Christmas–the mountain tradition of celebrating the holiday on January 6 due to some calendar confusion dating back hundreds of years. But there’s also an Appalachian tradition called “Breakin’ Up Christmas” that only goes backContinue reading “Appalachian Thursday – Breakin' Up Christmas”

Appalachian Thursday – The Day After Christmas

It’s over. Christmas is done. Anyone tempted to take the tree down? Oh, the kids are still out of school and maybe there’s still family to visit, but for so many people these are the days when the blahs strike. The anticipation has been building since Halloween and maybe the day met your expectations–or maybeContinue reading “Appalachian Thursday – The Day After Christmas”

Does the Dress Even Matter?

I’m a bit of a girly-girl. (When I’m not being a tomboy.) So when I realized it would work out for me to go to the Christy Awards dinner–which is semi-formal–I began looking for a fancy dress. Oh, I have a dress that would work but who wants to settle for that?? There aren’t aContinue reading “Does the Dress Even Matter?”

Appalachian Thursday – Rural Mail Delivery

I love getting mail. Well, REAL mail. And there’s so little of it anymore. Email has become a nuisance (often a convenient one!) and even physical mail is diluted with catalogs, flyers, and other junk mail. But when I get a real package, card, or the oh-so-rare handwritten letter delivered to the box at theContinue reading “Appalachian Thursday – Rural Mail Delivery”

Appalachian Thursday – Boom Town to Ghost Town

My soon-to-release novel, When Silence Sings, is set in part in Thurmond, WV. While there’s plenty to make this southern WV town interesting, one of the main things is that in the early 1900s it was a rich boom town. Today, it’s essentially a ghost town owned largely by the National Park Service. Of course,Continue reading “Appalachian Thursday – Boom Town to Ghost Town”

Daddies & Daughters

Last weekend I had the pleasure of meeting Sharon Robinson, baseball great Jackie Robinson’s daughter. I HOPE you already know what a huge impact Jackie Robinson had on the civil rights movement by breaking the color barrier in sports when he played for the Brooklyn Dodgers. But you may not know that he went onContinue reading “Daddies & Daughters”

Appalachian Thursday – Seventh Generation

If you’ve followed my blog very long, you’ve probably seen mention of the fact that I grew up on a farm that’s been in my family for seven generations. It’s a big part of why I write about Appalachia and have such strong nostalgia for the past. Today I thought I’d share a new poemContinue reading “Appalachian Thursday – Seventh Generation”

The Night the Dunglen Burned Down

It was 89 years ago today. The notorious Dunglen Hotel in Thurmond, WV, burned in what was then reported to be faulty wiring, but is generally believed to be an act of arson. Although–to this day–the arsonist has never been named. The popularity of the Dunglen may have had something to do with the factContinue reading “The Night the Dunglen Burned Down”

Appalachian Thursday – What do diamonds, women who dunk, and stalagmite sitting have in common?

Today is WV Day. But you probably already knew that. My home state is turning 156 and in honor of the day I thought I’d share some unusual facts about the Mountain State. The largest diamond ever found in North America was discovered in Peterson, WV, by the Jones family. They kept it in aContinue reading “Appalachian Thursday – What do diamonds, women who dunk, and stalagmite sitting have in common?”