This is a post about a way of life.
I was born and raised on a farm in the Appalachian Mountains.
I went squirrel, turkey and deer hunting with my dad & uncles. As a young girl I watched as my grandmother and mother canned squirrel and vegetables. I learned to sew, knit and crochet when I was very young. My mom sewed our clothing when handmade clothing was not in style. We weren't poor, we were frugal. We speak with an Appalachian twang and yes I admit to saying crick instead of creek:).
I was teased as a child for being of Native American heritage and for living on a farm. Two strikes against me. Add in homemade clothing and that was a third strike. But we were taught to hold our head up high and be proud. We did.
My dad worked a hard life delivering milk and working on the farm. He left for work at 2-3 am and worked until ?? We never knew when dad would be home for dinner. He even worked on Christmas Day in the wee hours of the morning so he could be home in time to watch us open gifts on Christmas morning. Milk was home delivered back then and that meant holidays too.
My parents worked to provide a decent home life and encouraged us to get an education. They taught us
strong work ethics and good moral values.
There is a program coming on tonite, The Children of the Mountains. It is a program about Appalachia folk and it is a must see.
My husband is one of those hard working Appalachia folk. He was in masonry for 15 yrs and then went to a delivery truck driving for a soft drink company and then an ice cream company. Jobs have always been scarce around here yet our roots are in the mountains.
Just like my dad, my DH lugged heavy cases of product in and out of stores working 12-16 hour days. He was salary paid. Sadly the heavy work load took it's toll on his body. He suffered a severly fractured back at work a few years ago. Due to the extent of his injury he is no longer permitted to drive a delivery truck. He was told by the insurance company that he has no skills. Quite a blow to a hard working man trying to provide for his family.
My husband's boss is a decent man and he created an office position for him. Appalachia folk stand by one another.
My DH told our kids not to follow in his footsteps but to get a good education and get out of the area to find a good paying job. He gave up so much to make certain that our kids have a better life and he is so very proud of them.
Upon hearing what my husband did for a living when he fractured his back and was heading into surgery, the surgeon looked at my husband, patted him on his shoulder and said, "I have a great respect for men like you. The kind of job that you do takes it's toll on the body. Men like yourself pay the ultimate price for the work that you do and yet receive so little in return." These are words my husband will never forget.
Appalachia living is a tough life and the hard working people who live here work long hours for very low wages.
Please say a silent thank you to the hard working folk of this great country. They are the ones who will turn this country's economy around and if anyone else takes credit they're only pursuing a vote in a future election.
I am proud to be from the Appalachian Mountains.