Welcome to where I am, where my kitchen's always messy, a pot's (or a poet) always about to boil over, a dog is always begging to be fed. Drafts of poems on the counter. Windows filled with leaves. Wind. Clouds moving over the mountains. If you like poetry, books, and music--especially dog howls when a siren unwinds down the hill-- you'll like it here.


MY NEW AUTHOR'S SITE, KATHRYNSTRIPLINGBYER.COM, THAT I MYSELF SET UP THROUGH WEEBLY.COM, IS NOW UP. I HAD FUN CREATING THIS SITE AND WOULD RECOMMEND WEEBLY.COM TO ANYONE INTERESTED IN SETTING UP A WEBSITE. I INVITE YOU TO VISIT MY NEW SITE TO KEEP UP WITH EVENTS RELATED TO MY NEW BOOK.


MY NC POET LAUREATE BLOG, MY LAUREATE'S LASSO, WILL REMAIN UP AS AN ARCHIVE OF NC POETS, GRADES K-INFINITY! I INVITE YOU TO VISIT WHEN YOU FEEL THE NEED TO READ SOME GOOD POEMS.

VISIT MY NEW BLOG, MOUNTAIN WOMAN, WHERE YOU WILL FIND UPDATES ON WHAT'S HAPPENING IN MY KITCHEN, IN THE ENVIRONMENT, IN MY IMAGINATION, IN MY GARDEN, AND AMONG MY MOUNTAIN WOMEN FRIENDS.




Wednesday, May 20, 2009

HOME PLACE



For the past week I've been in SW Georgia visiting my family. My brother Charles has been doing a great job, along with our family's longtime employee Bennie Jackson, cleaning up brush, planting wildflowers, and planning walking trails around the farm where I grew up. He took me on a drive around the pine stands and pastures near the house, and as I looked again at the familiar scenery, I remembered how important "the home place" has been to generations of farm families.



Here is the house and pump-house, seen through the May greenery. When my grandparents' home place burned down years ago, we all wept for its loss, even though nobody had been living there for several years. Still, we knew our memories lived there. They still do. Many of my poems have grown out of those memories.




Trees have been like guiding spirits to me all my life, especially the ones I wandered through as I grew up.



Above you can just make out the old enclosure where my father would "work on" the cattle, as he described it, branding and inoculating them.





My father loved to fish at this pond, which he stocked with catfish and brim. Water birds will sometimes come to spend awhile here. While he was still alive, my father could catch a glimpse of them from the house.




The trees and sky reflected on the surface make the pond a waterscape for the imagination. I could spend hours just sitting pondside watching, until the mosquitoes arrived! And the no-see'ums. And the gnats.



Our farm has always been a beautiful place, but thanks to my brother's and Bennie's hard work and vision, it will be a place where those who care about the land will be able to come for a first-hand look at how farmland can be managed for both beauty and sustainability.

9 comments:

Nancy Simpson said...

Kay, Welcome back to the mountains.

I hope you had a happy Mother's Day visit.

Thanks for the beautiful pictures of the farm where you grew up. It is a magical place. I look at the scenes and imagine you there.

DeadMule said...

Oh my, Kay, I wish I had photos of my childhood stomping ground. The Mulberry Tree is gone. And we can't get to the site of the Oklahoma cabin. But I still have those memories.

Kathryn Stripling Byer said...

Hi Nancy and Helen, I'm so glad to be back home in the mountains, though I always love going down to my other "home." Whether via memories or automobile.

Vicki Lane said...

The magnolia picture is extra fine. And how lucky you are to have the old home place still in the family -- a beacon or maybe a magnet.

Carol @ TheWritersPorch said...

Kay, it's a vert beautiful place with I'm sure, just as beautiful memories!

Kathryn Stripling Byer said...

Thanks, Carol. I enjoy visiting your porch!

Glenda C. Beall said...

We missed you, Kay. Thanks for sharing the farm photos. Our home place, the farm, in SW Georgia is also beautiful this time of year, but I remember the mosquitoes and gnats.
Your pictures of the pond and the cows really take me back.

Jessie Carty said...

So wonderful that you have a chance to see your old home taken care of! It is strange for me to go and see my old home because it looks so different!

Kathryn Stripling Byer said...

Jessie, it's different for me too, no matter how well it's kept up. I can't really "go home" anymore, to the house, or at least not right now. But it's like I carry it with me inside. I miss seeing the sunset from the porch, how the backyard looks in the mornings, the trees in first daylight--but there's a time for everything, and who knows how things can come back around.