Sunday, December 21, 2008

The three -ers of Appalachia: holler(to yell), waller (to wallow), caller (to color)

The fact that I grew up in the hills of Appalachia is something that both haunts and defines me. I did everything I could to separate myself, from training myself to avoid the accent to going to college early and starting a career as soon as I could. Still, there is no real escape when most of my family still lives there.

This weekend was Appalachian family Christmas weekend - one of the most dreaded weekends of the year. Throw 37 people into one living room, make 14 of them little kids, add the southern accent, and have half of them ask you why you don't have a man and kids yet. It doesn't even matter if you like or love them at that point because it's so overwhelming. I think surviving is really all that can even be asked. No one really talked to me much after I suggested that we put all of the kids in a room, throw the gifts in, and run while they battled it out.

I am now at home, Christmas tree shining beside me, candle burning, Blonde Redhead crooning, gifts mostly wrapped, and all Christmas parties successfully attended. It is negative two degree outside, 22-40 mile winds, and a wind chill of -25 to -35. I am thankful for the food in my cabinet, the heat that just kicked on, the family that makes me crazy, the brother that makes me laugh, the parents that still like to take care of me, the friends that make my life full, and the job that allowed me to buy gifts and food for people I did and did not know. Cozy in my apartment, I finally feel like it is Christmas.

Check it: (new section)
I have listened to Mirah for two weeks straight. She's in my car, at work, and at home. Her first album (You Think It's Like This, But Really It's Like This) won me over because it was fun and had the whole wink and smile feel to it, but I've been listening to her later solo albums (Advisory Committee and C'Mon Miracle) and her lyrics and sound are more mature and honest (check out We're Both So Sorry and Cold, Cold Water to see what I mean). I was devastated when I figured out that she was just in town about two months ago and I missed it. 


Anonymous said...
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a.parker said...


I would love to shoot you an email, but the address provided came back as incorrect.

Dan S. said...

people probably didnt like your suggestion about the kids and presents because there would be no documentation of the battle. next time suggest there is some webcam used to document it, i dont see how they could be against that idea.

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