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The sun was bright, but not too hot.  Deladis ran around my step-dad (Wiley) as he worked cutting brush.  I put Ivy in the mei-tai and decided to go hunt the last of the dry land fish (morels).  I thought I’d hunt behind Wiley’s kennels for his coon dogs.  I started across the bridge and Wiley told me to wait.  We’d go hunt them where the neighbors found a big mess.

We loaded the girls into his Suzuki Samurai and headed up the holler.  Wiley took the Samurai up the steepest incline to get to the top of the mountain.  That vehicle took it like a mule.  The girls laughed.  They said “weee”.  We were all smiling.

At the top of the mountain, Wiley parked the Samurai and we all got out.  I was taken by the beauty of the spring mountain.  I had never made it that far up the holler hiking as a kid, so it was my first time seeing this view.  My old hillside hangout has been dug out and is now someone’s front yard.  This mountain was vastly larger.

Flowers of varying hues of purple, yellow, and white dotted the earth.  They stuck out around the fallen trees and dry leaves left by weather and winter, making a glorious display of life.  The subtle richness was unique to my eyes.  It humbled me as the Kentucky mountains always seem to do.

We started up the steep hillside.  Again, I put Ivy in the mei-tai.  Wiley helped Deladis.  I had no idea how to go about looking for morels.  I wanted to eat them.  I looked around decaying logs.  In moist spots.  We only found three.  Wiley called the neighbor who came up the hill on a 4-wheeler (ATV) to show us the best spot.

By the time we got to the best spot, Deladis was tired and crying.  Being physical is hard for her and not her first choice of activity.  Ivy was cooing on my back.  I think she’d have stayed there all day.  Deladis finally gave up crying for a nest in the leaves and dirt.  She sat sucking her thumb while we looked around her.  We searched a while longer finding three more.  Deciding that was enough for a taste, we headed down the hillside to the Samurai.

As we scooted through muck and dry leaves, we spotted a low flying helicopter.  It flew in the valley below where we were on the mountain.  Already, they are seeking out marijuana growers.  Deladis started crying again because she couldn’t see the bright blue of the helicopter through the trees.  It was gone before she caught a glimpse.  We made it to the Samurai and took it off the hill.

Back at Mom’s, we saw the first snake of the warm seasons.  A garter snake, as spry as a young pup.  Deladis loved watching it crawl behind my mother’s hastas.  She loves animals so much.  Soon, I will have to teach her how to identify snakes.  She needs to know a copperhead when she sees one as she plays around our cabin.  Water moccasins too.  Be still.  Don’t run.  Simply back up for a distance and walk away.  A snake is more scared of you than you are of it.

After getting the girls some lunch, I prepared to fry the dry land fish for my own lunch.  I rinsed the dirt from the six we found and let them drain on a paper towel.  I heated two tablespoons of bacon fat in a small skillet on high heat.  I wallowed the morels in one egg, and then in a mixture of organic medium grind Bob’s Red Mill cornmeal, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.  I fried them until golden and ate while warm.  Absolutely delicious!  They made a fabulous lunch and were so much better than any mushroom you can buy from a store in texture and flavor.

A lovely afternoon.  Watching my step-dad be a Poppa to my girls.  Seeing them all smile.  Spending a few hours in the mountains of my childhood home.  Eating traditional Appalachian food.  A blessed afternoon.

From Wild Wild World: Gorillas by Liza Jacobs copyright 2003 Blackbirch Press –

“A female gorilla is pregnant for about 9 months.  When a baby gorilla is born, it weighs about 5 pounds.  Baby gorillas stay close to their mothers and are very well cared for.  They drink their mother’s milk for 3 or 4 years.  They also eat solid food starting at about 6 months old.

A baby gorilla sleeps with its mother.  The mother also carries her baby for the first year.”

Today during our little school time, I read this passage to Deladis.  It made me smile.  In this small segment is attachment parenting, breastfeeding, child lead weaning, cosleeping, and babywearing.  All these things are things I do too.  All these things are done by amazing mama gorillas.

In the natural world, there is an order to things.  A system that when left alone goes uncorrupted.  In this world of gorillas, they have a system of parenting.  One that insures their infant the best possible chance at survival, and a healthy full life.  Since Darwinism, many people are either claiming we are more evolved monkeys or they are trying to make sure that we in no way shape or form resemble our fellow primates.

When I read this passage, I felt like congratulating myself and other mothers who are making the attempt to learn and do what is natural when it comes to parenting.  Here we have an animal that is not bogged down with gaining wealth, industrializing, and gathering material things.  They are not uber intelligent beings set on a crash course for self destruction.  Their parenting skills are uneffected by these empty goals.  They are using the instincts given them by their Creator.  That is all I am trying to do.  Parent by instinct and the obvious choices of what is right for my girls.  I was amazed by the excellence in mothering these gorillas achieved by instinct, and intuition, and can only hope that I do as good a job as they do.  They are my new mothering heros.

There are times in mothering when you do things because you know they are best, but you aren’t sure how accepting your child is of it.  Then, you question if without acceptance is it really good for your child.  With an infant, sometimes enjoying something and tolerating it because there isn’t a much better choice, can look like the same thing.  I’ve wondered often if my Ivy really likes being carried in our mei-tai carrier.  We use the carrier everyday.  She has only been in a stroller one time in her life.  Strollers just aren’t practical off-grid.

Anytime she wants to be held and I have to do physical work, I put her in the pack.  More recently, she has started back riding.  It is convenient and allows her to be close to me when she wants to be.  It makes shopping so much easier when she is tired or cranky.  I’ve read that it is a soothing thing.  But, I’ve always wondered if it was just a fact of life for her or something she truly enjoyed.  It was Saturday that I got my answer.

Ivy will be celebrating her first birthday at the end of the month, and is becoming more and more able to express herself in a way that we all readily understand.  It is so sweet to watch.  Saturday, I got the mei-tai and started strapping it on my waist.  John and I were going to check on one of the cabins down the creek to make sure it would be ready for our landlord’s upcoming visit.  We were walking down as it was a sunny day and something to do.  When Ivy saw me preparing the mei-tai she got excited.  She clapped her hands and made joyful “uh-uh” sounds.  She was leaning toward me from her daddy’s arms before I even had the first knot tied.  It felt great to see a cute smile on her sick little face.

She really does like it!  She not only likes it – she loves it.  Ivy has had the croup the last 4 days and I know now that being worn is comfortable for her.  Not just tolerated, but a nurturing thing.  It feels good to do something right.

You can find mei-tai carriers at the following websites:

Baby Hawk – www.babyhawk.com

Two Hearts Carriers – www.two-hearts-carrier.com

Ebay – www.ebay.com

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About Me

An Appalachian woman born and raised, mothering two little girls in a place that is non-existent to AT&T or UPS. Happily working toward a sustainable lifestyle and writing on the demand of a loud muse.

December 2021
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