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Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

Monday Morning

Posted October 13, 2008 6:56 a.m. EDT

How do you remember your parents, grandparents and other loved ones who have passed on? What tangible things did they leave behind that help you remember their many gifts and talents? Maybe they carved toys out of wood or left handmade quilts. Please share your thoughts on this topic.

This week on Carolina Conservations I'd like to share with you some of my father's mountain watercolors and my stories about growing up in Western North Carolina. These paintings, prose and poetry are included in a new book to be released on Friday evening October 17 with a signing and musical performance at Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh . The book is called Bue Ridge Reunion. There is also a companion CD which I will talk about later.

The first painting is called Monday Morning. My father finished it in 1965. However, it had been marinating in his memory and imagination for about 20 years. It was taken from a windy wash day in autumn. I don't know the specific location but I believe the painting came from a country scene in northern Burke County about 20 miles from where my family lived in Morganton. This watercolor reflects a much simpler time yet includes the struggles of the day. There was a rhythm of life back then that was pretty predictable. Here's what I wrote about the painting in Blue Ridge Reunion:

A windy wash day,

Dawn after our day of rest,

Big baskets of heavy wet work,

Lift ‘em up on the line,

Smell the sweet Appalachian air,

Sheets and pillow cases in a pine tree breeze,

Flapping flannel shirts will soon be dry,

Tomorrow we'll iron 'em,

Wednesday we'll sew 'em,

Gather groceries on Thursday,

Scrub a dub on Friday,

Bake and shake on Saturday,

Worship and rest our bones on Sunday,

Before another round of weekly chores,

The Blue Ridge Rhythm of Life.