Category Archives: A Piece of Home

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Indian Bent Trees: History or Legend

Indian Bent Tree.  Copyright Jill Henderson

By Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

In the woods near my home is an unusual tree.  At some point in its long life the tree was bent into a distinctive L-shape.  The trunk is almost perfectly horizontal and nearly touches the ground, running almost five feet before making an abrupt 90 degree turn towards the heavens.  It’s a perfect place for two people to sit back and observe the forest hillside and all its goings on.  But it is much more than a handy bench – it is an ancient form of communication and a little-understood piece of Native American cultural history

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Granddaddy Trees and Old Cisterns– Part II

Old cisternby Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

Water is the elixir of life and no rural homestead at the turn of the century could have existed without a ready source.  Not only was water important for daily chores like cooking, cleaning, and bathing, but absolutely necessary for keeping livestock and raising crops.  A hundred years ago, finding land with a running stream or live spring was just as difficult and expensive as it is today, and not everyone could find or afford them. Those who found themselves without a ready source of water had to dig a well, build a cistern, or move on.

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Granddaddy Trees and Old Cisterns – Part I

2007-4 (2) Grandaddy treeby Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

This morning, I woke to find the world sparkling in a fresh coat of dew.  I quickly filled my mug with coffee, grabbed a bucket, and headed down the driveway to check on the persimmons. The tall, dry grass was burnished yellow-gold in the morning light and fragile wisps of glowing spider’s silk drifted on a breath of air.  I cut through the meadow, following the long, narrow deer trail that leads past the ancient oak tree whose massive branches nearly swallow the morning sky.  My jeans were quickly drenched to the knee.

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2013 Fall Go Green Festival Set for October 12th-13th

go green- Show Me Oz -

The Fall 2013 Go Green Self Reliance Festival will be held October 12th and 13th in Thayer City Park.  Hours are from 9 am to 6 pm both days.  Admission is free, vendors are free and all are encouraged to attend. Continue reading

Winter Storms and the Nature of Being Human

Winter Ice Storm - copyright Jill HendersonBy Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

Excerpted in part from A Journey of Seasons: A Year in the Ozarks High Country

Ice storms in the Ozarks often have disastrous outcomes and warnings of them are often taken more seriously than those of tornadoes.  Indeed, an ice storm can wreak incredible havoc.  Besides making driving and even walking incredibly treacherous, as little as a half-inch of freezing rain can easily snap large tree branches, flatten shrubs and small trees, pull down power lines and cave in greenhouses, sheds and carports.  Accumulations of more than that can, quite literally, snap full-grown trees in half.  Yet, despite their potential for disaster, ice storms are not only beautiful, but often bring us humans closer together.

The New Day

Sunset before new years eve 2011 - Copyright Kathleen Gresham Everett

By Kathleen Gresham Everett

As the old year slinks away into the night
I will throw my shoes at its shadow
Shaking the dusty months from my clothes,
I will wear my cap and shirt inside out
So the old minutes and seconds can’t cling
Like a bad smell
I will salt the earth where the previous days
Stretched on and on
Assuring they will not
Follow me into the new year
When the New Years Eve bonfire is burning
I will gather the bitter herbs
And walk counter clock wise into the previous moments
Casting the hated bouquet into the flame
Leaving its acrid taste behind
With the smell of its grief and sorrow

Only then will I wreath my head with four leaf clovers
Fill my pockets with new pennies
And my trunks with rabbit’s feet and horseshoes
And walk bravely into the coming year
Head held high and with cheerful optimism
I will greet the new day

© 2012 Kathleen Gresham Everett – posted with permission.

Kathleen Everett is a writer and poet living in the Missouri Ozarks.  Kathleen’s blog, The Course of Our Seasons features her eloquent poetry as well as articles and photography focused on the seasons of the Ozarks region.

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Alley Spring: An Ozark Landmark (Part II)

Alley Mill - Photo NPSPart Two
By Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

The Ozarks are famous for their grist mills in the way Vermont is famous for its fall colors, or Maine for its maple syrup and Pennsylvania for its covered bridges.  Last week we talked about the history and historic significance of Alley Mill and one cannot talk about the mill and not mention the stunningly beautiful spring-fed mill pond.   Yet, as impressive as those things are, what I really love about Alley Spring – and what my little botanists’ heart craves most – is  the plant-watching.

Alley Spring: An Ozark Landmark (Part I)

PAlley Mill - Photo NPSart One
By Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

When Dean and I get visitors from out of town who want to see something of the real Ozarks, we often take them down to Alley Spring down in Shannon County along the banks of the Jack’s Fork River.  We bring our visitors here because we know that regardless of their age, physical ability or interests, everyone can find something to love about one of the Ozarks most beloved historic sites and natural areas. Continue reading