A visitor remarked on how tasty the cabbage was. Boiled cabbage is a New Year's staple here, served with wrapped-up coins hidden in the leaves and broth. Plenty of butter makes it great! I was thinking of that with a smile this morning, because how often do we assume we don't like something, only to find it prepared a certain way and the taste is delicious?
But it struck me then how easily my family accepts the old traditions, not only those of the holidays but pretty much year round. They know about putting money in the cabbage, saying "rabbit, rabbit, rabbit" on the first of each month, tossing spilled salt over their left shoulder, hanging bottles in trees, what a dropped fork, knife or spoon means, and other folkloric/traditional activities. We take it for granted and teach it to our children, grandchildren and friends. I wondered, has become a rarity today? Are families still doing the old, traditional rituals, good-luck-charms, bad-luck-deflectors? Will my family continue to do them? How many did I miss, forget, or let go over my lifetime?
|Mom and Dad|
These Appalachian hills have preserved many of the old ways, although even in the 40 years I have lived here I have seen this culture slowly dissolving into the mainstream of American life as media of all kinds makes its insidious way into even the most remote mountain holler. It makes me sad and yet, times change, and we change with them. I just hope we don't, as Mom used to say, throw the baby out with the bathwater.
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