Old Girls Like Us

44 thoughts on “Old Girls Like Us”

  1. Happy birthday! Thank you for this post…a Russell County girl myself, I feel this post deeply. I remember cutting my hair short in middle school and being teased for “looking like a boy.” I spent many days fishing and digging holes and exploring the mountains, and I’ll always be thankful for not being caged.

  2. They’ll never tame me! I’ve been a free spirit in the woods all my life. I’m soon to be 59 and tough as nails, if I do say so myself, from living in the hills working like a man. I was married once from 19 to 29 and decided then and there I’d never do that again. I love being free enjoying nature and all my animals. Still got the young men after me but I don’t have time for that foolishness any more. Thanks for the story soul sista.

  3. “I am no bird, no cage ensnares me”
    – Jane Eyre
    I am still wild, I will not be tamed.
    I have traveled the world and done work “better suited for men”
    I rode the tides travelled the valleys and traversed the mountains.
    I chopped my hair and kept it that way through 4 years of service in the US Navy, and that was where I was wildest. Unfettered by the comment of “equal oppritunity” thrown like an insult when facing the workload of many as a one (wo)man machine.
    The secret is, to trick them into thinking they’ve smothered your fire and spark it with a blazing intensity directly into their faces.
    I will not be tamed in the name of love or civility. I was born as wild as the deep woods, and much like them no one can stifle my beauty, my raw unfiltered wilderness. Appalachia flows through my veins, and much like the motherland I am boundless, wide open, and bow to no one but God.
    Keep climbing “old girl” for it was you and your kind that inspired me and mine.
    Love always,
    The little girl (now grown) with red tangled hair,grass and mud stains on her dress, and a penchant for punching, pinching, and playing bloody knuckles with quarters.

  4. I still have family in Tazewell county…many of them girls that have yet to be tamed! Praise be!!
    Happy birthday, Anna. Your writing is salve to my soul.


  5. I enjoy your blog tremendously since I found it, and you provided the inspiration to begin my own storytelling/family blog. Thank you. I haven’t climbed a tree in quite awhile but I do spend much time in the woods, listening to nature. Happy Birthday. My youngest daughter and her daughter were born today, a special day.

  6. I too shared that same haircut. Although it’s because I found a tick embedded and it was either quit roaming the woods so much or cut it so I could be properly ticked. Haha. Of course I’m not from Tazewell (although I live in Tazewell now it’s where my husband is from) I’m your neighbor from Russell co. I shed tears each time I read your stories they bring so many childhood memories flood my soul. Memories of running free with dreams running through my mind. I’ve been captured and caged and my imagination has dulled but my thoughts still run free with my wild horse I used to ride that ‘wasn’t fit for a young girl’. And combing the ridges exploring with my dog at my side seeing how many critters we could scare up along the way. Thank you for your writing as it always takes me back home to another place and time. One I miss so much and hold dearly in my heart. Happy Birthday.

  7. Have a very happy birthday. Rest assured that the rest of us old girls are teaching and protecting the wild girls coming up.

  8. Thank goodness that my grandparents raised me to believe that boys and girls can do the same work, work the same miracles, and that Mommy pointed out that the Bible doesn’t say that women should keep silent in church – they should keep silence in church. Big difference. That means, it was pointed out, that women are in charge of making people behave during a service. And they did.

  9. You made me laugh! You brought tears to my eyes! I LOVE this post! Thank you for sharing your wonderful self with the world! There is no cage for us gals, not one that would dare try to hold us! Yes, we have been taught God loves boys better, but it’s not true!!! God is a woman! Haha …and us girls stick together!

  10. You certainly do never know. I read this piece unsure of what to expect, but I knew from reading your previous work that I would find it to be personally meaningful. In my own blog (https://baldridgetree.wordpress.com/2014/05/10/all-my-mothers/) I have written about how life circumstances dictated that I would grow up without my mother. What made the difference for me and permitted me to become who I am today was that there were several “old girls” like you in my family. My grandmother and others literally stepped in and saw to it that I would not be completely motherless as a child.
    Thanks, once again, Anna. When you have such a gift, you never know who your writing will touch.

  11. Happy Birthday! This Desert Granny (78 and in NV) is always so happy to see one of your posts! I grew up in southern CA and I was also taught that God doesn’t like women very much and as I aged (and read the “good book”) I learned how very true that is. Now this granny enjoys her first woman minister! There is a glimmer of hope for women?!! Your writing is terrific and please keep the blogs coming!

  12. Funny.. I didn’t cut my hair short, my Mom always kept our hair very short. I was the girl getting into trouble. living life by my own rules, even if it meant I had no friends to speak of. I miss that girl. She was very energetic, constantly doing things while dreaming. I have become locked down, worried and tired. I pray that each year, I figure out how to move back towards the child who could do anything..

  13. Happy Birthday and Blessed be for sharing your story. I can identify with a lot of what you went through since I to was not born in privileged and was made to feel less than as important as my brothers were. As like you I felt the need to defend the under dog and keep my individuality strong despite the ridicule it brought me. I’m still looking for the day when I can get the money since I all ready have the mind to show them they were all wrong. Keep that wild child free and make her who she wants to be. Love and light!

  14. Happy birthday Tazewell girl. Sometimes the older we get the more we feel that spirit coming back. I was taught to never quench the spirit.

  15. Your writing speaks to me like no other. I ain’t no Tazewell County girl but was born in Florida and brought back home to Belfast Virginia where I was raised at the foot of the Clinch Mountain .I’ve run the woods and climbed trees, hunted and fished with my Uncles. My hair too has always been short, but it suits me. I’m a veteran and have traveled the world and I too believe I turned out way better than what was expected of me.

  16. Beautiful. I think this is my second or third time receiving a post from you. I didn’t come from the wrong side of the tracks but I didn’t live on the right side either. I was somewhere in the middle and I saw a lot of what you are writing about. I lived close to where the woman lived that the Burning Bed story was written about and it was in that area where a lot of this type of thinking came from after the folks moved North from the South.
    I love what Jimmy Carter did when he left the church that helped create and propagate this type of thinking.

  17. My dear, I could have written this. Coming from the poor side of the tracks and only having brothers, which were favored in the family I was told. I, too, read the Good Book, and wondered why God didn’t like girls either. I have been told I am a free spirit, and that I laugh too much, and that I am too loud. You have given validation that I am worthy even so. Happy birthday.

  18. I was brought up to believe that God loves girls better and that we males were put here first just to make their paths straight. I still pretty much hold to that. When I go to church, though, I will ask my parish priest about that, just to be sure. She will know.

  19. Happy Birthday! Have Have a loud, laughing, grinning day and run free from the cages. I think most girls know that feeling of being caged.

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