These Ozarks Hills

The first Friday of every month at 7:30 a.m.

Join us for a monthly radio essay by longtime Ozarks storyteller Marideth Sisco, in which she looks at the unique traditions and traits of this region we call home.


In this segment of These Ozarks Hills on KSMU, longtime Ozarks storyteller Marideth Sisco ponders whether the days pre-coronavirus are really what we should aspire to return to. 

You can hear the audio segment here: 

Westsubindy / Flickr, Used with permission

In this episode of These Ozarks Hills, longtime storyteller Marideth Sisco encourages those who are alone right now to think of solitude, rather than isolation. Hear the audio from the segment below:

Beth Scupham via Flickr / Creative Commons, Used with Permission

This is Marideth Sisco for These Ozarks Hills. Once again, as we come into the shadow of the Long Dark, the giant clock that marks our time on this planet is winding down with an almost audible ticking. We feel it in our bones, the tap, the beat, the sound of days ratcheting away.

Surely that’s one cause for our frenetic dashing about this month, grabbing the tree, the turkey, one more present for the pile, chestnuts for the fire, satsumas for the stockings.

Ian Sane via Flickr / Creative Commons / Used with permission

This is Marideth Sisco for These Ozarks Hills.  Try as I might, although I always yearn for Autumn, I cannot await its coming without realizing that it signals more than anything the end of things. Not everything. But some. Several. And certainly some I am loth to see depart.

Meaghan O'Malley / Flickr

In this month's segment of our series These Ozarks Hills, master storyteller Marideth Sisco evaluates her own family history and subliminal psychology behind hoarding food--and what she refers to as "Depression Thinking."

MRHSfan / via Flickr, Creative Commons

In this segment of These Ozarks hills, storyteller and Ozarks native Marideth Sisco reflects on tornadic Ozarks storms past, present and future after this week’s outbreak on Tuesday.

You can listen to the essay by clicking the “Play” button below.


In this segmet of These Ozarks Hills,  storyteller and Ozarks native Marideth Sisco is on her way back from a cousin's funeral, where she was reminded of her deep roots and familial journey. 

You can listen to the essay by clicking the "Play" button below.

Rachel Kramer / Flickr

This is Marideth Sisco for These Ozarks Hills. In this week of wacky weather I was looking really hard for a metaphor and maybe a song to describe the springtime Ozarks and its unique weather pattern.


I thought of the image of a yo-yo to illustrate the ups and downs, but I went all the way through a semi-famous American rapper, a hip hop artist from the Punjab, a venerable Hostess snack cake and a beloved Asian cellist before I got to the toy, so - so much for that icon. 

Terren in Virginia / Flickr

In this segment of These Ozarks Hills, longtime storyteller, musician and folklorist Marideth Sisco talks about the disruptions that Ozarks weather patterns sometimes bring, and how we learn to live around them.

Click the "Play" button below to hear the audio essay.

This is Marideth Sisco for These Ozark Hills. Time out of mind, the people of these hills have endured the whimsical and often severe weather common to the region.

RichardBH / Flickr, Used with permission

This is Marideth Sisco for These Ozarks Hills.  As Autumn graces us with one last splash of splendor this week before the rains finish stripping the trees of their showy palette, it offers a parallel skill of sweeping our minds clear of our troubles for a moment, offering one last grace note of honest-to-goodness goodness to our thoughts. 

"We have turned the corner into an all new season"

Oct 5, 2018
Peter Batemon/KSMU

TOH 10-18

This is Marideth Sisco for These Ozarks Hills. I wonder how many of us are aware that we have a clock for tracking the progression of the seasons somewhere inside our house or sometimes even in our workplaces. Well, it’s not one with actual hands, and certainly not digital. But we can make it so if we’re willing to perform an activity that would certainly get the kids in trouble.

Jennifer C. / Flickr

This is Marideth Sisco for These Ozarks Hills. Well, there’s no getting around it. With the solstice past last week, summer is in full swing, and there’s no better evidence than in and around my garden, where everything I’ve planted is leaping out of the ground with limbs stretched toward the sun, and lots of things I didn’t plant reaching to compete. I appreciated the week of cooler weather that gave me more hours to weed, but still didn’t get to everything. And I also appreciated some of the things I found while weeding, though not all that much.

This is Marideth Sisco for These Ozarks Hills. I have a fact that I didn’t know until a minute ago and I thought I’d share it with you.

Did you know that this is the last episode of the 11th year of this series? How did that happen? Don’t misunderstand. Barring acts of god or congress, I’ll keep popping up on the first Fridays of the month for a good long time to come, unless I’m evicted or until I run out of things to say, which as near as I recall, has never happened.