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.

Where's November?

Nov 4, 2016
commons.wikimedia.org

This is Marideth Sisco for These Ozark Hills. I don’t know if you’ve noticed it, but November is here, and something’s just not right. There’s no wood smoke in the air, for one thing. And the trees haven’t had enough water to even change color before they fall. And as for the temperature, it may be in the 70s today, but just two days ago we were on the last of a string of days in the 80s. And it’s November, for heaven’s sake. Where do we think we are, Mississippi? This is supposed to be the Upper South. November 4th in the upper south, in case you don’t know it, is supposed to be cold.

http://edbookphoto.photoshelter.com/

This is Marideth Sisco for These Ozarks Hills. I don’t know where it is you live, but out here in the rural Ozarks we’ve begun hearing whispers of fall this past week, as the Autumn Equinox has now passed and is receding into memory.

We feel a little spark of energy in the cooler and dryer air. The leaves of the black walnut are the first to fall and are doing so, revealing the harvest that is already beginning to pepper fencerows and the tin roof on the machine shed.

Peter Batemon

This is Marideth Sisco for These Ozark Hills. If you’ve spent any time at all outdoors in the past couple of weeks, even as summer’s heat has been the most reliable measure of where we are in the seasons, I bet you’ve noticed as I have that little scraps and snippets of autumn have been slipping in, testing the waters, as it were, making us stop for a second and whisper under our breaths, Ah. That’ more like it. The mornings are cooler, the air sweeter, and that peculiar shift of the light is beginning to take hold, turning things just a little more golden.

Heather / Flickr

This is Marideth Sisco for These Ozarks Hills. It’s time for another episode in this long journey that starts in my head and ends on the radio, and sometimes when I’m stuck, I look over my archive of random bits for some jumping off place, a place to begin.

Screenshot/Dirt the Movie Trailer / Youtube

This is Marideth Sisco for These Ozarks Hills. I’ve just come in from the garden where I finally, with help, evicted the last of the weeds where my cucumbers, beans and winter squash should already be in and growing up to my chin or beyond. One of the most aggravating things about getting old is that one is apt to run out of steam long before the things that steam was supposed to accomplish get done.

The Soil That Keeps us Grounded

Jun 3, 2016
globalfarmernetwork.org

This is Marideth Sisco for These Ozark Hills. It’s June in the Ozarks. I could have written about my potatoes, which look promising, or my strawberries, which are heaping abundance on my head. But then I saw a post on Facebook that put literally everything I know about life into a whole different perspective. And it’s not about Politics. Somebody posted a sign that’s attributed to the Farm Equipment Association of Minnesota and South Dakota. It offers this message:

Despite all our accomplishments, we owe our existence to a six inch layer of topsoil and the fact it rains.

A Fools Harvest

Apr 1, 2016
Public Domain

In this months episode of These Ozark Hills, Marideth Sisco presents centuries of April Fools pranks from across history. Included are amusing stories such as the "left handed hamburger" from Burger King, and a comedic football dropped on German troops in the First World War.

Marideth also entertains with stories from her own childhood involving the most comedic of holidays.

These Ozarks Hills: March, and the Wheel of Life

Mar 4, 2016
Paul Sableman / Flickr

This is Marideth Sisco for These Ozarks Hills. Somewhere back in the past, before there were memes, there was a widespread notion regarding weather and the seasons, asserting that if March comes in like a Lion, it will go out like a lamb. And vice versa. So what are we to do with a March that comes in insipid, neither one nor the other - just another day?

Looking at Home From Far Away

Feb 5, 2016
Thomas McFarland

This is Marideth Sisco for These Ozarks Hills. I've often heard it said that home never looks as good as it does when you're far away. I've had occasion to verify that notion on a number of occasions, and now I'm doing it again.

Jeff M for Short / (Flickr)

This is Marideth Sisco for These Ozark Hills Once upon a time in a land and a culture far away from the Ozarks, I was younger. I was living in California, trying to make my way in the thriving music culture there, trying to make a name for myself, as they say. 

I was playing around the Bay Area nightclubs, bars and little seedy coffee houses,  and actually landed a gig on Broadway, in San Francisco, the place where the big kids came to play. 

(Flickr)

This is Marideth Sisco for These Ozarks Hills. Well, here we are again, on the downhill slide into next year, and with no way to put on the brakes. I remember my folks talking about how much faster the time goes as you get older, and I thought they must be crazy. Everybody knew that time was endless, and the distance between daylight and dark sometimes took all day. In a day, you could do practically anything, dream any dream, play any game, hatch any plan. Heck, you could probably finish it all before dinner. 

KSMU Archives

This is Marideth Sisco for These Ozark Hills. First off, I have to say - Wasn’t that a glorious sight this week to see the entire area around Kansas City’s Union Station awash in a sea of Royal Blue. I couldn’t help but notice that at a distance far enough to see the whole crowd, the scene most resembled a giant flower garden. No riot. No car burnings. No violence. Just pure joyous celebration; 800,000 hearts strong. And that was just those who lived close enough to attend. That many and more, celebrating from afar. Congratulations, Royals. You certainly lived up to your name.

Katie Steiger-Meister/USFWS / (Flickr)

This is Marideth Sisco for These Ozark Hills. I had only about one toe in the Ozarks this past weekend while I and some companions visited friends and family up near Columbia. Our aim was to reconnect with a young woman we’d known almost since birth, had sometimes helped raise and had stayed behind as she went on her way into adulthood. She’s in her mid-thirties now and is bright, confident and remarkably self-aware. 

Emily McTavish / KSMU Archives

This is Marideth Sisco for These Ozark Hills. We here in the hills have been asked recently to do what most folks have had to do routinely in other parts of the world. That is, to adapt gracefully and with some ingenuity to enormous changes in our environment.

Emily McTavish / KSMU

This is Marideth Sisco for These Ozarks Hills. And this has been the oddest August so far. There’s been so much rain that everybody’s garden is still alive. What a thing. In the Ozarks, that’s a very big deal. The Ozarks is special and has been for a long time for a lot of reasons: its beauty, its history, its unique culture.

But the Ozarks has held its character as the westward flow of immigrants passed it by, chiefly because nobody wanted it.

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