Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Unto These Hills, Cherokee Nation

Sweet Man, Baby Girl and I had the privilege of having our beautiful nieces for a couple of weeks. We enjoyed every minute. They live in North Georgia and are growing up SO fast. 

And not seeing them often makes my heart ache to be with them. But I do cherish the time we get to have them. I hope they always carry with them the fond memories of times with Aunti Sisi, Uncle D. Abi and Dani and the host of friends we expose them to. We love you ladies J

Limited on funds but needing the break away, we decided to camp for a few days in the Smokies. I have always been led to believe that I am appx 50% Cherokee. I have even been told that there is still family on my grandfathers side that reside on the reservation. I have tried without success to get information needed so that myself and my girls could list ourselves as Native American. I am proud of our heritage and would welcome the opportunity to do that. My family unfortunately, can not stop bickering long enough to get the info. Apparently someone in our family has the documentation and no one is exactly sure where it is. Trying to go through the Cherokee Nation has proven a dead end. We even went to the museum while there and the attendant was very unhelpful (being nice) and told me that the roll was closed to white people. So here I set, not knowing which way to go.
That brings me to our next stop, we have always talked about going to the Unto These Hills production. And I was so very excited to attend. As we sat waiting for it to start in the outdoor theater, I decided to look through the program we had purchased.. 2 of the Cherokee Historical Association Board and Staff have the last names of my grandparents Harding and Hyatt. One of them is the Chairman Board of Trustees and the other is on the board of Trustees. So now I am scratching my head even more.
Now on to the show itself. I have to tell you that the production was so very disappointing. Not only did they not use a cast of Native Americans in the production, they used satire and what seemly was mocking. In one scene, they literally broke into a hoe down. Although the story was historically accurate mostly, the acting and the satire was so very disappointing. They had one cast member who was just amazing and totally did not go with the rest of the cast., Mike Crowe Jr stood out and deserves to honor our heritage with facts and true to life. It was at times like being at a dinner comedy show. I tried to stay positive up til intermission, but it was a sad, sad portrayal. I have witnessed middle school musicals that were better in acting (at one point the preachers wife kept grabbing the moonshine bottle and swigging it much to the laugher of the audience.), costuming (some of the costumes literally looked like they took a quilt and made the dresses) and props. This should be something that the Cherokee Nation can be proud of. I left there embarrassed. I implore them to find a new director, costumer and writer. This should make people walk away wanting to know more about the Cherokees, not thinking what a waste the money they just spent was, never caring about native American heritage.

When I was a little cutie, we visited Cherokee, I am not sure how well this will show up, but it is worth a try:

On the bright side, we went by the main river that runs in Cherokee and saw a banner at a camp ring that said Bonfire with Cherokee Indians, 7pm. We decided we would go the next night. That was AMAZING. They took questions, they taught you great history about the Cherokee Nation, they did singing, dancing, all authentic.

 Contrary to what they portray in front of stores, the Cherokees never nor does now where the long head dresses, what you see in these pictures are their head dresses. I am not sure why they feel the need to give the public what they think they want, but it would be amazing  if every show, shop and business vowed to show what the Cherokees are truly about. The greatest thing of all, the bonfire was free, it was informative and I would totally go every time we visit!. Thank you Cherokee Nation for giving me the true prospective of my heritage. It did leave me wanting more and wishing more than ever that we could be listed on the roll and claim our heritage.

We visited many other places while on our trip. We went tubing in Saluda NC and also in Deep Creek. Loved both trips. Saluda is worth the drive and it is a day trip that will just help you relax and enjoy God’s beauty. The funniest thing that happened on the Saluda trip was a group of campers on the river playing the deliverance dueling banjos. .I yelled ahead to my brother in law “Stewart, I hear banjos playing” everyone broke out in laughter.  Our trip ended a little short, let’s just say grown men should not jump off rope swings in the middle of the river. It looked painful as it happens and it can lead to dislocated fingers, just saying……… What a great way to spend a fourth of July!!!

Every time we are there, I feel the mountains calling me home. I hope I get to go there before God calls me home. We are working hard on making that happen. Anyone want to buy a beautiful Log Cabin in Orlando???

My heart was full, something I could do all day is pick blackberries and I got a nice bag full. I can spot them traveling 35 around mountain curves and my sweet man stops and humors me. YUM!!!

While I have you here, let me share a recipe for some awesome SIMPLE turtles we make on occasion and we let our nieces make while with us. They could not be easier, 3 ingredients.
They look prettier when you use the square pretzels but the small regular ones will work fine too….

Simple Rolo Turtle Snacks:
1 bag of pretzels
1 bag of rolos candies (or several rolls, depending on how many you want to make)
Whole pecans
You place the pretzels on a baking pan, topping each one with a (unwrapped) rolo
Bake at 350* for 2 minutes
As soon as you take them out of the oven, push a full half of pecan in the middle of the rolo. It is best to let them cool, but good luck with that, they are so yummy, your tummy just won’t let you…….

Peace Love and EnJoy!!!

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