Sunday, October 25, 2009


First things first - my award from W VA Fur and Root - This is the best I can do! Well, that and Thank You!!!!!
ADDING ONTO MY GRATITUDE LIST, I will put shatters, and, of course, friends. Here on the Eastern Shore, we have several names for fallen pine needles. The Come Here’s call them pine straw. Then, in time, in an effort to be more “Shore-ified” as a friend of mine from Tangier calls it, they pick up the term shatts or shatters. If you are from “down the county,” like Northampton County, you call them shatts. If you are from Accomack County, you call them shatters. Now the trick is to learn what to call them where you live, because if you are from New Jersey, for example, and live in Accomack County, and call them shatts, you are still wrong. Oh, it is so hard to learn the local languages!
My first year teaching here, I taught on the fair island of Chincoteague every afternoon. It was a long drive up the road and across the cause way and series of bridges, but in the class room it was also a trip thru time. Many of the kids were 5th or 6th generation “Teagers” and spoke with a totally different accent than those on the mainland. Like the folks on Tangier, an island out in the Chesapeake Bay, their language still had a bit of the old English “brogue”… it was similar, but not quite the same. It took some learning to understand what a kid meant when he said he didn’t have any “brain” – but meant brown, or asked how to paint a “clide” – cloud. They went dine tine after school – that’s where the stores were. And pine straw on the island is called shatters. Boy, I could take a digression award for that paragraph!
Anyway, my friend, Pat, who should get paid by John Deere for advertising their products, drove up to my house the other day in his tractor, pulling a little – or not so little – wagon behind it loaded with shatters which he dumped at the end of my turn-around. To Eastern Shore men (and women) a load of shatters, especially nice clean shatters, is like a load of gold. Well, OK, that is stretching it, but you get my point. Pat does the town a great service by raking up the shatters that fall along the roads in town. We used to have a couple of EXCELLENT workers here in town that kept the place looking as beautiful as it could be, and one of their jobs was to sweep up the shatters from under the pine trees. I, as a conscientious citizen used to give them a place to dump said shatters – my front yard! I them hauled them around to various garden areas to mulch the azaleas, camellias and other acid loving plants. They made the town look nice (and BOY! Do we miss them!) and, I saved them from having to find a place to dump them. Shatters are good on asparagus and excellent for your strawberry plants. Punkin followed me around hiding in the leaves that are falling, and inspecting the mulching.
While carrying a load of shatters out back, I saw this huge fungus. The locals call this a chocolate pie fungus. I can’t imagine why!
While Pat was here delivering the shatters, he helped lift the Stand-uppity garden he made for me so I could slide bricks under the legs. During the heavy rains earlier this summer, 2 of the legs started to sink deep in the ground. Now, it is closer to level again. See the cover? Did you ever wonder what they do with all those big campaign posters along the road? If you ask real nice, “they” will gladly dump them at your house when the election is over. All you have to do is find out who “they” are! The posters make great ground covers to kill the grass and weeds over the winter so the place is ready to plant in the spring. They also made a great cover for my Stand-uppity garden to keep it dry over the winter, and keep the planting mix clean.
Answering a question about the mini roses –
And 2 new fall azaleas.
Hope you enjoyed my language lesson!


Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...

We just call them pine needles. Do they not make your soil more acidic? You seem to have a lot of them. Are your trees Larch (also called Tamarack), not pine, which may look like evergreen but they drop all their needles so they are technically not "evergreens.Before they do they are a gorgeous yellow colour.

I find local dialects and words interesting. There is a form of Quebec English which uses a lot of French words. I do as a result of living in a French community. When AOL is going online a little man runs along. I refer to him as a bon homme. I am surprised the Indian tech guy in India understand me. One day I felt obliged to tell him what I was referring to. The French Canadians use many English words. You could say the speak Franglish.

Ginnie said...

Congratulations and thanks for all the info. I've heard the dialect when my husband and I used to take Rt. 301 North...I love it.