Marideth Sisco

Host of "These Ozarks Hills"

Marideth is a Missouri storyteller, veteran journalist, teacher, author, musician and student of folklore focusing on stories relevant to Ozarks culture and history.  Each month, she’s the voice behind "These Ozarks Hills.” Sisco spent 20 years as an investigative and environmental writer for the West Plains Quill and was well known for her gardening column, “Crosspatch,” on which her new book is based. Sisco was a music consultant and featured singer in the 2010 award-winning feature film “Winter's Bone.”

usda.gov

This is Marideth Sisco for These Ozark Hills. Sad to say, but I guess we’ve seen the last of the gardens for this year. And as this post falls a little too late for Halloween and way too early for snarky remarks about Black Friday and the Christmas decorations already on sale , I’m left to dream up my own topics. That’s seldom a good idea because I’m old and I tend to wander off. So far, though, I’ve been able to find my way back. And that’s just what I’ve done. Because even as I said the words I knew in my very soul that we, or at least I, had not seen the last of the garden.

Native Notions

Oct 6, 2017
wikipedia.org

This is Marideth Sisco for These Ozarks Hills. This spate of dry Autumn days has gotten me thinking about the whimsical Ozarks climate and remembering other seasons and what folks said about them. Natives, mostly. And by that I don’t mean those born here. I mean the original natives. Now, I don’t know that I look all that much Native American, even though I am about a quarter’s worth. But sooner or later someone, usually someone with some Native American ancestry and often someone I don’t know, will come up to me out of the blue and tell me something I need to know.

nasa.gov

This is Marideth Sisco for These Ozark Hills. The much-diminished winds from the remains of Harvey are throwing the branches of a redbud tree against the windows in my studio, and I can’t make them stop. Pretty much a metaphor for weather in general these days. Watching the coverage of the worst storm in human memory has been sobering. It’s all too real.

http://www.euclidlibrary.org/

This is Marideth Sisco for These Ozark Hills. Water. Seems like there’s always too much or too little. In the Ozarks that can be true from one patch of grass to the next. Somewhere back in the long ago I remember a Disney cartoon in which Donald Duck was flying an old open cockpit biplane, hiring out to farmers to “seed” the clouds to make it rain. I have no recollection of the overall plot, if there was one. The part I remember is how he managed to make it rain exactly in the right place.

https://ids.si.edu/

Come sit by my side, come as close as the air

And share in a memory of time

And wander in my words

Dream about the pictures that I play of changes

– Phil Ochs, from Changes

This is Marideth Sisco for These Ozarks Hills. And today, in these turbulent times, I am thinking about Changes. They may come suddenly or slip in over time, so quiet, and stealthy we may not even notice until it’s done. The snippet of the song I just sang was written in the middle 1960s by Phil Ochs, who was in his early 20s, as was I when I first heard it.

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