The Annual Cookie Sale at Christ the King Lutheran Church is a high point in the Wiregrass Hitties’ Christmas celebrations. Folks and dolls rise early that Saturday and make their merry way to the church on the little crooked street. If one is clever enough to arrive at an appropriate hour, the assortment is daunting. Long rows of tables are laden with cookies and candies made by parishioners that come from all over the world. Promises made the year before about the amount to be donated or the pounds to be purchased are forgotten immediately upon sight of all those homemade delights.  Familiar faces greet the happy shoppers with assurances that they indeed remembered your fondness for Bourbon Balls and have made thrice extra this season. (It really was a tragedy that fellow arrived last year before you and bought them all!) It isn’t just the sugar that marks this day with a peculiar sweetness.

Perhaps as an antidote to so much syrupy sentiment, Someone got up to a bit of over-indulgence. It isn’t always easy to identify a Hitty by her boots, especially if it’s the only thing you catch as she flees the scene of a crumbly crime. For the most part, Hittys are shod in serviceable black paint, indistinguishable from one another below their wooden knees. So it was discovered that a Black-Booted Brigand had filched the very finest cookie (Iced and Painted and Even Dressed in Cellophane!) from the piled high box and had nearly demolished it before discovery.

Remains Of The Day 2

“The Remains” – Whoever she is, her tummy will eventually give her away.



There are no fat geese to lift in song at the Wiregrass Hitties. The Old Man’s hat could do with a penny or a ha’penny, given that Hittys are always in want of a new gown or a new sister. However, the surest sign that The Season is upon us is the Christmas Cactus blooming in the eastern window.


Christmas is coming!

Judging from the look on Snip’s face, she isn’t sure whether she’s on the Naughty List or the Nice List. Perhaps she’s at the very top of both!

It was a beautiful day in The Wiregrass…as lovely a day as one could wish for deep in November. Snip and Hitty Dani elected to help in the garden, picking up pecans from the leaf-strewn yard. The nuts were plentiful this season, but small. Snip felt her company might make the task a little lighter; Dani simply wanted to enjoy the sunshine and fresh air. A hawk shrieked above their heads, perturbed that nut-gathering had scattered the tiny birds he sought as prey. Merry Pecksniff, the Ancient Basset of Doom, whose fondness for pecans is well-documented, joined the harvesters, staking her claim to the delicious nuts.

Snip collects pecans.

Snip collects pecans.


Hittys Danelle and Snip enjoy the November sunshine.

Hittys Danelle and Snip enjoy the November sunshine.


Merry Pecksniff, the Basset of Doom, stakes her claim to the luscious pecans.

Merry Pecksniff, the Basset of Doom, stakes her claim to the luscious pecans.

The old Confederate Rose has met an untimely end and the Mad for the Farthing Crowd mourns its passing. Planted before the Wiregrass Hitties were even splinters of the heart, it had grown taller than the house from three cuttings purchased as homely, naked “sticks” at the Christmas Bazaar. The memory made the Carvers laugh. The cotton rose was a haven for birds and insects, situated so the resident mockingbird could spew sass to folks both within the garden and without.  In the Summer, it offered fine shade to the dozy Doggery. The rose, truly not a rose at all, blossomed exuberantly and prolifically deep into Autumn with flowers as large as saucers.

Hitty Confederate Rose 4

Hedydd waits as the early morning sun urges the Cotton Rose to fully open.

The Hittys know a little more now, about the rhythm of the seasons here in the Wiregrass. Although they grieve for shrubbery now gone, they know that friends and neighbors can be counted on to provide cuttings, though they declare they would pool their pocket money to buy “sticks” at this year’s bazaar, so much is the Cotton Rose missed.

Snip had her first outing, visiting the “We Piddle Around” Theater for an evening of music and story-tellin’. “Come Home, It’s Suppertime” is presented twice a year to sold out houses in the old WPA courthouse in Brundidge, Alabama. Dinner is served family-style on large tables settled into thick sawdust on the floor. The play begins by defining the distinction between “Dinner” and “Supper”. Local folks spin tales ’bout sitting up with the dead, being particular, hog-butchering, cotton-picking and moonshine. Snip liked the stories about store-bought mens drawers most of all and agreed that the mercantile having undergarments on display for all to see, including women and young’uns, certainly was evidence of a community going to Hell in a hand-basket.


Piddlin' before the show.

Piddlin’ before the show. (Makin’ sure our own hand-basket was properly equipped for an evening at the theatre and our own home-made drawers were daintily concealed.)


A friend loveth at all times and a brother is born for adversity.

Proverbs 17:17

Grateful to have escaped therapy at St. Brutal’s and equally thankful that her scant hospital gown allowed for modesty, Hedydd prepared for a minor repair of her wounded shoulder. The little bumps and bruises that scored her wood she knew were marks of character, and she would wear them proudly, but an arm that regularly launched itself into space, skittering into odd corners, must be mended.

However, taking the measure of her fellow patients, she thought there must have been a mistake or a change of plan. This looked more like a maternity ward rather than a surgery. It was crowded, but not uncomfortable, and the company welcome to the infirm Hedydd.

Birthing Suite 2

Birthing Suite

It seems that Hedydd’s misfortune, and the time it afforded The Carvers, had led to a great spate of births in the Mad for the Farthing Crowd. She was surrounded by new sisters, some whose labor had lasted many, many years. Yet, here they were at last. Some still struggled to be be free of the blank. Some bore but a portion of their paint. Despite their age, they were all so young. In a sweet moment, Hedydd considered the adventures these youngsters would soon encounter as they began their lives in earnest. A Hitty’s life is full of daring exploits, exciting travels as well as kind friends and kindred spirits. Here were sisters born of and for adversity. Hedydd welcomed each to the family.

It is sadly true that many of these Hittys have languished in the carving bag for many years. It is also true that some may yet return incomplete. Progress has thankfully been made, however. The newest members of the MFC are: Back row, left to right: “As Yet Unnamed”, Snip, Livy, Hannalore, “As Yet Unnamed II” and Süßigkeit. Front row, left to right: Peg Isu and Hitty Hedydd.

On a bright, beautiful day in October, Hedydd planned a wonderful afternoon at Landmark Park’s annual Farm Day. She was so looking forward to the glittering golden jars of cane syrup fresh from the enormous kettle, the antique tractors, noisy chickens and lively Bluegrass music drifting from the gazebo. She had a spanking new pinny made especially for the occasion and her bonnet had been made over with new flowers and ribbons. She thought herself quite the cutest thing in wooden boots.

Despite her fine opinion of herself, it truly was not pride occurring before destruction, nor a haughty spirit before this particular fall. Poor Hedydd found her small world and her small wooden body turned ’round ‘n’ ’round and upside down as the result of two vehicles trying to occupy the same space at the same moment. Her plans for the afternoon were dashed…her spirits, naturally, were not.


Tail Over Teakettle!


All those involved continue to regain health, some more cheerily than others. After an initial good report, Hedydd was found needing a small surgery and is recovering well.


Hitty Hannah's Journal

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