The Lift-Gourse

The Lift-Gourse as told by: John Vincent Prater
This is the seldom told story of the fabled Lift-Gourse and the Farmer.This story is one of moral and of consequence, a story of greed and ingratitude.A story told many times, for many generations across the lands, but as mentioned above; this story is hardly ever told to this new generation of Young’ns. At the finish of the story; some may sit in wonder, others may ponder upon when they had first heard this tale and a few will simply smile and nod.
And So We Begin; Once upon a time; in a land not so far away, or a time not so long ago, there lived a Farmer and his Wife.The two had no children, no pets, no TV (has it had not yet been invented) and no radio.What they did have was more than five thousand acres of land, five hundred head of cattle, fifty chickens, five goats, a mule and a horse.The Farmer and his Wife worked their massive Farm, from sunup to sundown, month after month, season after season, year after year.However, one day…

New Item on Etsy


The Bear, The Pie & The Tree

This is a story told to me by my Grandpa Vincent Prater , when I was a kid. He lived for many years up South Fork Road (Hwy 1098) in Breathitt County. The photo on the left is that property.

The story goes like this; My Grandma used to bake pies and put them in the open kitchen window to cool. But she would always have to make an extra one for a Big Ole Black Bear that lived up the holler. The Bear would smell the pies, come down out of the holler, grab one of the pies and run up a giant pine tree next to the house. He would sit there high up in the tree and enjoy his pie.

Finally, Grandpa decided he'd fix that Bear. So one day he went out into the yard and cut down that big pine tree. The next week Grandma made her pies and set them in the window to cool. This time Grandpa was sitting at the kitchen table waiting for the Bear. He didn't have to wait very long before he saw the Bear making his way toward the house. Just like every other time, the Bear lumbered up to the windo…

Why Worry?

Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?
Matthew 6:26-27 (NKJV)

Attitude Adjustment


"I" is truly a lonely word

Defeating the Monster Bitter – So full of pain Fear of going insane No one else to blame Conceal all the shame
On the edge – fall to fall My heart seemingly does stall Misery – my name does call He that I am – I do appall

Besieged – I battle hard as I might Complicated – wrong from right Ominous the day – the night My soul yearns to take flight
Times of yore I cannot sever A part of my persona – forever Obstacles – I must climb over Defeat the Monster – Will I never?
The above poem is one of several that was written during a dark period about 8 to 10 years ago.A time in my life when I was filled with anger, regret and pain.I had and have physical pain (I’m getting older, everything hurts.)But the pain I’m speaking of is “Heart Felt” – “Soulful” pain.The kind you have in the very core of your being.The kind of pain that causes you to make bad decisions.It doubles you over backward and makes you blind.Typically we (men) don’t cry or try to work through our pain.We – I had become accustomed to holding i…

Keep Your Hammer Clean

This past Saturday we completed a project for one of our neighbors.  It was late when we finished and I was tired.  So, the tools did not get a proper cleaning.  Some were sprayed off with water and others left in a bucket to soak.  Sunday; Church and a day of relaxing came and went.  The tools were still uncleaned in the garage.  Monday morning arrived and the tile cutting wet saw, trowels and other tools with dried mastic and thin set, starred me in the face.  As I set to work scrapping and cleaning I was reminded of something my Grandpa used to say to me. 
“John, you need to always keep your tools clean.”
He’d also through in a tag like; “Especially your hammer.”It wasn’t until many years later as an adult that I understood his double meaning in those phrases.Both of which were my very first lessons in work ethic and personal hygiene.
Continuing to work on cleaning my tools, I thought about other things I learned from my Grandpa.When I was just 18 months old, my older sister and I we…