Special Issue Sneak Peek


Special Cover

Our Special Issue 2016 is filled to the brim with wonderful homes! There is something in this issue for every antique collector and any style of decorator. I’m so grateful to our wonderful homeowners for opening up their world for us to see!

On our cover is the Ohio home of Lee and Jo Erdman. A stunning replica of a home in Deerfield that Jo fell in love with many years ago – it is a testament to what you can do with a little patience and perseverance. The Erdman’s also have the most incredible gardens that will give you a lot of inspiration!




My friend Bea Sparrow from Olde Glory Antiques in Waynesville, Ohio turned me on to some wonderful homes in her area – including this historic property, “Old Dominion Farm,” circa 1855, home to Chris Smith.


You’ll want to read this article about Chris and his interesting ideas about collecting and how he has filled this early home with unique American antiques.



Jeff and Karissa Acred purchased their Ohio home in 2010, and it had not been touched since the 1970’s – complete with shag carpeting, wallpaper and marble! See the amazing transformation that has occured under this industrious couple’s ownership.



Our very own Helen Pringle (Contributing Editor of A Simple Life) shares her Texas home with us in this issue. It took a little persuading to get her to agree but you will see why I pushed so hard. I knew our readers would love it and Helen has been collecting early American antiques for over 50 years. She is by far one of the most knowledgeable collectors I know.




And there’s STILL MORE!  Our friend Debbie Campbell whose home was featured in the Summer 2011 issue of “A Simple Life,”  is constantly changing her home and collections, so I wanted to share with you some before and after photos of what’s been happening at her Illinois home since our first visit.




WOW! You aren’t going to want to miss this issue! And there is also lots of wonderful articles included too – Mountain Dulcimers, an original early diary from New Hampshire, a summer inspired article on our Nation’s Flag, and an interesting article about Shaped Note Singing. We all remember Shaped Note Singing from the popular movie, “On Cold Mountain.” Now you can learn the roots behind this early form of singing.

Special TOC

This issue will be shipping approximately June 20th so be waiting by your mailbox! If you aren’t a subscriber, or your subscription has lapsed – be sure and call or email Kay right away to get on our ship list! 806-748-0700 or asimplelifemagazine@gmail.com                   Or support a local shop near you who carries A Simple Life !



Historic Martin’s Station


You so often hear the statement, “Where History Comes to Life,” but never have I felt that more than I did last weekend at Martin’s Station in Ewing, Virginia along Powell’s Valley. Visitors are immediately taken back to 1775, a critical time of Westward Expansion from Virginia to Kentucky. A critical time for our country as a whole of course. While soldiers were fighting the British on the Eastern Seaboard, the men on the frontier were fighting the natives of the area, British soldiers, and also fellow Americans who were loyal to the King.


Historic Martin’s Station is an outdoor living history museum at Wilderness Road State Park featuring the most authentically re-constructed frontier fort in America. Virginia’s frontier comes alive with costumed interpreters providing demonstrations depicting life in colonial America.


Martin’s Station was located approximately 20 miles east of Cumberland Gap, halfway between Virginia and Kentucky. It was the only station and safe haven through an uninhabited district.

In 1775 Joseph Martin took a party of 16 or 18 men and built a station that included four or five log cabins and a stockade. The Station remained, sometimes unoccupied, throughout the period of westward expansion to Kentucky.


Naturally there is so much more to the story – that will be told in detail in a future issue of A Simple Life Magazine, but today Martin’s Station and all it stood for during that time in the history of our American frontier – stands as a tribute to our pioneers. Once a year it comes alive with over 300 reenactors, recreating the most powerful and period correct portrayal of our Nation at that tumultuous time – “The Raid At Martin’s Station.”




During the day you can roam among the encampments, both frontiersmen and Native American and become a part of history through these passionate reenactors. You are immersed in the moment when the raid takes place, giving you a very personal sense of just what these settlers experienced while carving out a life on the wild frontier.




“All America lies at the end of the wilderness road, and our past is not a dead past, but still lives in us. Our forefathers had civilization inside themselves, the wild outside. We live in the civilization they created, but within us the wilderness still lingers. What they dreamed, we live, and what they lived, we dream.” – T.K. Whipple

The following videos are so movingly powerful – they will steep you in the very moment of time when the great American frontier was opening.


This is an event that will forever leave a mark on my soul – and one in which I will attend again and again. I hope to one day see you there as well …

Dare to Dream …http://www.historicmartinsstation.com/



The Winding Stream

In 2014 I nearly made another long drive to Nashville to see a film – although then it would have been from Texas and 12 hours one way. Like “Josephine,”  it was one I felt a deep need to see ~  “The Winding  Road.”   It was a documentary about the original family of Country Music – The CARTER FAMILY.   I couldn’t get there and just assumed all hope was lost. But in the little town of Galax, Virginia, on a Monday night in May, two years later,  at the Rex theater … it was shown again. I believe the wait made it even sweeter. The Winding stream

The Carter family made their first recordings in Bristol, Virginia (The Bristol Sessions) in 1927 for producer Ralph Peer. A.P. Carter saw the ad in the newspaper that Peer was going to be in Bristol and was looking for talent.  Sara Carter was truly one of the first women to ever sing country music commercially – women just weren’t in the limelight back then. A.P. wrote literally hundreds of songs, but he was also the “Song Catcher” of the family and he traveled the back roads and mountains for over ten years collecting old songs. He’d bring them home and the three of them would set them to music and change some of the versing.  Maybelle, Sara’s cousin, was the true musician of the group – although she could play anything, she was well known for the auto harp. But her guitar picking style was what was so innovative. A ‘scratch’ style of guitar playing, where she used her thumb to play melody on the bass and middle strings, and her index finger to fill out the rhythm.

Maybelle 2

Original_Carter_Family_  Although the Original Carter Family had its share of tumultuous times, their music is at the root of all music heard today. The legacy of their music and their families music is at the heart of every song being played.

This documentary is still widely played across the U.S. so visit their website for show dates. The producer also promises a DVD copy to be released at some date, and the soundtrack Is available now. Either way, I urge you to see it – even if it takes two years … or more. The Circle won’t be broken.

website: http://www.thewindingstream.com



To see the trailer: