Jenny Lynn Keller
On this Southern-fried Friday, I’m combining two of my favorite things—fall and history. Autumn leaf colors in the Southern Appalachian mountains exceeded everyone’s expectations this year. Summer held on until mid-October then a cool snap repainted the landscape almost overnight. So we celebrated with a day trip and found ourselves at the Mingus Grist Mill near Cherokee, North Carolina. Built in 1886, the mill was the largest in the area for many years and grinded local farmers’ corn and wheat into meal and flour. The barter system substituted for cash in those days, and the miller charged a mill toll of 1/8 of each farmer’s grain. Saturdays became the market day in most of these mountain communities, and lots of commerce and social activities occurred around the mill while folks waited for their finished product.
Corn and wheat entered the mill in one form, was ground under the weight of a large stone, and came out of the process in another form. The miller harnessed the power of flowing water to do all the work, and the end product provided families with much needed meal and flour. In many ways God is like a miller. He provides us a way to become a better product. But first we must go to the mill and be processed as described in Proverbs 16:2-3. “Humans are satisfied with whatever looks good; God probes for what is good. Put God in charge of your work, then what you’ve planned will take place.”
Wishing you all a wonderful fall season!