12.2.23 8

Ask Me Anything: Why’d You Start Doing This?

A few weeks ago, brilliance struck. I decided to do a solo Ask Me Anything podcast episode.

To kick things off, I asked everyone on X if they had any questions they would like me to answer on the show. I compiled all the questions and sat down with a microphone to answer them.

How’d that go? 

Not great. Notice it’s not up yet.

Trying to record the episode, I discovered talking into the great abyss is not for me. But kudos to all the solo podcasters out there. You have a talent I do not possess.

So, will there ever be an Ask Me Anything episode? Probably not. Instead, I will try to answer some of those questions in other episodes. Others, I will answer here on the blog. 

I bring this up because one of the questions I received stuck with me. It’s been rattling around in my brain all week and made me reflect on why I created Where the Dogwood Blooms

Why’d You Start Doing This?

Billy from The Appalachian Podcast asked, “Why’d you start doing this, and what’s been the most difficult part?”

That question stopped me dead. Why did I start doing this?

I suppose the simplest answer is that I wanted to read about North Carolina from a North Carolinian perspective. So I looked around the internet.

What I found were educational sites and Our State magazine.

The NC-based blogs I found weren’t written about North Carolina. A lot of them seemed to be geared toward newcomers. They centered around lifestyle or travel.

Few of those bloggers had deep NC roots. Many espoused values contrary to those I had known my whole life. Even more pushed restaurants, events, and styles out of touch with the average local, i.e., me.

None of them produced the kind of content I was looking for.

I wanted to know about NC culture, history, and artisans. I didn’t care about the new fad cafes in Raleigh – I’d rather hear about the hundred-year-old BBQ joint in BFE, where locals line up every weekend.

Unable to find the site I was looking for, I created it for myself.

It’s essentially the same reason I created the podcast: to help preserve North Carolina’s cultural heritage.

The Hardest Part

The hardest part of what I do? Time. We homeschool, and my husband works from home. In a busy house, it’s hard to find a block of time when it is quiet enough to write, much less to record a podcast.

The struggle is real, y’all.

Sometimes, I wonder if the extra stress is worth it.

But then I think about the photos of plants and the historic site recommendations y’all send. I think of the stories you’ve shared. The comments, DMs, and emails. Those little gestures remind me that I am not the only one trying to reconnect with my roots.

There’s a lot of us.

And that makes it worth it.

Leave a Comment


  1. Keep talking about North Carolina. Its my second home.I enjoy reading about some of its history. I spent 17 years there and made some good friends. I know more about WV history b/c this is where I was born. I also have fond memories of fishing in NC. Caught a lot of big bass in the lakes and ponds there, something that hard to do in WV. Thanks and keep it up.

    Published 12.2.23
    • Cassie wrote:

      Thank ya, sir! I intend to keep going as the good Lord allows. I enjoy talking about NC. It’s uniting – I feel like we could all use a little more of that these days. 😉

      Published 12.2.23
  2. James wrote:

    I’ve listened to various forms of talk radio for over 50 years. The person who had the best show and was hands down the best interviewer I’d ever heard was Terri Gross at NPR. 10 years ago Marty Stuart’s music show was in its heyday. Despite some stumbles, this liberal Jew from New York had a fantastic interview with this rural Catholic. Because she makes it about her guest, she actually helps herself to have a great show.

    Published 12.2.23
    • Cassie wrote:

      I never listened to talk radio until recently. Now I can’t get enough of it. I love episodes featuring 2 or more people having discussions. I feel like that should’ve been a sign that I probably wouldn’t care for solo recording. lol

      Published 12.2.23
  3. Bessie Hinson ( Becky) wrote:

    It’s worth it to us so please continue with your blog because as a native North Carolinian it is so special!!

    Published 1.12.24
    • Cassie wrote:

      Thank ya, ma’am! I plan on sticking around as long as the good Lord lets me. I love what I do on Where the Dogwood Blooms – and it makes my heart happy that others do too! <3

      Published 1.21.24
  4. Jeff wrote:

    BTW, you’ll find a lot of NC blog posts in my blog (and in older blogs going back to the early 2000s). I’m about as pure blooded North Carolinian as one can get–you’ll have to go back before the Civil War to find an ancestor of mine not from the Old North State. That said, somehow, I broke the mold and my kids were born in Utah! I have enjoyed reading back through your blog.

    Published 1.20.24
    • Cassie wrote:

      I will certainly check out your blog! I love reading about other people’s experiences and memories of the Old North State. I feel like it’s important for us to share them and help keep our culture alive.

      Published 1.21.24