Whitesburg KY

A cup of coffee brings memories

Hello everyone!

Winter has finally arrived in the Harrison area! Just a couple of months until spring will be here. Watch it snow in May!

I really don’t have a coffee habit as it makes me very jittery, but it is so cold that even though the house is warm, it seems my body has a chill. I decided to use a single serving packet and try a cup. Well, this cup of coffee brought three special people in my thoughts as I sipped it.

I used Carnation canned milk, and a dab of sugar. Well, a little more of a dab. Grandma Rosa Hall gave me the first taste of coffee this way, let me dunk a biscuit in it, and then eat the crumbs with a spoon. The cup was a little too full, so I reached for a saucer as not to spill it.

Mom came traveling though my mind and heart as she would pour a little coffee in a saucer and ‘sup it,’ not sip it, as it cooled.

Then another memory is that my when Aunt Bertie Lewis would have coffee grounds in the bottom of her coffee cup, she’d turn it upside down and gaze into the tiny bits of residue then read your fortune in the grounds that were in the coffee cup.

How many others remember seeing this done?

I have an old treadle Singer sewing machine. I opened a drawer found three letters from Mommy, one dating from 1962 and two from 1969. One letter dated May 1969 told of the passing of Elaine Davis Moore’s mother Maxine.

Mom knew Thurston Davis when she was a young woman. They square danced together at Nora Calihan’s long before they ever thought about being married. Mom always recalled what a good dancer Thurston was.

One letter was describing Mom, and my brothers going to visit the babies’ graves and cleaning them off. Anna Lou died 1948 and Rondol was dead at birth in 1960.

As Mom described a crystal clear mountain stream of water running over rocks, she said that her granddaughter Angie sure would have loved that. Angie would have been right there with Mom, so would Keith and Kay.

My children have missed so much of mountain ways though I have tried to instill so many things in their childhood, simple things like getting a clean icicle from a small cliff, which is hard to find.

Oh what I would give for a mess of mustard greens from Richard Caudill’s garden, or Papaw Joe and Ima Jean’s on Johnson Fork. I heard too late that Doyle Ison’s brother also had a patch of greens not too far from where Doyle and Betty Ison live.

I swear the older I get the more I crave mountain food that I haven’t thought of in a long time.

When I was down home in October I was really grateful that Ricky picked me a large bag of greens. My son Keith Ballard said he could live on the greens they were so good.

Les and Pat Wagner slipped once again back to the mountains for a few days to spend time with their family and friends. Les always sends me text messages teasing me.

Southern Ohio

Just wait; if my health ever improves I am going to sneak off and text Les saying, “Ha, ha, guess where I am?” Did I say how much I love these two?

I really miss Hunters Pizzeria and seeing Les and Pat, Becky and Polly Hasty, Kelly, and Tony Hale and Blackwater.

Ricky sent me the book of Roxana by Forester Hogg. Once again as I read I seem to have a different recollection of growing up in Roxana than Forester does. He describes it being a “rowdy village” in which he felt unsafe as he describes some older men drinking.

My dad drank, and I remember Dad getting drunk and Hassle Stamper and Jim Short arresting Dad. Yet in my growing up era, the only other person I recall ever seeing drunk was B. Whitaker. The only danger of that was I thought his wife Alice was going to beat him up.

B. would sit on the railroad tracks and holler over and over, “Hey, honey babe!” Alice would get me to help her steady B. as we walked him down the railroad tracks.

I was all of eight or nine years old, but I was never afraid of B. Whitaker as he was a gentle man, drunk or sober.

I really appreciate Alice, Minnie, Martha Whitaker, Mitchell and Hessie Whitaker for helping shape my life in so many ways.

Hessie taught me how to work in her yard; Minnie taught me to iron; Alice let me hang with her, as she had granddaughters.

Now how could I ever feel unsafe?

I have to admit a certain woman brought out the worst in me, saying she was going to whip me. She sure didn’t get the job done as this sweet little 98-pound 12-year-old girl turned into a Kentucky wildcat.

Ricky Caudill is staying nice and cozy in his new home. I still recall what a terrible time he has experienced trying to keep warm in the old homeplace.

As I recall the winter I lived in my house without a furnace, I know the true meaning of “walk a mile in my shoes,” although Ricky’s shoes are several sizes too big for me.

Hello to Mike and Marcia Caudill, and thanks for saying you missed my column, and saying you’re glad I am writing again.

Johnny Calihan is still perking along, but Ann is sort of puny. Their daughters Carol Dieckman and Sue Wagner are both having health issues.

Carol spent Christmas in the hospital too. I am glad Carol is home now.

Polly Maucher it was great hearing from you. Hello Hayward and Kim Day. I missed you at Old Time Fiddlers Christmas party. The January meeting was cancelled due to bad weather.

Well, I better get this on its way. Until next time.

Leave a Reply