Whitesburg KY
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Autumn creates craving for fried apple pie

Blair Branch

Autumn, I love you! Today has been perfect. At least in my humble opinion. The temperature has not been cold, but cool. Just right for a light jacket, hoodie or even a thermal undershirt. The sun has shone, no rain. The wind has been light. I have made several trips outside, only to sit on the porch and enjoy autumn. Some of the leaves are still bright, others are turning to a rusty brown, and a few of the trees are now bare. The wind blows through the trees and the leaves flutter slowly to the ground. It is absolutely amazing. I’ve been behind my camera, capturing the beauty of these mountains, more in the last few weeks than I have all year. God is good!

I don’t know what it is about this weather, but it’s making me crave fried apple pies. Now, not just any fried apple pie will do. They need to be Mom and Dad’s. You know, no one can make ’em like Mom and Dad. I think it is their homemade apple butter that makes them so yummy. Maybe when Mom is feeling better we can make a batch. No way am I willing to I attempt it on my own the first time. I always need a good hand-holding until I get the hang of doing anything new in the kitchen.

Papaw Allen made the grandkids all a fodder-shock and the boys have spent hours playing inside of theirs. Michael was assigned the duty of going down to Mom and Dad’s to get it, and it is a wonder the thing even made it to the house in one piece. We had a long discussion the night before about how a foddershock is made. I tried to explain to him that it was still attached to the ground in a few places until you cut it down to move it. Of course, he had to hear it from Dad, to verify I was correct.

Dad wasn’t home when Michael went to pick it up. He had cut what he thought were all the attached stalks from the ground, but he didn’t know he missed one until he started moving it. Bailey was with him and starts screaming to the top of his lungs that Michael is destroying his precious fodder shock. What I would have given to see this whole fiasco.

Somehow they managed to get it home intact. Michael stood it up and left one side of it open so the kids can go in and out. It looks like a teepee to me. The boys have been pretending it’s a secret clubhouse and no moms are allowed, of course!

Were all the ghouls and goblins well enough to go out and get their bellies full of candy this weekend? I sure hope so, and I hope all the mommies and daddies survived their kids’ sugar rush.

Letcher Elementary School will be having a fall festival on November 5 from 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. There will be lots of games, food and fun. The PTO will have an auction following the festival at 8 p.m. Please come out and support the school.

I remember when I was a girl, we would get together with the entire family and walk around from house to house. James, Junie, Chalena, and I always had homemade costumes. We would be farmers, hunters, coal miners, punk rockers, vampires, zombies, boys would dress as girls, girls would dress as boys or something like that. I can’t recall ever going to Walmart to buy a costume. It was nothing to go to someone’s house and get a piece of homemade candy or popcorn ball.

Miles later, at the end of the night, we would all be exhausted and frozen to death. Lovell and Lois Blair would let us all pile in their living room until Dad, Roger, Johnny or whoever came to give us a ride back home. Those were the good old days. Even if times have changed the costumes the kids wear, and the treats that are handed out, trick-ortreating is still a lot of fun. I look forward to taking the boys out with the family for years to come!

There was no school for Letcher Elementary on Oct. 28, 29, and 30 due to a large amount of absences. I received an email from the school saying classes will not resume until Nov. 4. I sure hope that everyone who is sick recovers quickly. Illness sure has been going around lately.

I would like to ask everyone to please take a moment and send up a prayer for Travis Morton; this young boy is a former Letcher Elementary student. According to the school newsletter, he is in the University of Cincinnati Hospital undergoing radiation. I know many prayers are being prayed for him. I’ve seen his name on numerous prayer requests. Please, keep them coming.

Billy Ray Blair had skin cancer removed from his back last week. This is the third time he has needed to have cancer removed within just a few months. He said he may be looking at chemo in the future.

My cousin Mary Lou asked for prayers for her son Shawn. He underwent double hernia surgery. We are very thankful that he made it through surgery fine. I am wishing him a speedy recovery.

Charles E. Blair is in Central Baptist Hospital. He had a heart attack and needed four stents put in. He is doing OK now and seems to be in good spirits. I hope he is able to come home soon.

Mom, Sylvania Whitaker, is in the University of Kentucky Hospital. She underwent surgery to have a dialysis fistula put in her arm. The surgery took longer than expected. The doctors had to put the fistula in a different location than planned, because her veins were too small in the lower part of her arm. The surgery was originally to be outpatient, but she was admitted for the night. If all goes well she should be home soon.

One day last week my nephew Allen Jent had a bad allergic reaction to antibiotics. He had to go to the ER and be treated. Opal says he is doing OK now.

Bithie Smallwood, a very sweet resident of Letcher Manor Nursing Home, died last week. Bithie was one of my all time favorite residents. My sympathies to her family. She will sure be missed!

My condolences to the family of Geneva Adams. Geneva was also a resident of Letcher Manor, but formerly of Blair Branch. A day never passed that she didn’t have me laughing. She was such fun and I loved her very much. We will miss you!

I only have a couple birthdays to share this week. Alex Blake Whitaker celebrated his eighth birthday on Oct. 31, and Allen Ward Whitaker on Nov. 4. Happy birthday you two! I hope your special days were filled with love and laughter.

Derrick Watts, Wanda Whitehead, and family traveled to Cicero, Ill., to visit with Derrick’s son. I hope they had a fantastic trip. I can’t wait to hear all about it and see tons of pictures.

Juanita Hensley and Ben West are both on the mend. Juanita was out and about last weekend. She said it felt like being let out of prison. Ben says that recovery from the Bell’s palsey is slow, but it he is improving every day.

Missy Fields left her job at Hazard Hospital and was to start working for the VA in Hazard on Nov. 2. She is really excited. I wish her the best.

I hope everyone has a healthy and happy week. If you would like to contact me, you may do so at alanacouch@tvscable.com.

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