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Back in the day life used to be swell

Southern Ohio

Rose Ballard says, “My son Keith Ballard made this for Mother’s Day. The iron pot is over 100 years old, and it was given to me. The pot didn’t have a bail, somehow how Keith used a torch to make the bail from an iron rod. The dirt is in a mound. Keith put a lot of thinking and effort in doing this for me.”

Rose Ballard says, “My son Keith Ballard made this for Mother’s Day. The iron pot is over 100 years old, and it was given to me. The pot didn’t have a bail, somehow how Keith used a torch to make the bail from an iron rod. The dirt is in a mound. Keith put a lot of thinking and effort in doing this for me.”

Hello everyone! Once again Mother’s Day is just a memory. I hope everyone enjoyed this special day as much as possible. This has been a wonderful Mother’s Day for me.

Some time ago I found a post on Facebook of a wood frame with an iron pot with flowers around it. Last fall my son Keith Ballard started a project. When I was in the mountains I call home, I came back to a wooden frame built in my yard.

Keith has worked so many hours and one reason after another hadn’t decided what to do with the frame. Keith told me instead of getting me flowers for Mother’s Day, he decided to finish what he had started.

As he used his phone, pulling up different types of flowers to plant. I tried to explain that the ones he was looking at weren’t good for the purpose of what he had in mind.

Keith had done so much planning in his head that he knew exactly the colors for what he was projecting. He researched nurseries before saying anything to me. I suggested petunias, as they do good in full sun or shade. The only thing, since Keith isn’t experienced in buying potted plants, when he was selecting petunias, he didn’t know the store had put other plants in the same place.

Ann Calihan is pictured with a Mother’s Day bouquet. She is formerly from the Roxana area, and makes her home in Harrison, Ohio.

Ann Calihan is pictured with a Mother’s Day bouquet. She is formerly from the Roxana area, and makes her home in Harrison, Ohio.

He purchased impatiens and only got a few petunias. They are beautiful, the only thing I am afraid of the impatiens won’t withstand the sun.

Keith bought landscaping rocks to make a circle, then bought dirt, along with black mulch. Keith worked very hard for hours to have this ready for me for Mother’s Day.

I have a beautiful flowerbed that will bring me pleasure for the rest of my life. I plan to try to find some kind of flowers that will reseed to come up each year.

Thanks to my daughters for the flowers and cards for Mother’s Day.

Ann Calihan had as good of Mother’s Day as possible, defying the stay-at-home rule. I am so thankful all her children came to spend some time with Ann and Johnny on this special day.

With this coronavirus, it is such a trying time. We need families. None of us knows what the future will hold.

Sue Wagner is still doing good from her liver transplant. She and her husband Tom are trying to find a house. I know that Johnny and Ann are enjoying having them.

I’m sure 2020 will go down in history. I feel so sad for the 2020 seniors that will never have the memory of proms and graduations along with the college students that were completing their final year.

My 13-year-old grandson Bennie Wiederhold is really having a tough time with doing schoolwork on the Chrome Book and computer, as the teacher seems to forget not everyone has access to the things she expects the students to do.

My daughter’s condo is on the second floor. She has no yard, plus Angie isn’t able to go find different things the teacher wants for experiments.

I received a nice letter from a former mountain girl, Beatrice Crawford from Blair Branch. I am sorry I forgot what she said her maiden name was. Beatrice lives in Louisville, and she shares a home with another mountain girl, Louanna Hampton from Blackey. Beatrice ordered two of my books, “The Beauty of a Rose”.

Beatrice really enjoys my column in The Mountain Eagle. I had to laugh as she always reads my column the first thing. She has been reading my column from the first since I started writing 17 years ago.

Beatrice said the few times that I haven’t had a column that she feels she is missing so much.

Nancy Daren of Mesa, Ariz., who receives The Mountain Eagle, also ordered my book.

“The Beauty of A Rose” has been sent to Florida, Missouri, Arizona, Kentucky and Ohio. Thanks to everyone for buying it, and for all the good reviews.

I still have a few copies left if anyone is interested. This may be the last time that I have it reprinted.

I’m enclosing some old-time sayings. I hope they bring back memories.

Some old expressions have become obsolete because of the inexorable march of technology. These phrases included “Don’t touch that dial,” “Carbon copy,” “You sound like a broken record” and “Hung out to dry.”

In older days we had moxie. We’d put on our best bib and tucker to straighten up and fly right. Heavens to Betsy! Gee whillikers! Jumping Jehoshaphat! Holy moley!

We were in like Flynn and living the life of Riley, and even a regular guy couldn’t accuse us of being a knucklehead, a nincompoop, or a pill. Not for all the tea in China!

Back in the days life used to be swell, but when’s the last time anything was swell? Swell has gone the way of beehives, pageboys, the D.A. spats, knickers, fedoras, poodle skirts, saddle shoes, and pedal pushers. Oh, my aching back. Kilroy was here, but he isn’t anymore.

We wake up from what surely has been just a short nap, and before we can say, “well I’ll be a monkey’s uncle!” or, “this is a fine kettle of fish!” we discover that the words we grew up with, the words that seemed omnipresent as oxygen, have vanished with scarcely a notice from our tongues and our pens and our keyboards. Poof, go the words of our youth, the words we’ve left behind. They’re gone.

Where have all those phrases gone? Long gone: Pshaw, The milkman did it. Hey! It’s your nickel. Don’t forget to pull the chain. Knee high to a grasshopper. Well, Fiddlesticks! Going like sixty. I’ll see you in the funny papers. Don’t take any wooden nickels.

It turns out there are more of these lost words and expressions than Carter has liver pills. We of a certain age have been blessed to live in changeable times.

For a child each new word is like a shiny toy, a toy that has no age. We, at the other end of the chronological arc, have the advantage of remembering there are words that once did not exist and there were words that once strutted their 15 minutes of fame upon the earthly stage and now are heard no more, except in our memory.

See ya later, alligator! After while, crocodile!

This really brought back things when I read this as I am sure it will to lots of you readers.

Hello to Les and Pat Wagner, and the family. I hope you are doing alright.

Hello to Mike and Marcia Caudill. I will be glad when Carcassonne Square Dance will resume. Darlene, T., along with Fred and Alice Campbell, I am ready to head for Campbell’s Branch Community Center, just to listen as I probably may never be able to dance.

Until next time.

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