Whitesburg KY
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Beauty is found in the simplest things

Southern Ohio

Katelyn and Kyle Nottingham enjoy the day.

Katelyn and Kyle Nottingham enjoy the day.

Happy fall ya’ll. Oh there’s no way I am ready for this beautiful autumn season, simply because this is one season that is too short and winter creeps in and seems to last forever.

As dawn breaks I glance across the luscious green hayfield that has recently been cut and put away for the winter months. The trees are starting to show a tad bit of fall foliage. I wish I could say it is a brilliant color.

The huge maple tree in the corner of my yard casts a shadow across the road. The branches of the tree and the leaves make it look as an intricate lace pattern on the hayfield. You might say I find beauty in the most simple things.

I spent time with Grandma Rosa Hall as she would take me along to go pawpaw hunting. The only thing I don’t understand is that Grandma would always wait until frost and the pawpaws were a dark brown before she ate them, and now they are ripe in September.

Grandma always seemed to know where persimmon trees were located. You better wait until frost to pop one of these in your mouth, or you better be ready to pucker up.

Katelyn Nottingham is the daughter of Scott and Anna Nottingham and granddaughter of Rose Ballard.

Katelyn Nottingham is the daughter of Scott and Anna Nottingham and granddaughter of Rose Ballard.

Oh I must not forget the walnut trees, of waiting until the right time to remove the hulls from the walnuts. You could always tell who had been cracking walnuts by the stain on the little hands, and grownups’ too.

We would gather walnuts and hickory nuts to crack in the winter. If it was nice we would crack them outside with a rock. There were times Mommy would let us crack them on the hearth, as long as we didn’t make too much of a mess.

When my three older children were small I taught them how to hold a walnut or a hickory nut upright and hit it with a hammer. Somehow I’ve let this slip away with my grandchildren.

I did spend a lot of time with my sidekick Bennie Wiederhold from the time Bennie was six months old to the age of three years. After I started working so much cleaning houses and doing home health care, I neglected Bennie. Then I got very sick and one excuse after another.

Kyle Nottingham getting ready for the first day of fourth grade at Beechwood Grade School. Kyle has been doing online school. Kyle’s parents are Scott and Anna Nottingham and he is a grandson of Rose Ballard.

Kyle Nottingham getting ready for the first day of fourth grade at Beechwood Grade School. Kyle has been doing online school. Kyle’s parents are Scott and Anna Nottingham and he is a grandson of Rose Ballard.

Time has slipped away, and now all Bennie wants to do is sit in front of an IPad or a game called Switch or on a computer. Of course Bennie does on-line schooling, which takes a tremendous amount of time, and then his mother Angie can find a hundred excuses that Bennie can’t do things.

This part of the Ohio Valley area is need of a little of the rain that other states have gotten too much of. Each time I turn on the television there is so much bad news of hurricanes, the horrific fires that have clamed so many homes and lives, and the stupid never-ending rioting that has changed our world as we have known it forever, plus this coronavirus, COVID-19, or whatever it is called.

Thank goodness for Hallmark Channel. Regardless that I have seen the movies, it beats listening to the news. I really don’t watch it, as I have the television on for the noise.

For the past few years Hayward Day has been gracious enough to share pawpaws with me, which means I share with Ann Calihan. Tuesday Hayward called saying he had some pawpaws ready for me, and of course I wasn’t going to miss out on these.

Wednesday afternoon I was hit full in the face as I wasn’t ready to see a surprise that begin to appear in front of me. After a short visit with Hayward I started on my journey home, and when I got to a certain road I decided to take it instead of coming my usual route.

On my goodness how I enjoyed the drive. All at once it seemed that I was magically transferred into another season. A portion of the trees were as golden as they would be in late October. Silently I thought if only I could take Ann Calihan to see this beautiful scenery, then I thought of all the other people that aren’t able to be out and about.

How I gripe about not being able to dance. I am so thankful God has given me the strength to be able to drive and the vision to see all this beautiful colors that I was enjoying.

It was very strange not to be making plans for the Letcher County picnic. This event has been going on about 10 or 11 years. I hope it resumes next year.

The fog has really been heavy the past few mornings with limited vision, especially in this area by the river.

At this particular time in my life I am thankful to only work one day a week. Sometimes I wonder why I even work. I enjoy what I do, so as long as I am able I will keep on plugging along.

Friday evening I attended a concert at Front Street Cafe, which featured Ma Crow & Co. The owner, Bob Lee, made a joke, and the meaning of it really hit me, as in the ‘70s and in the ‘60s I was so busy raising my family I was like an ostrich who buried her head in the sand. I didn’t know what was going on in the world.

Being I am 75, I sat on a bar stool at the corner of the bar since I didn’t have a reservation, enjoying Ma Crow, & Co. I had the advantage of seeing the crowd. I watched as one person my age is on a walker, someone had to drive her to this event. I observed several others in bad health conditions.

Someone was really surprised that I was alone and drove from Harrison to New Richmond, and was even amazed that I was driving back in the dark. Yes, 2020 has been a tough year. In fact 2019 wasn’t too good of a year for me.

If you want to get down to the nitty-gritty, the last five years haven’t been too good for me. When God takes me on my last journey, which I hope is a long time, God may have to come looking for me.

What is more devastating than anything is that this is not an illness like cancer. My health issues are from surgery malfunction that damaged the nerves in my stomach, and it has been five years since I have been able to eat and have food to stay down, or to digest. Most of the time, I can’t keep water or any liquids down.

Research gastroparesis, and you will see what I am living with.

June 1, a woman in Jackson that had her nose stuck in a cell phone almost took my life. My left wrist looks malformed and my ankle stays swollen and feels like a tight rubberband is around it, which throws me off balance.

Dancing was as important to me as the air I breathe. That has been taken away from me, but at least I can still drive with stopping several times on long distance trip. At least I am not confined as lots of people are. Now I am thankful I haven’t had my head checked, as I don’t think there is a brain there.

Saturday morning I ventured to Farmers Market at Oxford to listen to Warren and Judy Waldron perform for two hours. As usual I felt bad until I sat on the porch swing and realized what a beautiful day it was. Then thinking winter is around the corner as usual, I was out the door and on my way.

Since Warren and Judy hadn’t been performing for a few weeks, they lost their regular place to perform. The spot they performed was perfect since Dale Farmer and Amy Coogan Clay weren’t able to join.

It was a beautiful day with just a slight breeze, with one tree showing the beautiful autumn foliage. Once again I was glad I was there enjoying the music and everything else was a bonus.

I finally picked the phone up and called Les and Pat Wagner. Pat is so much like me as she has problems with eating and not being able to enjoy what so many take for granted.

Les raised a good crop of sweet potatoes. I wish I was closer, as I would be begging for a couple as Keith loves fried sweet potatoes. With the coronavirus pandemic Pat’s doctors are advising no traveling. Evidently Pat has more sense than I do, as I can take it so long and then I let my feet and my heart do my thinking for me.

Hello to all of the Wagner clan that is spread out through Kentucky, Indiana, and Ohio.

Johnny and Ann Calihan are doing alright. I try to check on them when I am not feeling bad, then Ann and I just talk for a bit anyway.

Until next time, Rose Ballard, 9110 Lawrenceburg Rd., Harrison, OH 45030; email: bluegrassmama4@aol.com.

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