Hello everyone! The fog is slowly lifting on top of the slight hillside across the hayfield from my house. With the luscious green of the trees and the hayfield it is such a beautiful scene to wake up to, then the birds start their welcome melody to serenade me.
Who is enjoying the brief break from the 90-degree temperatures with the early fall feeling sneaking in for a couple of days? A couple of mornings in this portion of the Ohio Valley area, you needed a sweater or a jacket. Those days were a reminder to me what is coming all too soon for me.
We are expecting rain for the next several days in this area, which really doesn’t bother me either. My son Keith Ballard anchors the patio umbrella so the wind doesn’t blow it. Those passing by my house probably think I am sort of insane as sometimes I will snuggle up with a cover, and sit and enjoy the rain until it will start blowing on me.
Do you ever wake up wondering what day it is? It seems for the past few months that days run together, even time seems to be evasive. I really don’t know why it should be bothering me unless it is the simple fact that the world as we’ve known has been turned upside down, backwards, and like a roller coaster all at one time.
I’m still trying to adjust to the fact that the second weekend of each month I can’t grab a suitcase, which has been a habit that I kept partially packed for several years, make sure I had a full tank of gas in my car, and head for the mountains I call home, to a weekend of music at Carcassonne and Campbell’s Branch Community Center.
There are a few places locally that I would go, even if it was a distance away. For the last 20 years you would see me when it came to bluegrass festivals, or anywhere bluegrass music events were. Even though I haven’t been able to dance for the past year, you would still find me at Campbell’s Branch and Carcassonne Community Centers until the coronavirus pandemic has taken over everyone’s lives. I’m surprised Sunrise Ridge hasn’t banned me, or at least got tired of seeing me.
Through music I have met so many wonderful people, the same with writing for The Mountain Eagle newspaper. I really appreciate the cards, letters and phone calls saying how much people enjoy my column. One day this week I was feeling bad and I received a phone call from a reader, Sue, who enjoyed my statement about on the road again. I didn’t reveal how bad I was feeling, due to my stomach issues, and talking to her made me forget, as we shared our similarities. I am looking forward to conversations with her.
As I glanced at a paragraph that I’ve previously written above, for some reason I have the early morning news on, and it showed something about limited visitation to hospitals. Parents are not able to see their children for months at a time, the same with not visiting in nursing homes. Why am I complaining about not being able to go to enjoy music? This really makes me feel like a shallow person!
I’ve been through a lot of things in my 75 years. I’ve survived, because for some reason God has been by my side. When I left home at too early of an age, I stayed with complete strangers, babysitting and trying to take care of an elderly woman.
I wasn’t molested, but I did stay with one family and the girls were just a tad bit older than me, and they did treat me bad, as they would deliberately throw their nasty clothes in the floor so I would have to pick them up.
In fact that was the last place I stayed, as I left home for good not long after that and never went back home to live or to the mountains for several months. I think back to how young that I was when Jack and I got married and the hard times we went through, we survived that too. The only thing was that Jack was in for a surprise as he really didn’t know how stubborn that I was, although it sure didn’t take long for him to find out. How in the world we managed to stay together for 32 years is still a mystery to me.
Once again he found out how determined and stubborn I was as he won a battle years ago, when I was denied the choice to go back to school. As I was told if I went back to continue my education, if we divorced, he wouldn’t help our daughter Angie with nursing school. Angie got her nursing degree, and is still a nurse, just not active.
I didn’t attend college for dietician nutrition, however years later during a bitter divorce it seems I came out the winner. Jack may have won a battle, but it seems as if I won the war. I was awarded our house, and half his retirement, and then two years ago I also received his portion of Social Security, which makes it possible to live a little more comfortably than I did for several years.
There’s no amount of money that will ever take away the longing of education I feel deep within. I still have the desire to set up a college fund for young girls to continue their education, yet I know there are ways now that the younger generation can continue if they so choose
There’s one young girl who I am so proud of, Whitney Stamper Cornett, daughter of Shawn Stamper of Sunrise Ridge Bluegrass Band. Whitney is in medical school to become a doctor. Over the past several years through music I’ve watched this lovely young girl become a young woman and then a wife.
This shows what determination can do as she has learned to balance, being a young wife, a musician and school at the same time. This is what you can achieve with the participation and support of a willing and loving of a partner.
Again I will mention the fact although education was denied me, I am so proud of all my adult children and grandchildren for all they have achieved.
Johnny and Calihan are doing as well as possible during these trying times. Ann’s leg is still keeping her limited on walking. Their daughter Sue Wagner has to go often to have iron transfusions. Sue really overdoes things. I am so glad the liver transplant was successful.
My daughter Angie Wiederhold still hasn’t moved yet. She found another apartment in Harrison, then she got a form that she has to sign, something about mold, stating she has to open the widows a couple of times a week, she can’t place furniture close to the walls, etc. As of today Angie is calling to see what this means.
Nina Craft, thanks again for the package of lettuce seed. It is still producing as I can pinch leaves off and it seems in a few days there are more to be picked again. That was such a thoughtful thing for you to do, and has brought me so much pleasure, even to look out to see the lettuce growing in the wheelbarrow.
Keith bought three tomato plants that are growing on the back deck. Now there are two that are just about ripe enough to eat. I tease Keith about getting a rototiller so he can till a potion of the yard to plant a garden. If God is willing I may plant a few half runners on the fence instead of having flowers next year.
For some reason the half runners at a produce stand here locally seems to have tough beans. I never recall Mom ever having not one tough bean in her half runners .
The same produce stand passes off beans as half runners, just because they have strings. You can taste the difference after they are cooked.
Oh what I would give for a mess of fall beans like Mommy used to cook. These beans had sort of a rough texture if memory serves me right.
Hello to Les and Pat Wagner and the family who are scattered.
Mike and Marcia Caudill, you may see a little red car in your driveway yet, as my heart keeps lounging to head that way.
Belated happy anniversary to Tee and Darlene Campbell for 43 years.
The Mountain Minor movie is still getting great reviews. For those who haven’t seen this movie, if you have any Appalachian roots at all, you are missing a wonderful movie. You can see it free on Amazon, or can rent it. Just type in Mountain Minor. It will take you to the web site.
Thanks to all for purchasing my book The Beauty of A Rose. I am down to just a few copies, The book is $15 plus $6 postage.
Until next time.
Rose Ballard, 9110 Lawrenceburg Rd., Harrison, OH 45030 email Bluegrassmama4@aol.com.