Whitesburg KY
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Carcassonne Community Center having big 4th of July celebration

Happy Fourth of July! It is so hard to believe that July is here already. I hope everyone has a happy and safe Fourth of July. Carcassonne Community Center is having a big celebration from 3 to 9 p.m.

There will be food, crafts, and lots of other things going on, including a dunking booth. Now that in itself was almost enough to tempt me to drive to the mountains just for one day.

If Marcia would have told me who was going to be in the dunking booth, well, I sure might have been there. I would love to be there, even though I can’t digest the good food that will be available.

I am going to see if my kids want to get together. Kay and her husband Clarence Gray have plans, so I know they won’t be available. It really depends on how I am feeling, as the time gets closer. As I’ve mentioned before, I can’t find much joy on the Fourth of July as Dad passed away on that day.

Happy birthday to Robert Hall on July 4.

While doing dishes, I looked down at my hands. For a few minutes it was like I was seeing Mommy’s hands, then memories came in like a flood. Daddy would always make sure we had a watermelon on the Fourth of July, and sometimes he would get a gallon of vanilla ice cream. It is so strange how this simple memory will come sneaking in.

When my kids were small I would make homemade ice cream, and have a cookout. Now I don’t do anything at all. I probably wouldn’t know how to start making ice cream anymore.

Once again we are in a heat wave. Why I swear you would think we’ve never had hot weather before. If we had to go back to the years before air conditioning, I wonder how many people could survive. Yes it is uncomfortable, even for me, when it gets in the upper 90s, as I have some breathing problems.

As I’ve said before, Mom and Dad had nothing to keep the house cooled. We slept with the windows open at night with no screens. Mom would close the door, using a small piece of wood with a nail driven through it for a latch to keep it closed. Now it isn’t safe even with security locks.

I sometimes ponder about the way things have changed over the years. During my growing- up years Mom had the wood and coal cookstove. No matter how hot in the summer Mom would build a fire and cook, and that meant the oven was used to bake bread twice a day. In the winter it served to heat the house.

I read something where someone wrote they thought eating cornbread and milk was gross. I’ll bet one thing, if you got hungry enough milk and cornbread would taste good.

We ate what Mommy put on the table and there was never anyone saying, “Yuck, we don’t like that.” We ate and were glad to get it.

Another thing, we sat at the table together especially at supper time. Daddy left so early of the morning, as he left long before daylight, so us kids got up later.

There was no lying in bed until we wanted to get up, as Mom got us up, made the beds and we started a day, lots of time with nothing to do and nothing to play with. Many a time, I played with sticks pretending they were dolls, using green moss to make a house.

I hear people talking about having a television with three channels. When I started staying away from home babysitting is the first time I ever watched television.

Raising my children wasn’t much different than the way I was raised, I cooked and the kids ate whatever I fixed. At least by that time I knew there were more things to choose from besides soup beans, fried potatoes and some kind of meat, chicken or pork shoulder, that seemed to be what Mommy fixed, as it was green beans when she had a garden or canned green beans, and the rest of the time she cooked soup beans, known a pinto beans. I would fix them occasionally but not all the time.

Southern Ohio

Mom never knew what it meant to go to the store to get anything, as Daddy did the trading. Mom also never had a cookbook until I bought her a couple. We never went hungry, just not a lot of variations like lots of people had to eat.

Mom was fortunate to finally live in a house and get a gas and later an electric stove. Oh she was so pleased, then when she moved to a house with a bathroom, and I can still hear her voice talking about it. How good it felt to get in a tub of water without having to carry the water, then heat a kettle on the stove, and put cold water in it, then get in a washtub for a bath and not have to run outside to the little house out back.

Sorry folks, for some reason my thoughts have drifted back more than forward.

I haven’t talked to Les and Pat Wagner for a couple of weeks. I hope they are doing alright.

Johnny and Ann Calihan are trying to stay in as much as possible. They are both doing well. Their daughter Sue Wagner is still with them.

Sue is busy helping her daughter Ashley with one of the preemie twins, as the other one is still in the hospital, but is improving.

Wednesday, I spent the entire day with my daughter Kay and granddaughter Jodi Gray. We planned to go to White’s Flea Market at Brookville, Ind., but it was supposed to rain so we went to an antique mall on the outskirts of Fairfield. It had been a long time since I have walked this much. Of course there’s nothing I need but it was fun to look at stuff. Kay and Jodi had no trouble finding lots of things.

Jodi found several things she can use for her wedding decorations, as she is having a rustic theme for her reception. She was looking at old bottles. I laughed and said, “Before you spend your money, come to the house and look through things I’ve got.”

When I say I spent the entire day, I arrived at Kay’s house at 9 a.m. and it was 5 p.m. when I got back home.

Jodi is having a bachelorette party sometime in August in Nashville, Tenn. She wants me to attend so I can be with my great granddaughter and greatgrandson. After the party, my granddaughter Jennifer and the kids are going to Destin, Fla., for a week to stay at Kay’s house. I have been invited to go with them.

Now that Keith is home, I may do this. Again, we will have to wait and see.

When we were shopping, Kay bought me a very pretty round white tablecloth for my kitchen table. I really don’t want to use it as I am afraid it will get stained as my kitchen table gets used for everything.

Kay is into crafts and is so good at what she does. She can make anything look beautiful. I used to take interest in my house and do different things, but now I don’t even keep it presentable any more.

My son Keith finally got the TV stand for me that Kay gave me back in December. I didn’t think I would like it, but it fits perfectly in the spot and I have room to put my DVD’s & VCR tapes that I will probably never watch.

Keith bought a pickup truck, and he had it less than two weeks and someone was talking on a cell phone and hit Keith in the passenger side of the truck and totaled it. Now he is looking for another truck. I am thankful Keith wasn’t hurt nor the guy that was with Keith, nor the driver of the other vehicle.

I still can’t say I am pleased with my car, and probably never will really like it. I still have to figure something out that I can listen to my bluegrass music as I drive. Kay found a country station that I had forgotten about, it plays the old country, not like I want, but better than the new junk they call music.

I heard on the local news that automakers are being getting reprimanded for putting so many gadgets on cars. It is called “distracted driving”.

I wish to heck they had kept CD players in cars instead of trying to force someone into using something called smart phones, and whatever the heck Bluetooth is.

Well, it is getting time to get this on its way to its destination. Have a safe July 4.

Until next time, Rose Ballard, 9110 Lawrenceburg Rd., Harrison, Ohio 45030, email Bluegrassmama4@aol.com.

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