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Cherry blossom trip is big Christmas surprise

Southern Ohio

Happy New Year everyone! Can you believe we are in another decade as 2020 will be here by the time you read this column?

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas with family and friends and Santa was good to all the little ones.

There were too many things that have happened that I never did find the Christmas joy that I have felt in previous years. It was difficult for me to even get the house halfway presentable before the kids came for Christmas Eve.

I did get the Christmas tree decorated, and I must say it was beautiful as usual. I even managed to get the pre-lit garland and bells, along with a couple of other ornaments, across the fake beam in my living room, along with putting my miniature Christmas people on my fireplace mantle. That is all the decorating that I did.

I wasn’t able to decorate like I usually do, but oh well, I am thankful that I managed to do what I did.

My daughter Anna Nottingham, Sarah, Jessica, Katelyn and Kyle, my daughter Angie Wiederhold, along with Bennie, my son Keith Ballard, my granddaughter Jennifer Gray, along with her two children, Samantha and T.J., and Samantha’s boyfriend, all came to celebrate Christmas Eve.

I fixed lasagna and garlic bread for supper, and made a mess as I got the lasagna too brown.

Bennie couldn’t hardly wait to open his gifts since he was so sure that he knew what he was getting. I put it in a box for Angie to take home so he could open it Christmas morning.

I always give Anna money so she can get stuff for her family as I never know what to get for them any more.

I received several gifts that the kids insisted I open, but Anna knows that I like to open gifts on Christmas morning, so she left one for me to open the next day.

Christmas morning when I unwrapped the box, there was a beautiful picture of cherry blossoms in Washington, D.C. I thought Anna had taken the picture and had it enlarged for me. I didn’t even pay any attention that it had a date on it and 2020.

I sent Anna a thank you message in private on the computer, then the day after Christmas, as I checked my messages, Anna sent me a message saying look at the second page. I couldn’t even find a second page. Finally I realized there was a page behind the picture.

Then tears started falling as I realized that Anna has booked a tour for her and me to go to Washington to see the cherry blossoms in April.

I only hope and pray at that I am feeling good at that time. Anna said she is renting a wheelchair, as she is afraid it will be too much walking for me. Thanks so much to Scott and Anna for this beautiful gift.

Sunday before Christmas, Angie, Bennie and I attended Church of Nazarene Christmas Cantata, and “nope it didn’t fall down.” It has been several years since I have been to church for this special program.

It was a wonderful time for me to be with Angie and Bennie in church, as there were three generations. As I sat there it was so hard to keep tears from falling, actually a few ran down my face, as so many thoughts were sneaking in from over the years. Fifty years ago my children started going to Harrison Nazarene Church. Kay and Clarence were married there, along with Angie and Dennis. Now after all those years I was sitting with a grandchild.

Anna was a baby the first time I took her to church, and when she got old enough she was in Sunday school. Then when she was in Ann’s class she wouldn’t leave Ann, so Ann had to move up higher to each Sunday school.

After church, Angie, Bennie, and I went to Cracker Barrel for lunch. Ann Calihan and her daughter Sue Wagner met us at Cracker Barrel. This was an unplanned thing and so much fun to spend time with Ann and Sue.

Johnny and Ann left church while Sue and Angie was talking, so Ann had no idea she was going out to eat. Ann and I were amazed that my sidekick Bennie ate a huge steak. It was a wonderful time for me to be with Angie and Bennie in church, then spending time with Ann and Sue enjoying a meal.

Johnny and Ann’s granddaughter Julie and her husband, along with others, decorated Johnny and Ann’s house for Christmas, and it is beautiful.

I haven’t been able to go see Christmas lights for a couple of years due to sickness. Sue was able to take Johnny and Ann to see some Christmas lights. There’s a place not far from Harrison called Weaver’s. It has been in effect for years, but for some reason neither Ann nor I have ever gone to see it. Ann was telling me what an amazing place it was.

Saturday evening, Vicki Power and I ventured to see the lights. It was a warm evening and amazing doesn’t start to describe what they have done with the lights and decorations. There’s a small barn that has animals, several goats, a pen with a mama goat and three little ones, along with two chicken coops. In the back of the barn are three donkeys. I knew Bennie would enjoy this.

Sunday was a rainy day, but as it finally stopped raining I called Angie asking if I could take Bennie. After a stop at McDonald’s we headed for Weaver’s to see the lights. Of course it started raining a little, but it stopped long enough for us to walk the entire way to see the all the display of the lights, except for a bit of drizzle.

I had a huge umbrella. I thought it was big enough for both. I am so unbalanced that when I walked I couldn’t stay underneath the umbrella, but at least Bennie was warm and dry. Bennie really enjoyed everything.

Hello to Les and Pat Wagner and the family.

Hayward Day, I hope you had a good Christmas and I am sorry I didn’t call to tell you merry Christmas.

It seems that Johnny and Ann have been very busy as there was a baby shower held at their house for a grandson and his wife that are expecting a little one in February. Then they had two visitors whom they enjoyed seeing very much, Clay and Green Calihan stopped for a very good visit.

I made a stack cake to share with Johnny and Ann. It wasn’t very good as I used a recipe that I had never used before. I bet Ann and Johnny had to make sure they had a glass of milk handy.

Hello to Mike and Marcia Caudill. Is it March yet? Oh how I am missing Carcassonne Community Square Dances.

Campbell’s Branch Community Center has music every Friday evening, so go early and have supper.

Please keep Kenny and Wanda Whitehead in your prayers as they both are in bad shape due to a horrific head-on collision. They are in Pikeville Hospital. Kenny is improving, and Wanda is in critical but stable condition, and she has a long way to go.

Well my ankle is bothering me again, so until next time, Rose Ballard, 9110 Lawrenceburg Rd., Harrison, Ohio 45030, email: Bluegrassmama4@aol.com.

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