Whitesburg KY
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Christmas decorations bring memories

Southern Ohio

Merry Christmas once again!

Have you got your Christmas tree up yet and started your Christmas shopping? There were decorations in people’s yards before Thanksgiving.

I usually wait until a week before Christmas to put the tree up.

I am seriously thinking about pulling it down from upstairs and starting on it. I intend on being in a much better frame of mind at Christmas than I was at Thanksgiving.

I look at all the beautiful sights everywhere and it seems a little girl comes out in me. It happens this time of year.

Growing up in the mountains, we didn’t see very many Christmas lights. We never had a tree until I was 10 or 11 and then my cousin Bessie Jane Gibson and I slipped into a neighbor’s field to cut a pine.

Then in my graceful way I fell down and bloodied my nose. Bessie Jane and I thought I would bleed to death before we got home, dragging that tree through about a foot of snow.

Bill Monroe sings a song called ‘I Traced Her Little Footprints In The Snow,’ well you could have traced me by the blood.

I cleaned a woman’s house and got paid 25 cents a room, and did a few more odd things to make enough money to get a strand of lights and icicles, no ornaments. Oh how beautiful that was to us children at night.

I listen to Dolly Parton and Loretta Lynn sing of their childhood days. I will never be rich, but I did write a book describing childhood memories.

My children will never have the thoughts in their minds that I do (their lives have been so different from mine). We slept with our younger brothers and sisters. We had no heat at night. My mom would put a lot of coal on the hot coals, then put what was called fine coal and then ashes to bank the fire with. It kept the fire all night.

My dad was the boss in the house, but it was Mom who really was the strong one. Dad never knew what it was to get up to a cold house as Mom got up to build the fire every morning.

I wish time could go back to my childhood for just one week and let my children and grandchildren and a few more know what it was like. Not for always, just for one week.

When I hear the words, I wouldn’t wear that, that’s gross!, when I see clothes in my house and the kids’ houses my own children won’t wear, good clothes, why they’re out of style, they wore them last year, I want to scream!

When I see food at school that kids won’t eat which on that part I almost agree (hamburgers swimming in hot greasy water aren’t very appetizing), but they are better than what I had.

Have you ever had a homemade biscuit with melted lard and sugar mixed together as a sandwich? Or have you ever eaten milk and cornbread in a little tin lard bucket that you carried to school for your lunch?

If there happened to be a kid that didn’t have lunch, you shared yours with them. I wouldn’t eat after anyone, yet I would eat what I wanted and give it to someone else.

To me, it’s what inside our hearts, our feelings that make us who we are.

I’m not proud of some of the dumb things I have done, but I am very proud of who I am today and even more proud that I was born in the mountains, in my grandma Rosa Hall’s old fashioned iron bed by a kerosene lamp.

My mom ( Ora Hall) raised me on a road of hard knocks.

My dad (Clayton Hall) was a coal miner and never missed a day’s work.

I see so many asking for donations this time of year. I believe you should give of yourself all through the year not just Christmas. I also believe there are people who wait for a handout that could help themselves.

Most of all, give a smile to a stern looking face, and it can make them smile back.

To me there really aren’t strangers, just friends you’ve never met! To all who have taken the time to read this, it’s not all the beautiful things we have, or the name brand clothes we wear that makes a person.

Once again I went to see to Hunter’s Pizzeria to see a favorite bluegrass band, Tony Hale and Bluegrass Favorites.

I had the pleasure of seeing Les and Pat Wagner along with Larry and Becky Hasty, and later Larry and Becky’s daughter Polly came in with her daughter, who is so precious.

Pat wasn’t feeling well, then later in the week had to spend a couple of days in the hospital. Pat is home now but not completely over whatever hit her.

My cousin Beverly Adams, the mother of little Jack Adams who as everyone locally knows is a whiz on that banjo, is fighting a battle and finally had to give in and go to the doctor and was put in the hospital in Pikeville for a few days. Please keep her in your prayers as she starts chemo treatment.

Gwen Huff Farmer’s sister is not doing very well at all, so keep Gwen’s family in your prayers also.

I haven’t talked to Shirley Wells for a little while and I hope she is alright.

Johnny and Ann Calihan live within walking distance to me and I haven’t talked to them either since Thanksgiving.

Polly Maucher, it seems I am neglected you, too, so I hope you and the family are alright.

I stayed home Friday night because I was tired so my son Keith Ballard called to see if I was alright, then my daughter Angie Wiederhold called too. The first thing she said was, “Oh, what are you doing home?”

I did talk to my niece Sue Hall and my sister in law Wanda Hall for a few minutes. Wanda is still having a hard time dealing with the loss of Richie. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t miss him.

Hello to Daisy Manning in Missouri; it is always nice to talk to you.

Belated happy birthday wishes to Margie Caudill, the mother of Joni Caudill McIntosh of Rising Sun, Ind., and Jon Caudill who has the band 7 South. Jon also has a business there locally, so when you need something remodeled or whatever give Jon a call. I wish I could hire him to just pick and sing for me, and I would do the work.

Belated happy birthday wishes to Les and Pat Wagner on Dec. 2, who share the same birthdate.

Well as usual I am running late!

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



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