Whitesburg KY

Christmas will be here before we know

Merry Christmas everyone!

It really doesn’t seem possible that Christmas is only three weeks away! Have you put up your Christmas tree yet? What am I saying, I think several put their trees up before Halloween was over. I really try to celebrate one holiday at a time, not three in one.

Although I have actually thought about leaving my Christmas tree up year round, except change the decorations to match the seasons, then I am afraid I will get tired of it.

Southern Ohio

This year is no different as the past few years, as I am not feeling strong enough to start getting things together for Christmas. Oh well, I will do what I can and the rest will be left undone.

Christmas Eve is still up in the air as previous years the kids would come to spend an hour or so with me, then go to their dad’s for a full supper. With this being the first Christmas without him, I don’t know whether to prepare a few snacks or a meal. I don’t want to intrude on the grieving process they need to go through. I will ask the kids what they would like for me to do.

My daughter Kay Gray thought that she was handling losing her dad. Well somehow when she was fixing her turkey for Thanksgiving she turned the turkey upside down and stuffed it that way. To beat it all, Kay didn’t realize why the red popper that tells when the turkey is done, wasn’t popping out.

After the turkey was finished baking, her husband Clarence started to carve the turkey. He told Kay that she had bought the wrong kind of turkey, as this was all dark meat, then an argument proceeded as Kay explained that there was no such thing as all dark meat turkey!

Finally Kay realized what she had done, then different people told her they have baked their turkey upside down on purpose to make the breast more juicy. All I know it has caused Kay to have a few laughs.

Kay had minor surgery on her back. It wasn’t the in-depth kind that the dermatologist prescribed, as it seems insurance companies can risk your life. The place is on her back, not on her face or a place where it is exposed. The insurance wouldn’t cover all that was prescribed.

The doctor did remove a huge spot, to try to get all the cancer cells. Kay has a two-inch incision on her back. We won’t know the results for a few more days. Please pray they got it all so she won’t have to go back for more surgery.

As I’ve often said, it is very difficult to watch your child, though they are grown, to go through things that you are helpless in doing anything about. Since I wasn’t feeling good Kay tried to get me to stay home, saying she would be all right. Wild horses couldn’t have made me stay home.

Tuesday I spent the afternoon at the doctor’s office with Kay then came home long enough to change clothes. I actually forgot to comb my hair, and drove to Brookville, Ind., to Bill Ison’s visitation. My heart broke in two for Ann Calihan and all of Bill’s family and friends.

Bill Ison was a well-loved man, and he was so nice to be around. Bill knew my dad from growing-up years in the backwoods of eastern Kentucky, as Bill and my Dad used to hunt together.

The parking lot at Cook’s Funeral Home was so packed that I had to park a distance away. As I walked in the door I was met by two of the Whitaker guys who are originally from Roxana, Woody and Wendell Whitaker, and then Willis came over to join us.

I finally had to admit, it had been such a long time, plus I was exhausted I couldn’t even think of Wendell’s name, which embarrassed me for a minute. It had been quite some time since I have seen the Whitaker boys.

It was good to see Bill Halcomb and to hear that his granddaughter Lacy is home from the hospital. Polly Maucher, it was good to see you. I met a few that I’d never met before

Wayne Blair, it was good to see you as you were missed at Letcher County picnic.

Hayward Day, you know it is always good to see you, just not under these circumstances. Hubert, you have always been special to me from the first time I met you at Ann’s house many years ago. All of Johnny and Ann Calihan’s people have treated me as family.

Several years ago while I attended Hayward and Vivian Day’s anniversary celebration. Bill was talking about hunting with Dad and Bill said he had slept with Dad many a night. I started laughing and said Bill you don’t want to say that too much. Bill said, “Well I don’t care. I have slept many a night with Clayton at my back.”

I can’t tell you how hard several of us laughed. Nowadays you don’t want to say something innocent or it gets misconstrued into something else.

I’ve been in touch with my mom’s first cousin who lives in Cumberland. Boyd Coots is the son of Henry Coots. Will and Nancy Coots are his grandparents, and my great-grandparents. About 10 years ago Boyd got in touch with me, as he had been somewhere close to Whitesburg, and a relative had a Mountain Eagle and read something I had written about Pa and Ma Coots.

We stayed in touch for a while, and then something happened that we lost touch. I recall Mom talking of Boyd who married a woman named Fondie, and they lived in northern Kentucky. I took Mom there to see them many years ago.

Pa and Ma Coots’s children were Boyd, Henry, Ida, Martha Jane, and “Betty,” my grandmother. There may be another son, but at the present I can’t recall.

Mom had a cousin, Crowden Cornett, that was killed in World War II at Pearl Harbor.

I wish it wasn’t so early as I am putting finishing touches on this column as I could ask Johnny Calihan and he could tell me.

I really am amazed to remember the things that Mommy told me so many years ago. We would sit on the porch in the evenings after all Mom’s work was done for the evening.

My mom was such a mild manner person that she would never defend herself no mater the situation. I never actually remember Mom having a dispute with anyone, and I wish my memories of how Dad treated her were better.

Now my grandmother Betty Barton was cut from another bolt of cloth as she was very petite and from what I hear of her, she could take care of herself.

When Mom was a young girl, a male cousin decided he was going to whip my grandma Betty Adams Barton. As he passed my grandmother’s house the cousin called her to come outside that he was going to beat her behind. Of course my grandma walked outside, and after a few minutes the male cousin said, “Well, Bet, you can say a man whipped your behind.”

The next thing he knew my little petite grandma flew into him like a buzz saw. She ripped his shirt off his back, he was bleeding and yelling for my grandpa Ben Adams, who we called Poppy, saying, “Get her off me Ben, get her off me.”

My grandma Betty told him now you can say a woman whipped your butt. My mom would tell about that and laugh. I only wish Mommy had that much spunk!

I get my stubbornness and independent ways from both my grandmothers, Betty Barton and Rosa Hall.

My sister Loretta Church was like our mother, so mild mannered, never wanting to take her part. Loretta’s daughter Sue Hall is more like me in certain ways, that she could be my child. Sue and I love each other, but a long distance relationship is enough for both of us.

Les and Pat Wagner have been enjoying the nice weather that we are having in this area. I have a feeling they will be sneaking off to spend time in the mountains before long. If the weather stays nice, I just might be right along with them.

Mike and Marcia Caudill let me know where Santa Claus will be appearing. I may just drive back to the mountains to pay Santa a visit. I am sure Santa will have me on his naughty list, but maybe I will get a present anyway.

If I am able I am going to tackle getting my Christmas tree up this afternoon, as it is going to be Christmas before I get it up

Well I have another long day facing me, so I better get this on its way.

Until next time, Rose Ballard, 9110 Lawrenceburg Rd., Harrison, Ohio 45030.

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