Whitesburg KY

Daughters bring beautiful flowers for my birthday

Hello everyone! Oh what a beautiful morning in the Ohio Valley area.

I wish you were here with me to enjoy the beauty of a low hanging fall off in the distance as I took a few minutes to sit on the porch swing to enjoy the coolness of the air. As a matter of fact the mornings and evenings have been sort of crisp.

I can’t tolerate a nice cup of coffee, although I love sweet tea. I don’t much care for hot tea, so I either make a cup of chicken bouillon or try to drink a bottle of water as I enjoy this time of morning.

My son Keith Ballard replaced the bird feeder he made from a plastic milk carton. As I was watching the birds they got some unwanted company as a squirrel shimmied up the tree and decided he would share their breakfast whether he was invited or not.

Now what was so funny is that the squirrel got in the jug and decided to make himself comfortable. He would take a bite and if he didn’t like what he picked up, he would lean over the edge of the milk carton and spit it out on the ground.

All was well until the woodpecker came, and Mr. Woodpecker was not a happy bird. I honestly believe they know what time that Keith goes out every morning to feed them.

There is so much that is free to enjoy if we just take the time.

Thanks to everyone for the birthday greetings, and cards. I enjoyed them so much. This has been a wonderful birthday, as so many have passed that weren’t very pleasant due to sickness, etc.

My daughter Kay Gray made Flatt & Scruggs’s old song come true, “Won’t you give me my flowers while I am living, and let me enjoy them while I can.”

Now don’t get the wrong idea, I’ve had flowers, etc., over the years, beautiful bouquets, but still this time everything seems to mean a little more.

Kay got me two hanging baskets of something that looks like miniature petunias that were so huge I could hardly carry them. It took me a while to figure out where to hang them, as I am running out of space

I pulled the shepherd’s hooks out in front of the porch, placed them in front of the deck out back and oh, they looked so nice, except for one thing, I couldn’t see them, and neither could anyone else.

Some time ago Keith replaced the old wheelbarrow with a new one. I wouldn’t let him throw the old one away, as I wanted to plant lettuce and onions in it, which never happened.

Early one morning, I decided to get the old wheelbarrow from over the bank where Keith tossed it out of the way. I removed a plant stand, and the wheelbarrow just fit. Then I struggled to bring the two hanging baskets and placed them in the wheelbarrow, and it is so beautiful to look at.

Then I silently said a prayer that Keith wouldn’t kill me. I called Kay and said if your brother kills me, please place this wheelbarrow and the flowers you got me on my grave.

When Keith came home he surprised me as he likes the arrangement, even though when he cuts the grass it is a nuisance for him to have to move it.

Kay also gave me a plant called a mandevilla that has red flowers that looks like velvet. She gave me a pink one for Mother’s Day.

The day was perfect as I heard from each of my four kids, and got calls from a few of grandchildren. My daughter Anna Nottingham and my granddaughter Katie brought me a red clematis, which I love.

Most of all it meant more that Anna and Katie stopped by, as Anna stays so busy with her family.

With my health problems and other things, I sort of withdrew from the family and to be honest, I haven’t really felt like socializing although I have attended a few things.

Please don’t get me wrong, it isn’t the gifts that I enjoy, it is the one on one relationship that I have missed with my family.

Southern Ohio

When I was working I worked so many hours to survive to keep from asking for help from anyone, that I cut myself off from a lot of things.

Yes it was a perfect birthday, except for one thing, the air conditioner decided to go out in my car. My car is 14 years old, and in the seven years that I’ve had it, I have put over 125,000 miles on it. I haven’t had to make a car payment in about 10 or 12 years, so I am trying to decide if I want to replace the air conditioner or see about a new car. I was hoping this one would last me for the remainder of my life.

At first I said I would just drive it without air conditioning, as that is what we did years ago. Well let me tell you something, I can do without air in my house as I only have window air. Now the car is different as I have breathing difficulties. I found out real fast with it being 80-some degrees.

My birthday ended in a very special way. Someone built a stage in their backyard. There’s a cover charge to pay the bands and it is not a huge area, but it is a nice place. It is really not open to the public as it is considered a private party. This is the second event, and Ma Crow & Co. was the featured band. Vicki Power and I attended, and what better way to celebrate my birthday?

Trina Emig isn’t with the band anymore, so Ma has been having different musicians. As a young man took the stage, I said to Vicki, I recognize him, and I believe that is Shane. When Ma introduced him, it was Shane Gosney. I hadn’t seen Shane in over 20 years. He has two children now. It was great to see him and more to recognize him after all these years.

The weather was a little warm with just enough of a cool breeze to make it comfortable for me. I wanted so bad to get up and dance, then I realized as I stood up that my right ankle was swollen so badly that I was lucky to walk, so I sat back down and enjoyed the music.

Hubert Caudill, you are right. I said I wasn’t having any more birthdays, but I changed my way of thinking, with how much fun this was, and I wouldn’t care to have another tomorrow. I hope your ribs are healing.

Bill Meade, if you are reading this column, don’t you think it is time for you to start working on the bluegrass Festival at Kingscreek Community Park? If I have to rent a car I will be there if God is willing to let me survive that long.

Saturday I went to visit a friend that is having some health issues, and the conversation turned to bygone years and little songs that our parents and others taught us. Oh the memories we dredged up from the past. From “Shortenin’ Bread” to “Can She Bake a Cherry Pie, Billy Boy?” Then we started remember our mother or grandmother telling us stories, then books of childhood like Brer’ Rabbit.

How I miss the days of innocence, where every word you heard didn’t start with the vulgarity that is used in today’s language. My heart aches for all the school shootings that are taking place too often.

There are those who blame guns, but I don’t think guns are to blame. I remember growing up in the mountains, my uncle Lee Hall had a shotgun and I think a .22 rifle, that he used for hunting squirrels. The young kids knew better to touch it. You can blame the media for all the publicity and I believe it gives the younger generation the idea.

I finally talked to Les and Pat Wagner. Pat is still not feeling up to par, and is missing being able to head for the hills to be with family and friends. Pat may have not been born or raised in the mountains, she is a true hillbilly, not a transplant.

Johnny and Ann Calihan are doing a fairly good, and still trying to cope. Their daughter Sue Wagner is with them for a while. Sue’s twin grandbabies are still growing.

My daughter Angie Wiederhold is going for a needle biopsy on her thyroids. She is being checked for cancer. Yes I am scared, so keep Angie in your prayers, along with the Calihan family.

Jim Cornett, I hope you and your brothers enjoy Seedtime on the Cumberland in Whitesburg, as I am going to stay in the flatlands. Maybe I will see you in October at Blackey Days.

My granddaughter Jessica Nottingham is spending a week in Florida with her friend and her parents. Anna is taking her Girls Scouts to New York for a fun trip. Anna’s Girl Scout troop will be going on a canoe or kayak trip at Green Acres Canoe rental, which is a short distance from my house. They will be camping overnight, and I am invited to come visit for a little while.

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

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