Whitesburg KY

Family gathered together for Christmas

Southern Ohio

Happy New Year everyone! I hope Santa was good to everyone.

My daughter Anna Nottingham, her daughters Sarah, Jessica, Katelyn, Vickie Power and her granddaughter Katie Ledford, and I all went to see the Christmas light display at Clifton Mills recently.

Vickie and I went last year. There’s a working gristmill that is decorated, and red and white lights in the center that resemble a waterfall. Anna and the kids had never been there so the trip was worth it.

On Christmas Eve Anna and her husband Scott, Sarah, Jessica and Katelyn Nottingham, my daughter Angie and my little sidekick Bennie Wiederhold, my granddaughter Jennifer, her husband Tommy Proctor, my two great-grandchildren, T.J. and Samantha, and my 16-year-old grandson, Jamie Gray came.

I had a house full. There is only three weeks’ difference in age between T.J. and Bennie.

Anna and Scott gave me the prettiest church and school Christmas decorations. They are decorated with a Christmas scene dated 1956. Anna had already bought me a beautiful village set and a Kroger’s Gift card.

Angie gave me a vintage village piece plus a nice sweater.

Jennifer gave me pictures of Sami and T.J. CJ and Shannon gave me perfume, a warm Christmas throw, and a pretty Christmas dish. Jodi and Jamie gave me a gift certificate to LaRosa’s.

My son Keith Ballard is still at University Hospital in intensive care. He is finally able to talk to me. He has been a very sick young man. All the tubes are out except the central line in his chest. He is able to eat as the feeding tube is out.

Keith has been in the hospital 13 days now, and that is 13 trips to Cincinnati that I have made. Even though he hasn’t known that I was there, I know I was!

My friend Linda Hollan stopped by with a Christmas present for me along with homemade fudge. Vickie knows I love Cella chocolate covered cherries with the clear center, so she brought me a box.

My heart hurts so bad for the family of Dale and Jean Ison in the loss of their daughter Sonya. Johnny and Ann Calihan seems to have a dark cloud over their head. Ann’s sister, Evadean Marcum in West Virginia, was admitted again to the hospital, and if that isn’t enough, Ann’s granddaughter Lauren Wagner and another granddaughter, Angelica, were in an accident. Thank God Lauren, Angelica and her friends were seriously injured.

I stopped by Ann and Johnny’s and was I ever glad I did. Ann baked a homemade fruitcake. Oh my goodness was this ever delicious! Ann gave me a bag of homemade cookies. I am trying to be good and save these for the grandkids. The fruitcake was so good I didn’t share it with anyone. I ate the whole three slices myself.

I finally got in touch with my brother Richie Hall and received the good news that the electricity was on in their area. I asked Richie if he had water and he said no, which meant they had to carry water from the creek to flush the commode. I did tease him about that. At least it wasn’t going to the outhouse out back. I am surprised that people’s water lines weren’t frozen and burst.

The telephone service was still out in some areas along with the electricity. Richie and Wanda’s telephone service was finally fixed, and they were without heat for several days.

Carl and Willamae Boggs didn’t get power until Wednesday afternoon. Willamae didn’t lose her sense of humor as she explained to me the definition of an airplane bath!

It was bad when Hurricane Ike paid us a visit in this area, at least it was warm weather.

Vickie and I took a drive to Versailles, Ind., to see a house that was on the news. The people who live there have decorated their home for over 30 years, and this year he wasn’t able to do it as he has that dreaded disease known as cancer! A stranger somehow found out about it, so the man got several organizations together to do what usually took the man several months. This group put up all the decorations in a couple of days.

It was well worth the drive to see the light display. There are several small buildings with individual displays inside, a train that moves, carousels with teddy bears.

The Day family isn’t ashamed to give praise to our Almighty Savior among the beautiful display of lights. There were several gorgeous houses on the way to Versailles and back.

I received a phone call from Clarence Halcomb which I enjoyed immensely. Clarence was raised on Linefork and he went to Kingdom Come High School. His parents wanted him to become a teacher, but he wanted to be a carpenter, which he was and a successful one at that!

Clarence is 91 years old and is in remarkable health, except for problems with his vision. He said he had a long conversation with Gwen Huff Farmer, which he really enjoyed.

Clarence tells me he hasn’t experienced a headache in over 10 years. I wanted to ask him if he had given his wife Arlyn Jean a headache.

Clarence is from a large family and they get together every year at Lake Cumberland, where they feast and laugh, enjoying each other’s company. With a family this large I wonder if they would notice another person hanging around. I really do love these two people. He says that Willamae Boggs isn’t the only one who admires my ability to write. I enjoy writing as it comes natural for me, and I write from my heart. I also know listening as well as talking can be beneficial.

Shirley Wells really enjoyed the holidays. She spent time with her granddaughter Ashley Bells, who was in from the service.

I haven’t talked to my good friend Gwen Huff Farmer to see how she is doing. Gwen is going to have knee replacement surgery in the near future.

I talked to Emma Engle, and I think that this woman is going to have few rough months ahead of her with physical therapy. Emma said to tell my sister-in-law Mattie Hall hello. Red seems to be doing all right at the present time. It was nice to talk to them both.

Relon Hampton, I really enjoy your column each week. I wish you would enclose your address!

Hello to my brother Jerry and Mattie Hall. I hope Santa was good to you both.

Happy New Year to the Taylor, Michigan gang, Sadie, Evelyn and Bertha and their families.

Polly Ann Maucher, I do hope old Santa stopped by to see you.

Christmas Day was an unusual time for me as this is probably the first time in many years I didn’t cook dinner. When Keith gets out of the hospital I will fix ham and the trimmings and have the kids home.

I really am glad all have heat and electricity in the mountains. I hope to see everyone in the spring, as I am too scared to travel during the winter months.

Hello, Jesse Frazier. I hope this finds you doing OK. Try to stay warm.

Hello, Betty and Doyle Ison. Do you have a cup of hot chocolate you would share?

Until next time, Rose Ballard, 9110 Lawrenceburg Road, Harrison, Ohio 45030, email Bluegrassmama4 @aol.com, telephone 513- 367-4682.

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