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Feel of fall is definitely in the air in the Ohio Valley

Southern Ohio

“Hot dog and s’mores night,” says Tim Day. Pictured are Henry, Evelyn and Jameson Day, grandchildren of Tim Day and great-grandchildren of Hayward Day

“Hot dog and s’mores night,” says Tim Day. Pictured are Henry, Evelyn and Jameson Day, grandchildren of Tim Day and great-grandchildren of Hayward Day

Hello everyone! As I sit on the porch swing once again fog is covering the portion of the Ohio Valley that I live in. Has anyone else noticed it seems there is a touch of fall in the air?

Occasionally as I sit on the front porch at the breaking of dawn, it seems as if there’s a feel of fall in the air. Yesterday afternoon as I was driving home there were a few leaves drifting in the slight breeze.

When I arrived home I glanced at the fresh-cut hayfield across the road from me. As my gaze wandered I looked at the luscious green trees that remind me so much of the mountains that I love of eastern Kentucky. There are a couple that are starting to be a degree of lighter green, which means the leaves are changing.

Yes, I love fall with the changing of the leaves as I feel it is God’s coloring book that is shared.

I am in no way shape or form ready for fall to be here for the simple fact that winter is around the bend. Now I have started my column off griping. I really find so many wonderful things, if I just reverse my mindset, to be thankful for that I really try not to complain too much.

“I want to wish my mom a very happy birthday. Our family has been blessed with this lady for 93 years! I love you, Mom, more than you will ever know,” writes Mary Ann Caudill who shared this beautiful picture of her mother, Rachel Caudill.

“I want to wish my mom a very happy birthday. Our family has been blessed with this lady for 93 years! I love you, Mom, more than you will ever know,” writes Mary Ann Caudill who shared this beautiful picture of her mother, Rachel Caudill.

No one really knows what the other person is going through be it personal, emotional, or physical. For instance I am constantly told how good I look. When you see me in public you will see a smile most of the time. What you don’t see or know, in my car is a small container that I carry should I get nauseated.

I have to refuse invitations to go eat, as I can’t keep food down. There are times I do take a bottle of nutritional drink and maybe yogurt, in case there’s nothing on the menu. I then explain to a waitress that I’m not being cheap, I can’t digest food.

As far as looking good, I disagree about that remark. I am wearing the same jeans that I’ve worn for five years, as my weight has been about the same, I’ve gained about five or six pounds in five years.

When I’ve driven to the mountains I would have to pull over and rest. I didn’t let that stop me, I forged ahead. Since the accident I have lost some of my gusto, even get down in the dumps, depressed or whatever you call it. Then I start thinking how lucky I am, how far I have come with the help of our almighty God.

I may never be able to dance again, but I will not let it define me. As long as I can drive, I will be on the road again.

Through reading my column in The Mountain Eagle newspaper someone got in touch with me through email, that really made my heart rejoice, Pricie Rogan of Lockport, Ill. Pricie’s grandfather was Walter Blair of ‘Woodrock,’ Blackey. Her mother Fastoria is Walter’s daughter. My grandmother Betty Barton lived just a ways from Walter Blair.

I remember Walter and Fastoria as a child when I would stay with my grandmother whom I grew up calling Mom. Pricie remembers my grandmother along with my uncles Charles and Boyd Barton.

Pricie and I exchanged telephone numbers. I was in for another surprise as I have met Pricie’s brother, Les Tindel, and his beautiful wife Alma, who live around Cowan. Les and Pricie have a brother Tom who is in Letcher Manor Nursing Home. Recently Tom had to be sent to Pikeville Hospital to have his heart checked, but he has returned back to Letcher Manor.

Reminiscing with Pricie was really wonderful. Even though I am a few years older than Pricie, we knew the same people. Pricie left the mountains at a very early age, yet her heart stayed in the mountains like mine. That is one reason why I miss Blackey Days so much as that is like a huge family reunion. Even though I wasn’t raised in Blackey, so many people made me feel welcome.

My parents Clayton and Ora Hall lived in the Blackey area for sometime until a witch set fire to my parents’ home. I hope she burns in hell for doing such a crime and getting by with it. I’ve heard you can’t do wrong and get by. That is a bunch of malarkey as it happens all the time so it seems.

Some people can fall in a slop jar and come out smelling like a rose. I am glad I don’t have the mentality or the urge to try to do wrong, I would get caught. Please don’t think I try to say I am perfect, I have too many faults, stealing is not one of them, nor destroying someone’s property.

I try not to hurt someone’s feelings until you get me started, then Katie bar the door, as there’s isn’t duct tape wide enough to cover my mouth.

Each time I see the delinquent tax in The Mountain Eagle it breaks my heart as my parents’ name is on the list. If the postage size parcel of ground was worth anything, I would pay the tax just to eliminate Dad and Mom’s name. I drive past the spot of ground each time I am down in the mountains. It is grown up so much and I believe part is used for a parking lot by someone.

A few months ago I was trying to find someone to cut the trees that were blocking the road, plus fix the road to the cemetery at the top of big Branch Mountain. I was informed that Judge/Executive Terry Adams personally drove to Big Branch and cut two or three trees that were blocking the road. He was supposed to have someone grade the road.

Since June I haven’t been able to travel back to the mountains I call home. I am planning on making a trip before winter. If the road is impassable, I am going to visit Cheddy Smith personally to see what can be done.

If I can’t get satisfaction I will write to every government official until I get to the right person. An old mountain road may not be a priority to a lot of people, it is very important to this displaced hillbilly as, my Mother and Dad and I might add the biggest part of my family is laid to rest upon that mountain.

August 20 made 25 years since Mom passed away. I can still see her so plainly sitting on the mountainside talking of her growing-up years just down off the hill from the cemetery. Mom used to say she wouldn’t be afraid to spend the night right in the cemetery. I would laugh and tell her not to expect me to stay with her.

I will say it seems like this time has really been more painful for me than usual. Mom thought there wasn’t anything I couldn’t do if I set my mind to it. Only through the eyes of a mother’s love.

Thanks to Paul Morris who sent me a CD. I thoroughly enjoyed a song ‘The Mountains are Calling for Me,’ written by Paul Morris, and a very nice letter.

Paul relates that he really enjoys my column, that I am very knowledgeable regarding bluegrass music. I only know I enjoy traditional bluegrass music. I really don’t care for the progressive kind, that is why I tried so hard to find a car with a CD player. Yes, that is the reason I bought my Honda Fit, sight unseen.

Paul is a DJ on WSGS radio. I’ve heard my brother Jerry Allen Hall speak of WSGS, along with Paul Morris. The only time that I have caught his show is when I was in the mountains the last of June. Actually due to the coronavirus it was a previously recorded show.

In the wee hours of the morning I heard Paul Morris mention that my sister-in-law had sent him several of Jerry’s CD’s. I tried to call the radio station, until I realized it was pre-recorded, as I had heard the same thing some time before.

Johnny and Ann Calihan are doing fairly well. Ann was disappointed as the small bunch of white half runners that Johnny was able to plant ended up turning to vines. I think Ann did get one small mess of beans.

Thanks to my son Keith Ballard, for the first time in so many years I can recall I have the pleasure of going to the back deck and getting a homegrown tomato. I have only been able to taste a tiny bit, as they are hard to digest. I did eat a slice and paid a price with indigestion.

The black seeded Simpson lettuce I planted in a small window box on the deck was doing so well that I could finally pick a few leaves. I was waiting for it to get just a little bigger so I could share with Ann Calihan.

I looked at the window box and the leaves were stripped. I thought a rabbit had gotten on the deck, and the next day the complete box of lettuce was gone. Then I saw the culprits. Somehow small green worms had invaded the window box. I will not be defeated as I am going to sow more lettuce seeds in the wheelbarrow. If nothing else, so I can have the pleasure of watching it grow.

Frieda Johnson had the most beautiful half runner beans on the computer for sale. If it was possible I would head for the mountains to get some to dry for shucky beans, as Keith enjoys shucky beans.

Mike and Marcia Caudill, I hope you have enough beans to share a package around Thanksgiving.

Marcia Caudill’s sister Janie Klamerus and her husband have made their home in the upper Peninsulas of Michigan for several years. Janie has shared pictures of snow that would almost cover their house. Welcome home, as they decided to sell their home and lots of other things, buy a huge motor home and head for the mountains of eastern Kentucky to settle in the Pikeville area.

I hope to see Janie and her husband at Carcassonne Community Center for a square dance, if this coronavirus pandemic is ever lifted.

Hello Buddy and Bernice Grubb, Mike and Marcia Caudill, Les and Pat Wagner. It seems when I start to pick up the phone to call I get sidetracked.

Letcher County Picnic is cancelled for September this year. I think it is in best interest due to the coronavirus. Trying to socialize with a mask on then having to remove the mask to eat really doesn’t make a lot of sense.

I really was looking forward to this year as last year Hayward Day was in the hospital. Hayward and his daughter Kim were always faithful to come.

Johnny Calihan was the first to meet me to help sweep the shelter. I will miss getting ready for the event. We don’t know what is going to take place in the future.

My daughter Angie Wiederhold finally found a decent apartment in the Harrison area. My 13-year-old sidekick Bennie Wiederhold will be starting the school year online. Bennie really needs interaction with other school age kids his age, but socializing isn’t worth risking his health as he has some issues.

Is anyone else having trouble receiving The Mountain Eagle newspaper? It has been two weeks since I received mine. The Calihans haven’t received their copy either. To heck with mail fraud of voting. Don’t mess with my Mountain Eagle!

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

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