Whitesburg KY

Garden work lasted from daylight to dark

Southern Ohio

Hello everyone. We have been having such beautiful weather in the Harrison, Ohio area that I still have trouble figuring out what season this really is. I guess I will just enjoy it as much as I possibly can, as six months from now will be Christmas.

There’s something I forgot to add to my column last week and I am very sorry, as I hear that a former eastern Kentuckian Clyde Eldridge is not feeling very good. Clyde is from the Bull Creek area.

I am looking forward to the Dean Osborne Festival at Hyden in August (minus the trouble I had last year with my van as I was on my way to Leslie County).

For those of you who love Bluegrass music, check out the O.K.I. (Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana) Bluegrass Festival, June 29-30 at the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 44 in Hubert Heights, Ohio. Norma Ashcraft is president of this organization, and I am proud to call her a friend. Norma was born at Blackey and has never forgotten her mountain heritage.

Gwen Huff Farmer is beginning to reap the harvest from her garden. Gwen sends me pictures showing how pretty it is growing.

I miss those days of working in the garden. When our children were small I would be in the garden at daybreak and work until I thought it was time for them to start waking up. I would stop long enough to run in at different times to check on them, fix their breakfast when they awakened, go back and work a little longer.

When my husband came home from a hard day’s work, I would have supper ready and then we both would work in the garden until it would be so dark we couldn’t tell a weed from the vegetables.

I learned to can the way Mommy did, by building a fire outside then filling the wash tub with jars of green beans, filling the tub with water and letting them cook from four to six hours.

We lived in a house that had no running water or inside plumbing — which meant no bathroom — and we survived.

Once in a while as I walk into my large bathroom I let my thoughts wander back to the days of long ago, and though I should be grateful for the modern things that I have, I take things for grated. My house isn’t fancy like a lot of others, but I do have a house that is a home. I am thankful I do have a place when there are others who are homeless.

As I sit at this computer working on this column I wish everyone had the view that is for my eyes to see.

There’s a huge hayfield across the road from my house, and as my computer monitor blocks the view of the highway, it looks as if I have a continuous yard. The hay was cut and baled recently, which means the field is so neat looking.

My son Keith Ballard and I were in Cincinnati one morning last week. While waiting for a place to open we took a walk — actually walked 10 blocks and back. While looking at the buildings I said to him how thankful I was that his dad and I were blessed to raise the children in a community like Harrison.

I told him about the time that my cousin and her husband, Gracie and George Widener from Partridge, came to Cincinnati to live several years ago.

Of course when I found out Gracie was living this close to us in Ohio, we went to visit them. Gracie and George lived in downtown Cincinnati on Race Street. While looking down from many floors you could see rats running in the alley. At one point a rat somehow got in their apartment and bit one of Gracie’s children while she was in bed.

After that incident, Gracie and George packed their belongings and moved back to the mountains of eastern Kentucky, never to leave there until recently moving to Tazewell, Tenn.

As I was about to relate this story to Keith, he told it to me first, as he wasn’t too young to remember.

The house that I live in now was the only home our daughter Anna Nottingham has ever known as I have been here 39 years. That makes it hard when I think of selling it. The kids aren’t interested in it, and I will sell it to a complete stranger.

I am sorry to hear that Eula Tolliver of Somerset is having so many problems with her health and broken bones. Eula and her husband have a mansion of a home according to the pictures that I have seen.

Please keep my cousin Beverly Adams in your prayers as she hasn’t been feeling good,

My friend Shirley and I have plans to go see Bluegrass Favorites at Hunters Pizza in Middletown, Ohio. If Shirley isn’t feeling good, I may try to find my way by myself. I need my bluegrass music fix! Tony Hale’s band is a favorite of mine along with Rural Route 2.

My brother Richie is about the same, and is losing so much weight. Wanda is still as busy as a bee, as she never seems to slow down. My brother Jerry has taken a bad fall again.

My sister Loretta Church is still a little sore from her surgery. I hear someone at Letcher Manor is trying to give her instructions how to get in and out of the bed by herself.

I talked to Polly Maucher. She has been busy with all the activities she is involved in, plus keeping up with her yard work.

Johnny and Ann Calihan are still receiving bad news concerning their family. Johnny’s brother Joe Calihan passed away not long ago, and now his wife has passed away too. Joe and his wife lived in North Carolina I think.

Hubert Caudill, it was a pleasure to see you again. My heart still aches for Hayward Day and family. Kim you still look like your mom Vivian. Hayward, that should make you smile. I love you guys.

Jennifer Collins, who is formerly of Whitesburg and now calls Batesville, Ind., home, is doing great after her brain surgery. She was able to attend a family dinner, which she hasn’t been able to do for sometime. Thanks to her brother Jeff for keeping me informed on Jennifer’s progress. Jeff and I share the same birthday, May 27.

Oma Hatton, I hope you are doing okay. When and if I ever get back to the mountains you are going to be the first one I stop to see.

We will call Billy and tell him to bring us a sip of tea while we pretend we are Southern belles while sitting on your porch overlooking the highway.

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

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