Whitesburg KY
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Had a nice trip to Carter Fold in Virginia

Southern Ohio

Rose Ballard writes, “Believe it or not I went to see Tommy Tendell at Letcher Manor Nursing Home dressed like this. Tommy had no idea who I was, and he got the strangest look on his face until I finally pulled the mask down. Then a smile so bright it seemed to light up the room, Tommy laughed so hard, and called me a rat.”

Rose Ballard writes, “Believe it or not I went to see Tommy Tendell at Letcher Manor Nursing Home dressed like this. Tommy had no idea who I was, and he got the strangest look on his face until I finally pulled the mask down. Then a smile so bright it seemed to light up the room, Tommy laughed so hard, and called me a rat.”

Hello again everyone! I’ve often started my column by starting with “grab a beverage and let’s sit down and chat a bit.” Well that really holds true as I have so much I want to share with all my readers.

I believe we skipped fall and went into winter. No, I am really not ready for the frost, freezing and whatever else, and sure not ready for snow.

Once again I packed my already half-packed suitcase. Since this was a preplanned trip I had most of what I would need already to go.

As usual I can never rest the night before I leave to go anywhere. Tuesday morning after a couple of hours asleep, my stomach decided to let me know it wasn’t going to cooperate. Not only that, Harrison was fogged in to the level it was very hard to see.

At 11 a.m. I finally was on my way and arrived at Cavalry Campus at 3:30 p.m. I carried everything to my room, stayed a few minutes and was out the door again.

I stopped at The Mountain Eagle to see Pam, then decided to go to see the beautiful foliage at Fishpond Lake as it was supposed to rain Friday, and I didn’t know for sure if I would get back to see it or not.

Since I was the only one in that huge park, I didn’t stop to really enjoy the beautiful scenery. I didn’t take the time to go back, at least I had the memories.

The main reason for this adventure was to go to the Carter Fold in Hiltons, Va., since Sunrise Ridge was performing there.

I checked the distance from my house to there. It was as close to go through to the mountains I call home and spend a few days in familiar places than go from here to another direction.

Thursday afternoon I called Bernice Grubb. During our conversation she said that Buddy was in a nursing home not far from Carter Fold in Hiltons, Va.

Friday morning I picked up Bernice and we were on our way to see Buddy not far from Kingsport, Tenn. Oh I believe that was the most beautiful fall foliage that I’ve ever seen in my entire life. Honestly, it was so hard to concentrate on my driving as, all I wanted to do was look towards the mountains. All I could say was “oh my God.”

Buddy didn’t know that Bernice was coming to visit him, so he was really surprised when I walked in. Buddy has really improved since he left Letcher Manor Nursing Home.

They had planned a Halloween party with the staff dressed in costumes. Buddy was excited about the party, and as it was time for it to start, Bernice and I left.

It wasn’t far to the turnoff towards Hiltons, Va., but with Bernice and I enjoying the scenery and talking somehow we went right through Hiltons, so I had to turn around.

Carter Fold and surrounding buildings are located in a beautiful setting. The only thing, as we sat in the car looking, neither of us thought about getting out to take pictures.

After a delightful trip I dropped Bernice off at home then continued back to the campus to get ready for another short journey to Campbell’s Branch Community Center. As I shut the door I discovered I locked my key in my room. Oh well, deal with that problem later, as I wasn’t going to miss Campbell’s Branch.

I was really pleased when Betty Whitaker from Miamisburg walked through the door along with her husband Bill and their daughter and her friend. Bill made my evening as he came to talk to me, saying he really enjoys my columns. Thanks, Bill, this is what helps me to continue writing.

It was really good watching Betty and her daughter dancing together.

I had been sitting, dying inside with envy while watching everyone dancing, especially when Fred Campbell picked claw hammer on that five-string banjo. I finally got enough courage, slipped in between Betty and another dancer, held hands with them and yes I danced one time.

In the wee hours of Saturday morning I awoke very sick. I thought I was going to have to call 911. I was choking so bad that I couldn’t breathe. I finally just prayed, then fell asleep.

Saturday I stayed in my room until late afternoon, then finally felt good enough to get dressed. Shawn and Flo Stamper said I could ride with them to the event at Carter Fold. I was going to go early and get a motel as close to Hiltons as I could find, since I was afraid to drive that far at night. It was supposed to rain.

My niece Sue and Billy was supposed to go, then plans changed. I was determined to go to see Sunrise Ridge at Carter Fold regardless of what!

Shawn, his daughter Whitney Cornett and I rode together, and Flo and her sister followed in another car. I tried to get Flo to switch so I could ride with her sister.

Once again I got to see the beautiful mountains of Virginia. This time Shawn had to listen to me saying “Oh how beautiful.”

The Carter Fold building is such a great place. I wish I had taken the time to walk around and look at all the pictures on the wall.

Sunrise Ridge did an awesome show. When the music started my feet were tapping so much and the yearning to dance started once again. Flo knew it was killing me to sit on the sidelines, so she took my hand, along with another dancer, and yes I danced and this time, not only did I hear the music I felt every strand of the music deep in my heart and soul.

That is the first time I’ve felt this way in two and half years. It wasn’t the same as being free to move as I please, as I could never stand in one place to dance, however it was such satisfaction just to dance again.

I still have to use a cane to walk any distance. I can’t dance by myself, as I am afraid to lose my balance.

On the way back to Whitesburg it was raining and foggy. Shawn pulled over to let Whitney drive as he was having trouble seeing. Now that made me laugh as that was the reason I hitched a ride. Thanks Shawn, Flo and Whitney for being so gracious to me.

Jeff Adams can’t see to drive at night, so he has to depend on Jack to drive at night.

Sunday I went to Sue and Billy’s as they were going to Sevierville, Tenn. They asked me to ride with them. Of course I said yes. Again I got to see the beautiful Virginia mountains. Kentucky has beautiful scenery, but nothing compared to Virginia.

As we were traveling to Sevierville, I asked how far was it to Pigeon Forge which was a short distance. It has been 16 years since I have been to Pigeon Forge and the Gatlinburg area.

The mill was running, and it was a beautiful day. Billy, Sue and April helped me down the steep incline while using my cane. Eventually we started on the journey back to Billy and Sue’s.

I decided to stay an extra day as I don’t know when I will be back in the mountains. Sue and I planned to spend the day together again but plans got changed. I eventually went to their house. We went through the Little Shepherd Trail on through Kingdom Come Park. The trees were so beautiful. I wanted so bad just to get out and walk through the leaves. Sue was busy taking pictures of different things and I didn’t even get out of the car.

This is one place that I won’t attempt to drive by myself. The road is so narrow, I would absolutely panic should I have to back up.

We stopped at the newly renovated General Store. Again, I made a mistake as I thought it was still in the old location. I had never been to either one, and the old one had more appeal to me from the outside than the new one. When Billy and Sue had stopped there I wasn’t feeling like going in.

The new place has the same items, they said even more. I did get a book that is very interesting, if I ever get the time to read it.

When we got back to Billy and Sue’s I stayed for a little while, then returned to the campus. I picked up the bag with my essentials, placed my glasses and my keys in my purse, grabbed my sweet tea, closed the car door, and there was my purse sitting on the seat. I had locked the car door, nothing I could do so, I called Sue to ask her to look up information to Triple A.

Sue replied the number would be on my card. Oh yes, but the card was in my purse which was in my car.

Then Sue informed me that the Letcher County Sheriff ’s Department could unlock the door. However, after 4 p.m. you had to call 911, Since this was almost 9 p.m. and no emergency I wasn’t about to call anyone.

Billy owns a garage and has a tool, and said that he would come to unlock it. By this time it was raining, and he had been driving for the last two days. He needed rest so I said no, that I would wait until morning then decide what to do. Now I really missed my glasses as I couldn’t read my books.

Tuesday morning arrived and in the wee hours when I couldn’t sleep I packed everything. I even sat my things at the bottom of the steps, vacuumed the room, watched the clock then called the Sheriff ’s Department.

Later in the morning my car door was opened and I was out of confinement. Thanks to the young officer for getting me out of my predicament.

I finally left Whitesburg about 12:30 p.m. I arrived back at my home at 4:30 p.m., tired and exhausted, yet filled with so much happiness and memories of this trip. Laughing that I had been to Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, Virginia, and Tennessee. I am going to get me a shirt that either has Road Runner or Ramblin’ Rose, maybe both.

Tuesday I took Ann Calihan to her doctor’s appointment, then Wednesday was a bad day for Ann, so Vickie Power and I took her for a ride. She wasn’t able to go to Hayward’s funeral as she was in a nursing rehab. We drove by Hayward’s house then to the cemetery on the hill.

I was there a year ago. It brought back memories of Hayward taking me to show me where his wife Vivian was buried there. On the tombstone he had his name along with their daughter Kim. Never thinking in such a short time I would be there visiting the cemetery again.

Sunday was Old Time Fiddlers. We had a good group of musicians, and we missed a few regulars. I made potato soup. I thought I added a little too much pepper, but every bite was eaten so it must have been alright.

I’ve not been to see my great-grandbaby Rylee Kay. Somehow I am going to find time before she is walking.

Hello Mike and Marcia Caudill. I keep waiting for news of Carcassonne Community Center. I hope there’s not a cancellation. I know you will make the right decision.

Hello to Les and Pat Wagner. I hope you finally made it to the mountains

Mr. Bluegrass, if you were trying to impress me, you sure failed as you didn’t go to The Mountain Eagle to inquire about me. If you did it wouldn’t have done any good, as information isn’t given out. I don’t know why I called you mean, however maybe I wasn’t wrong!

Time is catching up with me.

Rose Ballard, 9110 Lawrenceburg Rd., Harrison, OH 45030 email: bluegrass mama 4@ol.com.

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