Whitesburg KY

Irises and poppies are blooming

Southern Ohio

Happy Mother’s Day!

The words of Larry Sparks’s song, “I wonder if it is raining in the mountains,” come to mind as today has been a very rainy yet beautiful day.

I can’t believe the difference a week can make! The foliage is so refreshing and beautiful. My lilac bush has grown so much that it covers my window on the side of my house. My windows have small white squares in between the pane of glass. Looking though to the outline of the lilac blooms pressed to the windowpane is so picturesque. It looks like an art picture framed.

As I walk up my steps the smell of the lilacs greet me with their fragrance.

My irises are blooming, and the poppies are full of blooms

Last Thursday while leaving Whitesburg, even through the tears I took enough time to try drink in every dogwood and redbud blossom that could be seen to the naked eye while driving.

Jr. and Loraine Karacuka share the prettiest bed of creeping phlox with everyone driving past their house. Several years ago my brother Richie and Wanda drove there so Wanda could take pictures of the creeping phlox and send to me.

I regret I didn’t have a camera so I could take pictures to share with Emma Engle as I know how much she longs to go back to the mountains this time of year.

The dogwoods weren’t in their height of glory as they were just starting to bloom in the bend where the housing project as that is always so pretty around the curve.

Today makes two weeks since Loretta went on her final journey, but somehow I can’t seem to shake this feeling of distress. Losing my brother Richie was one of the most devastating things for me as I felt I lost my own child. Losing Loretta has really taken its toll on me, more than I ever thought it would.

Loretta had a favorite memory of her childhood and school days she used to tell and it used to sort of embarrass me, but it was the truth. Early one morning as we were on the way to school at Mill Branch, Loretta decide she had to pee. I had Wallace Lee to walk a little ways down the road and Loretta squatted, I discovered she had no panties on.

We were too far from the house to go back, so I took my panties off and put on her. She was only five years old, and I was ten. I knew I was old enough to keep my dress down, and she couldn’t.

That was one day I never moved out of my seat at school. When the little girls wanted me to play, I had a bellyache all day long.

Loretta would laugh and tell people that she had heard the expression give your shirt off your back, well she had a sister that gave her panties off her behind. You better believe from that day on, I made sure she had underwear on.

My brother Wallace Lee always told how I would have to stop and tie his shoes on the way to school until I finally taught him to tie. He said I got tired of fooling with him.

By the time that my brothers Jerry, Richie and Robert were in school I was away from home, then married, and I started my own family at a very early age. As quick as Richie got old enough he would come to Ohio to stay with us every summer. That is why we were always close.

Loretta did spend time with me when she was young. I am the only one that ever drifted away from home to never return to live.

This week has been rather hectic for me as I barely missed hitting a deer, got too close a guard rail and at the same time barely escaped being hit in the rear end. At the same time, as the day proceeded I felt so tired I didn’t think I could complete what I needed to do.

I finally came home and started doing laundry. When I looked at the clock, somehow my feet took over brain as I had wanted to go to Connersville, Ind., to listen to two bands.

I decided not to go when all of sudden (as I said my feet took over thinking), I was dressed and out the door before I knew it. My hair was a mess, and I was not wearing the clothes I really wanted since they were in the washer.

I arrived 10 minutes late and it was as if everything of the hectic day vanished as I walked in the door. The house band was on stage, Ray Brandenburg was playing the fiddle, Carl Bentley on guitar, Amos Collins on banjo and Marvin Davis playing mandolin, and I forget who on the bass,

All I know was there was a small group of people dancing. It’s a good thing there are honest people as I sat my purse in a chair, walked straight to the dance floor, and my evening was transitioned into a magical evening. I felt the heartache wash away as I danced, then danced some more. While sitting listening to the music, I could see my sister Loretta’s smile as she recalled watching me dance years ago.

Mark Poe of the All American Bluegrass was the featured band. I have heard Mark for several years, and this band was the greatest I have ever heard.

The harmony was so magnificent. Mark was playing guitar; Chris Hill, banjo; a guy named Tom Feller was on mandolin; Marvin Davis, the fiddle; none other than Cookie Inman on bass; and Harold Russell did such a great job singing.

I had someone make a remark that I was taking Loretta’s death better than I did Richie’s, but, no, I am not! I just have to do something before I let this get the best of me.

I feel I will be the next one to go, and I may as well enjoy life a little. I can leave this world knowing I was there when every one of my family has needed me.

I talked to Doyle and Betty Ison for a little bit. I disturbed them from taking a nap, and I was trying to resist doing the same. Betty’s knee is bothering her, not the one she had surgery on, so now she may be facing knee replacement again.

It seems I haven’t gotten to talk with Gwen Huff Farmer or Shirley Wells lately.

I am missing seeing my new extended family, Les and Pat Wagner and Larry and Becky Hasty.

Saturday I was very good as I decided to stay home, day and night.

Sunday was Old Time Fiddler’s, and a good crowd attended. What better way to spend a rainy afternoon than with good music and companionship? Old Time Fiddlers meet the first Sunday of each month in the basement of Miamitown Fire Department.

Johnny and Ann Calihan are resting up after their trip to South Carolina to visit their daughter Sue Wagner and family.

My son-in-law Scott Nottingham recently retired from the Ft. Mitchell Police Department after 21 years on the force. Scott also served as detective for the police department. Can you imagine retiring at 42 years old? My baby daughter Anna will surely have more grey hair than I have before long.

Actually I love Scott as much as I do my kids. He loves me, too, as long as I am across the river on the Ohio side.

I need to go spend more time with my grandchildren.

It is late and I need to get this on its way. Until next time, Rose Ballard, 9110 Lawrenceburg Road, Harrison, Ohio 45030, email: Bluegrassmama4@aol.com, telephone: 513-367- 4682.

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