Whitesburg KY
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It’s too early to pack up your long johns

Southern Ohio


Childhood sweethearts Arnold Jewell of Chicago, formerly of Letcher County, and Sherry Buttler of Arkansas, will be wed on June 15 at the little yellow brick church on Sandlick.

Childhood sweethearts Arnold Jewell of Chicago, formerly of Letcher County, and Sherry Buttler of Arkansas, will be wed on June 15 at the little yellow brick church on Sandlick.

I hope you haven’t put your long johns away as you may be needing them until about August!

How was your Mother’s Day? Did you get all the pretty flowers and candy that you so richly deserve? As a child growing up in the mountains, I can never remember this being a special day.

I do recall July 4 as Daddy would try to get a watermelon and a gallon of vanilla ice cream.

Decoration Day brings back a lot of memories as somehow Grandma and my aunt (Tena), if she was around, would somehow manage to get a few sheets of crepe paper, red and green, along with wire clothes hangers and make flowers for the graves.

How many remember helping cut petals, taking the tip end of the scissors to curl the crepe paper?

At my sister Loretta Church’s funeral, someone sent a bunch of flowers that was in a white container. Memories of our mother came flooding back as I recalled how these were put on the graves at Nora Frazier Cemetery then tossed over the hillside in time.

I remember Mommy and Grandma and other women picking those up and reusing them to plant flowers in.

As a child this bothered me as I knew they had been in a graveyard, and I don’t recall it being called a cemetery either.

Of course I also used to have a phobia about anyone or anything connected to death, such as a coroner, undertaker, or funeral home etc.

The first time I can remember being in a funeral home was Craft’s Funeral Home in Whitesburg. I went to talk to Virginia Craft about a babysitting job in Covington, which I got, and ended up staying for six months or longer. Back years ago it was cheaper to have someone to stay more for a home than wages than pay someone by the hour.

Now on to a much more pleasant topic!

This was the weekend for the Appalachian Days Festival at Old Coney, which is on the outskirts of Cincinnati. There are crafts from all over.

You will find me in one section most of the time and that is where music is!

I hadn’t taken the time to check out the schedule for a while, then when I did, oh I was in for a surprise as a favorite band was scheduled there, none other than Special Delivery with Tony Hale, Bubba, Wayne Haddix Gil Benson and Johnny Wax. All the bands were great, and too many for me to mention.

I am so proud to know there’s an all girls band. Ma Crow & The Lady Slippers are outstanding musicians.

This group is well deserving of the name ladies, in every way, from the manner of dressing, speaking and appearance on stage and off.

My highlight of the day was dancing with Ma Crow to an old fiddle tune called Sally Gooden. Lots of times on a long playing fiddle tune someone that I dance with will get tired and sit down, but Ma danced the whole dance. By the time it was over I wanted to turn and say, “Hey, that is enough!”

I hope next year I see another great band on the schedule, RR2 Bluegrass Band of Rising Sun, Ind. Yes, I am making plans for next year.

This year the attendance was down as the weather didn’t want to cooperate. Friday was cold and windy, and Saturday was cold and rained just about all day. Sunday was a lot better as the sun came out, but it still was chilly.

A special thanks to my lunch buddy Daphne Bradley for coming to spend the day with me Saturday. It was also great to hang out with my good friend Donna and her husband Joe Perry.

Donna and I were dancing and a woman came over to ask if we gave dance lessons.

Thanks to my children and grandchildren for the calls flowers on Mother’s Day.

Before I got to the Appalachian Festival my son Keith Ballard called to say happy Mother’s Day, and wanted to know if I was dressed warm enough. This made me start laughing as I told him he should have asked that a couple of days ago.

Sunday when I got home Keith brought me a potted plant called coleus. This brought tears, as this was a favorite plant of Mom’s.

Later my daughter Anna Nottingham called to say happy Mother’s Day, and she was laughing as she said well I don’t have to ask where you are.

Then my daughter Kay Gray called, as she and her husband were in Indianapolis, Ind., saying happy Mother’s Day and said she would be stopping by later in the evening. I told her I wasn’t home.

Kay and I are going out to breakfast at Bob Evans for an extended Mother’s Day event.

Saturday when I went to the mailbox I received a very special handmade card or letter from my little sidekick Bennie Wiederhold. In his own printing and words he wrote that he liked when I play with him. He meant that he likes when I take him to the park and go through a tunnel and down the slide.

It brought back memories of another handwritten letter from my oldest granddaughter Jennifer Gray. As a school project, Jennifer chose to write a letter to me saying how much she loved me and thanking me for swimming with her.

My daughter Angie Wiederhold and I are going to Olive Garden, and I forgot I am going with Scott, Anna and the girls Sarah, Jessica and Katelyn and little boss Kyle to LaRosa’s for pizza.

Too bad Mother’s Day doesn’t come more than one time a year! Oh what am I saying? I could go out to eat with my kids lots of times, I just don’t take the time.

Sunday evening after my busy day at the Appalachian Festival I went to the Woodlands Nursing Home in Hamilton to visit my adopted parents as I call them, Chris and Juanita Lanham.

Chris is in his 90s and Juanita is in her late 80s, and they will be married 67 years on June 22. Since I met them back in the late ‘90s they have always seemed like family to me. Just a short time ago they had to give up their home to go into a nursing facility, except this one has a little kitchenette. Chris can still do a few things.

Someone asked me what did my kids say about me going so many places? I just laughed and said that I believe I am their mother, and I don’t have to ask my children nor anyone when or where I want and can afford to go. That is one of the pleasures of growing older and still able to enjoy life. Also not having someone telling you what to do!

There will come a time that I can’t go so as the old saying goes, I am going to make hay while the sun shines.

My heart goes out to my dear friend Gwen Huff Farmer and so many others who have the money to travel and yet can’t drive anymore. The same way with being able to still get on my hands and knees to clean, and I can still get on a stepladder, to do what I want to do.

I have a lot of aches and pains, actually too many, but I am just fortunate to be able to do and go.

Doyle and Betty Ison are enjoying what little warm weather we have been having in this area. They are like me, don’t care too much for this cold weather hanging on forever!

I haven’t talked to Johnny or Ann Calihan this week. I am sure Ann had a great time with all her children.

Shirley Wells usually has family for every occasion, and always enjoys every minute.

I talked to my brother Jerry and Mattie Hall. I am glad to hear Jerry is doing very well at the present time.

I just found out my daughter Kay was involved in an auto accident Friday, and I am thankful she wasn’t hurt. I can’t say the same about her car.

I think this must be contagious as her dad was involved in an accident a week ago, and a motorcycle rider ended up on his hood. The next day I backed my van into a parked vehicle. I guess I have to obey the rules; don’t drive and drink, especially if I am going backwards.

I forgot to mention something last week in my column; my sympathy goes out to the family of Sara Ison. I always enjoyed reading Sara’s column in The Mountain Eagle.

While staying at Super 8 I had a brief conversation with Sara’s granddaughter, who is a very lovely young lady.

Oma Hatton, we have to get together at a happy occasion sometime soon.

Emma Engle, I hope this finds you and Red feeling better. I think of you so often.

Glenora Eldridge and Betty Kelly, thank you for your beautiful cards. I know I am behind times to thank you.

I received a call from my sister-in-law Wanda Hall, and seeing that familiar number almost brought tears as I thought of so many times of my brother Richie calling me.

My son Keith jus t dropped off a basket of laundry so I guess I better get my day started.

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


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