Whitesburg KY
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Memories of big snows on Big Branch


Hello everyone! Where did November go? It doesn’t seem possible that Thanksgiving has come and gone. Now Christmas will be here in the blink of an eye.

As I began to prepare for Thanksgiving dinner, memories of bygone years began to fill my heart. It seems that I have thought about my children’s dad since he has passed away more than I have in the 24 years since we were divorced. Now, many years down the road, memories of our years together have once again come back to me, but at least they are good ones.

I remembered how I would dice celery and onions and cook them the night before Thanksgiving, and the house would smell so good. I would bake a couple of pies, pumpkin pie was made from scratch, even a homemade crust, homemade peanut butter fudge, and banana pudding.

Thanksgiving Day was sort of quiet at our house this year, as it was just Keith and me. My daughter Anna invited us for dinner and my daughter Kay Gray invited us to her house also. It has been too many years since I have been anywhere and I prefer to stay home on holidays.

The day after Thanksgiving, Anna, Jessica, and Katelyn went to Troy on a Girl Scout trip.

My son-in-law Scott Nottingham had to work, and I had the pleasure of staying with my seven-year-old grandson Kyle for a few hours. It was wonderful being with him.

The Ohio Valley has experienced the first ice storm since 2014. Some parts of Harrison were without electricity for several days. I awoke to no heat Thursday, so I snuggled up and went back to sleep. Later I got out of bed and found candles, along with a little battery reading light that my son Keith Ballard had given me. I slipped through the house as not to wake Keith.

The lights came on not long afterwards and Keith appeared in the doorway. Here I had been so quiet as not to awaken him, but as usual he had got up early to fix coffee but instead brazened the bad weather to go get some. He had to drive about 10 miles to accomplish this mission, as Harrison had no power.

Southern Ohio

I called to check on my daughter Angie and Bennie Wiederhold, who live not far from me. Angie had no electricity, either. I tried to convince her into coming home, but she declined saying they were all right for the time being.

As the day went by Angie took Bennie to the library to do his schoolwork. Angie and the neighborhood finally got electricity. Needless to say Bennie was disappointed they didn’t have to go to a motel.

Before Christmas I am going to find a motel that has an indoor swimming pool to take Angie and Bennie. I would like to bring Angie and Bennie to the mountains with me, but Angie doesn’t like my type of music, and everyone knows that’s why I head to the mountains I call home.

It brings back memories of days gone by, as we walked to school in rain, snow, ice or whatever else the weather was doing. I will say that God is merciful or some little child would have frozen to death down through the years.

Mom used to tell how deep the snow would get when she was a child on Big Branch. There are times I would like for today’s generation of kids to live just a day or so as the times were when I was growing up. What am I saying is that some adults couldn’t survive without a cell phone glued to their fingertips or ears.

Each time I look at the video that my niece Sue Hall recorded of the Carcassonne square dance it fills my heart with so much pride and memories of my Mom.

Sue’s 12-year-old granddaughter Brooke had never been to a square dance much less participated in one. Brooke and 12-yearold Hannah Hall came to the edge of the group of dancers and hesitated to join in. I held out my hand to Brooke, and those two girls took to square dancing like a duck takes to water.

Sue has been having problems with their refrigerator, so she didn’t fix a turkey for Thanksgiving. She still prepared enough food to feed and army, as usual.

Sunday was Old Time Fiddler’s and the music was great. I fixed homemade potato soup for the event. It was heavy to carry in, but it was empty when I brought it home. Everyone said it was delicious.

Harrison had a bit of unusual excitement as the national Christmas tree that is placed at the capitol in Washington, D.C., made a stop here for several hours. Ann Calihan and two of her daughters, Sue Wagner and Teresa Payne, were at LaRosa’s for lunch when the truck made its stop there. Ann said there were about a thousand people to see this event.

I can drive a round-trip of five hundred miles to go to a Campbell’s Branch or Carcassonne square dance, but can’t find the energy to go a mile to see something like the national Christmas tree coming through.

Johnny and Ann Calihan had a special visitor for Thanksgiving as Ann’s brother, Hubert Caudill from North Carolina, arrived. I was planning on stopping by Ann’s to see Hubert, but I wasn’t able. I haven’t talked to Les and Pat Wagner. I hope everything is all right with them.

Anna and the kids have been busy as Sarah and Jessica volunteer at Isaiah House, where they serve meals to the homeless and the less fortunate, and also give out boxes of food.

You will find these two granddaughters of mine participating in many things, from picking up garbage to walking in a marathon, or helping out any way they can.

On Sunday, Anna took Katie and Kyle to New Richmond to visit President Grant’s home place. I am very proud that Anna takes such an interest in doing things with the family. Scott works so much that he doesn’t get to attend.

I no longer have a landline phone. After 50 some years I decided to cut it out, as I really hadn’t used it much in the last four years.

Well it is getting time to get this on its way for printing. Until next time, Rose Ballard, 9110 Lawrenceburg Rd., Harrison, Ohio 45030, email: Bluegrassmama4@aol.com.

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