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Old Man Winter not ready to say goodbye

Southern Ohio

Ma Crow of Ma Crow & Company (left) and Rose Ballard at a concert at Leo’s Coffee House in Cincinnati, Ohio

Ma Crow of Ma Crow & Company (left) and Rose Ballard at a concert at Leo’s Coffee House in Cincinnati, Ohio

Hello everyone! We’ve had a brief touch of spring in this little corner of the Ohio Valley area. Now we are expecting rain with freezing rain and snow mixture.

So I assume Old Man Winter isn’t ready to say goodbye so we can welcome spring. I do recall in previous years a very deep snow in April that even broke several trees.

I really pray everyone is safe from this thing called coronavirus. Actually I will rephrase that statement, for the ones that are buying up all the tissue paper, hand sanitizer, etc. then selling them for such a higher price, I hope you will need to use the tissue paper then some.

Why is this species called humans so greedy? If someone were in need I would divide my last roll of tissue paper or give it to them.

If worse comes to worse, as I recall childhood years of growing up in the mountains with no inside bathrooms, we used catalog pages which we called cata- log leafs, paper pokes, even newspapers, if we could get any. Even though I’ve grown used to the luxury of inside plumbing and the softness of tissue paper, this old mountain girl can survive, at least for a while.

Scott Nottingham and daughter Jessica Nottingham

Scott Nottingham and daughter Jessica Nottingham

Back to this coronavirus, overnight it has completely turned the world upside down. Stores have bare shelves.

I really had to smile to myself when I went to Dollar General to get a few cards. As I walked down an aisle a young guy and his mother were in front of me. I observed him picking up a can of Vienna sausage. I glanced at the shelf, and it was bare. I smiled thinking, well I bet there must be a few hillbillies that shop here, as that was one treat that Daddy bought when we were young.

Oh how delightful that was to have a couple of saltine crackers, and a piece of Vienna. We would crumble crackers in the can and eat the liquid that surrounds the Vienna.

As memories of the past return I wonder how did all the people survive? On a table in the kitchen there was always a bucket of water. We drank out of the same dipper, family friends or strangers. When we were lucky enough for Mom to have a cow, we drank the best milk that you ever took a drink of, fresh cow’s milk. Not pasteurized with all the stuff that you read on the contents of a jug of milk you purchase at a grocery store. Sometimes I wonder what we are drinking under the name of milk.

JOHNNY and ANN CALIHAN

JOHNNY and ANN CALIHAN

Mom would pour the milk in a gallon jar and let the cream raise to the top, then pour most of it off to make butter with. I can still remember the taste of that thick cream, the taste of the buttermilk and the butter. Again, nothing but a little salt in the butter.

Mom cooked our meals with lard, whether it was fried food or baking bread. I hear comment about mothers saying you eat it or go hungry. At our house, we ate whatever was on the table and were glad to get it. It consisted beans of some sort, fried potatoes, a pone of cornbread, and some kind of meat.

We never heard of something called hand sanitizer. You would find a wash pan, a bar of soap and a washrag and a towel, and everyone dried on the same towel.

Beechwood High School Winter Guard member Katelyn Nottingham is shown at the far right.

Beechwood High School Winter Guard member Katelyn Nottingham is shown at the far right.

Once a week we took a complete bath in the kitchen. I was lucky as being the oldest I got to bathe first. I seem to recall a coral bar of soap might have been called Lifebuoy. I liked it because the color.

We had no shampoo so we used the hand soap to wash our hair. If we were lucky Mom would catch rainwater and I would wash my hair in that as it was supposed to make your hair soft, or use a little vinegar in a glass of water to pour over my hair.

Nowadays there are a hundred different kinds of shampoos and conditioners to choose from. Not to mention all the body wash, etc.

Mommy would somehow manage once in a while to get a white container of cold cream to use on her hands, or a small bottle of Jergen’s lotion.

Again as I recall life in the mountains, when I hear or read of how good neighbors were to help each other, more than likely that statement is true.

My granddaughter Jessica Nottingham is active in archery, and I am proud to say Jessie is very good at this sport. Her mother Anna Nottingham wrote, “Well, this was supposed to be a ‘Good luck at NASP State tournament’ post, but since it was cancelled, I’ll just turn it into a ‘look how far you’ve come and I’m so proud of you’ post. As a 7th grader, first year archer, you ranked 221 out of 229 girls. As a senior, you ranked 14th out of 303 girls, and 5th out of 49 12th-grade girls. It wasn’t easy, but you loved the sport and continued to improve week after week. I am very proud of you.”

Jessica was to go to compete in Louisville for state championship. Due to coronavirus everything is cancelled.

My granddaughter Katelyn Nottingham is in the Beechwood High School Winter Guard. Beechwood was in first place, then had a couple more competitions. They were cancelled because of the coronavirus also.

Schools are cancelled for two weeks in Kentucky, and three weeks in Ohio, with the possibility of not opening for the rest of the school year.

My daughter Anna Nottingham was thoughtful enough to book a surprise trip for me as a Christmas gift on April 3-5 to Washington, D.C to the Cherry Blossom event.

I had started planning my wardrobe for the three-day trip. I have three very pretty shirts to wear. Sometime in the future the cherry blossoms will bloom and I won’t get to see their beauty.

The Washington trip is not cancelled, just postponed to a date sometime later this year. Anna tells me that D.C. is pretty anytime of the year.

I have to be honest, for the past month or so I haven’t been feeling very well as my stomach issues have gotten worse, plus my ankle has been swelling bad. I was sort of dreading the trip to D.C. Anna was renting a wheelchair to help with the walking situation, but there are times with my stomach that I need to be close or have privacy when I get nauseated.

Oh the joys of what a doctor’s negligence can do.

I feel the same about the woman who had her nose stuck in that cell phone that pulled across in front of me June 1.

Again, I try to look on the bright side and think there are so many people that can’t do the things that I can do. Sometimes it helps sometimes it doesn’t.

Hello to a special reader R.S. Taylor in Georgia who reads my column.

Life sure does revolve in circles, as R.S. is the son of Hattie Calihan Taylor. Hattie is the daughter of Lloyd and Nora Calihan of Paces Branch, Roxana. Mom used to walk across Big Branch Mountain to Nora Calihan’s to square dance.

Hattie and Mommy were friends from childhood. I met Hattie a couple of times at the Calihan reunion, and before that we wrote to each other, as we both loved writing.

Once again life came full circle as I’ve been in touch through Facebook with Hattie’s daughter Sharron Taylor Kammerlohr, who lives in Missouri. Johnny Calihan is a brother to Hattie Calihan Taylor

As I read of Sharron’s life, I am filled with envy. Sharron was a flight attendant for United Airlines, former secretary for the U.S. Air Force, and I really don’t know how many other things she has participated in.

If only we had connected when our mothers were alive. Hattie had talked of me to Sharron and that really pleases me, as I loved Hattie. I grew up with so many tales of Hattie and the Calihan family.

Johnny and Ann’s daughter Sue Wagner has several setbacks since the liver transplant three weeks ago. Sue had to get at least two more serious surgeries, now she has complications of nausea. Sue was finally removed from SICU, moved to a regular room and did alright for a day, looking as if she would be released, and then the nausea returned.

It is not only wearing Sue out completely, it is beginning to really get to her parents, as they can’t go visit Sue very often. Les and Pat Wagner, please take care of yourselves and be safe.

Carcassonne Community Square Dance was cancelled, so hello to Mike and Marcia Caudill. Maybe April will be a better month. Campbell’s Branch Community Center is cancelled for the rest of March.

Darlene and Alice Campbell, I hope you are feeling better. Hello Buddy and Bernice Grubb. I think of you two, please take care.

Until next time.

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