Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!
“Oh it’s raining, raining here this morning,” as Grandpa Jones says in his song. There’s flooding in some areas. I checked the basement and so far it is all right.
The water really got high about five miles down the road from me. The young man that used to cut the grass for me, along with his mother, were held captive by the water that surrounded their modular home during the night on Thursday and all day on Friday.
Finally late Friday afternoon, his grandpa and uncle rescued them by backing a huge gravel truck next to the deck. I haven’t talked to them so I really don’t know the details of the rescue. I know it had to be a scary time.
The field between Kilby Road and Route 50 looked like a muddy ocean, but the water receded so fast that it was gone by Saturday afternoon.
Spring isn’t that far away so I can endure the rain, and what else comes my way, as there’s nothing you can do about it. I have stayed in this winter more than usual, due to health issues.
I can hear those mountains of eastern Kentucky that I love so much calling me. As I’ve said before I am afraid to drive when it is ice and snow and there’s many a mile between here and there.
It seems my thoughts have traveled backwards more in the past few months than ever. I’ve so often written about growing up in the small place called Roxana that you readers probably say, “Oh no, here she goes again!”
Roxana was all I knew for the first 13 years of my life. I have so many precious memories of Mommy spending time with me since I was the oldest, hearing Mommy talking of her childhood growing up on Big Branch although her teenage years weren’t perfect.
Mom had to raise her younger brothers and sister, since her mother decided to leave her family for another man and then start a family with him.
My mom jumped out of the frying pan into a fire, by marrying someone that was no good. She had to move back home to her dad. They were married just a couple of months.
Mom, along with her sister and cousins, would walk across the mountain to Paices Branch, to a square dance. Mom didn’t know one night her life would change, but she met my dad and the rest is history. I recall how she loved to talk about walking to Nora Calihan’s to a square dance.
I can still recall the names of the families on Big Branch, even though I was a mere child. After Mom fixed supper, washed the dishes, swept the floor and anything else she had to do, Mom would spend a little time sitting on the porch talking about her growing-up years.
My brain is like this computer that I am trying to use; it stored memories that have been there for so many years.
Ann Calihan is the only one left that can relate to so many things. My upbringing instilled so much in me, as I learned to be self-reliant. Yes, I am too stubborn and independent.
Recently I was called irrational because I posted a remark on the computer saying I would vote for a woman to be president, just because she is a woman. That was a wrong thing to say to me, as I am proud that women have finally got a say in things instead of being treated like a child.
I hope there is a woman in the White House in my lifetime. If that is irrational, so be it. Women are as intelligent as men! Sometimes even more in certain circumstances.
I wish there was a way that I could start a foundation or scholarship to help young girls get an education. This has been a burning desire in me for sometime. Yes, I guess this is one of my irrational desires. There are so many advantages for young people in this day and age we are living in, and it is being wasted.
If I could only turn back time, I would have more education that I do. Thank God for common sense and the guts to have the courage to have accomplished some things in my life.
I instilled the importance of education in my children, and it has been passed to my grandchildren, at least a few took advantage.
My heart is broken as I write this column. My deepest sympathy goes to the family of Steve Stamper in the loss of his beautiful and wonderful wife, Pat Stamper. Although I’ve never met these two people in person, I’ve come to love them very much, and Steve’s sister Phyllis Caudill.
I have teased Steve and Phyllis about their dad Hassel Stamper, who was the High Sherriff as it was called years ago. Hassel along with Jim Short and Boyd Caudill arrested my dad numerous times when I was a child.
Pat would faithfully send me messages of how much she enjoyed my column in The Mountain Eagle. When I heard Pat was in the hospital with pneumonia I hoped she would be home in a few days. It wasn’t in the Master’s plan. I am thankful she touched my life, though it was just through this computer.
Steve is a former minister of Nazarene Church of Whitesburg. Pat is from the area but I am not sure exactly where. My regret is I’ve never met this beautiful woman. God doesn’t discriminate when it comes to illness or death.
While I am on a roll, my heartfelt sympathy is with the Caudill family. Forester Caudill took his final journey. Dixie Caudill was a neighbor of my parents at Hot Spot (Premium). I remember several of the Caudill children, from what time I stayed with my parents. Dixie was such a beautiful woman. The family has dwindled like mine has.
My first cousin Gracie Widner, who resides in New Tazewell, Tenn., is in serious condition. Time and distance have separated us, and we have only seen each other a few times. It doesn’t mean that I don’t love my cousins. As most of you know, I have no siblings any more.
If weather permits Vicki Power and I are going to take an adventure to find New Tazewell, Tenn. If you don’t get a column in The Mountain Eagle next week, you will know I am lost somewhere. With the weather forecast this adventure may be delayed until next week.
Saturday, my granddaughter Jessica Nottingham was involved in archery. The archery team is in tournaments, held in Maysville. My daughter Anna Nottingham invited me to go with her and Kyle. Now I do not know one thing about archery, as this was my first time going.
My son-in-law Scott Nottingham is a coach for the team. After Jessica shot her last arrow, I looked towards Scott for some reason, and the smile on his face said something special had happened. Jessica shot a perfect 50, whatever that means.
The drive to Maysville was really nice as it has been several years since I have traveled AA Highway.
Johnny and Ann Calihan are doing well. Ann is still having problems with her finger, and she is on antibiotics to keep infection down as the doctor damaged the finger when he was trying to get her ring off. Ann is a diabetic and that in itself can cause an injury to have complications.
Their daughter Sue Wagner hasn’t been feeling well, as she has to go often for iron and blood transfusions. Sue won’t give up as she pushes herself more than she should.
I finally talked to Les and Pat Wagner, and they are doing well. They are both wanting to head for the mountains of eastern Kentucky when the weather breaks.
Belated happy birthday to John Ison, who is in his first year of college at Morehead. John and his brother James started reading my column at an early age.
Just one more month until March, and that means Carcassonne Community Center will be having square dances. Mike and Marcia Caudill, if weather and my health permits I will try to be there.
Well, it is past time to get this column on its way. Until next time, Rose Ballard, 9110 Lawrenceburg Rd., Harrison, Ohio 45030, email: Bluegrassmama4@aol.com.