Whitesburg KY
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Season’s last square dance at Carcassonne


Hello everyone! Welcome to winter. Is it cold enough? Oh how I am longing for those hot summer days. Seriously I am just thankful that we haven’t had worse weather so far.

As some of you know, once again my feet took over my thinking as I’ve seriously lost my cotton-picking mind. Wednesday morning I finally had an endoscope at Good Samaritan Hospital in Cincinnati, and it was one of the easiest scopes that I’ve had, as the gastroenterologist, Dr. Max, had the anesthetist give me a light dose of medicine.

Several years ago he had to stop the procedure as my oxygen level dropped too low and they had to stop as it was dangerous.

I have Barrett’s Esophagus, which is pre-cancerous cells in my esophagus. Nothing has changed and everything else is good, except the hiatal hernia is back. Right now I am all right

Due to a change in schedule, Old Time Fiddlers was postponed until Sunday, Nov. 18.

Carcassonne Community Center was having the last square dance of the year, and will resume on the second Saturday in March, 2019.

Of course my heart, soul and feet started yearning, and the mountains were calling me, and yes I did go!

During a conversation with Vicki Power I told her what I was going to do if I felt like it. Vicki surprised me and said she would go with me. Vicki had spent most of Wednesday afternoon with me, so we made plans to go if I felt like it. I knew I was going to go if I had to draw Vicki a road map and let her drive. Just kidding.

Just like clockwork, I was very nauseated. A few things got in my plans, but I still managed to get what I needed together, and Friday morning at 9 a.m., I was at Vicki’s and we were on our way to the mountains.

It rained from the time we left Harrison, until we got to the motel. Sometimes with the rain from the traffic and the fog it was almost impossible to drive.

We stopped in Winchester to try to find a restaurant that would have soup, but of course that was impossible. I said to heck with this, let’s go to Wendy’s. I had the most delicious hot, fresh out of the oven, baked potato. Nope it didn’t agree with me, but it was still delicious. We were back on the road and about 1:30 we pulled in at Parkway Motel.

Southern Ohio

We rested for awhile, then we went to Campbell’s Branch Community Center as Sunrise Ridge was playing. A little rain wasn’t going to deter us from going.

Saturday, Sunrise Ridge was performing at Jenkins at a fundraising, and Vicki and I made plans to go. Instead, I decide to just take her on a drive. We started out by going to Roxana to show the places I was born and raised for 13 years.

We drove to and through Whitesburg, and then we had to refuel so we stopped at McDonald’s for sweet tea. Then I drove across Pine Mountain, and we pulled off at one overlook to see the beauty that beholds for eyes to see.

Vicki was amazed by the way the mountains had been cut out, and she asked questions that I couldn’t answer. I drove a short distance down the Cumberland side of the mountain. Like an inquisitive child Vicki asked where the road would lead you. I replied that I think I could get you to Tennessee, Virginia, and maybe even back to Ohio. After our beautiful ride, we stopped in Isom for a bite to eat, then back to the motel where Vicki took a short nap.

My niece Sue Hall along with Sue’s granddaughter Brooke, Hannah, Kaya and Izzy, all met us at the motel and then we set out for Carcassonne Community Center. When we arrived at the center Vicki said it was beautiful, and when we walked in the place Vicki said, “I love this building.”

The supper menu was spaghetti with meat sauce, along with salad and bread, drink and dessert. The food was fresh and hot, and the steam was rolling off. I was in a rush and forgot my yogurt, so I skipped supper.

When the music started I sat out the first dance as I was sort of tired, then I danced and danced some more.

Brooke and Hannah are 12 years old, and had never seen square dancing, much less been to one or tried to dance. Those two girls did a great job. Brooke played the part of the guy. She got in the circle next to me and they were very observant and caught on real fast.

Before the evening was over, they told Sue they wanted to come back in March and not miss any of the dates. Yes my heart overflowed.

When Sue was very young my sister Loretta Church and Sue spent a couple of weeks with Jack and me. Jack and I were into Western style square dancing back in the 80’s. Sue remembers herself and my youngest daughter Anna dancing over in a corner where they weren’t in the way. Now it’s her granddaughter and her nieces.

Before you get into Isom, there’s a huge, beautiful Christmas display on the side of the hill.

Vicki enjoyed herself so much she is talking about a return trip. She was curious about the coal seams in the mountainsides, and the purpose of the use of coal. I laughed and replied that I was going to invest in an iPad or small computer to be ready to answer questions the next time.

Sunday morning as usual I was wide awake at 4 a.m. We slept with the TV on and I watched Hallmark Movie Channel until Vicki awoke. I was wishing I had picked up my small personal flashlight so I could write, as I didn’t want to turn the light on and wake her.

We left Whitesburg at 9:30 a.m., and arrived at Harrison at 5 p.m. As I hit Hazard Bypass, Vicki asked if Hazard was a big place. I replied a little larger than Whitesburg, and as she asked questions I decided to drive back through Hazard to let her see for herself.

Meantime I remembered the Mother Goose house, so I stopped strangers on the street to ask directions, and a man pulled it upon his phone. Now it’s been about 20 or more years since I’d seen this beautiful creation. We finally found it, and Vicki was so amazed with it she sent her granddaughter a text saying put in Mother Goose House, Hazard, Ky. Her granddaughter was on a trip with her church, so she did.

On the way down to the mountains it rained and Vicki was fascinated by the waterfalls cascading down. We even teased about wishing we had shampoo to wash our hair.

Sunday was one of the most beautiful days for traveling. We stopped at Natural Bridge for a bit, and then drove to an exit in Lexington to find a restaurant. We found a Cracker Barrel and couldn’t believe that we hit just the right time, as there was not one person in line. We were seated as fast as we went through the door.

Years ago Margie Kelly traveled a lot with me when I would go visit Mommy, and we would stop on the way back at yard sales, etc. Richie would call and tell me that he never seen anyone take eight hours for a four-hour trip. Well that was exactly what we did.

Yes, I am worn out. Would I do it again? Yes, in a heartbeat.

Coming out of Jackson the scenery was so gorgeous. Vicki started laughing and said we could climb on the hillside to sit and hang our legs over and watch the traffic as it passed. I replied, “Oh yes, when the police arrive I could say, well officer, we were tired and needed a break, now we need help getting down.”

Now I wasn’t the only one tired, as Mike Caudill danced almost every dance. I called Marcia to see if Mike was worn out saying I bet he slept good. Marcia laughingly replied, “Yes he did,” and actually he was taking a nap at the present time. Thanks, Mike, for dancing with me.

Now I had one tall person that literally picked me up like a rag doll and swung me around. After I quit being dizzy, I said I was going to kick him.

I love the Virginia reel except this time I got dizzy. Thanks, Mike and Marcia, for a few wonderful memories.

I’ve come to the realization as to why I am enjoying square dancing so much. I have regained confidence as it has been 30 or more years since I’ve square danced modern and Western style, and I listen to the caller and watch the other couples.

When I got home my son Keith had the front porch so pretty, as he took everything off and cleaned the green carpet. Now I did find a sink full of dishes. Oh well I can do them, as he spent the weekend working on his truck.

I talked to Ann Calihan to let her know I was home, and started to get nauseated right in the middle of our conversation. Ann is having some problems with her surgery, so please keep her in your prayers. Her daughter Sue Wagner is improving a little.

I forgot something I meant to write. I wanted to say thank you to all the veterans for all you have done to keep this country free. Thank you, Johnny Calihan.

While Vicki and I were at the restaurant in Isom, something happened that took me by surprise, yet it was such an innocent thing. A four-wheeler pulled up to the side window and riding it was a couple dressed in camouflage. The guy got his gun and tucked it away so no one could see it, but in the meantime when he picked it up it was in plain view.

I told Vicki that he was lucky that he wasn’t in Cincinnati, or someone would have panicked and called the police, as there has been so many shootings on the news.

To be honest it didn’t scare me, but it did make me stop and think of all that goes on in this wonderful world that is filled with evil people.

I haven’t talked to Les and Pat about their weekend get-away for their anniversary, but I know they enjoyed it.

Belated happy birthday to my granddaughter Katelyn Nottingham who celebrated her 15th birthday on Nov. 10.

Belated happy birthday to my son-in-law Scott Nottingham on Nov. 7.

I could write forever, but I have a busy day ahead of me.

Thanks, everyone at Campbell’s Branch and Carcassonne Community Center, for making Vicki Power feel so welcome, and especially Saturday night at Carcassonne for making my extended family of kids welcome.

Until next time, Rose Ballard, 9110 Lawrenceburg Rd., Harrison, OH 45030, email Bluegarassmama4@aol.com.

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