Whitesburg KY

Spring has arrived in Ohio

Hello everyone! How was your Easter? I hope everyone had a great time with family and friends. It was a quiet day as it was just my son Keith Ballard and myself.

My daughter Angie Wiederhold and Bennie were supposed to come for dinner, but Angie wasn’t feeling well so she stayed home. It wasn’t one of my good days so I really didn’t mind a bit. I fixed a good meal for Keith, and then I was worn out.

It has been a hard day emotionally as my sister Loretta passed away six years ago on April 21, just seven months after saying a final goodbye to my brother Richie Hall.

Holidays really don’t mean much to me as I spent so many alone over the years. Plus with my not being able to enjoy food, I just as soon be alone as long as I am able to fix Keith a bite to eat.

Memories of former years at Easter time came flooding through my heart. The preparation would start long before Easter, as I shopped for the kids a new outfit, as when they were small I made the girls a little outfit. The night before Easter we colored eggs for the baskets, I always fixed my husband a basket. This continued for all the years we were married. Easter morning after breakfast we would get dressed and go to church.

I would fix a good dinner for us, and lots of times we would have some of his family for dinner. A few times we went to one of his sisters’.

As usual my parents never made an issue out of Easter, so I never knew there was such as a thing as an Easter bunny bringing an Easter basket. Actually during my childhood at Roxana I can’t recall anyone I knew having special times at holidays.

Regardless of what I didn’t have as a child, I wouldn’t trade my growingup years in the little place called Roxana. Those memories will never go away, and it has made me the strong person I am today.

I’ve been asked many times why I don’t move back to the mountains. There are several reasons, and first my family.

Spring has finally arrived in the Ohio Valley area. Redbuds are in full bloom, and forsythias are showing their beautiful, yellow color. My lilac tree is blooming. Even my poppies are getting small buds on them.

Nothing compares to the beauty that Vicki Power and I got see last weekend. My only regret was I don’t bother anymore to take a camera with me so I could share the beauty with Ann Calihan.

This has been such a special memory for me. You would think I’ve never been in the mountains at springtime. I wonder how many people that take beauty of the changing seasons for granted?

Saturday, I received a phone call from Vicki, asking if I had ever seen a black license plate that said, “Coal Keeps the Lights Burning.” I replied, “no.” Somewhere in Harrison, she had observed a license plate.

While we were going through Whitesburg, Vicki asked what is the population. Again I am sorry, I have no idea.

Johnny and Ann Calihan had a very special Easter, as all their family was able to be together. There were four generations for Easter dinner. The weather was nice so they put tables outside so everyone could enjoy eating out. Ann’s daughter Carol invited me but as much as I would have enjoyed it, I decided not to go.

Sue Wagner was able to come in from South Carolina. Sue has been sick ever since she has been home.

Saturday, there was a special birthday party celebrating the twin girls’ first birthday. This has been a rough year. God has been great the twins are finally out of danger and are both healthy little girls. So it has been a busy weekend for the Calihan family.

Frieda Boggs Johnson, who lives not far from Whitesburg, almost had a visitor as she showed what she was having with her Easter dinner. “Dryland fish,” as Mommy called them, other names are mushrooms, or morels.

When Frieda posted what time dinner was served, I told her I had plenty of time to get there. It seems there’s an abundance of these delicacies this year, by the posts on Facebook.

The first time that I recall hearing the words dryland fish, my parents rented from Vernon Hogg, which is between Roxana and Hot Spot (Premium). In the early spring Mommy would look a little ways in the mountain and sometimes find a few.

This time of year really takes me back to my childhood, as Mommy and Grandma would be out gathering wild greens to cook.

Each time I see the wild plant called “creases” growing with their yellow blooms, I can visualize both Mom and Grandma with a poke or kettle or anything available to put the greens in as they would look for “sallet,” and it was called sallet not salad.

I can remember some names such as speckled cock, creases, crow’s foot, and two varieties of plantain, and others that I can’t recall.

I wish I had paid more attention. Keith loves mustard greens from the garden, I know he would enjoy a mess of sallet. I wouldn’t dare to try to pick anything, as I would probably poison us both.

There’s a saying about taking the girl out of the mountains, not the mountain out of the girl, and it really holds true for me.

Carcassonne Community Center had some storm damage on the playground. A tree fell on a piece of play equipment. Thanks to some help for getting it cleaned up.

The fishing trip was a huge success.

Wednesday evening a cookout and an Easter egg hunt was held. My niece Sue Hall took Kaya and Izzy to this event. Mike and Marcia Caudill had as much fun after all the work was done as the kids who attended.

The event ended with a marshmallow roast. Sue said Kaya and Izzy were so tired they couldn’t even stay awake to take a bath when they got home.

I haven’t been in touch with Les and Pat Wagner since I’ve been home from my trip to the mountains. I’m sure they had a wonderful Easter with their family.

“The Mountain Minor”, a movie that is produced by Dale Farmer, is really getting great revues. If this comes anywhere close to you readers, please go see it as it is a beautiful tribute to the life of anyone who has any ties to the mountains.

Well, time is catching up with me, so I better get this on its way. Until next time, Rose Ballard, 9110 Lawrenceburg Road, Harrison, Ohio 45030, email Bluegrassmama4@aol.com.

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