Whitesburg KY
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Southern Ohio



Merry Christmas everyone!

I hope you are staying safe and using precautions when venturing to do things that have to be done.

It is beginning to look a lot like Christmas at our house. I finally managed to get the tree up and lights in place. I still have a few ornaments to put on the tree.

As I was looking through things, I remembered this has been a struggle for the past eight years or so. There are times I would like to get a real tree, except since it takes me so long to get the tree up I leave it up late in January. A real tree would be too dangerous.

I am glad that my son Keith Ballard has a door to his room, as he can come and go without coming through the living room. Keith is Mr. Scrooge when it comes to Christmas. I don’t know what has happened over the years, as he literally hates Christmastime, decorations, music and the whole nine yards.

He really surprised me as he did offer to help me with the tree, as he was afraid I would fall off the ladder. Plus I had to replace three strands of lights. Actually Keith offered to get me lights. You better believe I declined his offer.

Since the Hamilton County Park bought the land that joins my property then turned it into a wetlands, there are several small spruce trees in the field.

The trees reminds me of a Christmas when I was about 10 or 11 years old. Martha Mitchell asked me to help her with housework; I think I helped her a couple of days. I remember us scooting furniture out and mopping floors, and she paid me a dollar. Yes, I thought I was rich.

My cousin Bessie Jane Gibson decided to find a Christmas tree. We looked through the hillside and found a short needle pine tree. I had seen these trees when I would be out wandering the woods, and I loved this kind of tree. It had tiny pine cones, and the branches were so soft.

Bessie Jane and I didn’t a bit more know how to cut down a tree, and the only thing we had was Mommy’s axe. Of all things there was about a foot of snow on the ground, which didn’t stop us. We bundled up the best we could, but of course neither one of us had gloves, scarves nor boots. We did have hand-me-down coats.

As we were looking for a tree, we were so young we didn’t realize we were on Hiram Mitchell’s property. We finally found what we thought was perfect, and took turns chopping with the axe. While dragging it back home, I fell and hit my face on something. You could track me in the snow from a nose bleed. Luckily I kept using the snow to wipe my face or it would have scared Mommy to see me like that.

Now remember there wasn’t a tree stand because we never had a tree before, so I got a bucket and put coal in around the tree to hold it in place. I used the dollar that Martha paid me to purchase a string of lights and a pack of icicles. That was the first Christmas tree that we ever had. Mommy kept the lights and icicles for years.

Since I left home and was married so young, Jack and I didn’t have much money our first Christmas. Again there weren’t a lot of elaborate Christmas lights and ornaments.

There was a pharmacy, grocery store and everything combined in North Bend, not far from Cleves, Ohio, that gave credit. Yes, we charged a couple strands of lights, a couple boxes of ornaments, and a tree topper which is an angel. That same angel is still on the top of my tree at the present time. I have a few of the ornaments someplace.

When we let my sisterin law and her children stay with us over 50 years ago, her little boy ran through the house and somehow grabbed the Christmas tree, breaking most of my ornaments. Like the saying goes, no use crying over spilled milk. Yes, I felt like crying over my ornaments.

Over the years I have collected so much Christmas stuff. Yes, I am a hoarder

Sunday was Old Time Fiddlers Christmas party. I was torn in between having it or cancelling with the coronavirus running rapid. We used precaution of wearing masks, except while we were eating. The group wasn’t that large, more musicians than listeners, or about the same.

The food looked delicious. I ate one potato chip, which seemed to burn all the way to my toes. Please don’t believe the saying, no one can eat just one. Believe me, I did.

I had to run back to the house for something, so I heated some chicken noodle soup. While everyone enjoyed the good food, I ate a small amount of soup. Then I did the unthinkable, I ate a small sliver of chocolate pie and paid the price all night.

My granddaughter Jodi Gray Davison teaches second grade at Orion Academy got an award for teacher of the week. Jodi is gifted teacher. She sure chose the right profession. I didn’t realize that Jodi also is a Spanish teacher.

My granddaughter Jessica Nottingham is at Northern Kentucky University to become a music teacher and Spanish teacher.

To say I am proud of my grandchildren is an understatement.

Hello to Hayward Day and his daughter Kim.

Please keep Johnny and Ann Calihan and the entire Calihan family in your prayers, as they go through a difficult time. It is so devasting not to be able to help in the time that someone is going through something and you feel like your hands are tied. Their daughter Sue Wagner is having to go for iron transfusions frequently. Sue also has trouble with her stomach like I do.

Hello Les and Pat Wagner and all the clan.

Hello to Buddy and Bernice Grubb and a special hello to their grandson. Bernice, the Christmas card was so beautiful, thank you so much.

Hello Pricie Rogan. I hope before long we can find time for a good conversation.

I received an email from Betty Atkins of Rutledge, Tenn., saying how much she enjoys my column.

Due to not feeling well, I am running late.

Until next time.

Rose Ballard, 9110 Lawrenceburg Rd., Har r ison , OH 45030 email:Bluegrassmama4@aol.com.

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