Whitesburg KY

Surviving without electricity

Hello again! How is everything in your little corner of the world? Our weather in the Ohio Valley area has been hot but nice.

I am still worn out from the three days I spent at the Appalachian Festival at Old Coney. Actually it doesn’t take much to wear me out. If God is willing I will be back there again next year.

Mother’s Day is just a memory, but my flowers are still beautiful the kids gave me. My daughter Kay Gray gave me money to get flowers for the yard, plus she bought me six red geraniums that I use in the tire pots in front of my porch, and a pink vine for the back deck.

Thanks to Kay’s gift, I have planted flowers in places that I’ve never done before.

It has been a couple of years since I have been able to spend this much time in the yard and working this hard digging and planting flowers. Now to watch that my son Keith doesn’t get too handy with the Weed-eater. I noticed that he whacked down something that I had planted a few years ago that I dug up. It was a wildflower, and he thought it was weeds coming up.

For some reason thoughts of my childhood years of growing up in eastern Kentucky are in my thoughts. At times it seems as if I can’t go forward for thinking of bygone years.

How my grandmothers and Mom and so many before them survived what they did with no electricity, which meant no fans, and we never heard of a thing called an air conditioner. You opened the doors and windows, and had no screens for the windows and no screen doors in most homes. In later years when electricity came, I am sure some had fans.

No inside plumbing, so this meant a bucket for drinking water and a dipper that everyone used. Family and friends would drink out of it and put it back in he bucket.

In the winter the water would freeze in the bucket, and when Mom built the fire in the coal and wood cooking stove, she would place the bucket on the stove to thaw the water. Mom always had a tea kettle to heat water to wash the dishes in.

Southern Ohio

Doing laundry was a chore as water had to be packed from a well or spring, poured in a tub that had been placed over an open fire, then carried to pour in the tubs and you scrubbed the clothes on a washboard, and hung the clothes on a clothesline, regardless of the weather.

To iron the clothes, you used irons that were heated on the cooking stove, again regardless of the season. You used the cooking stove on hot days of summer as much as in the winter.

Which reminds me of something else, we had no furnace for heat. In most houses that my parents rented at Roxana, there was a fireplace. A fireplace is great to look at, but it doesn’t put off a lot of heat unless you are standing or sitting right in front of it.

I have read and heard of people sitting around the fireplace. Well in real life, Mom was too busy to sit in front of the fireplace and Daddy worked such long hours in the coal mines that he was bone tired too. I do remember the times that Mommy would throw some Irish potatoes under the grate and bake the potatoes, oh how good they were to us kids.

We never knew what marshmallows were growing up, but in later years Mom would manage to get a bag.

I remember the first peanut butter I ever saw. Some of the school kids brought a peanut butter sandwich to school. The only bread we had at home was cornbread and biscuits. If we had store bought bread, which was called “light bread,” it was for Daddy’s lunch.

Oh well back to reality. As I sit in my house, I only have window air conditioning in the living room. I have lots of modern things, but no central air, and that is by choice.

Sunday Johnny and Ann Calihan finally had the family home to celebrate Mother’s Day and Johnny’s birthday.

Belated happy birthday to Johnny Calihan on May 15. Johnny turned 91.

With the tragedy that hit their family of losing a greatgrandbaby, no one has been in the mood for anything. Their daughter Sue Wagner is still with them as Sue has to go for more tests.

Sue’s preemie twin grandbabies are improving. Their mother, Ashley, is at the hospital every morning and evening checking on them.

Sunday afternoon, I took a break from my yard and I went on a short adventure. My friends Warren and Judy Waldron play music outside at a historical church, Indian Creek Pioneer Church and Burial Ground, on Indian Creek Road, which is outside of Oxford. There was a short program before Warren and Judy shared their old timey music with the crowd. It is a beautiful setting. Warren and Judy Waldron will have their next jam session on June 24 from 2 to 4 p.m.

Seedtime on the Cumberland is June 1 in Whitesburg. I would love to go to this, but I think I had rather wait to see if Bill Meade is having the Kingscreek Bluegrass Festival, and maybe I can catch Sunrise Ridge on Friday night someplace.

Jim Cornett sent me information on Seedtime. Thanks Jim, but I think I will stay home, but then who knows where I may show up?

I haven’t talked to Les and Pat Wagner this week so I hope they are doing alright. I bet Les is busy getting his garden ready for the wonder produce that he grows.

My daughter Angie Wiederhold had an appointment recently, and I pray she gets good results. I don’t want to say anything right now as it is too early at this time.

My sidekick Bennie had his last concert at school. Angie forgot to call and tell me, and, yes, I am disappointed as Bennie will be changing schools next year.

I see the prison that is being built at Roxana, if Trump doesn’t stick his nose in something that doesn’t belong to him. It is not the inmates that I feel sorry for, it is the families, as I am sure there are lots of parents whose hearts break for their children, no matter what they have done.

I wanted to go to the mountains so bad for the Carcassonne Community square dance and Campbell’s Branch Community Center since Sunrise Ridge was playing, instead I volunteered at Appalachian Festival.

Someone posted a square dance with Mike and Marcia Caudill dancing, and it was great watching the video. It would have been better had I been there in person. I may be able to attend before too long.

Well, it is getting time that I get this on the way and start my day. Until next time, Rose Ballard, 9110 Lawrenceburg Rd., Harrison, Ohio 45030, email: Bluegrassmama4@aol.com.

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