Whitesburg KY
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Time to pull out long johns


Happy fall everyone! It is now officially fall, time to start pulling out those long johns you’ve tucked away for a few months. We had a few chilly nights this past week when I have been tempted to turn on the furnace. I dread the propane gas bill during the winter months.

Which brings to mind life growing up as a child in the mountains of eastern Kentucky.

Dad and Mom were renting houses that the snow would blow in through the cracks under the window. Mom would take old rags and tear them into strips to keep the wind and snow out.

Fireplace in houses kept you from freezing to death, yet was never enough warmth. At night the fire was banked. Mom would put coal on the fire then put ashes to smother it down , that way it would keep fire all night.

In the morning Mom would take the poker and flip it through the grate of the fireplace so the fire could get some air then it would start burning again.

Thank God we managed to survive through several years in houses without a furnace. In fact, as memory goes back, the house I have owned for 45 years is the first and only house that we ever lived in with a furnace.

For a few years we had a gas furnace but it went bad, and the house also has a Sears wood and coal furnace in the basement, which is still intact. Now that was a hard job to bring wood and coal into the furnace during the long cold winter months, but it was the warmest my house has ever been.

Southern Ohio

We really take so much for granted as we have so many modern things in our life, the comfort of a warm house, walking to a sink and turning a knob to have running water, a stove that we don’t have to build fire in to cook our food, the convenience of bathrooms that we don’t have to run out back to a little house when nature calls.

I lived this life when I was a child, and for a few years after Jack and I were married. Now that I am older the memories are there, but I know I am not able to do the things that I once could do.

The Letcher County Picnic has come and gone, and due to illness we had a small crowd this year. When I went over to the Harrison Community Center to sweep the shelter, Johnny Calihan beat me there and Johnny was sweeping. This is a date that Johnny and I have each year. I am so thankful for the help I get to keep this little get-together going.

Those in attendance were Johnny and Ann Calihan, Hayward Day and his beautiful daughter Kim, Wayne and Lettie Blair, Jim Wagner, Polly Ison Maucher, Don and Betty Back, and me. Thanks everyone for coming and for all the delicious food that was prepared.

Betty Back has an album with pictures of each time that she and Don have attended. It was hard to look at the pictures as we have lost so many since I started this event.

There were pictures of Clarence and Arlyn Halcomb. Clarence had brought a wooden chain that he had carved with each year on each link it, and several different things he brought to share with the group

Bob Bryant was faithful to attended. Vivian Day would make delicious peanut butter fudge to share. Bill Ison brought enough of his special corn, and leftovers to bring home. Betty Ison enjoyed the times that she and her husband Doyle could attend.

My sympathy to Jim Wagner who lost his wife Dee a month ago. Dee enjoyed coming to the picnic.

We really missed Les and Pat Wagner, Becky and Polly Hasty this year. Pat has been very sick sometimes. Pat was planning on coming and couldn’t make it.

I will say again, when a group of hillbillies get together there’s enough food to feed an army. Ann Calihan and Lettie Blair brought banana pudding. Yes I ate a tad bit of pudding. I figured it would burn my stomach, but oh it was so delicious.

If God is willing we will try it again next year.

Hayward Day brought two buckets of pawpaws to share. Hayward has a couple of pawpaw trees that his son got at a nursery. Hayward does something right as they seem to really bear good.

Sunday I was in for a surprise as Hayward and Kim brought me a bucket of pawpaws. Now he may be getting a visit from me before the end of pawpaw season.

I remember when I was a child that Grandma Rosa Hall would wait until it would frost before they were ripe enough to eat. Thanks to Hayward for sharing with everyone.

This year I stopped at the pawpaw trees that I discovered a few years ago, and there were only two pawpaws that I brought to Ann Calihan. Now if I could only find a persimmon tree.

How many of you readers remember the taste of persimmons? I do know with this particular this delicacy, you do have to wait for a frost before you eat a persimmon or your mouth will pucker up.

Friday afternoon. my daughter Angie Wiederhold had an appointment in Cincinnati, so I picked my sidekick Bennie up at the bus stop.

We ventured to McDonald’s for food, then went to Fernbank Park for a picnic. This was a three-hour picnic as Bennie really enjoyed playing with kids at the park.

I was getting tired so I said to Bennie that his mom was probably wanting us to come home. Bennie replied that he thought his mom needed a break from him. So we stayed for three hours then I had to leave as I was simply worn out and Bennie had schoolwork to do.

Belated happy birthday to my daughter Kay Gray who was 55 years old on Sept. 30.

Saturday afternoon, Kay and Jodi took Kay’s threeyear old grandson Christian Gray, along his mother Katie, to a pumpkin festival. They went on a hayride and then to pick a pumpkin up to bring home. Christian kept turning the pumpkins over, saying no, not that one it is dirty. He would not select one as they all had a little dirt on them

I think Kay enjoyed the hayride more than anyone. Her dad and I took the kids on a hayride when they were young; evidently she had forgotten.

Mayking Fire Department is selling cookbooks to help the fire department, so please support this worthy cause as you never know when you need their help.

Don’t forget the Kingscreek Fire Department is having a bluegrass show Oct. 6 at Kingscreek Community Park. Sunrise Ridge and Will Caudill & Rt. 7 bands will be performing. I wish it were possible that I could be there.

If you can’t attend you can make a donation to the Kingscreek Fire Department by sending a check or dropping it off at the fire department.

Well I hate to run off but the clock is catching me. Until next time, Rose Ballard, 9110 Lawrenceburg Rd., Harrison, Ohio 45030, email Bluegrassmama4@aol.com.

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