Whitesburg KY
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Trip to D.C. finally happens after postponements

Southern Ohio

Hello everyone!

As I start this column I can see the luscious green hayfield. There are five beautiful redbud trees that have bloomed out in the last few days, my feet are wanting to head to the mountains, as they are calling for me.

I have a couple of things that take precedence over anything I want to do just for pleasure.

Monday morning my son Keith Ballard was to have a procedure done at a hospital in Cincinnati, Tuesday I had to work, Wednesday I have a test done, and it never ends.

I have been informed the redbuds are in bloom in the mountains.

My daughter Anna Nottingham planned a surprise trip to Washington, D.C. a year ago for a Christmas gift, we were to go in April. With the coronavirus it was cancelled, another trip was planned in June, that was cancelled also, a new year came around, the trip was once again cancelled this year.

While Anna, Kyle and I took the trip to Lexington Cemetery a couple of weeks ago, Anna said we were going to Washington, D.C.to see the cherry blossoms, as we were going on a road trip.

Wednesday morning I arrived at Anna’s at 6 a.m., then Anna, Kyle and I set out on our journey to D.C. The weather was perfect; it was a nine-hour trip.

I had to laugh as I was on my way to Anna’s as I pass through three states in about 10 minutes. I live in Ohio, go through the edge of Indiana, go across the bridge and I am in Kentucky, starting on our journey to D.C. Anna had to to leave Kentucky and go through Ohio again, so I made a complete loop.

I’ve been to Columbus, Ohio, however the rest of our trip was a first for me. The scenery was amazing, as the Bradford pear trees graced the side of the highway.

There was one disappointment. Kyle discovered he had left his favorite game called Switch, however he had picked up his tablet or iPad whatever it is called, so he still had something to occupy his time.

Anna is an excellent driver. Not once did I feel the urge to step on the brake on my side of the van, as I have a habit of doing when riding with someone else driving.

As we entered West Virginia and on to Pennsylvania then Maryland, it seemed the time flew as different states enfolded. Maryland is a long drive. One thing about it, you better have a tank of gas and make sure to make a pit stop at a bathroom as there are not any exits.

Anna stopped to get gas in Pennsylvania off the beaten pat. The GPS directed us on a scenic road, and I could have sworn we were in Kentucky as it was sort of rugged. Again, the scenery was good.

Everything was going great. We had been on the road a few hours then I felt a sensation. I knew what was happening. I checked my sugar and in a few minutes it dropped to 53. I carry glucose tablets in the pocket of my jeans, so I don’t have to search in my purse.

Anna asked if I was alright so I replied I will be in a few minutes, and it passed as quick as it hit me.

I made sure I had peanut butter crackers, and thought I was alright for the trip as I had been nibbling on crackers. There’s no foolproof way as I can’t keep enough nutrition in my system.

After arriving in D.C., Anna decided since it was early we do some sightseeing. Anna sat in traffic about half an hour waiting to get into the area called the Tidal Basin, which would have been so beautiful. As luck would have it with the mild weather, cherry blossoms decided to bloom early.

However it was still awesome as there were a few blooms, plus tulips and daffodils were in bloom.

We parked and strolled around for quite some time. Anna drove to the Capitol and the White House, which was behind a barricade of a high black fence with guards.

You can see all this on television, but when you see it in person, you realize as you look at these beautiful buildings what some idiots have damaged and taken away from the public to enjoy.

There are such beautiful buildings in D.C. The designs and structure of the buildings, the trees and flowers were awesome, everywhere you looked. I was so amazed to see so many redbud trees, and dogwood, both white and pink. If you only take time to take notice there’s so much beauty to see and enjoy and it doesn’t cost anything.

Anna reserved a room at Hyatt Place Hotel; we were on the eighth floor. When we first arrived, Kyle was in for a disappointment again, as the pool was closed due to the pandemic. Try to explain that to a 10-year-old that had his heart set on swimming.

Anna pulled in a parking garage, where you paid by the hour, by mistake. When we checked in the hotel had a garage of its own, which was expensive but cheaper than the regular garage, as you would have to pay each time you decided to exit.

I learned a lesson in traveling to a large city. You sure can’t find a parking space to go to a restaurant, plus what food you choose may have the same name, but it doesn’t mean it is the same food.

When you order food to be delivered to your hotel room, it is delivered by someone riding a bicycle. Yes, everything was intact.

Thursday was a busy day, as we sat out to explore. Thank goodness Anna has been to D.C. a few times so she knew some of the places we went to. She also did research and found a few places she had never gone to.

We went to the Vietnam Wall to see my cousin Stevie Ray Gibson’s name. As we got to the entrance, it was closed as they were doing construction work. Anna was afraid I would be disappointed because the cherry blossoms were almost gone. The disappointment was much greater not being able to go visit the Vietnam Wall.

There was a gift shop, to which of course Anna and I both made a good contribution. Kyle used his own money to purchase a key chain for me, without me knowing.

We went to the Lincoln Monument, which was amazing to see. there a body of water called the Reflection Pool; it was so pretty.

Anna planned a trip to Arlington Cemetery. She was given wrong information about handicapped parking, which meant we had a distance to walk. Anna had rented a wheelchair and insisted it was too far for me to walk. As we got to the entrance, we were told by someone I wasn’t allowed in because I had worn my face shield. I needed a mask with the face shield. Anna explained I had health issues of not being able to breathe with a mask. Anna wasted her breath, as the employee could have cared less.

We found out there is a rule: do as I say, not as I do. One employee had her mask only covering her mouth, not her nose.

Needless to say, we didn’t go to Arlington Cemetery, as Anna got aggravated and we left. I had masks in my purse, and later I put a mask in my pocket just in case I ran into that problem again. I believe someone let a little authority go to her head. It wasn’t worth causing a scene, and it was such a beautiful day we found other things to do.

Friday, Anna had reserved a tour of George Washington’s mansion, we arrived earlier than the tour. Anna insisted on taking the wheelchair. I resisted the offer, then when we got to the entrance, the lady advised Anna that she would recommend a wheelchair as there was a lot of walking, which Anna already knew. So yep, I had to ride in a wheelchair for a while. Then I walked a distance, holding to the wheelchair for assistance.

A couple of years ago Anna had a mild heart attack, which left a tad bit of complications, so I was concerned about her. Kyle was such a help in making sure I didn’t fall; he also pushed the wheelchair. George Washington owned 8,000 acres. It is hard to comprehend, back in those days, of someone owning that much land, not to mention all that George Washington had.

The tour guide was so informative, plus there was so much to read. To keep heat in the mansion, slaves had their quarters where the fireplace was. There was a pallet on the floor, and some slave had to be awake at all times to make sure there was heat all the time, day and night.

This sort of reminded me of growing up in the mountains of eastern Kentucky, how Mommy would bank a fire in the fireplace at night to have a small amount of heat.

Forward to today of furnaces that you flip a switch you have heat or electricity .

Kyle, who is 10 years old, was curious and impressed by the coach that was pulled by horses for transportation.

This was such a delightful trip for me. Anna found some beautiful parks for us to explore. I have never seen so many times of trees and flowers in my lifetime that I’ve been able to experience. I wanted holly branches with the red berries at Christmastime. I didn’t get any at Christmas so I broke off a small branch.

Kyle begin to get tired, and when day was over Anna decided to have supper delivered. So she did research again, and she ordered food from Panera.

I was a party pooper, as I fell asleep at 7:30 pm. I didn’t realize I was exhausted.

Saturday morning, we set out on our return home, Anna works at the Christmas Tree Store in Florence. Again, Anna did research, and there was a Christmas Tree Store in Hagerstown, Md., so of course we made a detour to the store. I bought a couple of things, since I didn’t need anything.

The weather was nice until we got deep into Maryland, where the fog was so dense, you couldn’t see anything except a couple of feet in front of you, and nothing on the side. There wasn’t even one car except us; it was a relief to get out of that mess.

Rain held off until we got into the Columbus, Ohio area. Anna said she doesn’t complain about it raining as the plants and animals need the water. All I can say is I am thankful she is a good driver, and she was doing the driving as I have reached the stage I don’t like driving in the rain. To drive in the rain at night is almost impossible for me to do.

The trip home took longer as we stopped a couple of times. When we finally got to Anna’s, Scott wanted me to go eat with the family. I declined as I wanted to get home in between the rain, except I felt my sugar drop again. As I checked it was 72, once again I had to use glucose tablets, ate a piece of chocolate candy, which backfired on me, before I reached my house which is only half an hour away. I was so sick, I barely made it in the house, and remained that sick all Saturday night and was still very sick Sunday morning.

I wanted to write about the upcoming adventure, however I don’t like to put when anyone is going to be on vacation.

Thanks to Anna for such a delightful trip.

Sunday was Old Time Fiddlers. I really didn’t think I was going to be able to do all the things that I have to do.

Daphne Korner, a friend and a member, had sent me a message while we were in D.C. offering to make goulash for the meeting. You can bet I was glad she did, as it would have been difficult although I would have managed to fix it. We really had good music at O.T.F.

Hello Buddy and Bernice Grubb and their son Chuck, and I can’t forget Mike who reads my column.

Mike and Marcia Caudill, do you have a bag of marshmallows handy? You never know who may be calling.

Les and Pat Wagner, I wish we could get together and head for the mountains, as I know your hearts are wanting to go.

My niece Sue Hall had an accident at home. Sue is severely burned on both legs, and at the present she is in Vanderbilt Burns in Nashville, Tenn.

Johnny and Ann Calihan are having a small complications. Their daughter Carol Dieckman is having health issues also.

Their daughter Sue Wagner is like me, as she has gastroparesis. She can be feeling great, and in the next instant so sick you can’t hold your head up.

Well time is catching up. Until next time.

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