Whitesburg KY
Partly sunny
Partly sunny

Tubs were used for washing clothes and bodies

Southern Ohio

Hello again, everyone! Happy Thanksgiving to each and every one of you! It really doesn’t seem possible that it is time for the holidays once again.

I thought all the beautiful colors of the leaves had gone, however as I travel on some country roads, there are several trees that have turned the most beautiful scarlet colors, along with the burnt orange and golds. With the background of the grass, which is as green as spring, it is breathtaking.

Have you got plenty of firewood set aside? This is getting to be cooler weather now. I do really dread the next few months.

While I was doing my son, Keith Ballard’s, laundry, I presoaked his white things in Clorox. As the smell of bleach drifted through the bathroom, once again the thoughts of home and growing up in the mountains at Roxana came chugging through my mind.

As most women did, Mom (Ora Hall) would have to do the wash on a washboard. She used two washtubs, one to wash and one to rench (rinse). Mom would sometimes wash and bleach in the same tub, then pour out that water and wash the colored clothes. Sometimes she would just have managed to get three tubs, one each to wash, bleach, and rinse. In her rinse water Mom would add something called bluing to make the clothes look whiter.

I can say more isn’t better when you used the blue stuff, as I would catch her away from the washtubs and pour a little more so I could see the pretty blue water!

I have a glass washboard hanging in my bathroom. Do I use it? No, I don’t! However I could if I had too! I do know what it is for! The old laundry tubs were our bathtubs, as so many other people can recall!

One morning as I was getting ready for my shower, I smiled to myself as I reached for the Aussie shampoo I was using at the time, then I used my creme rinse. I also had oatmeal body wash, and of course I have a special sponge that my daughter Kay got me in Florida.

I got to giggling to myself. What happened to the once-aweek bathtub in the kitchen, shivering in the winter ( still shiver no matter how warm in the winter). Mommy had a bar of orange or coral soap she used sometimes.

I washed my hair in the soap I used to wash my body with. Someone did tell me that a little vinegar added to a glass of water poured over my head would make my hair shine. I also heard that a can of stale beer was a good rinse. Now who ever had a can of stale beer? That was precious commodity! A staple, it couldn’t be wasted for a creme rinse.

Rainwater was and is still good to wash your hair in. Several times while traveling back through the mountains when I see a huge stream of clear water coming of the mountain side, I actually wish I could pull over and wash my hair. Notice I didn’t say clean water, though it does look clean.

That is the same as starting your day with a cup of coffee. How many remembers your parents or even yourself having a wood and coal cook stove in your kitchen? After you got the fire going, you put on a pot of coffee. Most coffee was drunk black, some preferred coffee with cream, usually Carnation or Wilson canned cream or milk. As I mentioned before in my column, Mommy and Grandma Hall always threw away the inside of the coffee pot. The grounds went to the bottom of the pot, oh the smell was so good as the coffee started boiling. To this day I’d rather smell the coffee than drink it. The most used brand in our home was JFG; I still remember the little pound bag.

I do drink a cup of coffee occasionally. I prefer a flavored creamer and Sweet and Low. Coffee makes me very jittery.

How I long sometimes for things to be much more simple now, as they were back years ago. I am seriously thinking about shutting my cable off and getting rid of the television, going back to reading more! Except I would miss my soap shows. My life is like a soap opera. I have been thinking about writing another book. Would anyone be interested if I do?

Did you hear on “Inside Edition” where some rich man had 50 girlfriends? He sure must have been one busy fellow!

I received a note from Arlyn Halcomb, who has not been feeling her best. My sympathy goes out to Clarence and Arlyn Halcomb and their family. A couple of weeks ago two of Clarence’s younger sisters came to visit them. They both are suffering losses. His sister, Eva, lost a daughter to cancer and the other, his sister, Zam, lost her husband.

My friend, Shirley Wells of Clarksville, Tenn., had the pleasure of seeing a double rainbow. Shirley says that was the first one she could recall ever seeing. I have seen several in this area; they are few and far between

I have been having car trouble for sometime. I have a thumping in my car, and my son, Keith, put in a new wheel bearing as he thought that was the problem! It wasn’t, so now I have the expense of the wheel bearing. I wish I had a horse; it has been such a dry season I couldn’t afford the hay! Shirley and I were discussing automobiles. She said years ago all you need was some bailing wire and you could fix most anything!

I have a ’94 van with a busted window. I think the glass place must have made the glass from scratch, so I am unable to drive it.

My friend who prefers to remain anonymous suggested I go to the junkyard and get a bay window for the van. I asked her what was I supposed to do with it. I can’t put it in! I have insurance, it is just taking too long to get it done!

My brother, Richie Hall, is having his share of car trouble, too. I believe Wanda has been out drag racing since the transmission has gone out in her car. Just kidding, Wanda.

When I was at Richie and Wanda’s during my sister, Loretta’s, surgery, Wanda followed me across Cowan mountain and she did tell me later I did drive a little slow. That made me laugh because she can hug those curves better than me. I had a couple of people pass me like I was sitting still. Of course they had to go around me on a double yellow line. I had rather drive slow and get there in one piece. I don’t let grass grow under my feet around here, and I must admit I have paid the price with a ticket.

Gwen Huff Farmer is expecting her son, John Farmer, to come for a short visit as it is deer hunting season. John’s wife, Sonya, won’t make it on this trip. I am sure Gwen will have a good visit.

Shirley Wells will be spending Thanksgiving with her family.

Ann won’t let Johnny take a nap as she is getting ready for all her family for a feast on Thanksgiving. Maybe she will have room for one more!

I talked to Loretta. Her daughter, Sue Hall, is supposed to take Loretta to their house for Thanksgiving dinner. Thanks once again to Junior and Loraine Kuracka (Crockett) for all they do for Loretta.

My brother, Wallace Lee, and his wife, Georgia, share a room now in Letcher Manor. I don’t know what room number it is.

My brother, Jerry, had to go to Pikeville for some tests. Jerry and Mattie enjoyed an evening at the Appalshop seeing a bluegrass band called the Grascals.

I always close with the statement that old clock on the wall is trying to catch me. Since it almost morning, I think I am ahead of it. You might say a sleepless night.

Happy Thanksgiving and don’t eat too much. Check to see if your neighbor has something good, though some of them may be eating better than you as there are so many free food places it seems.

Until next time. Rose Ballard Durham, 9110 Lawrenceburg Road, Harrison, Ohio 45030, email Bluegrassmama4@aol.com, 513-367-4683.

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