Whitesburg KY
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Valentine’s Day is just around the corner

Blair Branch

Hello everyone! Had you given up hope that I would ever write again? Never fear, I always come back when life settles a bit. This one is especially for you, ‘Lil Aaron. Mom told me you mentioned I hadn’t written when you called. She stays right on top of me, but I’m a slacker. Actually, I’ve been sick the last couple weeks. A slacker before that though.

I hope this finds each of you happy, healthy, and warm. We’ve sure had some strange weather for January, haven’t we? One day it is warm enough to wear shorts, the next we have an ice storm, then floods, and now thunder snow! Punxsutawney Phil said we will see an early spring. I sure hope he is right!

Do you have special plans made for the love of your lives on Valentine’s Day? Hint, hint, to all those forgetful lovebirds out there . . . It is just around the corner, February 14.

A dear friend of mine has something to share and I told her I would put it put it in my column. “My name is Missy Shultz, I used to live in Letcher County, and have family who still do. For the year we lived there, we made so many great memories. I have never seen such beautiful mountains. I miss them. We rode fourwheelers, had cookouts, and fished. We created a lot of happy memories there. I hold on to those memories because I am fighting Stage 4 Lung Cancer. I’ve been fighting this battle for almost 5 years (on and off ) now. I am participating in a clinical trial taking chemo pills every day of my life to stay alive. I am making the most of every single day God gives me. I am thankful, I am blessed, I am loved. I am grateful. I was not a smoker, I have a genetic mutation that causes rapid growing tumors. The doctors tell me without these chemo pills, I will not be alive. God knows my future, and I trust in Him. I try every day to lift others up, to encourage people, to bring hope when things seem hopeless. God has spared me for a reason, and I believe THIS is that reason. In March I will be going to California, to make my dream, my Bucket List, come true. Thanks to friends’ and family’s generous donations. I am going to see a lighthouse and the ocean with my son and my husband. We are going to fly on a plane. I cannot wait. Make those memories, tell people you love them, take pictures, and make the most of every day God gives you! God bless! – Missy Shultz”

Missy has the best outlook on life. She is someone we can all learn from and aspire to be like. We are praying for you, hon. I hope you enjoy your trip. You deserve it.

Mom and Dad, Allen and Sylvania Whitaker, are doing well for the most part. Mom’s new kidney is working perfectly. We are so very thankful to God for this blessing. She has days when there is still some pain and now that her immune system has been wiped out she has to be very careful not to be around anyone who is sick in any way. But it is all worth it to have a chance at a normal life. Dad has been having some circulation problems in his feet and that is worrisome as he is a diabetic, but otherwise he seems to be doing OK. He isn’t one to complain, so he probably wouldn’t mention it if there was anything else going on.

Tonya Fields, daughter of Missy and Wayne Fields, turned 18 on January 21. We had a late celebration of cake and ice cream with the family on the 27th at Mom and Dad’s house. I simply cannot believe she is 18 already. You will go far, my girl! Auntie Jo is always here for you. Never forget that. I love you!!

Deidra and Sammy Gibson moved to Pikeville on Sunday. Even though we are only and hour and half from there, we are all devastated to be that far away from them and our little baby girl, Kylee. I know it is for the best as Sammy had to get a job over there, but it will still be hard for all of us not to be close to them.

Wilma Halcomb moved from the Hazard nursing home to Letcher Manor since the last time I wrote. She loved it at Hazard, but Letcher Manor is closer to her family and her daughter, Jamie Collins, works there. I’m sure she enjoys being able to see more people she is familiar with. She has been having problems with her kidneys and was recently put on dialysis. She is doing OK with it so far, thankfully.

Minnie Blair had to have part of her leg removed due to gangrene and has been having some problems with infection, but is back at Letcher Manor now. I pray she heals quickly. Minnie is such a sweet person, she deserves to have good health for a change.

Truman Caudill has been real sick. I don’t know all the details, but I know he needs prayer.

Also, please pray for my uncle, David Allen Blair. He has stage four lung cancer and hasn’t been doing well at all. Keep his wife, Joy Faye, in your prayers too. Missy, Opal, and I took Mom to Monticello to visit with him on January 21. We were thankful to be able to spend some time with him and Joy Faye, but just wish we could do something to help them out in some way.

We have lost several members of our community recently.

Steven Brian Hampton of Premium died on December 15, 2012 at the age of 41. Ellis Adams of Blair Branch died on Dec. 20, 2012 at the age of 83. Van Blair of Blair Branch died on January 6, 2013 at the age of 81. Aaron “Hank” Adams of Blair Branch died on January 7, 2013 at the age of 54. Connie Lynn Crase of Letcher died on January 19, 2013 at the age of 57. Please keep their families in your prayers through these rough times.

I’d like to wish a belated belated birthday to Tonya Fields on January 21; Dakota Combs, Larry Blair, and Tanner Blair, January 22; Laronda Adams, January 23; Willa Dean Halcomb, January 24; Rulah Whitaker, January 25; Tammy Whitaker, January 26; and Erica Blair, January 31. Kristie Adams, Montana Combs, and Stephen Blair will celebrate their birthdays on February 7; Gary L. Eldridge and Kharmin Johnson, February 9; and Annette Pollard, Derrick Watts, and Lena Dixon, February 10. Happy birthday to each of you. I hope your special day is filled with all the love and laughter in the world.

Heather and Frank Phillips celebrated their wedding anniversary on January 21, and Maurice and Becky Collie celebrated their anniversary on February 6. Happy anniversary to you all! I hope you have many more love-filled years together.

Concerned Citizens Against Drug Abuse is currently planning a prayer vigil and march through Whitesburg and is requesting that everyone participate if possible, especially churches. Drug abuse has affected someone in every family. Take a stand and get our families back from addiction! If you would like more information, please call 606-633-1441.

If I have left anyone or anything out, just let me know and I will be glad to get you next time. I hope everyone has a healthy and happy week. If you would like to contact me, feel free to give me a call or you may email me at alanacouch@hotmail.com.



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