Happy Mother’s Day!
Hey you guys, your turn next month.
I’m still trying to recuperate from my trip to the mountains I call home, which will always be home in my heart.
My computer quit working on me Thursday night as I was trying to write my column early. Anything that could go wrong seemed to happen to me, from dropping a large Mc- Donald’s sweet tea in the kitchen floor just as I was getting ready to walk out the door to start on my journey.
I thought I had more gas in my car than I really had. I didn’t want to take the time to go fill up, which would have saved me so much worry. When I did stop for gas is when I realized I didn’t have my bank card with me. I did find out what happened.
My last purchase was at Walgreens Pharmacy. I picked up a prescription, and the pharmacist placed my card in an envelope and stapled it to the bag. I always place things in a bag that has information on it, mail, etc., then my son Keith Ballard throws it in the burning barrel. Well, I have heard the saying of women burning their bras. I burned my bank card.
I called the bank to have a freeze put on the card. After I came home Tuesday afternoon, I stopped by the bank to get a new card.
I found out one way to save money. I didn’t want to use my credit card for trivial things, although I had cash with me, so I decided to buy what was important to me.
Before I left home, I was upset that I couldn’t finish my column for The Mountain Eagle. Keith asked if I wanted to use his cell phone to type and send it. That was almost enough to make me laugh, had I not been aggravated.
Keith suggested really came in handy, as he asked if there was a library in Whitesburg. He also got the name, number and location. Which was great, except another problem, Pam’s email address was in my computer. So, I decided to stop by the Eagle to see Pam, which is always a highlight of my visit.
Thanks to all for the assistance for me to be able to write my column last week
After arriving at Parkway Inn Motel, I called Marcia Caudill. She was on her way back from visiting Mike’s mother. Marcia invited me to come by for the long-awaited bonfire and marshmallow roast. I declined as I was worn out, and I knew Mike and Marcia had to be tired also.
I called Bernice Grubb to check on Buddy as he had been in the hospital for a few days, and Bernice asked me to ride up for a bit. After a short rest I did go to Buddy and Bernice’s as they aren’t that far from Whitesburg. Upon arrival I was in for a pleasant surprise as their grandson Mike was in the driveway. Mike is so tall I can stand under his arm.
I always enjoy spending time with Buddy and Bernice. I didn’t want to stay too late as I am having difficulty driving after dark.
Saturday was such a dreary day, I decided to stay in the motel. My room was upstairs and I could see the mountains. At the corner of the motel my vision drank in the beauty of a white dogwood, redbud trees and a pink dogwood all clumped together which I never get tired of seeing.
I discovered KETKY on television. I wish I could get this locally as I really do love that channel. Yes, I had driven all the way to eastern Kentucky and I was content to stay inside on such a rainy day. As bad as I hate to admit it, I really wasn’t feeling my best either.
Finally, the rain let up and I decided to go see my niece Sue Hall. Sue had a horrific burn and spent several days at Vanderbilt Burn Center in Nashville, Tenn. She was released a couple of days before I decided to go to the mountains.
I planned to meet Sue’s daughter April Elswick at Martha Jane Potter School, as I wasn’t sure where Sue lives. As I continued driving, the fog begin to get so thick, I decided to call Sue, then return to the motel. When I started to get my cell phone, I discovered I had left my phone at the motel. Needless to say, I had no choice except to meet April.
One good thing came out of this. As I followed April, who said she would drive slowly, I paid close attention to the turns. Now I can find my way and not have to bother someone to meet me halfway. I was never too familiar with the Neon area in my short years of living back home.
It was good to spend some time with Sue. I asked her to let me help her with anything she needed done, but Sue refused.
I would have liked to stay longer, but I was afraid of the dense fog. So again I returned to the motel room to enjoy the view and television. Oh yes, I was a wild and wicked woman.
Sunday morning arrived and it was such a beautiful day, I decided to take a ride. I rode down Smoot Creek to Roxana just thinking about childhood days, how my little feet had ventured in the trees, never thinking about snakes nor any kind of danger.
I decided to drive towards Mill Branch. As I got past Monroe and Ollie Whitaker’s house, a man had just got in his truck. I asked him if he knew if Wallace Whitaker was still living.
The man was George Whitaker, who remembered my dad and my brothers. It was such a pleasure talking to him a few minutes.
I continued on my venture towards Mill Branch. There was a small bunch of wild blue phlox growing on the bank. Now if someone had seen me crawling up the bank to try to get this wild plant, except this time I was thinking about a snake.
I succeeded in pulling up the plant, found a plastic bag in the car, and poured part of a bottle of water in the bag. Yes, it survived and is in my yard.
Afterwards I drove to the mouth of Mill Branch then back to Roxana, and went across the bridge up Kingscreek. I wanted to find Michael Ison’s place and to go up Paces Branch. Not knowing how the roads were since the flood, I didn’t attempt it.
My little Mountain Mama Alma Whitaker’s old homeplace is so neat looking.
I turned around at the Kingscreek Fire Department. When I got back to Roxana, I called Ann Calihan to tell her where I was.
I took the long way to Whitesburg by going through UZ and on to Whitesburg, then up Pine Mountain to the first overlook, then to Golden Apple, as I had to bring some half runner beans back to Ohio.
I finally to made it to Letcher Manor Nursing Home where I had an appointment to see Tommy Tindale. I have been in touch with Les and Tommy Tindale’s sister Pricie Rogan, who calls Illinois home. In fact I met Les and Alma several years ago.
When I arrived at Letcher Manor, I discovered it isn’t a face-to-face meeting, due to the coronavirus. The visit was only 15 minutes, which seemed like a second. Trying to push the talk button was difficult, which brought a lot of laughter from Tommy and me.
After the 15-minute visit I came away with such a good feeling. I thought I would be sad with the memories of my brother Wallace Lee Hall and my sister Loretta Church being there. I can still see Tommy’s eyes light up above the facemask while we were talking.
I hadn’t seen Tommy since we were children as he lived with his grandpa Walter Blair at Woodrock, and I would go visit my grandmother Betty Barton. Les and Tommy knew my uncles Boyd and Charles Barton.
My day didn’t end there as I went to visit Mike and Marcia Caudill. Yes, I finally got to sit by a bonfire, and we had marshmallows. Marcia had just fixed supper oh, the saurkraut and wieners, soup beans and cornbread looked so delicious.
Then Mike and Marcia built a fire. I planned to stay just a little while as I didn’t want to drive off the mountain in the dark. Mike was kind enough to drive in front of me in case I had to pass a car on that narrow, winding road.
There’s something wrong with the headlights on my Honda Fit, as the lights go towards the mountainside instead of the road, I am simply scared when I come off the mountain. Monday morning, I intended to go back to The Mountain Eagle office, and also meet up someone so I could get my niece Sue Hall something I forgot to give her.
I did meet Helen Roberts to pick up butterscotch pies to bring home with me.
By the time I got to the rest area at Slade Mountain, all at once I was so tired I knew I had pushed myself about as far as I could. After a long rest I drove the rest of the way without stopping until I reached my daughter Anna’s house. I arrived home at 4 p.m. I sure didn’t have any trouble sleeping Monday night.
Sunday was our Old Time Fiddlers meeting; we had a good crowd with plenty of good music.
Hello to Buddy and Bernice Grubb and Mike. I hope it won’t be long before I see you again.
Les and Pat Wagner, you crossed my mind several times as I know you are longing to go back.
Please, as I’ve said several times, keep Johnny and Ann Calihan and their family in your prayers.
Hayward Day I am glad you got to visit with Johnny and Ann.
My computer went down again, as something happened. The electricity went off for just a second, knocking the computer off and it wouldn’t come back on. I got tired of the aggravation, so I bought a new one. Now I am trying to figure it out.
Until next time, Rose Ballard, 9110 Lawrenceburg Rd., Harrison, Ohio 45030, email: Bluegrassmama4@aol.com