The Mountain Eagle
Whitesburg KY

Visiting with Oma Hatton

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone. I hope you all get a special box of candy, flowers, or are able to just enjoy a good day with your special someone.

I never knew what Valentine’s Day was growing up in the hills I call home, and I can remember during the early years of marriage when we didn’t have money for much more than a candy bar. I kept the first heart-shaped box of candy my husband gave me until it crumbled. Actually I loved the box more than the candy.

How many remember drawing a heart on a piece of paper when you were in school and then giving it to a friend?

Speaking of hearts, I once again let my heart and feet take over my thinking for me.

I knew I was physically not up to a road trip, but I knew I needed to get to the mountains to get some things done. So once again I packed a bag, left my house at 8:15 a.m., and I pulled in front of Dollar General in Whitesburg at 11:30 a.m. to pick up a few items I needed but didn’t take with me.

Now there’s a funny side to my trip as I decided to curl my hair, and with it being long, I waited too late to wash it, which meant it was still damp. I put a scarf over my hair, as I was tying it old-fashioned bandanna style. Anyway I wore it all the way to the mountains, and even walked into the Whitesburg Motel looking that way. By that time I was so tired I really didn’t care what I looked like.

My face is so familiar at the Whitesburg Motel I think that is my home away from home. The girls who work there must have decided to put their boss, Jimmy Asher, to work, as he was working when I checked in.

There are a few things I wanted to do while I was in Letcher County, but didn’t get done because I wasn’t feeling up to par. I did accomplish one thing this trip that was important to me. On Saturday morning I called Oma Hatton to make sure she was home.

Ricky Caudill and I went to visit Oma, and the next few paragraphs are for this special woman I am proud to call a friend.

I’ve known Oma several years through her column in The Mountain Eagle. I had never met her in person until my brother Wallace Lee Hall passed away a few years ago. Oma came to Letcher Funeral Home to meet me, and then a couple of years later Oma came to the Whitesburg hospital to be with me while I was visiting my brother Richie Hall, who was very ill at the time. A short time later, she made the trip to the little white church at Cowan to be with me at Richie’s visitation.

Seven months later, Oma was once again at Letcher Funeral Home to be with me after my only sister, Loretta Church, was called home. A year later, Oma was at Everidge Funeral Home to be with me as my brother, Jerry Allen Hall, took his final journey.

If a medal was given for the most caring person in others’ times of sorrow it would be given to this beautiful woman named Oma Hatton. What I admire most about this precious woman, mother, grandmother, greatgrandmother, is her honesty in all that she does.

There’s no pretense with Oma Hatton. If you see her one time, that is what you’ll see should you see her a thousand times. She has retained her mountain ways and her mentality is amazing, as she is in her eighties. I’m sure her family knows what a precious jewel they have. I am so thankful I’ve been blessed to make her acquaintance.

Southern Ohio

As far as myself, I may know a hundred people but I don’t let, except a few really get into my heart.

During our conversation, Oma mentioned how there are not many who visit anymore, as they seem too busy being on the contraption called Facebook. My personal opinion is Oma hasn’t missed very much, as Facebook is used for more than just friendship. It seems there’s a few heifers out there that use it as a pasture to hook up with what they think are bulls.

I guess it is a common thing to meet a stranger by saying, “Hi, are you on Facebook?”

After our visit with Oma, Ricky and I stopped by Deana’s on Route 7, as I had a cookbook on hold. Now I came away with a couple of things more than the cookbook.

We then went to visit Mike and Marcia Caudill, and went to lunch at a place called The Amish Grille at Hazard. I was able to eat a bit of delicious potato soup, which is somewhat different than any I’ve ever eaten. Actually it could have been broom straws and I would have enjoyed, as being in the company with Mike, Marcia and Ricky was special for me.

Afterwards we went to Big Lots. I think Mike and Ricky wanted to sneak a nap in the recliners. Later we met my niece Sue and her husband Mart Hall at Ponderosa.

On Sunday I headed back to the flatlands of Ohio without even having time to call Les and Pat Wagner to tease Les about being in the mountains. Les and Pat aren’t feeling good as they have the bug that’s going around.

Thanks again to Mike and Marcia Caudill for their great hospitality, and a special thanks to Mart and Sue Hall for taking such good care of me. A special thanks to Ricky Caudill for being my personal chauffeur, as I know he wasn’t feeling his best.

It was a very enjoyable time to me. I needed an escape and the mountains always provide that for me. The weather was cold, but so what? It is winter, and at least there wasn’t snow or rain.

Valerie Adams Ison, it was nice meeting you while I was in Letcher County.

Papa Joe Smith of Johnson Fork is very ill, and my heart goes out to the family. I met Ima Jean, who says we went to school together at Hot Spot. She is a little younger than me.

Happy birthday to Libby Day Smith.

Until next time, Rose Ballard, 9110 Lawrenceburg Road, Harrison, Ohio 45030.

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