Whitesburg KY

Winter has arrived in Ohio Valley

Southern Ohio

Hello everyone! Finally winter has arrived in the Ohio Valley area. I can’t say I am jumping with joy; there’s no use of me wasting time complaining.

I live in an older home, which I have updated over the years to some aspect. Several years ago I had vinyl siding and new double-pane windows. I paid extra to have plastic inserts put in between the double panes to look as if they are separate blocks.

My computer desk is in front of my widow so I can see out as I sit here, which I dearly love. However, the windows let in cold air, which I can’t understand.

It brings back memories of a child growing up in the mountains, as Mommy would take old pieces of rags and “dob” under the windowsills to try to keep the cold air out, plus snow would seep in.

Many a night I would manage to pull a tad bit of rags loose, to feel the cold air on my face, even the snow. At the same time I had everything covered except my face.

I had to share a bed with my brother Wallace Lee and my sister Loretta Hall. I would make sure I slept next to the window. Mom couldn’t understand how the rags would get pulled out from under the window frame.

We never knew the luxury of the soft, warm comfort of a blanket, as Mommy would make quilts out of whatever scrap material she could find, then place something in between for lining if she had it, then would use thread to tack the quilts. Over the years Mom even made a quilt from worn out denim material, which was called overalls back then.

When Mommy passed away, there was one quilt she gave me, but I would never bring it home, as I know she liked it. My brother Jerry and his wife got the quilt. Actually Jerry tried to get me to bring it home not long before he met his untimely death!

Not long after his death, the quilt was destroyed among so many things that were Mommy and Jerry’s things also. Thank goodness Mom did insist down through the years that I bring a quilt home for me and each of my girls.

I have several beautiful comforters that I bought when I worked at J.C. Penney Outlet, and if you didn’t really know the difference they look like hand stitched.

Down through the years after all us kids were grown, somehow Mom found the luxury of an electric blanket. After she got over the fear, she really loved it as she would turn the blanket on just before bedtime so the bed would be warm. I have to admit I was a copycat.

When Jack and I divorced we were heating with the wood and coal furnace, which is still in the basement. After being gone all day and late at night, the fire would almost be out when I would get home at night.

I bought an electric blanket, which was so nice to sleep under. Just before closing the store at night my co-workers would talk about how good it would be to get home to their good warm homes.

Sometimes I would reveal my situation of having to push a wheelbarrow through the yard filled with coal, throw it in through the window, then go replace the board that separated the coal and wood and stack the wood until it reached the windowsill.

I did this for a couple of years then I had to get emergency surgery and couldn’t lift anything for quite some time, so I had a gas furnace put in.

The house was equipped with a gas furnace also when we bought this house, but no one had removed the old Sears wood and coal furnace.

There is no one except God above who knows what I have done to survive and be independent and not let my children know my situation. What am I saying? I haven’t changed to this day.

That statement isn’t exactly true, as when someone I was cleaning for had a tree cut down in her yard, I called someone in the family who had a truck and resources to help me, but they were too busy.

I called Johnny Calihan, who was here as quick as a heartbeat.

Now if there had been a cell phone with a camera it would have won an award of the funniest video, as Johnny and I figured out a way to roll the huge pieces of wood in the back of his pickup truck. Seeing me in the back rolling them to the edge of the truck bed so Johnny could stack them, and this wasn’t just one trip.

If my memory serves me correctly, it was several truck beds full, and the best I recall, Johnny had a cap on the back, which meant he was too tall to get in the back of the truck.

Now I know as Ann Calihan is reading this column she is laughing, as she knew Johnny was helping me. Enough of memory lane. I needed a break from so much sadness.

As most know Kenny and Wanda Whitehead had been in a very serious accident. Kenny improved enough to be released from the hospital, but he has a long way to go before he will be healed.

Wanda Lene Wat t s Whitehead, formerly of Premium or close, had to travel that last mile of her voyage here on Earth. Please remember the family in your prayers. Wanda leaves two sons that were the light of her life.

I understand that Wanda was a go-getter and a doer. Instead of waiting for someone to do, Wanda had it done.

My only regret is I didn’t really take the time to get to know Wanda better, as I sort of stay by myself when I am at Campbell’s Branch Community Center, except for dancing, then I will be pushy and say scoot over.

My sincere sympathy goes to Wanda’s family and friends as they lost a beautiful, special person.

I have become more acquainted this past year as a few have come to me. You might say I am the same way at Carcassonne Community Center.

As most readers know I have been going to Campbell’s Branch and Carcassonne for a few years. I will volunteer under Marcia Caudill, but I have never once asked if they need help at Campbell’s Branch.

If I lived close and was able I would be out in the yard trying to help Mike Caudill at Carcassonne Community Center, or inside helping Marcia paint if they would let me.

Please keep your calendar marked, as a benefit will be held for Kenny and Wanda Whitehead at the Blackey Community Center on Jan. 25 from 5 to 10 p.m. Three bands will perform; Will Caudill and Route 7 is among the bands. Please support this benefit by going or sending a donation. I want to attend, but it depends on my health and of course the weather.

Wanda was so loved that people had to stand in line at the funeral home for hours. My, the outpouring of love must be some comfort to Wanda’s family.

My sympathy to Fred and Artemus Campbell and family, with the loss of their dad, Nub Campbell. Darlene and Alice Campbell, along with Fred and T., have become like family to me when I am at Campbell’s Branch Community Center. Please keep the family in your prayers.

Jack Adams spent a couple of days in Whitesburg Hospital with AFIB. His heart started beating 220 beats per minute. I almost had to nail my feet to the floor to keep from heading out the door when Jack messaged me that he was in the ER at Whitesburg Hospital.

The weather was predicted with freezing rain in this area. There are too many miles to the mountains from here, so I was afraid to try to take a chance to travel

Jack is supposed to be released Monday. Jack may just be a cousin, but I love this young man like a son.

Hello to Les and Pat Wagner. I hope all is well with you two.

Johnny and Ann Calihan are trying to adjust to life as best as they can. Sue Wagner is still having a lot of health issues. I wish some way that Sue could get a liver transplant. Maybe it would help her.

I had a couple of things I finally took care of. After postponing a couple of tests, my blood work is all right, and I haven’t heard back from my mammogram.

My DEXA Scan wasn’t what I wanted to hear, as I have a severe case of osteoporosis, in my spine and hip areas. As of today I have to make an appointment with a specialist. I am told that with a hard sneeze you can fracture a bone.

I am going back to dancing if my ankle ever heals. If I have to hold hands with someone to keep from falling, I am going to dance again

There are times I want to throw up my hands and say, “Why me, Lord?” Then the thought says why not me? I have overcome so much and have survived when others are in much worse condition than me.

We are all in this journey called life, so if God gives me the strength and blesses me, I will just gripe a little, rest a little, and try to continue to help anyone I can.

Yes, to some’s dismay, I may even cuss a little. I’m sorry, no, I don’t think cussing shows low intelligence. Better to cuss than whop someone upside the head.

Happy birthday to my grandson Kyle Nottingham on Jan. 20.

Happy belated 14th birthday to Brooklyn Brown on Jan. 19. Brooke is my niece and Sue Hall’s granddaughter.

Hello to one of the most special guys that I’ve ever met, Hayward Day. Several months ago I didn’t think Hayward Day would even survive and now he is able to drive. He had a very good Christmas as he was able to spend a couple of weeks with his beautiful daughter, Kim.

Well, time is running out on me. I have an errand to do and it is almost 0 degrees in this area.

As if I don’t have enough aggravations, I did something stupid, as I sat a cup of beverage too close to my computer. I accidently spilled it, ruining my keyboard. For a couple of days I was without a computer, but thank goodness my daughter Angie had an extra one. I have a laptop, which wouldn’t come on.

A month ago I had to get a new phone, as this one is a piece of junk. I waited too long to take it back, but when I am using it the volume drops and I have to recall or vice versa. I have been limited with communicating, but I still have a landline. It hasn’t been used in such a long time it isn’t working.

Hello Mike and Marcia Caudill, I’m really looking forward to March, as the Carcassonne Community Square Dance is supposed to start.

Until next time, Rose Ballard, 9110 Lawrenceburg Rd., Harrison, OH 45030, email; Bluegrassmama4@aol,com.

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