April 16, 2014

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Along the Winding Roads

Along the Winding Roads 4/10/14 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Martha Ackerman   
Wednesday, April 09, 2014 2:17 PM

Good day to all! I guess if you have been reading my column the second week of each month, you know what I am going to talk about first. Yes, Doug, Kristyn, Kaelyn and Luke’s visit. It had been over a year since we had seen this little family and we loved spending the week visiting with them. Kaelyn, now five, and Luke, three, have grown so much. Each morning I was awakened with a little voice (Kaelyn) saying, “I love you, Grandma.” You grandparents know how wonderful that is to hear. Luke is not the morning person; Kaelyn is. She jumps out of bed and immediately wants to play or do crafts. We did a lot of both.

A typical boy, Luke likes his trucks and playing construction. Fred gave Luke a tractor and trailer he had made a number of years ago. It has a sign “Ackerman Trucking Service” on it and Luke loves it. It was one thing he wanted to take home, but unfortunately, Doug didn’t have room for it. Yes, it is pretty big and heavily loaded with wooden logs. We will be taking that to him when we visit. Yes, the first part of June we will be traveling to Dover, Delaware, for Luke’s fourth birthday, the first one we will be able to attend. He has celebrated the first three in Hawaii and, unfortunately, travel there is very expensive, so we have missed the kids’ birthdays since they have been across the Pacific.

The weather wasn’t very cooperative during their visit but we did go to Cabella’s where the kids liked looking at all the fish and wildlife. They especially liked the jungle display. It was a fun day. Kaelyn and Luke also enjoyed the snow. There was just enough to do a little sleigh riding.  There were a couple warm days when we played ball in the back yard and driveway. Luke is quite the slugger.

While Doug and family were here, we had several get together dinners with Fred, Kim, Haleigh and Ryan which was doubly fun. Then Doug’s boyhood friend, Steve Kirkland, came to visit with his wife Anne and son Carson. Doug and Steve have been friends since they were babies. Doug is Carson’s godfather and Steve is Kaelyn’s. The kids played great together and the adults had a great time catching up.

By the time you read this, Doug will have reported to work at Dover Air Force Base and Kristyn will be trying to get their new home on base set up. Hopefully, their furniture and household goods will be arriving soon.

While we were in Arkansas, which I told you about last time, we drove down to Hot Springs and on to Garvin Gardens. It is such a beautiful place, but the flowers and trees were just beginning to come out. The daffodils were very pretty, but I bet right now that place is beautiful with the hundreds of tulips, flowering shrubs and trees. Kayden enjoyed the trails and waterfalls, but he sure liked walking instead of riding in the stroller. If Chante` hadn’t been holding him tightly, he would have walked right into the koi pond. He really enjoyed watching the fish.  I would like to make a return trip next spring.

Along the Winding Roads 3/13/14 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Martha Ackerman   
Wednesday, March 12, 2014 2:58 PM

It seems winter just won't let go. I play Words with Friends on my cell and one of my friends is a lady from Oklahoma. I think I have told you about her before. Unlike a lot of people who play the game, we have gotten to know each other and we seem to have a lot in common. Anyway, I will get to the point. We were texting about the weather. I shared with her that we went to Florida and it was cold. We came home and it was very cold, snowy: you know how it has been. Then we came to Arkansas expecting to be able to take a walk each day around the community pond here in Cabot. Well, guess what? Yes. It has been very cold, an ice storm and today it is raining.     Anyway, back to her comment which seems to apply to us. Our weather experiences seem to be like Linus (from the Peanuts gang) with the cloud always over his head. It sure feels like that. Arkansas is experiencing unusually cold weather. Go figure. But things are looking up. At least we hope they are. The weather man says it is supposed to warm up. Yea, just in time for us to go home. But there has been an up side to our visit. We have been able to spend lots of time with our granddaughter Chante` and great-grandson Kayden, along with Steph and Curt. Kayden is 13 months now and every day he is doing something new. It is so funny. He is obsessed with clocks. He points out every "cock" he sees and that includes watches with hands (not digital ones).
For some odd reason he loves my tennis shoes. I made the mistake of putting his little foot in one of them and helping him walk in it. He thinks that is great until his foot comes out of the shoe. I tried putting the shoes in a bag in our bedroom and sure enough, he found them. Needless to say, we are definitely enjoying him.
Granddaughter Haleigh has been housesitting for us. She takes great care of all my plants. I was glad to hear she was on spring break when that last snowstorm came through Monroe County. I worry about Haleigh and Katherine driving to OUE in the bad weather we have had.

Along the Winding Roads 2/13/14 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Martha Ackerman   
Wednesday, February 12, 2014 2:09 PM

It’s been a heart wrenching few weeks. I thought this would be a fun column to write because we were going to spend a few weeks in Florida with my sister and brother-in-law. I thought I would be telling you about all the things we enjoyed there. Things certainly have a way of changing and not for the good. We were called home after Mom was admitted to Wheeling Hospital. On Jan. 28 we lost the most important woman in our lives, our mother, Katy Madison. It just doesn’t seem real. She was a wonderful mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and recently enjoyed meeting her first great-great-grandson. None of us will miss her more than her grandson,  granddaughter and three great-grandchildren with whom she spent time each day. They were the loves of her life. She told us she wouldn’t have a reason for living if not for them with her every day. Our hearts are broken but we know she is in a far better place, Heaven with her Lord and Saviour. She has to be in a better place because she was a good Christian woman who had four priests and a nun praying for her as she lay in that hospital. We always called on Mom when we needed some extra prayers. We always said her prayers were powerful and I can’t help but think how powerful they are now when she can ask God first-hand. Her faith and her family were her mainstay. We will each have those special memories to help comfort us. Rest in peace, Mom. We love you!

I want to extend our sincere sympathy to the family of Jim Hill, who passed away suddenly the day before Mom. Judy and family, our prayers are with you.

Now for the weather. Also depressing. Do you think it will ever stop snowing? Ok, it did long enough to have freezing rain and more rain. I feel so bad for the people who have been out in this miserable weather so we could be more comfortable. I’m betting Rick Schuerman, Woodsfield Village Administrator, and Phil Keevert, Monroe County Emergency Management, are ready to pull their hair out. With the water breaks, bad roads, flooding and every other bad thing, they probably haven’t gotten much rest. To the Woodsfield Street Dept. I say thank you because I know you have put in so many hours in this cold, nasty weather. Just know we appreciate all that you do. People are saying February is going to be terrible weather-wise. From the look of things, I think they are right. It has been off to a great start. Hopefully, March will bring some relief and February just has 28 days, one consolation-maybe.

Along the Winding Roads 1/9/14 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Martha Ackerman   
Wednesday, January 08, 2014 4:57 PM

Happy 2014! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season. I am afraid this column will probably be quite boring this month. But I do want to mention again what a nice Christmas festival we had in Woodsfield. I don’t know if you noticed all the windows, but I heard one girl did the snowmen scenes in a lot of the windows. Her last name is Yontz, but I’m not sure of her first name. She did a great job.

Every year Dr. Jay Seidler and his wife Sally have returned from their new location in North Carolina for the Christmas festival. Sally was the force behind the festival and with the dedication of a few Monroe County residents, especially Ruth Workman, the festival has grown each year. One festival favorite is the decorate the table, walls, etc. This year the money generated went to the Manna program and the Lewisville Food Pantry. The ornament walk is another fun thing to do during the festival. Added this year also was free pony rides for the kids along with the carriage rides. It’s a day that has something for almost anyone. Floyd Longwell and his village employees did a great job decorating throughout the town and if you noticed all the lighted displays around the village, it was Norm Workman who  spearheads that part of the festival.

The Sunday before Christmas we had a nice turnout after Mass to decorate St. Sylvester Church. The green trees and red poinsettias on the white marble is always so beautiful. By the time you read this, everything will be put away not to be seen until next Christmas. It was a short Christmas season this year much to the retailers’ chagrin.

We enjoyed a nice dinner and fellowship a couple of weeks ago at a couple of functions. The Christmas get-together of the local American Legion post members was very nice and so was the first anniversary celebration of St. Sylvester’s Knights of Columbus  organization. My favorite speaker, Bob Welsh, presented some of his original poems at both events. It always amazes me how he can take an historical or any event and create an interesting poem. He truly has a God-given talent.

We had a good Christmas because we spent it with family. The weekend before Christmas we were invited to Fred Jr. and Kim’s home for dinner and opening of gifts. Kim’s mom, Monna Burns, was unable to make it for Christmas Eve, our usual family time with them, so we celebrated early. Fred had prepared a delicious dinner. He is a very good cook as are all three of our kids and our son-in-law Curt. We spent time with Haleigh, Ryan and Katherine and had our usual photo ops. We have taken pictures of the three of them, posed pretty much the same, since Fred and Kim were married. The last couple of years I have taken pictures of Fred and family with their canine unit. Yes, I said unit. There is Gracie, Leo, Foxie, Rickie and Sadie. Unfortunately, one canine friend was missing this year. Harley, their blue heeler, passed away a couple of months ago. This has not been a good year for our granddogs. Fred’s family lost Harley and Doug’s family lost Raider. These beloved pets have been missed.

Along the Winding Roads 12/12/13 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Martha Ackerman   
Wednesday, December 11, 2013 10:04 AM

The Woodsfield Christmas Festival was this past weekend, and the weather was a very cold 28 degrees, but at least we didn’t have any precipitation. The village was decked out in its finery with lights and windows decorated for this year’s theme of Frosty the Snowman. Fred helped Norm Workman with the lighted displays through town and Floyd Longwell and his guys did a great job brightening up the village. Did you notice the three light displays at the WesBanco corner? Tom Rouse’s Swiss Hills welding class made those three displays. They did a great job and we are already thinking about a couple more projects for them for next year’s festival. Thanks to Tom and his students. A new location for lights this year was at Riesbeck’s. Tony helped Fred put the three tree displays up there. And, by the way, did you see the little helicopter near the Christmas tree at the courthouse? It is also new this year. The committee hopes to keep adding lighted displays annually.

The festival day began with children enjoying a pancake breakfast and pictures with Santa sponsored by Woodsfield Kiwanis. St. Sylvester School had Santa’s workshop where children could buy gifts very inexpensively. All three floors of the courthouse were filled with vendors and you could find some really great buys. Deck the Halls, Walls, etc. was in progress at the Chamber office where I helped out a while and enjoyed seeing those who were picking up their ornaments on the ornament walk. Donna Howell of M&D Horses and I spent the afternoon at the Chamber, and it was good talking with her and sharing our memories of years gone by and discussing the woes of our country.

There was some very nice artwork on display and for sale at the Monroe Artists’ new location at The Pointe Community Center and the K Lynn Dancers were performing there also.

The Christmas parade always draws folks to the streets of Woodsfield. A special addition to this year’s parade was some of the state trucks which had been decorated by representatives of the local schools. And I, personally, want to give the River High Alumni Band a great big thank you. They braved the cold and played on the courthouse steps from 5-6 p.m. and then participated in the parade. Their music made the parade so much nicer.

Dorothy Ricer, who always does a wonderful job providing special occasions with an original poem, lived up to her reputation. I always enjoy and marvel in how she can weave a poem together. I can gather information and write an article but poetry is definitely not my creative outlet. You did a great job, Dorothy!

The lighting of the Christmas tree is always a treat. And then there was the Monroe Singers concert under the direction of Paula Ring. Words cannot describe the wonderful job they do. It was the perfect end to a very nice day. All the beautiful music certainly sets the tone for the beginning of the Christmas season.