The Legend of O.F. Ballew




Families come in all shapes, sizes, colors and ilks. Trust me, I know. I'm a member of a large, noisy, colorful and zany family. It's a good thing...I blend right in. The traditions each family observes are revered and treasured by each member. Even the really goofy ones!

The following tome was written by my mother and read at the recent Ballew family reunion held in Branson, MO.

"Orange Fuzzy grew up in the beautiful home of our Aunt Kathleen Ballew-Lubben in Independence, MO. Aunt Kathleen kept a beautifully decorated home. That is, with the exception of one room. The primary color of her bathroom was a lovely rose pink. One day a dear friend gave Aunt Kathleen a little orange fuzzy creature that she had made. Aunt Kathleen pondered where to display this gift and finally decided on the bathroom. Orange Fuzzy was strategically situated on the wall facing the occupant of the 'throne.' This proved to be a distraction to some occupants and a comfort to others.

After Aunt Kathleen moved from her residence in Independence to a nursing home, it fell to her nieces Joyce, Nancy, Pat and Marilyn to sort and prepare the contents of her lovely home for an auction. Several comments and suggestions were made regarding Orange Fuzzy and he was finally placed in a box of miscellaneous items to be sold at auction.

At the end of the week, the nieces returned to their homes to await the day of the auction.

And now for 'the rest of the story!'

When Marilyn arrived back home in Kansas and opened her luggage to begin unpacking, she was quite surprised to see Orange Fuzzy right on top of her clothing! Now, how in the world did this happen? Well, that was not too difficult to figure out. It had to be Nancy and Joyce! Okay, so now what to do with this creature?

As Christmas drew near, Orange Fuzzy was placed in a box and beautifully wrapped in gold foil paper and placed under the Christmas tree at Dale and Bonnie Ballew's home.

O.F. remained with the Ballews until the next family reunion, when he was presented to Don and Sue Ballew on the occasion of their 25th wedding anniversary. O.F. enjoyed a two-year stay in Iowa before he again traveled to a family reunion.

Don and Sue made the presentation to Laura and Kent Seyfried at the 2006 reunion so that they could display him in their new home in Olathe, KS. O.F. resided in Kansas for the next two years. He retained his good looks and seemed not to have aged at all.

After two years in Kansas, Orange Fuzzy did not appear at the 2008 reunion. Everyone wondered where he could be, but in a few days Nancy Anderson discovered him in her bedroom in the lingerie drawer of her dresser! O.F. has resided in Chillicothe, MO for the past two years. Where will his travels take him in the future?"

Just prior to my mom reading this "historical document," my Aunt Nancy presented me with a beautifully wrapped gift and announced to the crowd that I was beginning to write a novel and she thought this gift might give me inspiration. When I opened the package, it was O.F. Ballew. He now lives on my desk. (In a Ziploc bag, though, because the cats think he's irresistible!)

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Momala's Book Club: I finally finished reading "South of Broad" by Pat Conroy. First, I want to say that Conroy is a master word spinner and I love his textured and vibrant imagery. Also, this novel is a love story for Charleston, SC. It really made me want to visit this historic and cultured city. That being said, I was seriously disappointed in the base and violent turn this story took. What began as a hopeful tale of an adolescent misfit, morphed into a twisted tale of incest, sexual abuse and a sadistic killer. All this was peppered heavily with crude language. Two out of five stars.

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Female in Motion Exercise Update: I did five disco aerobic workouts last week, one of which was 35 minutes. Longer than ever before!

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Notable Quote:

"You don't choose your family. They are God's gift to you, as you are to them."--Desmond Tutu
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