Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Monday, December 29, 2008
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Monday, December 22, 2008
Cheryl and Richard had the furtherest to come and put forth the most effort to get here. Their basement flooded on Friday and they spent all day cleaning up the mess. They left very early Saturday morning to get here in time for lunch and had just gotten on the interstate when they had a flat tire. But after that they had smooth sailing and got here at 12:10, just in time to jump in the food line and fill their plates with a hot meal. I got my promised revenge and cooked the two infamous geese and a duck Gerald raised last summer.
We were not quite finished eating when the first grandchild asked the question in most of their minds. "Is it time for presents?" We selfishly made them wait until the women had put the food away and washed the dishes. Then they formed a circle and waited for their turns to receive their gifts.
One different activity we had this year was packing school kits which will be shipped to children through Christian Aid Ministries. We usually collect money for a charitable cause but did a hands-on project this year. We had enough supplies for each child to pack one kit.
After everyone left, Cheryl and Richard helped clean up the basement so it is at least half decent. (I'll get the rest of it today.) We all went to bed early, tired and happy.
Our plans for Sunday changed with a phone call in the morning saying church was canceled due to the icy road conditions. Snow and freezing rain were still coming down. The total accumulation didn't amount to much in the end, but it was very slippery in the morning. So we had a lazy morning at home with an easy-to-make dinner of leftovers (what else?!). The sun came out while we were eating and melted the ice on the roads. They were bare by the time Cheryl and Richard headed back to Ohio at 3 p.m. The setting sun highlighted the glittering ice, making it look as if we live in a world made of glass. It was a beautiful ending to our Christmas holiday.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
This is the sideboard that belonged to my paternal grandmother, Annie Burkholder. She got it when she was married in 1905, so it is over 100 years old. I bought it this spring from a cousin who had inherited it but never used it. The man who refinished it for me did not want to attempt repainting the decorative lines and design on the top. I took pictures of the designs before he stripped off the old finish so we could have them redone by someone else. As you guessed by now, it never happened. So last week Leroy took the pictures and the top to a professional sign painter and had the design restored. He brought the finished piece home this week and reattached it. So there's my present---the design on the top of the sideboard. It is completely restored and the lines really set it off. I wonder what Annie would say if she saw it now. I think it must look very much like it did when she got it 103 years ago.
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
This is a German hymn book printed in Germantown by Christoph Saur in 1763. It was printed for the Reformed Church but, according to Mennonite Encyclopedia, was also used by the Mennonites before they printed their own German hymn book. A stack of these unused books was found in the attic of the Groffdale Mennonite Church in 1925. I suppose they were retired to the attic after the Mennonite hymn book was printed in 1804. The writing on a flyleaf says the book was purchased by Elisa Barbara ? of Heidelburg Township on November 18, 1770 for 6 shillings and 6 pence.
The surname of this lady has not been deciphered but when I get a chance I will show it to my German expert and hopefully he can tell me what it is. At any rate, she probably lived just a few miles from here. Names of later owners written on other pages are Jacob Loop and Henry Bowman.
The person who listed this book on ebay was from Colorado and obviously did not know what it was. When I saw the bid was only $26, I couldn't let the opportunity pass. I have seen them sell for $1200. This one is probably not worth quite that much because the back cover is not attached to the spine, but it still is worth a lot more than I had to pay to get it. Of course, I paid a little more than $26 for it, but my winning bid was still a bargain price. Now I have to decide if I am going to sell it and make a large profit or keep it and let my children inherit the profits. I doubt I'll ever get another one this cheap.
Friday, November 28, 2008
We have developed the practice of having a Sister's Day whenever one of us has a birthday. The birthday girl gets to choose the activity. Since mine is coming up in December, I decided to make Thanksgiving double as Sister's Day and elected to bake Christmas cookies after dinner. We ended up with five different kinds of cookies which we divided among us. Baking cookies helped us work off the turkey dinner instead of just sitting around getting attached to it. I usually have my Christmas mail started by Thanksgiving but I have not done a thing yet. On the other hand, I don't usually have the cookies baked this early. It's probably an even trade.
This Thanksgiving was different than usual but just as much fun. The size of the crowd does not determine the level of satisfaction or quality of friendship. One of the things I am thankful for is sisters who are my best friends.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Here is the miller grinding wheat between two millstones. I don't know who he is, but he is not a Pennsylvania Dutchman. His accent betrays him. The man who operated the sawmill was local. He even spoke the dialect.
Maybe next year I can post better pictures. I fiddled around with the camera after I was home and it is fine now. I don't know what caused the problem or how it was corrected. Maybe it had a frog in it's throat or something from the cold weather. Snow flurries were flying.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Friday, November 7, 2008
A few weeks ago Gerald was invited to join an honor society for nurses, Sigma Theta Tau. Last evening he attended his first meeting of the local chapter. Each new member was given a pink rose. Gerald didn't really want the rose, so he passed it on to me. His grades have earned him a place in the honor society, but since I financed his education I think I have also earned the rose and am happy to have it. Since most nursing students are women, a pink rose is appropriate for them. With more men going into nursing though, maybe they ought to consider being prepared to give either roses or wrenches.
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
2. Prayer will still work.
3. The Holy Spirit will still move.
4. Jesus will still love you.
5. There will still be room at the cross.
Monday, November 3, 2008
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Edward is the progenitor of my Powell line. He was the great-grandfather of my great-grandmother, Emeline Powl. Finding his signature in his own hand settles the question of whether his surname was the Powell or Paul and clinches the argument that he was English rather than German. I am still trying to find out where he came from. Maybe someday the pieces will all fall into place.
Friday, October 24, 2008
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Before we left I took a family picture which they needed to submit for their church calendar. Seems like these children grew up when I wasn't looking!
Friday, October 17, 2008
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Monday, October 6, 2008
I looked at everything they had in stock and didn't see anything that struck my fancy. Then I rooted through the "odd lots" bin and found a roll that I knew instantly was perfect for the room. Another rummage brought up three matching rolls. The label said each one measured 15 ft.---15x4=60. Yipes! Could I made that reach? The clerk said it was doubtful because I would lose some in matching and the pattern has a 24-inch repeat. She suggested dropping it to the top of the door frame so it won't take as much. I wasn't sure that would look right but I knew I would not find anything I liked better and the price was right. Because it was a discontinued pattern, it was less than half price. I couldn't pass up such a bargain so I said, "I'll take it and figure out some way to make it reach."
And a closeup of the pattern.
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
I pulled to the side of the road to take the picture---which happened to be right in front of Weaver Nut Company. Was that an evil omen or subtile hint? Is it time to replace this aging machine with something newer? Irregardless, we have now doubled the miles a car could be expected to run fifty years ago. It has served us well, but we all know nothing man-made will last forever.
Saturday, September 27, 2008
They have completed the restoration of two rooms in the main house and the kitchen which is in the small addition on the east side. A lady was cooking a meal on the hearth of the massive fireplace and was heating the bake oven with a fire so she could bake six loaves of round bread.
Twenty five years ago they were working on the sitting room/parlor/living room---whatever you want to call it. They scraped off all the layers of paint to find the original blue color and then matched a chip to repaint the woodwork. That room and the bedroom behind it are now finished. They have done a nice job on those two rooms.
I was also able to take a tour of the unfinished second floor where an exposed hand hewn beam reaches all the way across the house. We don't have trees that size any more!
Isaac Meier, son of Heinrich Meier was born January 4, 1730, in Heidelberg Township Berks County, Pa. In 1754, Isaac married Catherine Herchelroth (Hergelrode), daughter of Valentine Herchelroth who owned 249 acres of land on which present day Myerstown is built. In 1757, Isaac purchased the property, including the house which had been built by Valentine Herchelroth sometime between 1740-50. In 1768, Isaac Meier laid out lots for the town he called Tulpehockentown but soon became known as Myerstown. On the night of July 14, 1770, Isaac was called to a tavern, presumably on business, only to be shot in the back while sitting at a window. Isaac and Catharine had six children. Some of their descendants still live in the area.
Saturday, September 20, 2008
We have two more ducks and two geese waiting in the freezer for their turns to help us celebrate special events. I'm not sure the behavior of ducks roaming the property all summer is worth the trouble, but their dark, moist meat is very good. And the taste of revenge is sweet.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Monday, September 15, 2008
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Thursday, September 4, 2008
Mom died in 1993. I am delighted to collect one more thing that came from her. I was not an easy child to raise. Every time I see this plant I will be reminded it was Mom and her prayers pulled me through the difficult years.
Friday, August 29, 2008
Monday, August 25, 2008
After the flying demonstration, Steve gave a talk in a tent behind the airport. He said we have not been commissioned to go out and evangelize the world, but to make disciples. People who have been discipled are then able to go out and make more disciples. That is the ultimate goal of missions; not merely to convert people to Christianity but to disciple them so they can repeat the process with others. As an illustration, he said his children were taught (discipled) to tie their shoes. He did not have to teach his grandchildren to tie their shoes; his children did that. They were able to pass on to the next generation what he had taught them. His shoebox formula for missions is Know, Go, Show, Blow. Know God and what you believe, Go tell others who have not heard, Show them how to live the Christian life, and then Blow out and let them disciple others while you go and start over somewhere else.
Friday, August 22, 2008
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
They were cute little ducklings and goslings when Gerald brought them home in the spring. They outgrew that label long ago. The ducks aren't as bad as the geese. Their behavior has made me wonder if they are somehow genetically related to goats. They roost outside the back door and have turned it into a barnyard. They eat everything in sight. While we were at the cabin last weekend they ate every stem and leaf of the flowers I had on the porch. They not only ate ears of corn in the garden, but also march boldly into the neighbor's field where they continue to practice their thievery. They pulled the rubber seals off the patio doors, poked a big hole in the one patio screen, etc. etc. Their goose is cooked.
I've been "breathing out threatenings and slaughter" against those arrogant, messy geese for weeks and looking forward with relish to the day when they will be relieved of their heads. This morning Gerald announced that he had put the last of the bag of feed in their dish and he is not buying another bag. If they knew what is going to happen tomorrow morning, they would eat very slowly. If Gerald dispatches their heads and does the butchering, I will happily get revenge by pulling out every one of their feathers. They will move into a cool new home until Christmas when we will get the final revenge. After they are nicely roasted I will honk proudly to call my brood. They will flock around me and help eat them down to the bare bones. I can't wait!!
Monday, August 11, 2008
2) swimming3) chewing the fat (at the table and away from it)
Gold medals were won in the fields of pennyroyal tea and huckleberry picking with one loss which involved a cell phone landing in the bottom of the spring. The weather was perfect, being neither too hot nor too cool and only one brief shower before we got up on Sunday morning. This was our last scheduled weekend-away of the summer. All the traveling we have done this summer has made the season fly faster than ever. Only two weeks remain until we shift gears and go into a new school year. Although it was short, it's been a good summer.
Monday, August 4, 2008
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Die lenger die schlimmer
Bei uns geh immer.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Of course we visited the Salem Cemetery which is the oldest Mennonite cemetery in the county and contains 1300 graves. We also went to the Pike Mennonite cemetery a few miles away. Walter & Martha Good, her sister Florence Riehl, Don, Ginny, and I were more interested in finding documents in Fairfield County because more family history happened there than in Allen County. We all left Elida early Sunday morning and drove three hours to attend services at the Turkey Run Mennonite Church in Fairfield County. The pastor there invited all of us to their house for lunch and showed us around the area. We visited three cemeteries on Sunday where we found some graves of ancestors and saw some other historically signifigant things. But we did not find the grave of Susanna Beery Good anywhere. We know she died before her husband and his second wife moved from Ohio to Iowa, but where is she buried? We went back to our hotel mystified.
On Monday we visited the public library in Lancaster, Ohio, and raided the Fairfield County courthouse where we found some valuable information in deeds and Joseph Good's 1849 estate settlement.
When we finished collecting our loot, we had a very late lunch and then headed for home at 4 p.m. We made only two pits stops and got home at 11 p.m. Monday night. The next day Ginny and Don asked the right people the right questions and found an obscure little cemetery in the woods that contains eight stones marking Beery and Good graves. More research is required, but we are all inclined to believe they found the elusive Susanna Beery Good buried under a stone marked simply S. B. G.
I reget missing that adventure, but have not figured out how to be two places at once. I wanted to be here to host Gerlof and Machteld Born. We don't often have the opportunity to host visitors from Holland. They arrived at my sister's house two days earlier than we expected, which meant I had overnight guests the day after I got home instead of two days later. Fortunately, one of my cousins stepped up to the plate in my absence and invited everyone for supper Tuesday. Machteld is on the far left but Gerlof is half hidden behind the person in the right foreground.
The Borns went on to Lancaster County this morning and will be leaving the area on Thursday. We met Gerlof when we were in Holland in 1997. He was single then but married Machteld a year or two ago. He is the secretary of the Mennonite Mission Board in Holland and told us about their work around the world.
The last week has been a whirl of activity and lots of fun. I enjoyed every minute, but now I'm going for a nap. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Monday, July 7, 2008
Thursday, July 3, 2008
Sunday, June 29, 2008
Most of the Y-Chromosome is inherited as an integral unit passed without alteration from father to sons, and to their sons, and so on, unaffected by exchange or any other influence of the X-Chromosome that came from the mother. It is the only nuclear chromosome that escapes the continual reshuffling of parental genes during the process of sex cell production. It is these unique features that make the Y-Chromosome useful to genealogists.
Thursday, June 26, 2008
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
I am also working on merging the pictures from both our cameras into one file in chronological order so I can order the prints I want to make a scrapbook. That is also turning out to be more work than I expected. I can see that project taking at least the rest of the summer.
This link will allow you to take a peek inside Jerusalem. It is a live Webcam (works best with cable or DSL connection) showing the Wailing Wall 24 hours a day, plus other interesting things. Enjoy!
Sunday, June 15, 2008
Since our flight was not leaving until midnight on Thursday, June 12, we had another day to kill. We went to see Solomon's quarries under old Jerusalem and revisited the Garden Tomb before checking out of our hotel Thursday morning. The the group went to south of Jerusalem to see a few more historic sites. We visited Herod's summer palace, Abraham's home town of Hebron where we saw the tombs of the patiarchs, and the Valley of Eschol where Caleb and Joshua found the huge bunch of grapes. There are still many vineyards there.
We also went to the Valley of Elah where David killed Goliath. Leroy fulfilled one of his wishes there when he picked up five smooth stones from the brook which was dry at this time of year. From there we headed to the airport at Tel Aviv. The extra tour day was special in that we went to some places tourists seldom go these days. It was a nice finishing touch. I am glad we had the privilege of taking this trip, but I am also glad to be home again.
Monday, May 26, 2008
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
"I do not know the old and precise history of his [her father's] family, and I have not asked because it does not matter. Some time before the American Revolution they came from somewhere in Germany, for the sake of religious freedom. I do not know just when except that I know it was in time for one of his ancestors to be a courier to George Washington, and for two others to fight loyally under Washington's command. I say it does not matter because it is not as an individual that he is significant. If his life has any meaning for others than himself it is as a manifestation of a certain spirit in his country and his time. For he was a spirit, and a spirit made by that blind certainty, that pure intolerance, that zeal for mission, that contempt of man and earth, that high confidence in heaven, which our forefathers bequeathed to us."---Pearl S. Buck, Fighting Angel, p12-13
We walk the path of the ancient ones,
soon the shadows of our footprints the dream ones will walk.
Will our footprints be deep enough to follow
or will the winds erase them for all time?
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Thursday, May 15, 2008
Saturday, May 10, 2008
At that time, Berks County was a wild and wooly place to live. Nicholas died in 1774 and by 1801 his son Christian moved to Leacock Township in Lancaster County which was a more safe place to live. The Stoltzfus house passed through a long succession of owners. In 1989 it was inhabited by squatters and then was abandoned. Mother Nature took over and covered the house with a curtain of dense foliage so its shameful state of disrepair could not be seen.
In the year 2000, some of the estimated one million descendants of Nicholas Stoltzfus formed a committee to preserve and restore the old house at 1700 Tulpehocken Road, Wyomissing, Pa. Every year, on the second Saturday in May, a benefit auction is held to raise funds for the preservation and restoration of this historic house. This year we were finally able to get there. I had seen the outside of the house before, but had never been inside. I wanted to go to the auction mostly because the house was open for free tours.
This is the front door which opens into the kitchen. A wooden panel at the bottom of the door slides up to cover the nine panes of glass in the top half of the door for safety during Indian attacks. For this reason it is called an "Indian Door."
The barn that once stood on this property collapsed in 1924. Today ground was broken to reconstruct a barn.
The Nicholas Stoltzfus House serves to remind us of the important part the Amish played in the history and development of Berks County. I think he would be pleased to know his descendants are maintaining both his property and his faith.
Christian Stoltzfus' German Bible