Comments are welcome but please have the courtesy to sign your name. Unsigned comments will be deleted.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Israel Tour

Leroy has always dreamed of going to Israel. A few years after we were married we told ourselves we would go as part of our 25th anniversary celebration. That seemed a long ways off at the time. Well, that anniversary came sooner than we thought possible. The year of 1992 came and went without us setting foot on Israeli soil.
My dream trip was to go to Europe to see the places our ancestors lived before they came to America in colonial days. Things worked out so we were able to go to Europe in 1997 with my brother and sisters. Leroy doesn't get as deep into history as I do, but we made a deal that if he goes with me to Europe, I will go with him to Israel. We had a wonderful three weeks traveling through Germany, a corner of France, Switzerland, Austria, Lichtenstein, and Holland. He enjoyed the trip as much as I did.
After the Europe trip I kept waiting for Leroy to make the plans for his Israel tour. Nothing happened. After Christian Aid Ministries started taking tours to Europe and Israel several years ago, we knew that is the group we want to travel with. We considered going last year but the dates overlapped with the trip we wanted to take to Florida to attend my sister's graduation at Pensacola Christian College.
This year, everything seemed to be clear for us to go at last. We are celebrating our 40th anniversary instead of our 25th. My brother and sister (and spouses) are going on the same tour, so that will make it more fun. We sent our reservations in right after Christmas. The tour leaves on May 27 and returns June 6. There is an option for a one-week extension to do service projects for the elderly and needy in Jerusalem, which makes the return date June 13.
We did not know if we could afford to stay the extra week until we got our tax returns back. We picked those up last Friday and this week made the big decision. We're staying. My brother and his wife will have to return to Canada on June 6 but my sister and her husband will also be staying for the work project. I don't think we will ever get there again so we may as well make use of the opportunity while we are there. Staying the extra week might make us run a pretty tight ship, but we are going to go on faith everything will hold out. Leroy thinks it will be an opportunity to soak up more of the culture and get a better feel of the way the people live. Now that the decision has been made, I'm at peace about it and ready to go help make his dream come true.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Cousin's Quilting

I embroidered a quilt top for each of the children. As they got married I let them choose a top from the pile and quilted it for them. I didn't think it was fair to make the youngest take whatever was left so I made an extra one. Gerald is 24 and there is not the faintest hint of a wedding for him (he's not even dating), but I decided to go ahead and quilt the last two. Then they are done and he can choose from finished quilts instead of tops.
I had considered putting this one in the frame back in November but decided I have too many things to do and it can just wait for another winter. But this month I changed my mind. I was ready for something different. So today a bunch of my cousins came and quilted. We got about half of it done. I can finish the rest myself by working at it evenings. It's in the basement and no hurry to get it out. It was a fun day, and a great way to brighten up a dreary rainy day.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Primitive Baptist

Leroy went to Maryland yesterday to check a job and took the camera along. In Fulton Township, near the Maryland line, he saw this little old church and cemetery along Route 222 and stopped to check it out. I'm proud of him! He has caught the disease!
It turns out this is the Rock Springs Old School Baptist Church (also known as Primitive Baptist) built in 1808. He took pictures of some of the gravestones with names of Griest, Jenkins, and Lowe, which were prominent. We have no connection to these people, but give him a gold star for trying!

I had looked into the Primitive Baptist church when I thought my Powells might have been members of the church in the 1700s. I finally determined they were not, but what I learned about the church was interesting. They were influenced by the Mennonites and maintain some of the same practices such as believer's baptism, feet washing, and acapella singing. There are also some significant differences in theology, especially as it relates to predestination.

You can read the history of the Primitive Baptists here:

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Snow Geese

The geese have been flying the last couple weeks but today they arrived en masse. The field behind the house is literally covered with them. I heard the racket before I saw them. When the geese are here, can spring be far behind? Play the video and you can hear them too.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Hol dit !!

Yesterday I went to a fabulous antique book & document sale at Lebanon. Mr. A.L. Hanford (of Ladd Hanford, auto dealer) had amassed quite a collection in his lifetime. He passed away and now his collection was being disbursed. (What does that tell you about life?)
Anyway, after looking at the catalog of items to be sold, I knew I wouldn't be able to afford much but I wanted to at least see it. I went early enough to look at the stuff before the sale started at noon and was there all afternoon. There were no bargains and I only bought one small item.
To give you an idea of the kind of things that were being sold, here is a 1695 Land Deed between William Penn and the Indians. It sold for $5,750.

This is a Quaker marriage certificate from 1750, signed by American botanist John Bartram and many others, which sold for $400.

I have never in my life seen so many sheepskin deeds and Patents from the 1700s in one place. There were many signed by John, Thomas, and Richard Penn, who were the sons of William Penn. There were also some signed by Conrad Weiser, James Logan, James Hamilton, and Ben Franklin which brought big bucks. Others without the signatures of famous people were sold in box lots.

Many old and rare books were also sold. This is the family record of David and Mary (Overholser) Weaver on the back page of a 1776 Bible printed in Germantown by Christoph Sauer. Selling price--$2800.

Also sold was a Martyrs Mirror printed at the Ephrata Cloister in 1748 which contained the manuscript genealogy of John Rudolph. It sold for $2400. Other big ticket prices were a 1739 Christoph Saur Zionitischer Weyrauchs Hugel (songbook) for $2600, 1871 German song book with color fraktur bookplate signed by Barbara Ebersol for $850, book printed by Ben Franklin in 1744 for $6500, 1731 land document between James Logan and George Graff of Lancaster signed by Benjamin Franklin and James Logan for $5000, and a portfolio collection of the autographs (and other documents, engravings, deeds, portraits, & ephemera) of the Governors of Pennsylvania beginning with William Penn until 1970 for $2600.
Although I could not afford to buy these things, I could afford to admire and inhale the historical atmosphere. I hope the most valuable things wound up in the hands of museums which will preserve them so they are not scattered again and potentially lost. It was a fun day which I am not likely to repeat soon, if ever.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Taste of Spring

On Saturday we went with Gene and Amy to the Garden Show at Harrisburg. Held at the Farm Show building, the only thing that is lacking at the indoor show is fresh air and the sound of birds. Gene and Amy were looking for ideas for backyard landscaping. I mostly just enjoyed the sight of spring flowers and green grass. It was a picker-upper for winter-weary spirits. Sunday morning I saw a flock of robins, which are a positive sign that in another month the outdoors will look like what we saw at the Garden Show. Feast your eyes!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

35 Years

On March 5, 1973, he started working for Shank Door Company. It's hard to believe that was 35 years ago. One thing we learned is that the garage door business goes up and down---literally, and in more ways than one. When the economy was down, business was down; and when the economy is booming, business is brisk.
We went through several swings during the 22 years Leroy was an installer. During some of the worst times he had only one or two days of work a week. Try feeding a family on those earnings! Since 1995 he has been in the warehouse, so his work is steady regardless of the economy. We are thankful for that now when the economy is in a downturn again.
I thought we should recognize Leroy's achievement somehow, so I took lunch in to the office yesterday and surprised him. Having a son in the office who was willing to be my "partner in crime" helped make it possible to pull off the surprise. After I had lunch on the counter, Gene paged Leroy to come to the office. He never expected to see me there! He had to think a little to figure out what the occasion was.
I don't know how many more years Leroy will be with the company, but we know it won't be as many as he has been there already. I have been so blessed to have a husband who is a good provider and stuck with it even when he did not feel like going to work. Give him a round of applause!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

In The Air

Spring is in the air! That's good news to winter-weary souls. Yesterday the temperature soared to 63 and it will come close to that again today before heavy rain moves in and drives the mercury down. It is too early for spring to come to stay, but the signs that we are moving in that direction are unmistakable. The Snowdrops and miniature crocus are blooming. Canadian and Snow Geese are flying north. This morning Gerald saw the first robin.
As usual, I had a long list of things I wanted to do this winter. I have gotten some of my goals accomplished but other things are still unfinished. If I don't get on the ball, I will have to paraphrase Jeremiah 8:20 to say, "The time has passed, the winter is ended, and my work is not done."
This month is a race with the calendar to get a little more done before the spring rush is upon us. To that end, I have invited a bunch of cousins to come for a quilting on March 19. That is the last "big" project I had on my list. I didn't expect to finish the other things I have been working on this winter. After all, if I got everything done, what would I do next winter? I have to (as Mom used to say) "save some for seed."