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Saturday, September 27, 2008

Isaac Meier House

I visited the Isaac Meier house in Myerstown 25 years ago and often thought I'd like to go again to see how much progress has been made on their restoration project. Today was the day.

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

Roast Beast

We usually have Gerald's favorite meal of stir-fry for his birthday. This year we celebrated his 25th birthday with a mini-Thanksgiving type meal. He called it roast beast; I called it stuffed duck. We also had cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie to go with it.

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

Seize The Moment

I haven't posted much the last couple weeks. Let me drag out my excuses. #1 Busy. Doing what?
Housecleaning, scrapbooking, proofreading a book for Lantern Books, poring through census from the 1800s and other records for footprints of ancestors, preparing for my workshop at the seminar next week, etc. etc.
Three years ago I did a workshop at the ladies' seminar at Martindale. I was asked to do a re-run of the same workshop on Tuesday and Thursday next week. My title is A Word Fitly Written (leaving a legacy in cards, letters, diaries, journals, scrapbooks, family history, etc.)
The main point of my workshop is that we need to write things down so they are not confused or forgotten. For example, too many people do not label their photographs and in years to come they are unidentified faces. My great-grandmother's photo album was filled with pictures of ladies in gorgeous Civil War era gowns. I would dearly love to know who they are, but no names were written on the backs of the pictures. It's too late now. There is no one living who can identify any of them.
Every time a person dies without recording their memories it is the same as if a whole library burned down. Too often we wait until our grandparents, aunts, and uncles are gone and then think of a lot of questions we would like to ask them. Seize the moment! The strongest memory is weaker than the palest ink.
Memories are a gift to be opened when the time we lived and those we love are far away. Life is so short and changes so fast. It might not seem like it right now, but these are the Good Old Days you'll look back on someday. Keep some souvenirs of your past, or how will you prove it wasn't all a dream?

Monday, September 15, 2008

Cool Tool

If you would like to hear my famous brother, Merle Burkholder, preaching at the Womelsdorf Mennonite Church on September 7, 2008, you can download his sermon by clicking on this link.
The password is sermon. Then click on Visiting Speakers, find his name in the list, and download the sermon.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Summer Is Over

Ya-hoo! That boom and crash you heard was me cheering and slamming the lid on the canner as I officially ended my summer of 2008. Many people consider Labor Day the end of the summer but that's not my end-of-season marker. I call summer ended when the porch amd patio are housecleaned and the canning is finished.
I cleaned the porch the end of August and crossed off the patio last week. This morning I canned six measely quarts each of pears and potatoes. I'm not doing grapes or pumpkins this year so that's the end of the line for the summer. I had so much left from last year I didn't need to can or freeze much this year, but I'm still glad to be finished and move into the next season. This has been a hectic summer due to going on trips, catching up when we returned, and trying to squeeze in as many of the usual summer activities as we could. I'm looking forward to the luxury of moving at a little slower pace during the fall.
What will I do with all the extra time? Well, for starters, my house needs a good cleaning. I'm having two workshops at a ladies seminar the end of this month. I have several writing projects started which were resting over summer and a couple ideas for new ones. A lady in Canada has asked if I would be interested in going to Bucks County to look for her Huber ancestors. I am still hunting for my own Powell ancestors and researching the Good line. I am hoping to do some quilting and I have a little pile of books waiting to be read. I may be moving at a slower pace this fall but I don't think I will be twiddling my thumbs---at least not away from the keyboard.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Mom's Prayers

Many years ago the ladies Sunday school class at our church drew names for Prayer Partners. My mother drew the name of my sister-in-law, Bonnie. During that time, Mom gave Bon a Prayer Plant. A couple months ago Bon told me she still has that plant and asked if I have one. I didn't, so she started one for me. On Monday Bon gave me this lush Prayer Plant. She said she still has one just as big at home. I hope I can keep it alive and thriving as well as she has.

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.