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Thursday, October 30, 2008

A Piece Of The Puzzle

I spent Tuesday afternoon at the Lancaster County Historical Society and came home with a few papers I consider very valuable in my Powell research. One of them, filed in 1795, contains the actual signature of Edward Powell (bottom right line).

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

Changing Of The Guard

Last week we enjoyed a prolonged spell of Indian Summer weather. The windows were open around the clock and I went barefoot outside.
Fall slammed into the county on Monday morning with a heavy killing frost. The difference between this week and last week is like night and day. The windows are closed and the heat is turned on. The screens for the patio doors are stored in the garage. The flower bulbs are dug and stored in the basement. Warmer clothes and bedding are coming out of summer storage and being put to use. This morning I raked the leaves in the front yard. After a couple windy days this week, the tree is nearly bare. Another sign of the change of seasons is the longer evenings as the sun retires earlier and earlier. This week I dug out the needlework I started last winter and began on that again. I had other things to do on evenings when it was light outside.
I don't look forward to winter the way I did when I was younger, but October is one of my favorite months. It is neither too hot nor too cold and the colored leaves add a beauty to the landscape that passes all too quickly. I'm glad I live where there are four seasons.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Weekend in Ohio

We spent the weekend in Ohio helping Cheryl celebrate her birthday. They are living in the basement during their house addition/remodeling project but they made room for us to squeeze into the tight quarters for a couple days. At this point they can still use the bedrooms and bathroom on the main floor, but going from the basement to the bedrooms was like stepping outside because it means going through the unheated addition. I have a much better idea of the size of the rooms now and how they will look when they are finished.
This is the end toward the garage which has been extended about 10 feet. The windows are in the new master bed and bathrooms.

This is the addition from the back. The windows, from left to right, are the laundry, office room, and sink.

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

Answer to Prayer

On Tuesday I went to Reading with Leroy when he signed up for Medicare. I took his appointment confirmation letter and birth certificate along, as per instructions. On the way home I realized the envelope with both items was missing. I immediately called the representative we had dealt with and left a voice mail message. Later in the afternoon she called back and said she does not have it. She had looked on her desk, in the trash can, and on the floor, but it was not there. I did not remember exactly what I had done with it but thought I had stuck it in the information book she gave us. I was sure it must have dropped out of the book somewhere on the street in town.
In these days of identity theft, Reading is not a good place to lose your birth certificate and a letter with your Social Security number on it. I did the only thing I knew to do---appealed to the One who knows all things. I asked Him to please take care of that envelope in one way or another.
Today's mail brought an envelope from the Social Security office addressed in the handwriting of our representative which contained Leroy's birth certificate. She must have found it somewhere in the office after all. Whew!! What a relief! There was not one word of explanation with it. I don't need to all the details; I just know God answers prayer.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

The Best Life Ever

This was one of those weekends when there are more things to do than time to do them. Of course, we try to do everything we can and the result is a crammed-full schedule.
It started out innocently enough when I promised to keep all 6 of Dale's children overnight Friday night. Then Carol asked if we sisters could do something on Saturday to celebrate her birthday. I said OK, figuring the children will be leaving Saturday morning and I will be free the rest of the day.
The children came around 2:30 Friday afternoon. Around supper time Kayla said, "This is the best life ever." A hot dog supper at grandma's house was all it took to make life wonderful. But you know, if I could spend an afternoon with my grandma again I'd think it's pretty special too. You can be sure I'd ask her a lot of questions---of a different sort than I did before.
I left before the children did on Saturday morning, leaving Leroy to finish up the babysitting job without me. We sisters had a nice time at the Apple Festival at Joanna Furnace. When I got home I had my work cut out for me to finish up for the week and get food ready to take to the Stauffer reunion today.
This morning we had communion and then went to the Stauffer reunion. On the way down Leroy's mom asked if we would want to go to Fairmount to see Aunt Liddy after the reunion. Sure. Might as well add one more thing to the stew. Of course, while we were there we visited Aunt Nora too. And then we met Amos & Nora Hoover walking along the road at the edge of their property, and wound up going in to their house to visit for another hour.
All this meant we got home a lot later than we planned, but there isn't anything I wish we hadn't done. When I see the people who live in at Fairmount, I am just thankful I can be on the run even if some weekends are a little too full. This is the best life ever!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Did It!

Back in May when I painted the living room I said someday I want to add a border around the top when I find something I like. I really didn't know what I wanted. A couple weeks ago when I was in Ephrata I stopped at East End Mart to see what they have in stock and try to get some ideas. Leroy said I will need just over 60 ft. to go all the way around the top of the ceiling.
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."
This afternoon I remeasured the top of the wall. I needed 60 ft. 3 inches. Then I opened each roll and discovered they each measured 15 ft. 9 inches. Ah! That's 33 inches more than I needed. Next I numbered the rolls according to which were the closest matches. I could not believe my good fortune when I saw I was losing a total of only 14 inches in matching. One roll matched exactly with no loss. That left me 60 ft. 19 inches. I could do it!
So here it is, the finishing touch to the redecorating project. Whew!! That's closer than I like to cut it.

And a closeup of the pattern.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Evil Omen or Subtile Hint?

Back fifty years ago I remember my Dad talking about replacing his car when he saw his odometer creeping toward 100,000 miles. That was about as long as a car would last. I remember being relieved when he bought a new car and we were spared the disaster of the old one falling to pieces while we were in transit. I imagined the floor suddenly dropping out, leaving us sitting unprotected in the middle of the road.
Times have changed. We bought a three-year-old car in 1998 and passed the 100,000-mile mark a long time ago. Since I knew it would turn over again today while I was driving, I took the camera along and froze the historic moment so Leroy could see it. Yup! That's 200,000.

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.