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Friday, November 28, 2008

A Happy Thanksgiving

We usually get together with the Stauffers on Thanksgiving. If they are all there, the family numbers around 85. This year we did something different. I invited my sisters to come here for Thanksgiving dinner. One sister brought a son, the other brought a friend, and we still have one son at home. So the circle around our table was a grand total of nine!

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

Bowmansville Roller Mill

Yesterday we went to see the Bowmansville Roller Mill in action. They were grinding whole wheat with the ancient grindstones and sawing boards in the sawmill. All of this was done by water power. There was no sound of any engines. I took lots of videos.
For some goofy reason my camera was off-color and the pictures are too blue. I am really disappointed. But I guess that gives me a reason to go back sometime next year when they do another demonstration.
Although the color is horrible, here are a few videos to give you a small taste of the mill in action. This is the sawmill.

video

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.

video

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

No New Book

I am SOOO tired of being asked, "Are you writing another book?" I don't mind when the question is asked by another writer because it is "shop talk" rather than mere curiosity. But going to a reunion, party, or other meeting often results in being asked the same question a half dozen times in the space of a couple hours. That gets old!
I am sure when a person asks that question they do not realize how many other people have asked the same question or that they might be the sixth person in that particular group or gathering who has asked the same thing. If the answer is "yes," I do not want to talk about it until it is near the finish line. And if the answer is "no" I get strange looks followed by, "You're not?" Then I have to repeat, "No, I'm not." Either way, I wish they wouldn't ask.
At the moment, the answer is "NO. I AM NOT WRITING ANOTHER BOOK." Did you get that? "NO, I'M NOT." (And please don't ask again the next time you see me.) Several rumors have gotten back to me about books I am writing. If you heard any of those rumors, they are not true. One of them had a grain of truth. I did write a lengthy article for a historical magazine which will be published sometime next year, but it is not a book.
I have been doing some proofreading and editing of other people's writing, giving advice to aspiring writers, doing some research on things which may or may not develop into writing projects in the future, and trying to write some short pieces. But there is no book anywhere on the horizon. So if anybody asks you if I'm writing another book, tell them NO. And if you have any wise answers I can use when I am asked the dreaded question, send them on.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Sigma Theta Tau Mom

I found a long-stemmed rose in the kitchen this morning. Since Gerald came home after we were in bed, I assumed it came from him---which he verified.


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

Election Results

This is the morning after the night before. After years of speculation, spending millions of dollars, and a lot of rhetoric, the 2008 election is over. The guessing and wondering is over, Barak Obama is the winner, and the process now begins to inaugurate the 44th President of the United States in January.
This election has been one of the most interesting we have ever had and I enjoyed watching it work its way through to the end. Way back in February, before the primaries had barely begun, I predicted that the Democratic candidate would win, whoever he or she would be. When Obama and McCain emerged as the candidates, I had no strong preference for either. I saw things in both of them that I thought could take the country in a wrong direction.
The vote I cast early on election day was, "Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven." I accept the election of Obama as God's choice for He says in Proverbs 8:15, "By me kings reign, and princes decree justice." Daniel wrote, "He removeth kings, and setteth up kings" (Dan. 2:21). We may not understand what God is doing in world affairs, but we can trust His judgment.
Some people made dire predictions that we could lose our freedom overnight if Obama is elected. I find that hard to believe, but we do not know what the future holds. My security is not in any man or any government. No matter what comes, these truths remain:
1. The Bible will still have all the answers.
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.
6. God is still sovereign and He approves this message.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Relative Terms

I came to the conclusion some time ago that "conservative" is a relative term. What you consider to be conservative is determined by your point of reference. After something I heard on Saturday, I have added another word to the list of relative terms. That word is "local."
We were eating a bit of lunch on Saturday at the Open House in Christian Aid Ministries warehouse when I overheard an interesting conversation between two people seated behind us.
He: Where are you from?
She: Hinkletown.
He: Oh, then you're local.
She: Yes, I could have walked here.
He: Well I'm a little further. I'm from close to Martindale.
How far is Hinkletown from Martindale? Less than three miles.
What is local? That depends on your point of reference. I'm sure those who had come to the Open House from other states (or Canada) would have said both of them were locals.