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Sunday, July 31, 2011

Wedding Recap

Here is a mini slide show of the wedding of Gerald and Kelly Stauffer on July 30, 2011
Cornerstone Mennonite Church, Ephrata, Pa.

Here comes the bride!

Larry Martin officiated at the ceremony

After they were pronounced man and wife, Gerald and Kelly took turns pouring white and purple sand in a container around their unity candle.

The unity candle was lit

Both sets of parents prayed a blessing on the marriage.

         The Martin family of the bride

             The Stauffer family of the groom

 The bridal party

     Leaving the church in a shower of bubbles

   Convertible ride to the reception

Reception at Weaver's Banquet Hall                                                       

    Some of the 230 guests

Those who are gone were not forgotten. On one table were four pictures of Gerald's relatives who were not with us. First in line was his Grandma Burkholder who died 18 years ago on this date. Then there was a picture of Grandpa Stauffer, Gerald's brother Steve, and cousin Ryan Boll.

After Gerald and Kelly gave the traditional speech thanking everyone for coming, Gerald had one more event planned which even Kelly did not know about. You can see him kneeling at his laptop beside the bridal table publically changing his Facebook status from "Engaged" to "Married." It's is official!

The bride and groom reflect on the happiest day of their lives.

Meanwhile, their brothers get their car ready to leave on the honeymoon. It was HIS dutchified brother who did the writing.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Heating Up

We are now one week from the wedding and things are heating up---literally! When I saw the temperature was already at 82 at 7 a.m. I decided to forego my daily walk and hurry to get my housework done before it gets too hot. By 9 it was up to 90. By 9:45 my work was finished and I had retreated to my AC office until supper time. I can always find plenty to do in here.
The heat may slack off a few degrees by Sunday but forecasters say we will probably remain in the 90s the rest of the month. This is the third time one of our four sons selected a July date for his wedding. But we did the same thing so what can I say? At least these days churches and reception halls are air conditioned.
The pile of stuff pictured in my previous post has diminished somewhat but there is still a pile waiting to go whenever Gerald has time to take it. He is scrambling to get the bedroom finished. Hopefully the last coat of paint will go on tomorrow. Then they can move the furniture into it which will free another bedroom for storing things until they have time to find proper places for them.
Being the mother of the groom is not as stressful as being mother of the bride. I will need to get the food ready next week for the rehersal on Friday. That should not be a hardship. After that is over I can relax and enjoy the wedding.
I doubt Gerald thought about it when they chose July 30 for their wedding but that day it will be 18 years since we said good-by to my mother. I can think of her without grieving all over again but it will be nice to have a happy occassion to celebrate on that day.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Don't Be So Rammy

Gerald and Kelly were engaged in October last year. Wedding plans were made, preparations began, and time moved along. Today we are two weeks away from the wedding. Things are coming together and the house is well enough along that what doesn't happen before the wedding can be done afterward.
Until we reached this point I thought I would get emotional at seeing the last one leave. But Gerald gently eased us into being empty nesters and I think I can handle it after all. He bought a house in January and started moving in February. At first he was here about half the time but gradually started staying at his house more and more. A couple weeks ago he got a washer and dryer. Now he doesn't even bring his laundry home anymore and we agreed he has officially moved out.
Last week he moved his roll top desk, a chest of drawers, and about four boxes of things to his house. He said he'll get the rest of it later. With the amount of time that is left and all there is to do yet, I could see "later" being much later until he had time to pack anything. The room badly needed cleaning but I wasn't going to attempt to clean around all the stuff. So this week I started packing for him. Here's the pile of boxes that's ready to go.

And here's what is still waiting for him to pack. It's his reloading bench. I'm not touching it with a ten foot pole!

Put those two piles together, add a bed, nightstand, dresser, chest of drawers, and roll top desk. See why I was only cleaning a path around the bed? Stuff collects. I've seen with the other sons that by the time they are in their late 20s they have outgrown a bedroom and need a house for their stuff.
At any rate, I woke up at 3 this morning and couldn't go back to sleep. Around 4 I got the grand idea that with all those boxes packed and Leroy here to help move furniture, this would be the perfect day to clean the room. It sounded like a wonderful plan and I tore into it. By 11 my energy was running out and I was asking myself whose dumb idea this was. But I was too deep into it to quit.
It's a good feeling to have that room clean and ready to be used as a guest room. But next time I get a brainy idea at 4 a.m. remind me to take a deep breath first and not be so rammy.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Art Exhibition

Yesterday we were invited to attend the Opening Reception of the art exhibition at the Reading Museum. Of the 300 pieces that were entered, 141 were chosen to be on display in the museum until September 11. Amy, our daughter-in-law was in the top ten and received an award for her piece titled "Oblivion. "

This prize-winning leopard is done on a black ink-covered board called a scratchboard. The image is scratched on the surface with a razor. The color is added after the scraching is completed.
Hundreds of people showed up for the opening. It was interesting to stand back and watch people look at Amy's leopard. They would go up really close looking at all the fine details in the leopard's fur. One lady said, "He looks so real it seems like you could pet him." (Click to enlarge and you can get an idea of the detail; seeing the original is much better.)
Amy is self-taught and has had no formal training in art. She is doing very well and we are proud of her accomplishment.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Fill My Mouth

My mother had a note tacked on her frig for a long time. I thought it was a poem but this is all I could remember
"Lord, fill my mouth with worthwhile stuff and nudge me when I've said enough."
I often wished I could find that poem or whatever it was. Today it occurred to me that I might be able to find it on the Internet. I could not find a poem with those words. It appears that was the entire quote. But I did find another poem Mom also had posted in her kitchen. This prayer was answered. She is still remembered as an excellent Sunday school teacher. In her two-month illness before her death she had 600 visitors. She DID have a few friends in the end!

An Anonymous Prayer
Written in the 17th. century

Lord, thy knowest better than I know myself
that I am growing older and will someday be old.
Keep me from the fatal habit of thinking I must say
something on every subject and, on every occasion.

Release me from craving to straighten out everybody's affairs
Make me thoughtful but not moody, helpful but not bossy,
With my vast store of wisdom it seems a pity not to use it all.
But, Thou knowest Lord that I want a few friends at the end.

Keep my mind from the recitals of endless details.
Give me wings to get to the point.
Seal my lips on my aches and pains.
They are increasing and love of rehearsing them
is becoming sweeter as the time goes by.
I do not ask for Grace enough to enjoy the tales
of other's pain but, help me endure them with patience.

I dare not ask for improved memory, but, for a
growing humility and a lessening cocksureness
when my memory seems to clash with the memories of others.
Teach me the glorious lesson that occasionally I may be mistaken

Keep me reasonably sweet
I do not want to be a Saint.
Some of them are so hard to live with.
But, a sour person is the works of the Devil.

Give me the ability to see good things in
unexpected places and talents in unexpected people.
And, give me, O Lord, the Grace to tell them so!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Trash to Treasure

My cousin Melvin was a self-employed contractor for most of his life and had several buildings stuffed with leftover building supplies and all kinds of things he and his wife collected during the more than fifty years they lived at that place. He died last winter and his widow had a public auction this spring.
It wasn't the kind of thing I was interested in so I didn't go along and Leroy didn't buy much either. But he did bring home one thing we were both pleased with. Somewhere along the way Melvin had obtained an old wooden pump our mutual Burkholder grandpa had stored in his barn for years. No one knows where Grandpa got it.
Leroy spent a lot of time cleaning and painting the metal parts on the pump. Then he put a coat of Woodlife on it to preserve the wood. He put a piece of PVC pipe around the lower end to protect the part that is underground. Then he laid a circle of red sandstones around the base to simulate a well. Setting up against the front wall of the house places it under the protection of the roof.
Next he dug out the pump trough he bought at his dad's sale a few years ago and fashioned legs for it from some old strap hinges. They made fancy legs with a cute curl on the bottom. He plans to get the trough powder coated so it will not rust but here it is as it looks today. (click to enlarge)

I just wish I could ask Grandpa where the old wooden pump came from. Is it something he brought home from one of his carpenter jobs or did it once stand on the well at their home? I remember a metal pump outside the kitchen but this wooden one might have been there when they bought the place about 1914. After being in storage for many years, this old pump now has a new lease on life and a prominent position where it can be admired.