We went to the Garden Show at Harrisburg with Gene and Amy last evening. They were looking for ideas for constructing a pergola over their patio this summer. I went to see the green grass and spring flowers in the displays. They were a welcome sight for winter-weary souls.
The one below was a new one to me, called a Lenten Rose.
A lot of these outdoor living displays were set up.
And the sound of running water was therapeutic.
If I can hang on a couple more weeks all this will once again be reality.
I'm getting there. Right after Christmas I started working on compiling a book on the history and development of the Mid-Atlantic Mennonite Fellowship. Things had started coming in during December and I was beginning to get nervous about the size of the pile of work waiting for me. So I dived in and started shoveling my way out from under the pile. Thanks to modern electronic methods of communication, most of it came by email which greatly reduced the amount of work. Copy and paste is much faster than having to retype everything.
I worked diligently for a couple weeks and finally got caught up with everything that had been submitted. Things kept coming in steadily and I was able to keep caught after by doing an update every day. The stream has slowed to a trickle now. I was hoping to get this project done in January and February and I could meet that self-imposed deadline if the rest of the things come in. There are twenty-three churches and as of today twenty-one are completed. That leaves two stragglers who are holding up the works. They are working on it and I hope it doesn't take them much longer.
I kind of expected when I started that there would be a few stragglers but I didn't know who they would be. Now I do. But I'm not telling who they are. I was pleased with the overall response. This book is different than any I've ever done in that I am only the compiler and editor, not the writer. It is a joint effort and takes the cooperation of everyone to make it happen. The level of cooperation I've had is encouraging and tells me a lot of people are interested in the book. It won't be my best seller because it will have a more limited appeal but I thought it was worth doing.
The first congregation in the Mid-Atlantic Mennonite Fellowship was established in 1972. I am a member of the second congregation which began in 1973. The number of us who have been with it since the beginning is dwindling. Every time a person dies their memories are erased unless they were recorded. We need to get at least some of our history written before everyone is gone that can remember the beginning.
At any rate, I feel like the biggest job on my winter list is nearly conquered. I still have a good bit of scrapbooking to do before spring and got started on that last week. But on Saturday I saw a whole flock of robins so that's a warning that winter is winding down and I better stick with it if I want to cross the last job off my list by the time outside work starts.
"Our lives are so important to us that we tend to think the story of them begins with our birth. First there was nothing, then I was born. Yet that is not so. Human lives are not pieces of string that can be separated out from a knot of others and laid out straight. Families are webs. Impossible to touch one part of it without setting the rest vibrating. Impossible to understand one part without having a sense of the whole. . . A birth is not really a beginning. Our lives at the start are not really our own but only the continuation of someone else's story."
"People disappear when they die. Their voice, their laughter, the warmth of their breath. Their flesh. Eventually their bones. All living memory of them ceases. This is both dreadful and natural. Yet for some there is an exception to this annihilation. For in the books they write they continue to exist. We can rediscover them. Their humor, their tone of voice, their moods. Through the written word they can anger you or make you happy. They can comfort you. They can perplex you. They can alter you. All this even though they are dead. Like flies in amber, like corpses frozen in ice, that which according to the laws of nature should pass away is, by the miracle of ink on paper, preserved. It is a kind of magic."
The day started out bright and sunny but the groundhog declared he didn't see any shadows and spring is just around the corner. Ha! By afternoon the skies were gray. We left at 1 to go to a niece's wedding. By the time the wedding was over at 3 the ground was white.
Kate and Trent had a very nice wedding. As far as I could tell everything went smoothly. I liked their choice of music and the group who sang had lovely voices.
The reception was a veritable feast. We started with fresh fruit on skewers, crackers, cheese, chocolate covered pretzels, and punch for appetizers. The main course was homemade rolls, ham balls, roast beef, mashed potatoes, brown-butter noodles, mixed vegetables with cheese sauce, cole slaw, and tossed salad. The dessert table groaned with at least a dozen kinds of puddings, cakes, cupcakes, cheesecake, whoopie pies, pumpkin roll, cookies, tarts, homemade chocolates, and probably some I'm forgetting, topped off with ice cream, coffee, nuts, and mints. I was groaning by the time I pushed my chair back from the table. That ought to be enough to last all weekend!