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Sunday, September 29, 2013

Tractor Show

Five years ago Leroy started collecting parts to build a miniature unstyled John Deere B tractor. The pieces were basket cases he salvaged here and there. Finally this summer he got it all together and running. It needs a little work to get it running better but is good enough that he was able to take it to a couple shows this month.
Someone who saw it at Myerstown East End days invited him to bring it to their tractor show at Oley Mennonite Church on September 28. That was the third Saturday in a row he took it to a show and I think the last one for awhile. It was just a small show but a beautiful day to be out. We met some new friends and old acquaintances there.
They told Leroy to park his little tractor at the end of the toy row. Before long, the owner of the full size John Deere B moved his tractor and parked beside him. Maybe he thought the little guy needed a big brother to watch over him. When people look at his little tractor they don't really know what they're seeing until he starts telling them how he built it from scrap parts. Then they see it in a different light.
One little guy climbed up and tried it out.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Calm Change

Sometimes the fall equinox is accompanied by violent and/or very abrupt changes in the weather. The year of 1983 was one of those times. Our youngest child was overdue and the summer heat continued with a vengeance. When we finally left for the hospital in the early morning hours on September 20, it had only gone down to 80 degrees overnight. Fall came with a terrific crash during the days I was in the hospital. (In those days they let you rest a couple days and didn't push you out six hours later.) The nurses kept saying how cool it was but I found it hard to believe until the moment I stepped out of the hospital. There was a definite chill in the air and summer had come to an abrupt end.
This year that child had his 30th birthday. His wife hosted a party for him at their home. Since their house is too small for a party crowd, she planned to have it on the lawn. Uh-oh! I thought. That's chancy. It's the equinox after all.
But this year the equinox came in rather calmly for a change. There were no hurricanes or violent storms. A line of thunderstorms passed through Saturday night. They dropped about a half inch of rain and ushered in cooler temperatures but by Sunday it had cleared and the lawn party went on as planned. It did get a bit chilly as the evening wore on, and especially after the sun went down. But by then the party was nearly over. I got a bunch of pictures at the party and after I was home I realized I don't have one of the birthday boy. What kind of a mom does something like that!



Saturday, September 14, 2013

Cross That Bridge

The bridge we crossed to get to the main road was closed for several years, which meant we had to go the long way around. Back at the end of April we saw work had begun to repair the bridge. I thought in about a month it would be open again. Well, that was a vain hope. Instead of being repaired the bridge was completely torn away and replaced with a totally new bridge. There were intervals when nothing was happening; at least nothing we could see. What I thought might take a month took 4.5 months. It finally opened on Wednesday and I drove across it for the first time today. After all those years of using the detour, I'm afraid I'll forget it's open again and automatically turn the other way.
Brand spankin' new bridge.
Another positive thing happened this week when I had an injection in my spine. The difficulty I've had walking all summer disappeared in less than 24 hours. I can walk again without a cane and sleep in bed all night without pain. If an injection was all it took, why did it take four months to figure that out? If it isn't a permanent fix and doesn't last, we'll cross that bridge when we get there. At the moment, I'm very thankful for the relief.

Monday, September 9, 2013

It's A Deere

It's been a couple years in the making and Leroy says there is still little things he needs to do to this tractor he built. But it's looking more like a John Deere since Gerald helped him put the decals on the side. Now it's not just pretending to be a John Deere B, it's proudly wearing the John Deere name on the sides of its hood.
I wonder if it will ever be 100% finished. But if it was, what would he do with it? The thing is pretty much a big toy, fun to build, fun to tinker with. At any rate, even though it's not as perfectly done as some models other guys have built, I think he did a good job of building a tractor from scraps. The old Novo engine even makes it sound like a John Deere.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Labor Day Parties

I am taking it easy today after a whirlwind weekend of one party after another. Why is life like that? Sometimes nothing is going on and the next time the schedule is packed full. And then when I thought it was already full, a funeral was added to the list Sunday afternoon. I survived, but now it is time to catch my breath.
Here is a bird's eye view of our Labor Day weekend.
Saturday---Stauffer family chicken barbq in honor of Leroy's mother's 90th birthday, attended by 80 of her descendants.
Mom surrounded by all ten of her children . . .
with their spouses . . .
and 19 of her 26 grandchildren (two left before the picture was taken).
It would have been too difficult to collect the 40 great-grandchildren in attendance and make them hold still long enough to get a good picture.
Sunday---soft pretzel party for the August birthdays in our family
Monday--Burkholder apple butter boil