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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Family Weekend

Our Family Weekend is normally in June, but this year we adjusted the schedule a little and had it in May. Cheryl's son, Josh, graduated from high school on May 16. The entire family traveled to Ohio to attend the graduation on Friday evening. Gene was the main speaker.
Here are the six graduates with their teacher, Mr. Lapp.

Josh with his diploma and proud parents.
Would a graduation be complete without a cake?
After the party was over, we all went to a cabin a half hour away at Cambridge, Ohio, for the rest of the weekend.

In my book, this is not a cabin but a log house in the woods. It was spacious enough to accommodate all of our tribe even when it rained Saturday afternoon. The kitchen was fully stocked and even had a dishwasher.

 There was a large living room with a fireplace (which we did not use).

We enjoyed each others company on Saturday and a variety of activities which ranged from quiet ones like a 500-piece puzzle to fishing, skateboarding, etc., depending on age and interests.

And, of course, chewing the fat.

We also took family pictures on Saturday morning. We took each family separately this time and will make a collage which will follow later.

The weekend passed all too quickly. After attending church Sunday morning and having a spaghetti lunch, it was time to pack up and make the long drive back home. It was a good weekend.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Mother's Day Thoughts

My mother died in 1993 at the age of 66. She was the youngest in her family, 13 years younger than the rest of her siblings, and they were all still living. I expected my mother to live as long as her siblings and have her another 20 years. But it was not to be.
I could accept God's timing but struggled with grief again every year at Mother's Day. Weeks in advance every advertisement screamed at me suggesting I could do this or that for my mother on Mother's Day. It just rubbed salt in the wound and I was always relieved when the day passed. It has taken me 20 years but I can finally live through the day without getting upset and resenting all the commercialization that goes with the day. Not that I don't miss my mother anymore or never wish I could talk to her again, but I've finally come to terms with the fact that she died 20 years sooner than I expected. She has had 20 years of perfect peace in God's presence and I would not wish her back to this earth for my own selfish reasons.
I am sure there are many other women who must struggle at Mother's Day for other reasons. Women who would love to be mothers and are not (for various reasons); women who have miscarried or had a child die young; women whose children have gotten into trouble and disappointed them. And then, on the other side of the coin, are irresponsible women who have borne children but did not want to care for them. They have children but are not mothers. To women who wanted children but did not have them, that seems terribly unfair. And children who were abused or abandoned must struggle with wishing they had a mother.
 It's nice to have a day to remember and honor our mothers but we ought to be more sensitive to the feelings of the women who are not mothers and have no mother living to spend the day with. We should not make them feel like being a mother is the only way for a woman to be successful in life. We can honor our mothers (living or not) every day in countless ways. It doesn't have to be with a gift or spending time with them. I honor my mother by cherishing her memory and living by the principles she taught me. And I know that's really all she ever wanted from me.
In loving memory of
Betty Burkholder

Monday, May 5, 2014

Wishy Washy

My parents built a cabin in Union County in 1984. My father passed away in 1987 and the cabin was turned over to my generation. Otherwise, I probably would never have been part-owner of a cabin. But since it turned out that way, we've been going every spring with my sisters to do the annual spring cleanup and maintenance work.
The biggest job this year was washing the roof. We've done it several times over the years but this year we thought we'd make it easy with a 1000 gal. tank of water and a high pressure washer. That was a wishy washy idea! It was eight years since it was last washed and the black stuff was stuck on tight. The only way to get it off was to blast it off at close range with the pressure washer. That meant doing only a small section at a time and it was slow going.
By the time this side was finished we saw it's going to get dark before the job was done. But two dedicated people were determined to finish. Leroy set up a big spotlight and they continued to work (in the rain) after dark.
At 10 p.m. the water ran out and they finally quit. It was all done except one small section about 3 ft. across and half way down this back side of the roof.
It needs to be painted and now, while it is clean, is the time to do it. But we agreed to hire someone to do it. Washing it was enough for a bunch of (mostly) senior citizens.