Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Grandpa Masts lived in a nice house in the middle of the village of Pocahontas. Aunt Emma had never married and still lived with them and Vernie of course was also very much a part of their household. I loved their cheerful house, everything always felt just right when we went to see them. The cookie jar was always full, and Emma busy with one of her many tasks. Vernie would be helping her or playing with her dolls and coloring books. Grandma had a room where she spent a lot of time scrap booking and writing letters and Grandpa would be rocking on his old creaky rocking chair reading a book. He would always lay his book aside when ever I came and start talking. He was always very interested in what was going on in my life and it was very easy to discuss everything with him. I didn't ever want them or their house to change.

Uncle Eli and his wife lived right across the road from Grandpa's and would be there to help with anything that they needed. So one forenoon when Eli stopped in and said that Grandpa had a stroke and was in the hospital I felt as if the whole world was crashing. Mom and Daddy dropped everything and went to the hospital to be with him leaving John and I in charge of taking care of the woodworking shop and customers.

Days blurred into each other and we were all relieved when Grandpa could come home again. He could still talk but was too weak to leave his bed so he needed a lot of care. Mom and Daddy went to see him everyday and one day when they came home they went somewhere to talk without having us children hear what they were discussing. That evening Uncle John Henry came by to talk and this time we couldn't help over hearing what they were saying.

Grandpa wanted to build a house right next to ours so that Grandma, Emma, and Vernie would be living next to their daughter/sister when he passes on. I wasn't happy to hear that Grandpa wasn't expecting to live long, and I was not ready to have them move away from their house in the village.

That evening Mom and Daddy talked to us about it and wanted to know how we feel about having Grandpa's build a house right next to ours. I wanted to say no, that I don't want them to build a house and move in right next to us but felt extremely selfish to actually put it into words.

I went to bed hoping that by some miracle Grandpa would get a lot better and they would forget about building a new house for them. I wasn't ready for more changes and wanted nothing more than have things stay the way they were.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Choosing the Winner

Sounds like everyone had a pleasant Thanksgiving. I enjoyed reading all your comments about your day.

And now it's time to choose the winner. With the help of my friend, the random generator the winner this time is...........
Number 19

Flowers of Life said..........
Had a great family time at home everyone was glad for a day of and not do anything,but read to our hearts content

Congratulations! Please contact me with your mailing address and I will get your book shipped to you. I hope you will enjoy it as much as I used to.

Saturday, November 27, 2010


Curling up on a comfortable chair in the living room with a pile of old Young Companion magazines that Grandpa's had kept and loaned to us to read was one of my favorite ways to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon. Each issue was filled with stories about Amish youth. There were always continued stories that I would have to get all the magazines in order to make sure I have the next installment ready to read as soon as I needed  it.

There were many great stories and one I enjoyed in particular was about a young girl, Miriam Schlabach, who was wanting to join the instruction classes in order to become a member of the church. her best friend Elsie was also planning to join but wasn't being a good influence on Miriam's life since she was still drawn to things that were forbidden by the church.
Not long ago I found that they had taken this continued story from the Young Companion and published it in a little book.

If you would like to have a chance to own this book leave a comment telling me what you did on Thanksgiving. 

As always, for a second entry post a link to my giveaway on your blog and come back and leave another comment telling me you did.

I will be choosing a winner using random.org on Monday Nov. 29th

Giveaway is closed and a winner announced.

Friday, November 26, 2010


All during my school years Nancy had been my best friend. She was a very sweet, soft spoken girl that was friends with everyone and there wasn't a mean bone in her body. I thought there was nothing that could come between our friendship.

And then her brother got married, leaving her with no ride to and from the youth singings every other Sunday evening. Since John was old enough to be going to the singings I had to ride with him which left only LV without a passenger on his buggy which made that he would be the one that had to furnish transportation for Nancy.

I tried to not let the thought of LV and Nancy riding together bother me, but if I was honest it really did. I didn't want Nancy sitting next to LV on his buggy. The buggy where we had so many pleasant evenings together. What made it even worse was that Nancy lived at the outskirts of the community which meant that they would always have a really long ride. I could envision Nancy on the buggy making pleasant conversation and being so prim and proper, unlike me who had the ability to say and do all the wrong things.

It kept eating at me so badly that I went and wrote a letter to LV and folded it up in a tiny little square so that John could slip it to LV when they shook hands before the  singing. That letter, born out of being jealous, was only the first of many that we would send to each other.

I still didn't like that LV had to take Nancy to and from the singings but knowing that he didn't enjoy it either and that I would have a nice juicy letter to read once I came home made it a little more bearable.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving ! I hope you will all have a very lovely day.

Ours will be a little different this year but that won't keep us from being thankful for the many blessings in our life.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Looking at the Forbidden

Soon after we learned how to read German Mom and Daddy gave each of us children a little New Testament and by the time we graduated from school we got a nice large hard covered one. I would read a chapter or so occasionally but since it was in German I didn't read much or very often.

Soon after I had become a member of the church Mom and Daddy had gone on a trip and come home with several leather bound Bibles. They gave John and I each a copy. We were both happy that it was a German and English Bible and made up our minds we would read it from cover to cover.

I got stuck in Leviticus and set it aside, thoroughly bored and wondering why such strange rules and things were recorded in the Bible. I had much more interesting things to read and the Bible got tucked on a shelf in my closet.

John was much more dedicated with reading through his Bible and evenings before we went to bed we would often sit in his room for a while where he would talk with enthusiasm about what he had been reading. He found all the history very interesting and I found it entertaining as well when he talked about it.

One evening we were once again sitting in his room. He was perched on the edge of his bed very excited as he told me how he just read in Isaiah 11 how someday a wolf would dwell with a lamb and a lion eat straw like an ox. Fascinated I read it too. We talked a little more about it and wondered how that would seem.

The next day when David and Mahlon were at school we had just finished eating lunch and were relaxing a little before heading back to work when John went upstairs and got his Bible.  Bringing it down he told Mom and Daddy how he had found something very interesting and proceeded to read those passages to them. They stood there looking horrified and told us we should certainly not believe that, and forbade us to read anything between Proverbs and the New Testament.

My interest in reading the Bible was piqued again, but I didn't want to disobey a direct order from mom and Daddy. John was wishing he had never said anything about it since he had been hoping to read the entire Bible.

That evening we discussed whether or not to continue reading, and decided that we would wait to read the forbidden parts of the Bible until we were twenty one and were no longer accountable to Mom and Daddy.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Phone Shanty

It was a cold foggy winter day. There was several feet of snow on the ground the top had formed a hard crust perfect for sledding and walking on top without breaking through.

Right after I was done doing the dishes after lunch I dressed warmly, got a book I was reading and headed down the road to our pasture across the road to our phone shanty where I would sit for the next thirty minutes to answer the phone if any one wanted to call.

Going out through the basement I decided to wear Daddy's big thick winter coat on top of everything I was wearing to try to keep out the damp freezing fog. I was glad we didn't have a mirror in the basement so I didn't have to see how much I was resembling an elephant.

I walked to the phone shanty and then settled into the chair next to the phone and started reading my book. I wasn't there very long before I heard several vehicles drive into the driveway leading to the graveyard in the woods behind the phone shanty. The fog was heavy enough that I couldn't see who it was.

Not paying too much attention to them I continued enjoying my book. Before long I heard a very weird noise. Almost as if someone was yelling or calling someone. I froze. The book closed as I listened and was horrified to hear the unearthly sounds again, what was even worse it sounded as if it was closer than it had been.

After several more yells I stepped cautiously outside of the phone shanty. Another yell pierced the air. that was enough. I didn't care how many people wanted to call. I was going for the house as fast fast as my feet could carry me. Daddy's coat that had felt so nice and warm was now bulky and hindering my ability to run as I stumbled and slipped on the icy snow.

I burst into the back shop door, banged it shut and stood there panting. Daddy asked what was wrong and I told him about the awful noises I had been hearing. He saw I really was scared and sent me back to the house while he went to the phone shanty for the remaining scheduled time.

When he came back in he said he hadn't heard anything unusual. I was starting to feel a little sheepish but knew I really had heard something.

The next Sunday evening LV told me that with the heavy fog he had decided to come talk with me while I wait on calls. That he's sorry he had scared me but it had almost been worth it seeing my terrified flight to the shop.

I felt embarrassed that I had run and a little aggravated that he had yelled so weirdly instead of calling my name.

Monday, November 22, 2010

~Giveaway Winner~

I had so much fun reading all the comments about things you still have or wish you had that you used to enjoy in your childhood.

Thanks to everyone who entered. Unfortunately there can only be one winner. And so without further ado the winner is..........
Number 6

Count me in! One of my favorite toys from when I was little (and I still have it) is my Susie doll. My mom would make clothes for her and I remember taking her everywhere.

Congratulations! Please send an email with your address and I will get the book shipped to you.  I hope you will enjoy it as much as I do.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Time for Another Giveaway!

For a long time my Mom had only three cookbooks. And the one she used the most was a hard covered light blue book with it's simple cover design and named simply "Amish Cooking"

As an eager young cook, it was the first recipe book I used and it wasn't long before the pages showed tell tale signs that I was a beginner. They became spattered and dirty much to my dismay. Mom wasn't thrilled at how I was ruining her cookbook, but never complained about it either saying that she would keep it and think of me when ever she uses it.

Years and hundreds of cookbooks later I still find myself turning to this book the most. It still holds many of our favorite recipes, from pancakes and grapenuts to Apple Goodie and Pecan Pie and everything in between. With page after page of tried and true recipes it will always remain an important item for my kitchen.
Since I like it so well I thought I would give one of these cookbooks away. If you would like to have a chance to win it all you have to do is leave a comment telling me something that you still have or wish you still had from your childhood.

For a second entry post a link to this giveaway on your blog them come back and leave another comment telling me you did.

I will be choosing the winner on Monday Nov 22nd using Random.org  Please make sure I have a way of contacting you if you are the winner.

Disclaimer: The only compensation I get from doing this giveaway is the warm happy feeling it gives me to be able to give someone one of my favorite cookbooks.

Giveaway is now closed and the winner chosen.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Special Help

Shelling peas was never one of my favorite things to do. But since we ate a lot of them Mom always planted a lot and since we had a busy store the bulk of gardening and canning became my responsibility.

I used to try to get all the peas picked before breakfast and then sit in the shade to shell them. We lived close to a busy road and as my little brothers and I were shelling peas we would often play guessing games, or traffic games.

One forenoon I was busy shelling peas when I heard a horse and buggy come down the road. As I looked up I recognized Ridge but since the storm front was closed I couldn't see who was driving. The pine trees behind me kept me from being able to see as the buggy passed, but then I was surprised to hear it pull off the road by our hitching rack.

A little later Ivan, who had been helping me shell peas announced excitedly that LV was walking toward us. I looked up and was thrilled to see LV approaching but suddenly felt klutzy. I wasn't sure what to do with myself as I sat on a little child's arm chair with a big bowl of peas on my lap.

LV didn't seem to notice that I was flustered as he sat on the grass and started helping Ivan shell his bowl of peas. The forenoon passed way too fast as we visited. I wished Ivan would give us some time alone but he seemed so happy to be sitting next to LV that i didn't have the heart to tell him to go into the house.

Several weeks later a customer gave us several pictures they had taken of us. I was very happy to have it and tucked it away carefully. It would be the only one I ever had of LV and I while we were courting.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Sewing Room

November was always a gloomy month with one gray day following the next and having a solid week or more of very heavy fog wasn't unusual.

But even with unfavorable weather and moody skies I really enjoyed the month. We usually had our fall house cleaning done and were ready to start on all the fun projects we had stashed away for winter. Our days would be spent in the sewing room. It was a very pleasant room. With two walls covered with built in floor to ceiling oak cupboards. The other walls were painted a delicate lavender. There were several large windows with fluffy white curtains. Mom and I each had a nice treadle sewing machine underneath one of the windows. A large table under the other windows to do our fabric cutting completed the room.

Every morning right after breakfast dishes were done we would carry our gas lamp into the sewing room and hang it on a hook under a stainless steel reflector. The noisy hum of the lamp and the warmth from the radiators made the room feel cozy as we decided what we would be sewing that day.

Since LV and I were courting I had a lot of things that I wanted to sew in preparations of my own home someday. Mom and Daddy were giving me three quilts and a comforter. It was fun going through the cupboards and selecting the fabric and patterns I would be using for my quilts and other projects. It wasn't long before I had made plenty of pretty potholders and tea towels. Watching them pile up in a drawer in my room was satisfying as I dreamed of the day I would be able to use them.

It took a little longer to decide what quilts I would be making. I finally decided on a Double Irish Chain, Trip Around the World, and a Broken Star. The Irish Chain and Trip Around the World would be for everyday use and I would keep the Broken Star for our guest room. It didn't take very long to piece the first two but the Broken Star was a little more difficult. I remained unfazed as I worked patiently on making sure it turned out just right. As I sewed my quilt Mom was working on her projects. It seemed we never ran out of things to talk about or songs to sing.

The drab November days are here again and I'm really missing Mom and the sewing room right now.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Latest

Life has a way of handing you things that you never expected. The past few months we spent away from home. And though I got used to "camping out" I really looked forward to coming home once again. We had given our houseplants to a friend to care for while we were gone, so when I stepped into the kitchen I was happy to see the one plant we had forgotten about had thrived on not being cared for over the past several months and even had a few welcome home blooms.
 It wasn't long before we discovered that not only was there a pretty flower waiting to welcome us home there was also something not nearly as nice lurking under the kitchen counter.

I had been afraid of that since we live in a very old farmhouse and it's November that there would be a lot of mice looking for a nice place to spend the winter. I was getting a drink of water when I heard the unmistakable pitter patter of tiny feet. I froze and then quickly told my husband to check to see what is under the counter. He opened the door and there it was. A fat little field mouse enjoying the last remnants of a bag of cornmeal. It scurried toward the back of the lazy susan and sat down to see what we were going to do.

My husband got a trap baited it and put it next to the cornmeal while the brave little mouse watched with gleeful curiosity. Closing the door we waited for a few seconds and heard the trap spring. I didn't want to see  a dead mouse and went into the next room and closed the door. Hearing my husband chuckle I asked whats so funny because even he doesn't think dead mice are all that funny.

He informed me the mouse is getting the last laugh since it cleverly sprung the trap without getting caught. Sunbeam thinks it's so cute but I don't share her sentiments and won't be able to rest well until we have outwitted our courageous little unwelcome house guest.

Any advice?

Monday, November 15, 2010

Hospital Bills

Over the course of the next few weeks the trustees would drop in with small amounts of money that people had given to help with David's hospital bills. It wasn't long before we knew that we would have to foot the majority of the bill on our own since we had not gotten nearly enough money to cover the bills and we didn't want to make another request to the church even though the trustees had offered to make another request for us.

Daddy accompanied David to his follow up appointment with his surgeon and while there he talked to him about setting up a payment plan to pay the bill. The doctor seemed to be willing to work with us and as they left his office Daddy gave him one of our business cards which had our phone number and the half hour that we could be reached if he wanted to call.

The next few days Daddy went to the phone shanty for the half hour that we took calls to make sure that if the doctor called he would be the one to answer the phone. Everyday he would come in and say that he hadn't called and was concerned that maybe the doctor had changed his mind about setting up a payment plan.

On Saturday afternoon we were surprised to see the doctor and his wife walk into our store. They looked at all the furniture we had and seemed to really like it. After picking out a bedroom suite and a dining room set he asked if it would be okay if they would take those two sets in exchange for marking the hospital bill paid in full.

Daddy was more than happy to agree. That evening we all rejoiced at how everything had worked together and the bills were all taken care of.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Amish Singing and Confessions

The second hymn to be sung in every Amish church service is the Lob Lied (Praise Song) It takes an average of twenty minutes to sing the four stanzas which each have seven lines. The ministers usually came back from their private meeting toward the end of the last verse. I always hoped they would come before the next song was announced because it seemed as if every time it took them longer than that, all the members would have to stay in after church to deal with some sort of problems.

As much as I had looked forward to seeing what goes on behind those closed doors, I wished with all my heart that I wouldn't have to be part of it once I had been baptized and become a member of the church.

I was back in church for the first time since I had the chicken pox. It seemed nice that the whole family was able to go to church together once again. After the preaching service was over the bishop announced that he wants all the members remain seated after the last song was sung.

I wondered what would happen this time. As far as I knew I hadn't done anything wrong but my hands still felt cold and clammy. After the children had all filed out and the doors were closed, the bishop rose and announced that as everyone knows there is a new hospital bill in the community. That the bill from David's hospital stay was more than Mom and Daddy could pay on their own and that if people would give donations to the trustees they would make that we would get help to pay the bill.

I felt embarrassed that everyone knew that we couldn't pay the bill on our own but wondered why we had to remain seated just for that since they had often announced hospital bills with all the non-members present. I didn't have to wonder for long though as the bishop continued by saying that from time to time foxes sneak into the vineyard and it is the keeper of the vineyards duty to deal with them when ever they appear and sadly another fox had entered.That it was brought to his attention that there was a man who had a few pictures in his house of his children after someone had asked the children to pose and taken a picture of them and then given him a copy. If this is true he asks that David Swarey would leave the building while the rest of the church votes on his punishment.

I felt my face turn red and my stomach turn into knots as Daddy got up and left the church building. The bishop then addressed the rest of the church saying how sad he was that this had occurred and they think a common confession should suffice as punishment this time. he sat down and the ministers gave their two cents worth and then went to see if the rest of the church was in agreement.I knew I was expected to say "I am in agreeance and I wish the Lord's blessings" I didn't think it was necessary for Daddy to make a confession but knew I wasn't allowed to disagree since I was only a girl. When the preacher that was taking the women's votes came to me and bent his head I quickly whispered in his ear. "I wish the Lord's blessings" but refused to say that I agreed.

After the ministers had taken the whispered votes and and returned to their seats the minister who had taken the men's votes announced that every one had agreed. The one that had taken the women's votes added that all the women had agreed also. The bishop rose and said he was glad everyone was agreed because where people are in unity the power of God is strong. He then asked one of the men to go tell Daddy to come back inside.

After Daddy returned to his seat the bishop said " The church has decided that they require a common confession and to repeat after him. I acknowledge that I have grieved God and the church and with heartfelt sorrow I ask both to forgive me and with God's help I will try to live more holy"

After Daddy had said the confession the bishop extended forgiveness saying how nice it is for Daddy to be at peace with God and the church again.

I felt horrible about the whole deal and vowed I would never make a confession in church. The humiliation and knowing that everyone in Somerset County would know about it was all the motivation I needed to be extra careful.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


Time to choose the winner for the book "His Protecting Hand"

The winner is ...............
Number 13

Nel said .........
I would love to be entered into your giveaway. We have some left over chili from last week so we are going to have chili dogs and french fries tonight. Thanks for doing the giveaway!

until next time... nel

Congratulations Nel !  Please send me your address and I'll get the book mailed to you. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


One of the least favorite things in my life is looking out the window and seeing this.

Most times when this happens I can hear envious moos coming from the pasture where a few calves missed the the departure time when the rest of their friends decided to go on an exciting tour of  greener grass.

Yesterday when I discovered the calves escaped again I wasn't happy when I didn't hear any envious moos. When I went outside my fears were confirmed. All the calves were having a grand time in our yard. Sending Sailor to close the gates at the end of our driveway to keep them from running out on the road I started trying to get them to head back toward their pasture.

Trying to herd twenty calves at one time is no easy feat and we soon gave up and concentrated on only three or four at a time leaving the rest to sample everything the yard and barn had to offer. Calves have a way of not wanting to give up their freedom even though their pasture offers them much more room and grazing than the yard does.

Stationing the girls between the house and the barn in hopes their presence would discourage the calves from running back into the main part of the yard Sailor and I tried to coax one at a time back into the field. Most of them with a little time and careful moves got headed back through the gate.

The smallest of the bunch decided it was not going to co-operate and every time it neared the gate it would kick up his heels and dart back the way it had come from. trying my best to head it off for the tenth time I tripped over an uneven spot and wound up kissing America. After more than an hour of trying we actually managed to get them all back where they belong. They are all doing great, I am hoping I won't be sore for long.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

A Recipe

We don't get to go out to eat very often at all. When we do, one of our favorite restaurants is a cute little Mexican that has some of the best Mexican food I have ever had the pleasure to eat.

 Living in the middle of nowhere the options of great places to eat are very limited so when I stumbled across a recipe for a Spinach Artichoke dip similar to that of what I have enjoyed over the past years in restaurants not located in the middle of nowhere I was happy. I made it several weeks ago and it was just as good as I remembered so I had to make it again and invite a friend over to help eat it and see if she liked it as well as we do. After receiving her confirmation that it really is delicious I decided to share it with you.
Spinach Artichoke Dip

1- 10 oz box frozen chopped spinach
1- 14 oz can artichoke hearts drained and chopped
2 cups shredded cheese ( I used a Colby blend)
1 jar Cheesy Ragu Classic Alfredo sauce
4 oz softened cream cheese

Mix all ingredients thoroughly in a bowl and spread into an 8" x 8" baking dish. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes and serve with chips or bread. So good! I can't decide how I like it best warm, or as cold left overs. Either way. Delicious!

Monday, November 8, 2010


Mom and Daddy kept our home library filled with good books. During winter months Mom would read to us before we went to bed and when ever we had some spare time you could find us somewhere enjoying a book.

One of my favorites was the book, "His Protecting Hand" based on a true story about the life of an Amish girl. What made it even more special to me was that my Grandma Mast personally knew "Lillie". I always marvelled at the strength and courage Lillie and her mother portrayed throughout the book as their family experienced many hardships of pioneer life.

In her very unique life would Lillie fall for Billy and leave the Amish or would her mother's prayers and God's protecting hand keep her true to the faith she had been born into?

If you would like a chance to win this book leave a comment telling me something you would like to have for dinner tonight.

For a second entry share a link for this giveaway on your blog and then come back and leave another comment telling me that you did. Be sure to make that I have a way to contact you if you are chosen as the winner.

I will choose a winner on Thursday Nov 11th using Random.org

Disclaimer: The only compensation I get from having this giveaway is the warm happy feeling of knowing I get to give one of my readers a book that has been one of my favorites for years.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Chicken Pox ~ Part Three

I made supper and as we were eating Daddy looked at me a little funny and asked if I am getting Chicken Pox too. That there is something on my face.

I went to look in the mirror and was dismayed to see a few big ugly pox on my face. I then showed my arms to Daddy and he told me to go to bed, that he and John would take care of cleaning away the dishes and tidying the kitchen.

I went to bed, in the middle of the night I woke up feeling awful and much too warm. I got up to wash my face with cool water mixed with baking soda in hopes it would make it feel better. I struck a match to light my lamp and didn't like how my hand trembled as I tried to place the chimney on the lamp. As I was picking it up to go fix the water I happened to catch a glimpse of my face in the mirror and recoiled in horror. It was covered in huge blister looking pox there wasn't a spot on my face that I could touch without also touching a pox.

I went downstairs and was fixing a bowl full of water when Daddy came out to the kitchen to see what I needed. When I turned around and he caught sight of my face I saw a shocked expression crossing his face. He asked me to sit down on Mom's rocking chair while he went to get a washcloth and proceeded to dip it in the water and then gently blotted my face and arms with it.

It felt so good. Once he was done he asked me to stay on the rocker while he went and brought our roll away bed into the kitchen and got it ready for me. I was glad I didn't have to climb the stairs again and sank wearily into it. Daddy told me to call him if I needed anything and then went back to bed.

I didn't sleep well the rest of the night but didn't want to disturb Daddy from his much needed rest. The next morning Daddy appointed John to take care of us while he went to the hospital to stay with David and Mom could come home with us.

It seemed wonderful to have Mom at home. Her presence was comforting and she spent a lot of time trying to cool me as I was burning with fever and drifting in and out of crazy dreams.

A few days later the fever left but I was still very sick, but not sick enough that I didn't rejoice with the rest of the family that David was able to come home from the hospital. Grandpa Mast's brought their hospital bed for David and set it up in the kitchen across the room from where I was on the roll away bed.

Daddy lifted David into his bed. I was shocked at how frail and skinny he looked. As he lay in bed he looked over at me and his first words were, "Wow, if only you could put some lights in all those bulbs you would look kind of pretty."

I had to laugh. It seemed so good having him at home again. His sense of humor and being able to talk to each other made the remaining days of being confined in bed go so much faster.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Chicken Pox ~ Part Two

Daddy went to the phone shanty to call a driver to come and take them to the hospital with David. Since it was such short notice most drivers were running errands with other Amish and it took Daddy quite a long time to locate someone who could take them.

When he came in he told us it might take a little while till the driver got here. They got David ready and then sat there and waited anxiously for the driver to get there. When he arrived Daddy had to help David to the vehicle since he couldn't stand upright any longer.

John and I were left in charge of everything while they were gone. I was hoping the doctors could give David some kind of medicine and they could come home before long. The rest of the day passed slowly as I took care of Ivan and Raymond who were still quite sick from having chicken pox. Wondering what was wrong with David didn't help.

Bedtime came and they were still at the hospital so rather than waiting up for them to get home we went to bed.

The next day Daddy came home and told us that David's appendix had burst and they had to do emergency surgery. Mom would be staying with him until he was released.

I was kept busy with caring for my sick brothers, and doing all the household chores by myself. It wasn't long before Mahlon was sick too and I did everything I could to try to make him comfortable. That afternoon a butcher delivered five hundred pounds of hamburger from the steers we had sent to be butchered earlier. Daddy helped mix and season the meat while I stuffed jar after jar and then carried them to the basement where we had a huge canner that we used to set the filled jars in and then boil them for three hours. Aunt Emma came to help out one day but my days still felt dizzying busy.

Then one afternoon while everyone was sleeping I decided to take this opportunity to do some sewing. I spread out the fabric and was cutting quilt blocks. Before long I felt too tired to continue. Thinking that it was because I hadn't had a moment to rest in the past week since David had been in the hospital, I sat down in a chair to rest a little. As I sat there I noticed a few ugly pox on my arm.

I felt like crying. I didn't have time to be sick with Mom at the hospital with David, who would do all the work that needed to be done?

To be continued

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Chicken Pox ~ Part One

Two weeks after the Thanksgiving weddings, John got up one morning not feeling very well. Mom soon saw that he was running a fever and there were a few suspicious looking spot on his face and arms. After inspecting them a little closer she announced that John has the chicken pox.

After converting our sofa into a bed she got everything fixed up in the living room and sent John to bed. For a few days John was very sick, covered in pox and feverish Mom spent most of her time trying to make him as comfortable as possible and coaxed as much liquids in him as she could. By the end of the first week his fever was gone and he now he had to deal with trying not to itch. My usually good natured easy going brother was anything but good natured. Bored to the uttermost he lay in the bed grumbling and complaining until I felt like making him sit outside in the snow for a while.

Mom didn't want him to read while he was sick so I had to spend several hours everyday sitting next to his bed and read to him. I was glad that the end of his two weeks in bed was coming and he could go back to his usual activities, but before Mom released him from his confinement David started with the pox and another cycle started.

I was afraid I would start with them too but day after day passed and I was still healthy so I started to assume I probably was immune to them. As David neared the end of his two weeks Ivan and Raymond both broke out. The living room felt crowded with three sick people filling it and Mom spent all day trying to soothe her sick children.

Another big snow storm went through piling several feet of snow on the ground. David wanted to go sledding more than anything else but Mom and Daddy were concerned that he should stay inside until his two weeks were up. David kept going from window to window and talk about how great it would be to have at least one sled ride, that he really didn't feel sick any longer.

Finally Mom and Daddy agreed that if he dressed really warmly he could go take one ride but then he would have to come in right away. Happy to have permission David went outside and took his sled ride. Coming back inside his face looked a little more pained and he went to lay down. Mom asked him what was wrong and he told her his stomach hurts. She gave him something and we all went to bed.

The next morning David was really sick Mom tried to get him to drink liquids but nothing wanted to stay down and the pain in his stomach was excruciating. By afternoon they decided it was time to take him to the emergency room to see what was wrong.

To be continued

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


A heart felt Thank You! to everyone who helped make my Aunt Vernie's birthday a little more special. You are the best for being willing to help make someone you only know through my blog, happy.

With close to a hundred people offering to send her a card her mailbox should be an interesting spot for a few days.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Thanksgiving Weddings ~ Part Four

After LV dropped me off at home I went into the house. My feet felt like ice chunks after the long buggy ride. After checking the kitchen stove to make sure it was banked properly for the night I went into the living room where I spent time standing and walking on the radiator to thaw my feet. The house felt empty knowing that Mom and Daddy weren't there.

The next day I kept busy with all the regular work besides taking care of a lot of customers who were trying to do Christmas shopping. I was glad when a van drove into the driveway and I saw that Mom and Daddy were at home.

Daddy carried the suitcase into the house and Mom immediately started unpacking them. I sat on the edge of their bed and told her all about the awful meal I had prepared for LV and how inspite of everything he had said he loved me.

She listened to everything I had to say and told me how happy she was for me and that she had some pretty awful cooking experiences when she and Daddy were newly wed and that I could expect more adventures like that in the future even though I was quite capable of cooking well.

That night after we went to bed I overheard Mom telling Daddy all about the errant drumstick and they both laughed heartily. I pulled my cover over my head and vowed that I wouldn't ever make another meal for LV as bad as that one had been.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Thanksgiving Weddings ~ Part Three

The rest of the afternoon passed quickly as I did the dishes and then spent the rest of the day playing games with my brothers. I prepared a nice supper for them and then went to get ready to go to the wedding reception.

We had a pleasant ride together and then enjoyed being able to watch as all the boys and girls paired up before going to eat. It was fun watching the girls expressions when the were told which of the boys had asked to sit with them. There were only a few that looked happy to be spending the next few hours sitting next to the boy that had chosen them.

After the everyone had been paired up we filed to the tables where we spent the next two hours singing. Only the boys had songbooks and shared them with the girl sitting next to them. Once we were done singing the bride's married brothers and sisters served bowls of steaming food. I was glad LV was getting something a little better to eat. They didn't have a lot of dessert like most Amish weddings do having only cake and then several kinds of pie.

The pie didn't look very appetizing to me with their very thick crust. I didn't take any but LV did. The crust was even worse than it had looked. Hard and not wanting to be cut with a fork. After eating the part with sparse fruit filling he tried working on the braided crust. Watching him try to eat it I offered to use my handkerchief to wrap it in and discard it later.

We were sitting with the few other courting couples in a little room by ourselves. after checking to make sure they weren't watching the pie crust made it's way from his plate to the handkerchief on my lap. I wrapped it up and put it in my pocket to be discarded on the way home.

After the meal was over the boys went to hitch up the horses while the girls gathered under a tree next to the driveway to wait for there ride to drive up. Most horses looked the same to me in the dark and so I was glad that LV's horse needed a special light colored piece of harness around his tail. I watched for it to make sure I got on the right buggy. Once I was settled in the buggy we made our way home slowly through the night. The buggy wheels singing their noisy song as they cut through the snow. It was still snowing and the headlights seemed dim as they tried to pierce through the swirling snow into the night. Inside the buggy I really couldn't have cared less about the driving conditions since LV and I were together.

To be continued