Friday, December 31, 2010

A Day in Big Valley

Shortly after LV and I were engaged Mom and Daddy sent our two kerosene cook stoves to a repair shop in Big Valley. There they would get all new parts and be repainted so they would be as good as new for the wedding.

Several months later we got a letter stating they were ready to be picked up. Daddy and Mom immediately began making plans to go pick them up. After hiring someone with a fifteen passenger van to to ensure the whole family could go along, they removed the last two seats to make room for the stoves. I thought it was rather strange that they wanted all of us to go along as usually if something like this came up Daddy would go pick it up by himself. After we got on the road it wasn't long before I sensed that we would be doing more than only pick up stoves. After we turned onto a road that I knew didn't lead to Big Valley my suspicions were confirmed.

It wasn't long before we discovered Daddy had planned a treat for us and made arrangements to get on the first tour of the day to Penn's Cave. As we all got into a boat we were ready to explore the cave. I thought it was quite interesting but still breathed a sigh of relieve when we got back safely. I much preferred being above ground.

We continued on to Big Valley where we spent the majority of the day visiting Daddy's aunts and uncles. Daddy wanted me to meet all of them before I got married. I had never realized just how many aunts and uncles he had until that day. I found most of them to be very boring people, they were friendly enough and always welcomed us into their homes. I felt a little awkward as we had to sit and visit a little before going on to the next aunt or uncle. In the one house the lady immediately wanted to give us all a glass of sweet tea. Going to the refrigerator she got several bottles of vegetable oil out and poured it into glasses. My stomach churned and I felt like gagging. I soon realized that she keeps empty vegetable oil bottles and uses them for other things, but it had made that I was no longer thirsty for anything. Watching for a chance I exchanged my full glass of tea with one of my brothers empty one. We were both happy to make the exchange.

After we left that house we went to a nearby store were Mom and Daddy announced I could pick out my wedding china. After looking at the many different patterns I selected what I thought was the prettiest. With it's pale flowers and silver trim.

Daddy pointed out the ones with bright pink or red flowers and asked if I wouldn't rather have those. They were pretty but I preferred the soft delicate pattern I had chosen rather than the more bold pinks and reds. After paying for it we went to pick up the stoves. It had been a long full day. Somehow with the stoves being repaired and the china purchased it made the wedding seem a little closer and there was still so much to do before then.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Interesting Recipes

A friend, knowing that I collect cookbooks presented me with a real gem. Printed in 1880. The pages are very lightly yellowed with age, but who ever had it must have taken really good care of it because it is still in surprisingly great condition.

I have been enjoying reading through it. Most of the recipes I wouldn't even think of trying their instructions nearly non existent. They range from incredibly bland and boring to some of the weirdest things I have ever heard of. There are some unique tips that I might try out some day but overall reading this book makes me very thankful that I got to grow up a century later when recipes had evolved to something much better.

Here is a sample of the things found in the book.

Pot Pie
One pint sour cream, two eggs, one teaspoonful of soda, flour to stiffen. Bake or boil.

Needless to say I will not be making it.

Breaded Eggs
Boil hard and cut in slices, pepper and salt and dip in beaten raw egg, then in bread or cracker crumbs and fry in butter. Serve hot.

There are instructions on how to prevent a felon and the several cures. All sorts of home remedies are sprinkled through out the book with no rhyme or reason. With no index and no categories it must have been hard to find what you were looking for.

According to this book plans made on a Sunday will not hold. Any promises made on a Sunday can not be fulfilled.

Cure for corns .... Easy shoes.

Chickens may be cured of gapes by inhaling tobacco smoke.  I don't have a clue what gapes are. And the thought of trying to get them to inhale tobacco smoke. Mind boggling!

Croup can be cured in one minute with sugar and alum. take a teaspoon full of fine alum mixed with twice sugar. Be in haste.   Yowza! I was always under the impression alum was not something you want to ingest.

I will be enjoying this book a lot for the vast amount of entertainment between the covers. And now if you'll excuse me I need to read how to cure all manner of other diseases in humans and animals, tucked charmingly between a recipe for ice cream and veal soup.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Spell Check

Thanks to someone not using spell check we got to fuel up at "punp" # 22

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Christmas Ride

Christmas day had been pleasant and it was bedtime. After our usual popcorn and apples and a story from Mom we all headed to our beds. Outside the stars twinkled in the winter sky. A few fresh inches of snow clung to everything and reflected the light of the moon.

It was a perfect night to burrow deeply under the covers on the bed. Just as we were drifting off to sleep there was a knock on the door. Daddy went to see who it was and found a stranger sitting on the porch clutching a bottle of whiskey and asking if Daddy could please give him a ride home. That he had hurt his leg and couldn't walk any longer. He said he lived up the hill a little ways and if Daddy could please give him a ride he would be so grateful.

Daddy could see that he was obviously intoxicated and needed help getting home. We didn't know everyone in the village but since it wasn't very far he offered to use our furniture wagon and pull it, giving him a ride home rather than hitching up our horse and using the buggy. He asked one of the boys to help him and David volunteered to go along.

The wagon with it's extra heavy burden pulled a little harder than they expected as they headed up the road. Once they got to the village the man told them to keep going that he lives a little farther down the road. They kept trudging through the cold, mile after mile as the man kept telling them just a little farther on.

When they finally got him to his home they dropped him off and turned around to trek all the way home. Weary from the long way they had walked they started riding down every hill they came to. David had a lot more experience riding wagons down hill than Daddy did so Daddy sat in the back and let David steer. I can only imagine what any passerbys must have thought meeting them in the middle of the night taking a wagon ride down the road.

They got home around 2:30 in the morning exhausted and went right to bed. We never did find out who it was they had given a ride to and it still  remains one of the most memorable Christmas nights ever.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


Mom and Daddy still had a lot of things that they wanted to do while all of us children were still at home to enjoy it with them. Ever since LV and I were engaged they were planning everything they wanted to do that summer.

We would be making another trip to Canada to see Grandma and the aunts as one of our first events and stop at the U.S. side of the Niagara Falls. We had seen the Canadian side numerous times already and wanted to see what it would seem like to be able to stand right next to the falls.

When we got there we could see there was a lot of mist coming from the falls so before we got out of the van Mom and I exchanged our starched coverings for a scarf. We admired the power of the falls and then concentrated on watching a seagull with a broken wing and mangled leg as it tried to stay balanced at the edge of the river.

I felt so sorry for it and wondered how long it could survive if no one fed it or helped it out. 
Our driver took pictures and later gave us a copy. From left to right. Raymond holding unto big brother John's hand, David, Mom, me, Ivan, Daddy, and Mahlon.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Wedding Sermon

Six weeks after I had broken my ankle I went to have another x-ray done on it to see if I could start walking again. I was thrilled when I got an okay, especially since one of LV's cousins were getting married and we were invited.

The wedding was held in the Summit Mills church house. I never liked that church house very well because the benches were all situated rather oddly and the girls always had to sit directly in front of the ministers. This time I managed to get a seat further back since there were a lot of other girls there and I waited until almost last to get in line to file in and take our seats.

The singing was over and the bishop was preaching the main sermon. I was glad I wasn't the bride. Instead of the usual wedding sermon the bishop (father to the groom) was focusing all his energy on stressing the importance of the wife being truly submissive. While I didn't have a problem with the general idea of the husband being the head of the home there was something about the way bishop Sam was preaching that irritated me.

A little later I got the urge to sneeze. I quickly reached into my pocket and got my handkerchief and as I held it to cover my mouth I somehow inhaled and drew a piece of lint back into my throat. I no longer had to sneeze but it tickled so badly that I needed to cough. Not wanting to do that either I tried to suppress the urge and to my consternation tears started rolling down my face.

I quickly wiped them and looked up to see several older married women looking at me sympathetically no doubt thinking I had been quite touched by the sermon on being submissive.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Stormy Days ~ Part Four

Tuesday morning dawned with clear blue skies, the community buzzed with activity as people started flocking by to help with the clean up.

Daddy and the boys went to help the neighbors. The woodworking shop could wait until later but right now there were people that needed all the help they could get. That evening at the supper table Daddy was sharing his day when we happened to noticed the sky was looking very unsettled again. Before long it started lightening and thunder rolled over the mountains. looking out the west window Daddy announced we all needed to go to the basement immediately.

We wasted no time and hurried downstairs and sat huddled together next to a back wall. Above us we could hear the noise of another tornado approaching. There were a few crashes and then everything grew eerily quiet once more. Daddy went to view the damage while the rest of us stayed in the basement.

After Daddy got back he said the pine trees behind the house were twisted off and there was a hole in the roof above the kitchen and also in Grandpa's new house but otherwise everything still appeared to be fine. This time our neighbor to our north had lost a building and we knew that once morning came there would be a lot more damage to see through out the community.

We went to clear away the supper dishes but before we could get them done someone stopped in and said that there is another tornado on the ground twelve miles away and headed this way fast. Once again we sought refuge in the basement until it had passed. It seemed unreal that three tornadoes had torn through our community in a very short time.

The days that followed M.D.S. (Mennonite Disaster Service) organized clean up efforts donating a lot of building materials and all the labor. People from various Amish communities came to help and our home was often filled with people who needed a place to sleep while they helped for a few days or weeks.

Day after day things kept gradually looking better and by fall things were once again looking like a peaceful community.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Stormy Days ~ Part Three

The next morning when we got up and looked outside things looked even worse than they had in the dark the previous night.

Right after breakfast Daddy hitched our horse to our three seated buggy and we all went to see just how bad the damage was through out the community.

We stopped at our neighbors who had lost their homes and offered to come help with the clean up. Going on we couldn't help but feel sickened at all the devastation every where we looked. Barns and houses totally destroyed and dead animals strewn across fields. The town of Salisbury looked absolutely hopeless. Friends and neighbors all moving around in shock at their loss. The tornado had also hit the home of my best friend Rachel.*

Mom and Daddy made that I could go see her. When I arrived I was glad to see their house was still standing though it had shifted off it's foundation. Their barn and out buildings had not fared as well and already a lot of people were there starting to clean up. They had one of the area's biggest sugar camps but their woods that used to be filled with grand old sugar maple trees were now flattened in a twisted mess.

Rachel and I found a quiet spot where we could talk uninterrupted. She was feeling awful thinking that the tornado had been all her fault and everyone was suffering because of her. She had been ready to break up with her boyfriend Levi* just as the tornado hit, and took it as a sign from God that she was not supposed to dump the jerk.

I tried to tell her how silly it was to try to take the blame for the tornado but she was not convinced it wasn't her fault and felt despaired at the thought of having to live the rest of her life with Levi. We talked for a while longer and then the driver came by and it was time for me to leave. I wished I would know what to say to make Rachel feel better but I couldn't think of anything.

To be continued
*Names changed to protect idenity.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Stormy Days ~ Part Two

I wasn't sure what I should do as everyone else left the house to go see if LV's brother and family needed help after the tornado. I couldn't very well hobble after them on my crutches so I sat on a chair in their living room and hoped that someone would remember that I still needed to go home.

It wasn't long before John appeared saying that he would take me home. That Vernon's house and shop had been blown away and there was nothing we could do tonight to help them since LV had already taken them home to his parents. I was glad to hear that they had survived the storm. But right now we had to focus on getting home safely. There were power lines  and trees down everywhere. Lightening was flashing constantly which made that we could see a lot of the devastation. As we turned the corner we saw the road was totally blocked with a building folded up and laying there.

John got out and led the horse through the field picking our way slowly around branches and pieces of furniture and building debris. We got to a place where we felt trapped with the only way to continue was driving across the downed power lines. John got back into the buggy and we drove over it with out having anything happen. Continuing on our way we could see that our nearest neighbors had all lost their homes as well.

We couldn't help but breathe a sigh of relief when arrived home safely. There was very little sleep that night as we waited for Daddy to come home.

To be continued

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Stormy Days

Not being able to be active while my ankle was healing took a lot of patience. It wasn't long before people started dropping by to say "Hi' and leaving several books for me to read. I loved reading and for the first time in my life I could read all I wanted to.

One afternoon as I was reading there was another knock on the door. I looked up to see my best friend Rachel*  I welcomed her inside and we immediately started talking. Rachel lived in a neighboring district and we didn't get to see each other very often. Our parents were really good friends and made sure that we get together several times a year. When Rachel's older brothers and sisters got married, moved to our district, and started having children Rachel and I got to spend a lot more time together.

Today our conversation turned to our boyfriends and I told her that LV had asked me to marry him. She was happy for me and then told me how she wonders how it would be to actually like someone enough to promise to spend the rest of your life with them. She went on to tell me more about her boyfriend. He was being a total jerk and she was going to break up with him on their next date.

I wished that she could be as happy as I was but was glad she was getting ready to dump her boyfriend because she deserved someone much better than him.

The next Sunday arrived hot and humid. It was the first week in June but the weather felt worse than most summers did during the dog days. Everyone was hoping there would be a nice rain to cool things off. That evening there was a singing in our church district. All the young folks gathered at my Uncle Eli's house to have our usual two hour hymn sing.  We all sat at their table and started singing, outside it started to thunder and lightening flashed constantly. I looked at LV sitting across the table from me and  couldn't help but wonder how Rachel was doing. As we sang one song after another I kept watching the clock and hoping that Rachel had dumped her boyfriend already. After we were singing for almost an hour the thunder started booming horribly. The storm was definitely getting closer. It rained in the strangest way. Almost as if there were huge buckets of water being poured out. It would start and stop abruptly and in between the air had a most uneasy feeling that somehow crept into the house and wrapped itself around everyone as well.

Eli, got up and went outside. A little later he came hurrying back as a loud roar passed by. And just as quickly everything was quiet again. Except now it started to rain and hail.

We tried to keep on singing but our efforts seemed lack luster. A little later we were surprised when Daddy walked into the room and announced that there had been a tornado. That the way it looks LV's brother lost everything. No one tried singing any longer. LV got up to go see how his brother and family were doing. The rest of the young folks decided to walk to their house as well to see what they could do to help.  How I wished I could walk. I felt alone as everyone left.

To be continued
*Name changed to protect identity.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

3's of Me

I really don't know where the day went but some how I didn't get a post made like I had been planning so I thought I do something a little different and share the 3's of Me.

3 Names I go by:
1. Mom
2. Mommy
3. Mama

I answer to so many names right now. A name I used to go by and disliked heartily was Moy. It all started by a little brother learning to say my name and it came out as Moy. A name that stuck until after I was married.

3 Jobs I've had:
1. Substitute teacher
2. Candy Kitchen
3. Mother

The 3rd being the best by far. Subbing was quite interesting as well but I was always so glad to send those children home to their parents.

3 Places I've lived:
1. New York
2. Pennsylvania
3. Missouri

Each state though vastly different holds it own special place in my life.

3 Favorite Drinks
1. Water
2. Lemonade
3. Water

No coffee or milk for me please.

3 Places I've been:
1. Niagara Falls
2. Sea World
3. Most state parks in New Mexico

All three are places I would love to visit again.

3 Favorite Foods
1. Mexican
2. Italian
3. Family favorites

3 Things I look forward to:
1. Christmas
2. Seeing family
3. Traveling, hopefully soon.

3 Pets I've had
1. A Pekingese named Bonkers
2. A cat named Woofers, where that name came from is any ones guess.
3. And my all time favorite dog named Pepper

Monday, December 13, 2010

Counting Flowers

Sunbeam has a dress that she always refers to as her garden dress, because it is covered in three different types of flowers and reminds her of a flower garden.

She wore it to go to church and soon after we found our seats she started coughing. After going to get a drink of water she came back and immediately started coughing again. I knew she doesn't have a cold and was simply having what I used to have a problem with when I was a child. I used to hate coughing in church so when ever I sat down on our bench my throat used to start tickling and I had to cough.

As Sunbeam coughed some more I leaned over and whispered. "Count all the purple flowers on your dress." She started counting and forgot all about her need to cough. My attention returned to the service and I had forgotten about her counting until she nudged me and asked wearily, "Do I have to count all of them? I already counted 163 and there are still a lot more to count."

I told her she can stop counting. Those 163 purple flowers did the trick though because she didn't have to cough for the rest of the day.
I recently did a guest post on my friend Saloma's blog. You can read it here.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

A Glitch ~ Part Two

On Sunday morning when I woke up my ankle was swollen and throbbing. Mom and Daddy decided I really do need to go have it checked out.

After an x-ray proved that my ankle was indeed badly broken, the doctor sat down and explained that they would have to do surgery and suggested we make an appointment for the following day to meet with a surgeon. After securing my ankle in a boot and giving me a pair of crutches they sent me home.

I didn't want to have surgery done and asked Mom and Daddy to not make an appointment. That I was sure my bones would mend without surgery. Since I was eighteen they let me make the final decision and I opted to fore go surgery.

When we got home Mom helped me get everything ready like I wanted before LV came. My ankle hurt to badly to be moved more than absolutely necessary so John made the last round through the house for me closing the curtains and then waited to let LV into the house before going to bed.

It wasn't long before I could hear LV's footsteps on the porch. I listened as John opened the door and said a few words to him and then headed upstairs. LV came into the living room and sat next to me. It wasn't long before my foot was forgotten as we discussed plans for our wedding. We decided to get married the Thursday following my 20th birthday. There were still a lot of other details that we needed to plan but for tonight we were happy having chosen our wedding date and we spent the rest of the evening talking about our hopes and dreams for our future together.

Friday, December 10, 2010

A Glitch

The following two weeks passed quickly as we worked on Grandpa's new house. It was ready to be insulated so John and I spent almost everyday cutting and and fitting the insulation into the walls and then stapling plastic over everything. It was an itchy job but I enjoyed working with John and it was satisfying to see what all we could get accomplished each day.

On Saturday afternoon Aunt Emma came to help us and we were hoping to get done by evening. We only had to insulate the bathroom walls yet and we would be done. The only problem was that the one wall was right next to where the basement stairs would be and there was a ten foot drop down to the ground so we decided to lay a board across the hole so we could stand on it while we stapled the plastic to the 2 x 4's.

I got the board to lay across and then discovered that I couldn't because there were a dozen sheets of drywall leaning against the wall. Aunt Emma suggested  that John and I pull them forward a few inches which would allow her to get the board in place. John was upstairs finishing something up so I called him to come help me but instead of waiting on him to come help I tugged on the stack by myself and got it to tip forward but unfortunately it kept on coming even after I wanted it to quit.

The drywall crashed to the floor with a terrific crash and I went flying across the room. A sharp pain pierced my ankle an I discovered I couldn't get up. Aunt Emma immediately ran to tell Mom what happened and John came running to see if I'm okay.

Uncle Eli had been talking to Mom in the shop and came with her to see what was going on. They checked my ankle, asked me to wiggle my toes. They were afraid it was broken but I wasn't going to have a broken ankle and convinced them it's probably just a bad sprain. I tried to get up to hobble in but the pain was excruciating and I simply couldn't. Eli and John got me on a chair and carried me into the house.

Daddy soon came home from delivering furniture and after checking my ankle told me I would have to go to the Emergency Room the next day if it wasn't feeling better by morning.

 LV was going to come the next evening and we had wedding plans to make, there was no way I wanted laid up with a broken ankle.

To be continued

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Sneak Peek and the Winner

I always enjoy sneak peeks from books and movies that I looked forward to reading and seeing in their entirety.

I recently received a link for the trailer from the latest book by Suzanne Woods Fisher. After watching it I knew I wanted to share it with my readers. I hope you enjoy watching this as much as I did. I'm now looking forward to getting to read the book.

And now on to the scheduled drawing of a winner for my latest giveaway.

The winner is..........
Number 38
Happy Times said ..........

I would love to visit Israel and Switzerland someday. I'd also love to have my own business someday.

Congratulations! Please send me your address and I will get your books sent to you. Hopefully they arrive before Christmas.

Disclaimer: The only compensation I received from doing this giveaway if the warm happy feeling I get from being able to give someone a chance to own some of my favorite books.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Blessing

On Monday morning when I got up I still felt as if I were moving inside a bubble of happiness. I had promised to marry LV. I now needed to ask Mom and Daddy for their blessing so we could go on with our plans.

I waited until after breakfast and there was no one in the kitchen but Mom. I started by saying that I had something important to tell her and Daddy. She must have sensed what was coming because she said. "Let me go get Daddy" and went out to the shop to get him.

When the returned they both drew a chair up to the table. Daddy cleared his throat and said, " Mom said you have something you want to tell us."

Feeling suddenly nervous, I told them that LV had asked me to be his wife. That I had said yes but we still wanted their blessing.

Daddy told me how happy they were for me. That LV would make a good husband for me. That they would bless our union. But we would have to wait to get married until I was twenty. LV could have me for the rest of my life but they still wanted their daughter at home with them until I turned twenty.

I wasn't really surprised that we would have to wait for a while but the thought of having to wait for a little over a year seemed like a really long time. As Daddy went back to the shop Mom and I spent the rest of the forenoon talking about everything we wanted to do before the wedding. We would be doing a lot of sewing to make that I have everything I need and planting a bigger garden so that I could can food for my new home. There was a lot of other things that needed to be done too and I knew that the wait would be filled to the brim with all our regular work besides a lot of extra in preparations for the wedding. And on our next date we would get to choose the day for our wedding.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Warm and Fuzzy

I just got done painting and as I was cleaning up Rosebud was standing next to me with her hands behind her back. I asked her if she needed something.

"No" came her cheery answer,"I'm just waiting until your hands are dry so I can give you something."

Once I was done she handed me a book she had made by gluing twenty one pictures on paper and writing something appropriate next to each one. As I read through them I couldn't help but feel so blessed.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Giveaway Time Again!

With Christmas drawing closer I'm in the mood for another giveaway. This time I'm giving one lucky winner six of my favorite books from when I was growing up.

I don't have time to give you a review for all of them other than to say if you like reading true to life stories about Amish teens, courtship, and marriage you will love this selection.

If you would like to have a chance to win these leave a comment telling me something you would love to be able to do someday.

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

Winner will be chosen on Thursday December 9th using  Please make sure I have a way to contact you if you are chosen as the winner.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Any Hints?

Last night we got several gallon of paint, so as you can imagine I'm quite busy today. Since it's cold outside I don't want to have the windows open so I'm looking for some other ways to help with the fresh paint smell.

I sliced several onions like my Mom used to do and placed them in the rooms I'm working in. I'm not sure if they actually absorb any of the paint smell or if they only add their own special aroma to the room.

I also decided to use my aunts method and have a dish or two of fresh vanilla setting on a windowsill. Again I'm not sure if it's helping.

Do you have any hints on what to do to help get rid of the smell?

Friday, December 3, 2010

In Which I Give the Answer ~ Part Two

I couldn't remember ever having an inbetween Sunday last so long. I tried to stay occupied with playing games with my brothers and reading but every time I looked at the clock it seemed as if it were taking twice as long to tick off the hours.

When evening finally arrived I went to get ready for our date. I already knew what I would say if LV asked me to marry him, but the suspense I felt of wondering if that was what he had in mind when he told me he wanted to ask a question was a little daunting.

I went downstairs and made one last round through the house to make sure everything was in order before I closed the living room curtains as a signal for LV that everyone else was in bed and it was safe for him to come into the house.

As I opened the door and he stepped inside I tried to act like I usually did. Going into the living room we sat on the sofa only to both get up right away as some loud crying started plus the sound of a meowing cat. I lifted the cover of the sofa and discovered my brothers had tucked a few of their electronic devices underneath and made that they would go off if someone touched them. As we removed them we could both hear the muffled laughter coming from the upstairs from the boys as they celebrated another successful prank.

Having that happen relieved some of the tension I had felt of wondering when LV would ask his question. The evening passed swiftly as we visited. A little before it was time for him to go home I invited him into the kitchen for our usual snack. The dim oil lamp cast flickering shadows as we ate the cherry pie I had baked so carefully the previous day. We were done eating and I was ready to get up to clear everything away when he reached for my hand. Holding it, he started by saying that the past year and a half had been the happiest time of his life. He paused a little and my heart started pounding faster and my mouth felt dry as I waited to hear what else he had to say. " I never knew it is possible to love someone so much," he continued. "I want to spend the rest of my life with you. Mary Ann, will you marry me?"

I had my answer ready all day, but now that he had proposed I suddenly felt all choked up and ready to cry. I managed to say a whispery little "yes." And then added, "Read Ruth 1:16"

Before he left, he added that we can pick our wedding date the next time he came after I talk with my parents and ask for their blessing.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

In Which I Give the Answer ~ Part One

Progress on the house we were building for Grandpa's was slow but steady. We were having an uncommonly warm and early spring which made building a lot more pleasant. Uncle Ezra was still doing most of the work but Daddy decided to have several frolics in hopes to speed things up a little.

Mom and I spent time writing notes to every family in our district inviting them to come help at the frolic on Saturday. We folded them and wrote the names of the family on them and gave them to Mahlon to take to school and distribute them to make that every family would get their note.

Saturday arrived, and so did a lot of people. Mom and I were busy cooking food. Aunt Emma came to help with all the preparations as did several other women. Mom had asked John to come in around eleven to tell us how many people were there so we could make sure we had plenty of food for everyone. I went to the door when I saw him come. He gave me a head count and then added that LV wanted to talk to me privately after lunch.

I told Mom how many people were there, and kept wondering what LV wanted while I helped with the cooking. Once we had everything ready I went to find Daddy to tell him we were ready to eat. They were busy putting rafters on the house and I wasn't thrilled to see LV near the peak. I wished that Daddy would have given him something a little more safe to do especially since he was so important to me.

Daddy announced loudly that it was time to eat. I headed back to the house but had to pause and watch as LV climbed down and couldn't help but breathe a sigh of relief once his feet were safely on the ground.

I helped dish out and serve the food feeling fully aware that LV was watching every move I made. Right after everyone was done eating and the men had left the table to go back to work I picked up a few pie as an excuse to go down to the basement to where LV was waiting to talk to me.

I set the pie on a shelf and then turned to see what LV wanted to talk about. Holding his hat in his hands he twisted it around as he said. " I have really been enjoying our Sunday evening visits and all your letters." Pausing a little he continued, " I would like to ask you a question tomorrow night." Smiling a crooked little smile he replaced his hat and went to join the rest of the men as they worked on getting a roof on the new house.

I went back upstairs. How I wished he would have gone on and asked what ever he wanted to right away. The suspense in knowing there was a question coming was almost too much as I tried to pretend there was nothing on my mind as I helped clear the dishes away and visit with the women that had come to help.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Starting to Build

Not long after Mom and Daddy had asked us how we would feel about building a house next to ours for Grandpa Mast's they decided to go ahead and start building.

Once again an excavator moved in and started digging a basement and getting everything ready to start building. Several more trees had to be cut and most of our nice garden had to be sacrificed. As much as I loved my grandparents I rebelled inside that we had to build a house for them. I thought it was ridiculous, especially since they already lived right next door to Uncle Eli's. It was very frustrating to me when my friends would make remarks on how lucky I was to be able to have my grandparents live with us. I didn't feel like I could share my feelings with anyone except my brothers who were feeling just like I was.

Once the excavating was done it was time to start laying concrete blocks for the basement walls. Daddy's brother Ezra came to do the majority of the construction work. He lived in Lancaster so he would stay for two weeks at a time, going home only for his church Sundays. Since it was January, there were quite a few days that the weather wasn't fit to work in so Daddy got him to finish remodelling our upstairs that we had started several years before. My room was going to be done first so they moved my bed and furniture down to the sewing room. I wasn't very enthused about that since LV always came into the house through the sewing room on our dates, but I didn't want one of my brothers to be sleeping downstairs and eavesdrop on us either.

Bit by bit the basement walls started to grow. I was starting to get used to the idea that Grandpa's would be moving to us.

It was interesting to have Uncle Ezra living with us. He enjoyed relating stories and in the evenings after supper we enjoyed sitting in the kitchen and listening as Ezra and Daddy recounted their growing up years.