Monday, October 29, 2018

Another Wedding

My friend Elizabeth was getting married and asked me to be a table waiter at their noon reception. I happily agreed and secretly looked forward to the evening when the boys and girls paired up. Several months had passed since LV and I had started our courtship and so far we had been able to keep it a secret. Appearing together at the wedding would let everyone else know we were a couple.

The morning of the wedding arrived. It was a beautiful fall day. The trees looked gorgeous decked out in their brilliant red, orange, and gold. Everything was covered in a heavy frost. Since the wedding was in one of the other church districts we had to start for church early. As LV and I rode to church I tried to soak in the beauty of the day and the happy feeling of sitting next to someone who made me feel so special. I didn't want to forget any of it.

Once we got to the church house I went inside to the little room where the rest of the the table waiters and others that were included in the wedding party were waiting for their cue to enter the main room. Church services passed as usual and immediately after they said their vows the table waiters left to go get everything ready by the time guests started arriving at the reception.

I was in charge of a room right next to where the bridal party was sitting. Throughout the day I couldn't help but notice how very happy Elizabeth looked and a little thrill went through me as I thought that someday that could be LV and me.

When evening came and all the youth arrived it was time for for the boys to choose which girl he would escort to the table. But first all the couples would go stand next to each other where they could then watch everyone else pair up. One by one the boys would come to the door where the girls were waiting and their girlfriend would go join them. When LV came to the door and I went to join him I was acutely aware of everyone whispering to each other as they discovered that there was a new couple in their midst. I could feel my cheeks getting too warm and knew that I was blushing. I did not want to look embarrassed and the more I tried to appear calm and happy the hotter my face felt.

Once everyone was paired up and we were told where to sit LV and I found ourselves sitting directly opposite from the bride and groom. As the evening progressed I was able to relax and enjoy it until I started getting the urge to sneeze. I managed to keep from sneezing but my suddenly runny nose wasn't as co-operative. I was glad when the meal was over and we were ready to go home. Unfortunately what should have been a very pleasant ride together I spent the majority of the time wiping my nose and trying to squelch my sneezing. I wrapped my shawl closer around me as I shivered all the way home. LV offered to let me wear his suit coat and gave his handkerchief to me to use. He didn't seem to mind being next to me even though it was obvious that I was getting sick.

Monday, October 22, 2018

Currently ...

Reading ... in the Bible I'm in the middle of reading II Corinthians. In other reading I have been enjoying story time with Steven and his stack of library books. I'm not reading any fiction at the moment. In non fiction I'm reading It's OK that You're NOT OK by Megan Devine.  I haven't read all of it yet, but so far it's a book I'd recommend to anyone dealing with grief.

Writing ... has been consisting mostly of text messages. I've tried to write other things, but the words and thoughts don't seem to be co-operating so I'm giving myself a short break until my mind begins to function properly again.

Watching ... not really much of anything. I've tried, but I've found at the end of what ever it is I tried to watch, I only saw bits and pieces of it.

Listening ... to uplifting music.

Cooking ... for tonight's supper we'll be having roasted butternut squash soup, and bruschetta.

Wearing ... my favorite charcoal gray skirt, a purple patterned top, and fuzzy  purple socks.

Drinking ... mostly water, and some garden mint tea.

Loving ... the three cute little snowmen Steven built from the almost inch of snow we woke up to yesterday.

Playing ... Does coloring count as playing? Steven and I have been coloring quite a bit the past week or so.

Needing ... to get our winter's supply of coal for our furnace. Right now our three heaters having been keeping the house nice, but it won't be long before we need the heat from our furnace to stay comfy cozy.

Crafting ... maybe not exactly a craft, but the girls and I varnished, sanded, and varnished a few more time, the shelves and desk Kenneth built for the girls room. Once everything was set up in their room we added a lace trim to the edge of the shelves, and new lace curtains at their windows. Their room looks completely transformed. They love it, and I do as well.

Friday, October 19, 2018

The Little Things

When I went to the website that shared Mahlon's obituary I noticed they had the option to sign up for a daily grief support email. I went ahead and signed up. 

The first few emails that came, if they had been on paper I would have crumpled them up and thrown them in the trash. I seriously considered unsubscribing, but decided to give it a few more days.

I'm glad I did. While some days I like what they send a lot more than other days, none of them make me feel like throwing them away.

Today the email included this paragraph:

We spend a lot of our lives looking forward...forward to a vacation, a milestone, or even just the weekend. It is from loss that we realize that looking beside us is where we find the real joy. Our friends and loved ones are the people with whom we share our daily lives and with whom we build the most lasting memories. It is our shared morning coffee, a quick phone call or email, or watching a favorite tv show together that really defines the simple, yet most impactful joys of life. While the sadness of loss is startling, take it as an opportunity to look and see what is beside you now. Treasure those people and those mundane moments, for they are what really matter most. 

I have to agree. I want to continue treasuring the ordinary little things in life that have always meant so much to me already. And I'm so very glad for all those little ordinary things I used to do with my brother. Those are memories I'll treasure always. 

I had kept all our text messages and chats on Facebook. Last night I was reading through them, so thankful I never deleted them. They made me laugh, others made me cry, but all of them are treasured. 

Monday, October 15, 2018

First Date ~ Part Two

With the curtains closed I stood inside the sewing room door waiting until I hear LV's footsteps on the porch before I opened the door. For some reason I felt butterflies in my stomach as I waited. Before long I heard his footsteps and as I opened the door everything I had planned to say to welcome him inside left my mind. he looked so handsome standing there at the doorway. Behind him the sky was painted in one of the most beautiful summer sunsets I had ever seen.

I choked out a whispery little "Hi" and then stood there feeling awkward, as if I was huge and clumsy. Somehow I managed to invite him into the living room where we sat next to each other on the sofa. I was suddenly very aware of how quiet the house was and that Mom and Daddy were only a few feet away on the other side of the wall and with an open stairway I knew my brothers would be able to eavesdrop all they wanted to. Apparently my inability to talk above a whisper right away caught and before long we were lost in whispered conversation.

At 11 o'clock I happened to remember the pecan pie I had baked and asked him if he wanted a piece. After carefully carrying the lamp out to the kitchen I went to the pantry to get the pie. I got it off the top shelf and was horrified to see that some one had already eaten a piece. I didn't want to serve a pie with a piece missing so I quickly grabbed several dessert plates and cut two pieces of pie and served it that way. 

Before we knew it the clock was striking 12. Midnight had come much too soon and it was time for LV to leave. After saying good-bye he closed the door behind him and I quickly blew out the lamp and ran up to my room and looked out the window. With the full moon shining I watched him walk over our field and disappear into the woods.

As I got ready for bed I thought I was going to burst with happiness and looked forward to our next date.

Friday, October 12, 2018

First Date ~ Part One

For my seventeenth birthday Mom gave me enough fabric to make a new dress. It was a lovely jewel blue crepe and I couldn't wait to start sewing. Jewel blue was lighter than what could be worn to go to church but it would be fine to wear to go traveling or on a date. At the moment I wasn't too concerned about the traveling part.

As I worked on cutting and sewing my dress I couldn't wait to wear it for the first time when LV came calling several weeks later.

The Amish in Somerset County are only allowed to have a three hour long date every other Sunday evening on the Sunday that the boy's district didn't have church services. I was glad LV and I were both in the same church district which meant our dates would be on my inbetween Sunday too.

On Saturday afternoon I took special pains in baking the perfect pecan pie to serve. It turned out beautiful and I carefully placed it on the top shelf in the pantry out of reach of my hungry little brothers. I made sure that the house was spotless and placed several new rugs in the living room in front of the sofa. I brought my pretty lamp downstairs and set it on the end table.

Sunday morning arrived and I got up with a sense of eager anticipation. By mid morning Daddy suggested we all drive to the old train tunnel and have a fun day of hiking and then have a picnic beside the creek. I helped pack the picnic lunch but opted to stay at home and read and try to take a nap to make sure that I wouldn't be sleepy on our first date.

By late afternoon they came home happy and tired from their day of hiking. Mahlon had caught a little minnow and brought it home and happily put it in an old glass bowl filled with water and set it in the living room on the end table. I didn't want it there and determined to hide it in the laundry room once everyone else had gone to bed.

At eight o'clock Daddy announced it was time for to get ready for bed. I took special care in getting ready and then went downstairs to make sure that the fish got removed from the living room and then wait until nine o'clock when our date would begin. Mom and Daddy were still in the kitchen when I got there. Daddy got up from the chair he was sitting in and smiled at me as he said "It doesn't seem possible that our little baby is already old enough to be courted." Mom added that they hope I have a very nice time and then they headed for their bedroom and I was left in the kitchen alone.

It wasn't quite nine yet but everything was ready and I went ahead and closed all the curtains which was the preplanned signal for LV to know when it was safe to come into the house.

Saturday, October 6, 2018


Memory after memory has been flooding my mind this past week of one of the kindest, most tender hearted young boys I have ever known. My brother Mahlon.

I don't have many pictures, but I treasure the ones I do have. In this picture Mahlon is nine years old. We were on a family vacation and he was waiting on the rest of the family as we were getting ready to walk through the Watkins Glen Gorge. Our driver took the picture and gave us a copy later.

At nine, Mahlon loved the outdoors and animals. Animals seemed to have a special connection with him. He could talk to them, and they'd listen, doing what he asked. Not only our farm animals, but wild animals as well.

One of our favorite Mahlon/animal memories are when we went out to the barn one day and a cat came in carrying a terrified chipmunk. Mahlon was horrified and told her to drop it right away, which she did. "Run, run," Mahlon yelled at the chipmunk, and run it did, straight toward him, up his pant legs, up over his coat, and with a final leap it perched on top of his hat where Mahlon guarded it safely before taking it outside and letting it go.

I can't help but think of the similarities between that happening and his life later on where he battled with some serious things, and how he is safe in the arms of Jesus now, and free from all that.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Broken Hearted

On Saturday my life was forever changed when the phone call came to let us know my brother Mahlon had died.

We arrived home early this morning after attending his funeral yesterday. The reality of the finality of death seems to be sinking in hard right now, and I may need a few minutes to get back to regular blogging.