Archive for May, 2012

Productive Day

What a productive day! The store was closed for Memorial Day and I get very few days just for me-to do whatever, however, and whenever I felt like it. It was great! It makes me wish I had a day very month like this.

I awoke at 7 but stayed in bed until the late hour of 8 AM. Then I sat on the patio and drank my coffee. What a gorgeous morning. The garden was beckoning so I spent the next two hours tilling and pulling weeds. It was so much fun and the end results were so rewarding.

I have two patches of sweet corn. The rows on the right were planted March 20th.  You do not plant sweet corn in March and I knew it but decided to try  just to see what would happen.  If you remember we were having 80 degree days in March. It came up good but didn’t grow for the longest time and was so yellow in color. The patch on the left was planted a month later on April 17. It came up and never stopped growing. There is some but not a lot of  difference in the height! It will be interesting to see the end results.

I spent the rest of the day working in flower beds; weeding and mulching, dead-headed the roses, sprayed roundup and  visited a 90-year-old lady from our church.  It was a very satisfying and productive day.

Gene has been busy in the fields all day being a true farmer. This morning he disked a field he plans to plant corn in.  Several loads of chicken manure were put on the field last week and he worked it in.  There were millions of bugs crawling  over the worked up ground and we wonder if it came out of the chicken manure.  He usually no-tills but this year wanted to work up the ground.

When Gene is in the tractor he takes his border collie, Katie, with him.   She loves to ride in the tractor.

Katie waiting on her master to come back to the tractor!

At noon Steve Meadows came and started raking hay.  He and Gene have been in the hay-field all afternoon.  It was a perfect day for baling;  hot with a nice breeze.

I have to include one picture of one of my  flowers blooming so sweetly.

The  last picture is of the sun glowing from behind a cloud in the late afternoon.   It was almost too bright to look at. It  makes me ponder Jesus return and wonder if he will step from behind a  glowing cloud like that.

Yes, today was farm life at it’s best. I have sun on my nose, sweat on my brow, dirt on my knees, blisters on my hands  and I loved every minute.

For couple, farm livin’ is just fine

We were honored to be featured in our local newspaper, Powhatan Today, on May 23, 2012. They are doing an ongoing series of articles about farmers and farms in the area.

To read the article please click on the link For couple, farm livin’ is just fine.

Porch Sitters

There is something that saddens and puzzles me. Where have all the porch sitters gone? Quite often when we are out I make comment about the lack of people in the yards. You can drive down the road or through a subdivision and see no sign of children playing in the yard, adults sitting on the porch or neighbors chatting over the fence. In fact, there is little evidence that they even enjoy their well-manicured, landscaped lawns: no vintage wooden lawn chairs, no swing dangling from a tree, no basketball hoops, no bikes leaning against the tree, no softball bases, no picnic tables-nothing.

It makes me remember a folk song Peter, Paul and Mary made popular in the early 60’s.  “Where Have All the Flowers Gone”  written by Peter Seeger in 1955.  According to  Wikipedia,  Seeger found inspiration for the song in October 1955, while on a plane bound for a concert in Ohio. Leafing through his notebook he saw the passage, “Where are the flowers, the girls have plucked them. Where are the girls, they’ve all taken husbands. Where are the men, they’re all in the army.”

I wonder, where have all the children gone, they are in their bedrooms texting their friends.  Where are all the families, they are running their kids to sporting events. Where are all the neighbors, they are at the Y, picking up supper at Pizza Hut and coming home from work to unwind before the TV.

As I take a stroll down memory lane,  I remember “living” in our yard. We had a spacious lawn with numerous trees and lots of hearty,  green grass.  As soon as supper was over in the evening the whole family migrated to the lawn.  There were two white wooden lawn chairs for mother and daddy to sit in.

As kids we climbed trees, played softball, croquet & badminton, rode bikes, slide down the garage roof, had water fights with used syringes from the dairy barn, swam in the creek, caught fireflies, played “Red Rover”,  walked the top rail of the white board fence, turned cartwheels, jumped from the porch roof with the swing in the big elm tree and many other things too numerous to name.   Often the neighbor children would come over and join in our fun while their parents,  Mr. and Mrs. Kephart, would sit on their front porch across the road and watch our lively game of softball.  In the summer we often slept on mattresses on the upstairs porch.

On our front porch was a wooden porch swing and more “porch chairs”.  Sunday afternoons would often find us on the front porch visiting with family or friends.  Besides the kitchen, the porch was probably the most loved spot in the house.  Gene and I spent a lot of time “dating” on our front porch;  sitting in the swing, his arm around my shoulder, talking.  Talking and eating is so much better on the porch.  There is a warmth about the porch that invites conversation.  It eliminates competition with the TV, stereos and phones.  You can see this dates me before the phenomena of cell-phones, computers and other electronic gadgets!!

I remember one time my husband and I were sitting on our front porch waiting for our guests to arrive. They thought it was so funny to see us sitting on our porch and gently ribbed us about it.

Now, the lazy boy chairs surround the TV, the gym room provides exercise, ball is a highly competitive game on the little league team, kids play the “Wi” and other electronic games and supper is on the run.

I challenge you to rediscover the front porch.  Challenge your kids to play on the lawn. They will be more likely to go outside if you are there. Rediscover a picnic supper with a neighbor, friend or family. Rediscover conversation and family togetherness. Rediscover taking time to sit and enjoy the little plot of dirt called “your lawn”.  There you will find quietness, family togetherness, peace, good old fashion fun, and real conversation.  Instead of conversation centered about what is on TV, it will be about life, feelings, family, work, and faith. There is no better place to clear your mind, enjoy your spouse  and relax at the end of a busy day.

And if you aren’t careful you  just might become an  addicted “porch sitter”!

Doesn’t this look like an inviting, warm and relaxing place to chat with a friend?  It makes me want to pull up a chair and join them.

Thank you Gordan Ziegler (on left)  for allowing me to use this picture of you and a guest, sitting on the side porch of your   lovely “Bed and Breakfast” home in Lancaster, PA, enjoying conversation and refreshments.  When I saw it recently on fb, it  motivated me to write this blog which has been burning in my heart.

93 and Still Counting

What  fun it is to celebrate a birthday. It is a special day for the individual as they are the guest of honor, basking in the attention of family and/or friends on that one special day out of the year-their birthday. And it is also another numbered mile-marker, with everyone celebrating the completion of another year.

Mama Hertzler has reached her 93rd and Daddy will be 94 this fall. What an achievement!!! They still live independently and are enjoying reasonably good health. They have their “old age” challenges but then don’t we all?

Sunday we had a little party for her. Mama seemed quite pleased and everyone had a good time. Below are some pictures.

Singing “Happy Birthday” to her but she did not want to blow out the candles or make a wish!

Karla and Ryan Hostetter, great-grandchildren.

Granddaughter Jill Hertzler Hostetter giving grandpa a hug.

David & Margie Stall

Mama quietly taking it all in.

Jill Hostetter

Obe and Karla Hostetter

Myrna Alderfer

Anybody Home?

I am starting to feel a little sad. My hummingbirds have not come to the feeder yet this year. It is out, filled with sweet sugar-water, waiting on their expected arrival.

Usually these hyperactive little guests come knocking, buzzing my patio door letting me know they have arrived.  It is as if they are saying, ” I am here.  Anybody home? You’re expecting me, aren’t you? I made it back and I am want a drink!”

I don’t usually get a lot of hummingbirds but I do have several pairs that have come faithfully over the years.   Now I am wondering, has misfortune struck them? They were always very punctual and I could count on them to  come calling around April 20. I also know when my feisty little friends  will leave-September 10.  So now I am a concerned hostess.  Are they still coming? Are they still alive?  Did they come early and not find food and leave? By chance did they find a place they liked better?  Did they find better accommodations down the street?

Once a friend told me about the time he was at the Gulf of Mexico around the middle of September.  There were thousands and thousands of dead hummingbirds washed up on the beach.  A hurricane had just gone through the Gulf and apparently the little birds  got caught in the storm as they were migrating south for the winter. He said it was one of the saddest sights he had ever seen.

Hummingbirds are not the only things that come knocking.  Our welcome mat is out and it is fun to have guests and family come to visit.  We anticipate our time of fellowship-eating and talking together.  Sometimes we see them arrive  and can greet them at the door with open arms.  Other times  they knock to let us know they have arrived or yell “anybody home”!   It makes me anxious when people don’t arrive when I expect them to.  I begin to wonder if they are having trouble, forgot the invitation, or had an accident.

Revelations 3:20 says Jesus also comes to visit.  “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.”   Jesus will visit each person’s heart.  He is polite and will not enter without invitation nor will he ever break down the door to enter.  Jesus wants an open arm invitation to come into our lives and fellowship with us.

When I was twelve, I flung open the door of my heart to Jesus.  I felt Him knocking. My heart pounded as I debated whether to open the door. I knew He was there, calling “anybody home”?  Was I going to pretend I wasn’t home or would I open the door to Him?   I will never forget the sweet peace that came over my life when I invited Him in.

Listen, and you too will hear the inviting voice of Jesus, “Anybody home”?

May 9 footnote:  This morning I was looking out the patio doors as I drank my coffee and there they were flirting around the feeder looking for food.   It made me wonder,  where has their journey taken them? If the weather is early down south also did they leave late?  Did they take a wrong turn getting here? I will never know their story but at least I can now enjoy my guests for the summer!

I also found a new word in the Readers Digest (April 2012 issue) this morning.  Iktsuarpok (Inuit language).  I can’t begin to pronounce it, don’t even know what language Inuit is but I love the meaning. “That feeling of anticipation when you’re waiting for someone to show up at your house and you keep going outside to see if he’s there yet.”  I have been iktsuarpoking, standing at window each morning and evening, watching with anticipation for Mr. and Mrs. Hums arrival!!

I also had to think of a  neat spiritual application to the word “Iktsuarpok”.  Jesus is coming back to earth and it may be soon. We do not know the day or hour but scripture tells us to watch, look up, anticipate his arrival (Mark 13:32, 35, Matthew 24:42, 25:13).  He will announce his arrival with a trumpet sound (I Thessalonians 4:16-18).  Jesus told us to keep looking up with anticipation. Watch and be ready.  When He comes, He will take all those who have accepted Him as their personal Savior  home to heaven (Revelations 16:15). What a glorious day that will be! (II Timothy 4:8)

The Home Place

The home place always holds “treasured” memories for the one who grew up there. Here are some pictures from Gene’s home place in Denbigh, Virginia.  There are so many old and neat things to capture that it is hard to choose.  Here are a few things to enjoy.

Fig Tree

Sign hanging in grandpa’s work shop

Fig tree hanging across alleyway

And these folks-93- and still independent!

Pictures taken April, 2012

Gene and his daddy!

May 2012

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