Archive for January, 2019

Super Blood Wolf Moon

I was totally unaware of the rare “sky phenomenons” last evening until my brother called and said, “got your camera ready”? I had a busy weekend with numerous things going on and if they had it on the news, I missed it.  In case you didn’t know, there were several spectacular things happening in the heavenlies.

First, it was full moon, not just any full moon, but a Wolf Moon. Wolf Moon is the name given to the first full moon of the year. I didn’t know that!  When the moon is at the closest possible distance to earth it is called a Super Moon which makes it seem extra large.  So now we have a Super Wolf Moon.

But wait, there is more. There was also a total lunar eclipse, making it a “Blood Moon”. This is a rare event only happening every couple of years. The next one is due in 2021. So now we have a “Super Blood Wolf Moon”!

Often it is hard to see “sky phenomenons” because of cloud cover, but last night’s eclipse happened on a clear, cold, windy, star lit evening. It was visible for several hours from start to finish in all 48 states in America and Europe.

But wait, there is even more.  One hour before sunrise on January 22,  Jupiter and Venus, the two largest star-like points of light in the sky will be lined up, passing within a mere 2.5 degrees of each other.  This occurs only once every twenty-four years.

(The above information was taken from the article by T.W. Tramm listed at the bottom of the page).

My camera usually takes really cool moon pictures but of the ninety I took before and during the eclipse and only six are worth posting.

 “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands.

Day after day they continue to speak; night after night they make Him known.

They speak without a word or sound; their voice is never heard.

Yet their message has gone out throughout the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world.”

Psalms 19:1-4a

Jesus disciples asked him one day when the end of time would be.  For twenty-eight verses in Luke 21, Jesus speaks about the “signs” of his return.

“……And there will be strange signs in the sun, moon, and stars.

And here on earth the nations will be in turmoil, perplexed by the roaring seas and strange tides……”.

Words of Jesus in Luke 21:25

There is a fascinating article written by T.W. Tramm, “January 20 Lunar Eclipse: The Last Blood Moon of the Church Age?” that gives one pause.  Mr. Tramm has a fb page where more of his writings can be read. The Lord is coming again, and scripture gives us many signs that signal it is drawing near. We must remember that no one knows the day or hour, only signs. God has proclaimed his intent and workings throughout history. There are many prophecies pointing to the future.



Celebrating Mother’s 90th Birthday

Happy birthday, Mother. It was fun celebrating with you on Sunday. Here are a few pictures of the day for you to enjoy.

We celebrated mother’s birthday at our annual Showalter (Mother’s side of the family) Christmas luncheon.


Mark Showalter Jr & Dorothy…Mother’s brother

Rhoda Wenger…Mother’s Sister

George Brenneman Jr. ….Mother’s first cousin


We had lots of good food. This is the beautiful dessert table.

I can see someone was in the tray of truffles….before we even started to eat!!!

You know Robert and Lois Wenger are in house when a huge platter of delicious,  freshly made, melt-in-your mouth, homemade doughnuts arrive! I broke one in half-you know, thinking I would be “good”. That was gone before I could get back to the table so I went right back and got the other half. No diet for today!


We had two beautiful cakes….

Creation by Rhonda Borntrager.

A masterpeice by Eric Blosser.

A few thoughts about “Home” by Pat Hertzler.

Some old pictures.

Two special songs dedicated to mother by Micah Heatwole, Marj & Rich Heatwole, Phil & Evelyn Borntrager.

Words and prayer of blessing over Mother by Ed and Eileen Heatwole.

The great-grandchildren singing “Happy Birthday”.

Aren’t they aging well?


by Pat Hertzler

Happy birthday Mother. 90 years. Wow!

I was talking to mother last week and she said, “I can’t believe I am ninety.” We talked a little bit about how blessed she and daddy were to be this age and to be as healthy as they are. And yes, they need more help than they used to, but they are still independent and doing amazingly well.

As I thought about a few words to share today, I centered on the word “Home”.

When I think of home, I think of three stages in life.

  1. The home we are born into-one you did not choose.
  2. The home we choose to make.
  3. And our final eternal home.

The word “home” can conjure many different feelings and emotions for folks. Hopefully for you, your thoughts of home bring back good memories.

I think all of us here today in this room are benefits of the home mother, along with all her siblings, were born into; the family of Mark and Amanda Showalter.

Granddaddy Showalter was an enterprising, successful business man. He started a feed mill on the farm and later moved it down the road by the railroad tracks in Broadway. He established Broadway Metal Works, was instrumental in starting Virginia Mennonite Retirement Home and was very active in church work. (example: Stephens City). How many of you worked in one of these businesses through the years? Before I was married, I worked at Virginia Mennonite Retirement  Home-in food services. Mother remembers that Granddaddy-or her daddy-was a very busy man and he and grandmother were very dependent on their children for labor. Grandmother was a supportive wife and mother.

Mother had to stay out of school two years to help on their farm which put her behind at EMHS and in the class of a handsome young man by the name of Dwight Heatwole.

Daddy and Mother, after dating several years, decided to get married and create their own home. This was a home they could chose to create. Richard, Evelyn, Ed and I are privileged to call them mother and daddy.

For us kids, it was a place of security, belonging and comfort. Mother and daddy worked hard and instilled in us a strong work ethic, honesty and obedience. These things are still important to me today.

When I think about our home, several things stand out in my memory. I will focus mostly on mother.

  • She kept a neat, clean house. She was not a perfectionist, but things had their place and order. Dishes were always done, beds always made (and yes, us kids made our own), laundry was always folded and put away as soon as it was completed. At bedtime, toys, books, sewing or whatever we were doing was put in its place. We went to bed with a picked-up house.
  • Mother operated on a schedule-daddy had a lot of influence in that:
    • Monday and Wednesday: Laundry
    • Meals were at a specific time. Daddy seldom was late.
    • Bedtime.
    • Saturdays we cleaned and polished our shoes.
    • Spring-cleaning, fall cleaning.
    • Arrived at church ½ hour or more early. We were never late.
  • Mother was diligent in teaching us (particularly Evelyn and I) life skills: cooking, sewing, canning, mending, making bread, gardening, butchering and the list could go on and on.
  • Mother taught Evelyn and I extra creative things of homemaking such as how to crochet, quilt, make curtains, potato chips, doughnuts and candy.
  • We learned a work ethic. There was time to play but also a time to work and work we did.
  • Mother was active in church, teaching Sunday School and she and daddy were youth leaders for years.
  • Mother loved to entertain guests and we often had Sunday company. Some of her specialty dessert dishes were cinnamon buns, chocolate ice-cream pie, caramel custard, pies, and Graham Cracker Fluff.
  • I remember mother reading to us kids at bedtime in the winter. She would sit in her rocking chair, send one of us to the basement for apples which she could core, and then read while we enjoyed our treat. Incidentally, as a general rule, we did not eat between meals. But there was candy,  particularly chocolate candy in our home.

I asked mother recently what she thinks about now that she is 90. Without hesitation she said, “Heaven.” There was a pause and then she said, “the things of this earth are growing strangely dim.” She’s not there yet, just dreaming of that wonderful homegoing, and in the meantime, we are celebrating birthdays. Happy 90th birthday, Mother. Thank you for a life well-lived, well-shared, and well-managed. But thank you most of all for a life centered on Jesus.

Favorite Pictures-2018

A few pictures from 2018….

February-A “tunnel” cloud


March- the Robin just thought it was spring!

The cows have to be fed: snow, rain, cold or hot!

Memories of warm evenings


April-Last years Milk Weed seed pod


April-Momma and her baby


May-A wet season produced lots of wild mushrooms

May-A view through a decorative storm door


May-Memorial Day

June-Bubblebee on the onions.

A father with his boys.

June-the bees “bearded” on a hot summer day.

June-Queen Anne’s Lace


June- Baby wrens

August-Bee harvesting pollen on a sunflower




November-Sunrise from my kitchen window



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