Home Plain Country Hello from Huntsburg – By William Bender

Hello from Huntsburg – By William Bender

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Feb. 16, 2017: A snowy February day. There was a lot of maple syrup made already. The old timers would think there is something wrong with the young guys. The boys here at home want to start this afternoon and it is snowing. Oh well, it is nothing to me, All I do is walk back in the sugarhouse and sit down and watch the boys do the work. The tubing guys are having a good year. The weatherman says this weather will break by the weekend. I sure hope they are right.

We had some welcome visitors here Saturday afternoon when Les and Sue Mullet brought Noah Yoders from North Fairfield, Maine here along with one of Sue’s sisters and also, Yost Hershbergers from Williamsfield, Ohio. Needless to say, we had a short afternoon. Noah and Yost went to the same school in Maysville, Ohio.

I have Dad’s old Diary from the year 1926. It was the first year that he lived in Delaware. He worked for his Uncle Iddo. Must be Iddo was what they called a truck farmer. On Sept. 28 he writes they finished picking tomatoes. Then they hauled them to Dover and got 25 cents for one load. The rest, they got 35 cents. I think that was a basket.

Iddo had a lot of hired help. They also had a lot of grapes, On Sept. 28, he cut 20 baskets of grapes and the rest of the time he helped to scatter baskitshaul and pack grapes. Mr. Baker got 400 baskets at noon and Mr. Brown got 230 baskets that evening

On Oct. 8, he wrote they had 2156 baskets in the young vineyard and 1684 in the old vineyard. That would be 3840 baskets all together.


Nov. 27, 2016: Will try to get some turkey tracks ready for the Post. Thanksgiving was … and is now past. We are in the last days of November. That puts Christmas just around the corner. I am waiting on Indian Summer since we had snow. Uria Benders and Crist Byler and his sisters were in Cass City to a wedding over Thanksgiving. They came home Saturday eve at 8 bells. The way Uria feels, Cass City weather was not god for him. Nancy says he is going to the doctor Monday. We just came home. We walked down to Old Dan Yoders this forenoon.

He was sitting on a chair. Crist and his sisters and Sime’s Dans were also there. Dan is 80 years old and lived on that farm all his life. He can tell you more about Clay Street than anyone else. Here I am, about 74 and lived in 12 different places. We always had a family gathering on Thanksgiving … uncles, aunts, cousins and my grandparents (as long as they were able). Christmas, my siblings got together. It was not always on Christmas Day.


Oct. 28, 2016: Greetings to everyone. It is late and I forgot about this till just a few minutes ago. I hope I can get a few lines on here before Jacquie comes to pick it up. Ervin’s children were all at their home place today to divide their late parents’ things. Melvins from Mio and Ervins and Simons from Cass City were there. I did stick my nose in for about an hour this afternoon. Melvins were on their way home before I got there. It is over 2 years that Anna passed away. When you find things that were packed away, you find things that you forgot about.

Then it brings back memories. Grandson Joni got an 8-point across the road the other evening. Some kids get all the luck. If we had had all the deer around here that we do today when I was in my teens, I would have a few deer under my belt. In them days, if you saw a track, it was you really saw something. An x-Huntsberg man passed away in Clymer, New York, Allen A. Byler. We went to the same school back in the early 50s. Later, they moved down on Donnelly Road. After he married, he lived on 322 east of Huntsburg on the Howard McElroy Farm.

From there, he moved to Clymer. Dan J. Yoder spent a few weeks in Cleveland Hospital; he is now in Briar Hill till he goes back in for heart surgery. He has cancer. They just found out since he went to the hospital. Last Thursday, we were in Sparty in a wedding. It was a wet, rainy day. This one guy was glad to come home and sit in my Lazy Boy. We had a nice wedding. I saw some of my nephews that I don’t see much of. Last night, we were to son Davids for supper as our landlords were there from California. We lived on their place over 14 years. They come every year for supper. One year, they took us out to Dutch Country restaurant. There were all our children and grandchildren and they picked up the bill.


Sept. 30, 2016: We sure are giving fall weather. Rain and on the cool side … not cold, but we do have a fire in the stove. We are ready to go into the month of October. Anna’s birthday is Sunday … 69 years young. And two of the grandchildren are on the same day … Anna Mae Miller, 10 years old, and Wayne Bender, 9 years old.

Let’s go back a few years when I was in my early teens. Melvin Wengerds lived on the Durkee Farm. We did a lot of fishing in that river. One day comes to mind when more of the Bylers were there. We were back in the river fishing. Atlee, Uria and I worked our way up the river, crossed 608 and went to the spillway and just started fishing when Melvin Wengerd called us and told to us to get out of there. Well, we knew there was no fishing in the spillway. But how did Melvin know what we had in mind to do? (Must be he was a boy himself at one time.) Anna had her Holmes get-together Wednesday ay Roy Erma’s.

This is a day she looks forward to with the women that grew up in Holmes County and moved to Geauga after they were married. There are 9 of them and sometimes Dan Ada and Reuben Dorothy are with them. We will all miss Saw Mill Joe. It sure was a shock when we got word that he died. He was a 1942 model. We want to go and visit Sarah. Now, Sarah, don’t hold your breath till we get there as it takes me a long time to do everything that I want to. And some things, I never get done. I am not as young as I was years ago. And it takes me a lot longer to get my brain to kick in. We now have a married grandchild. Time just keeps on slipping away.

They had a real nice wedding. We did get a lot of rain in the afternoon. Some of Anna’s siblings were there from Holmes County. One of Anna’s half brothers died on the 16th. He was 83. He lived in the Port Washington settlement. We went down on Saturday afternoon with some of the children. Then, Davids and Gideon went with us to the funeral on Monday. Nevin was there from Tennessee. It was a few years since we saw him.


Aug. 30, 2016: August is about over. And school is ready to start. Fall cannot be too far off. For me, I am ready for cooler weather. Not cold and snowy … just cooler. I must be getting older as we have a grandson getting married Sept. 8, the Lord willing. This will be our first grandchild to get married. Nathan Yoder son of Raymond Yoders will marry Cindy Miller, daughter of Nelson Millers. This is their first wedding also. We must all be getting older. Monday, I was to the doctor to have my Coumadin check up. It was good this time. It is now 15 years that I am on Coumadin.

Ever since I have been going to the doctor every 4 weeks and sometimes every 2 weeks. Andy and Alma Yoder have a little son since my last writing. Dan S. Yoders and Albert Millers both claim him for a grandson. A day later: the rain chased us home. We worked off and on all forenoon. I better get this on the way. I still have another letter to write. We were at the wedding at Crist Yoders last Thursday for their daughter Martha and Nevin Bender. It was a real nice wedding. We even stayed for supper. It was a warm day. Andy Yoder started to fill silo. I think old Dan was on the chopper. When we were on the Rajki Farm, that was a job I liked. It was before it got cold. Picking corn, sometimes we got a little cold. Labor Day is Monday. Why is it called Labor Day?

No one wants to work that day. In my school days, I didn’t like Labor Day, as we had to start school the next day. Now, when I look back, I can see that I had it made in those days. No bills to pay and I stuck my feet under Dad’s table. There was always something there to eat. Sometimes I didn’t really like what was there. But you ate or went hungry. I always ate. It is time I get this out of my hair. I sure don’t know what else to write. I will turn this over to Anna for the birthdays. That is her job.


July 22, 2016: Hello everyone! Here we are in the warm Dog Days. My memory on my thermometer shows 100.7. So, we did have some warm weather. I do not want to complain, as last winter was cold. But, I am a fair weather person. I do not like it cold or warm. Right around 65 degrees is fine, The twenty-first we sent the day in Clymer at brother Urias. He is feeling a lot better than he did a few years ago.

He still is not ready to run a race, though. Huntsburg has a new resident since Joseph came to live with Joe and Katie Mae Kauffman. He has two sisters and two brothers. We go to Barb’s this afternoon. Being it is the due date, I will try and surprise Jacquie Foote and get this ready and take it along for her. Is it really time for our luncheon at Barbs? I don’t think that we had 100 percent attendance since we started. Always some are not there. Barb does a lot of work to get this ready.

My Grandmother Mary (Yoder) Bender died at the young age of 35. Father was the youngest at the age of 6. He had four older sisters. Sara was the oldest, age 14. The day of Mary’s funeral when they opened her casket, something was not right. Being one of the youngest grandchildren, I am not sure what it was. I have heard that she had a nosebleed or was turned in her casket. I do not know what it was. But I do know they took her back home. I am not sure how many days they had her before they buried her. Some say it was until she started to smell. Some say she was afraid they would bury her while she was still alive.

And this was one reason Grandfather took her home. I sure would like to find a Budget letter with this in it. Aunt Lizzie used to tell how they sat by her and rubbed her arms to get her blood started. But she never responded. I hope they are about done with Clay Street. They have Blacktop from Route 322 to Burton Windsor Road. I do not know what they are going to do with Pioneer Road. But I do know it is posted as 45 days. I better start and get ready to go.

 


Time to get another letter on the way. We did get a much needed rain. The rain did chase us home early from work. We did some inside work. Strawberries are on the table for a few weeks now, but they are about passed. We got most of ours from Bill Miller. I like to eat them, but not pick them. I never had a green thumb. I never liked to work in the garden. There is a lot of other work to keep a guy out of mischief. Last night, we were in our old neighborhood in Parkman. Noah Yutzys put up with us. Ellen Hershberger was our host. Noah was telling us about time when his boys were younger they were putting up hay and Noah had to go to the house. When he came back to the field, the boys had a little skunk. When they saw dad, they dropped the skunk. Wrong thing to do! The poor boy that had the skunk got sprayed. Noah said they put the clothes in tomato juice, then they buried them … and finally burned them. He wasn’t the first guy that got sprayed by a skink. Eli S. once told me that when he was growing up, when they smelled skunk, they smelled money. I never was that hard up that I would skin a skunk. Even working in the garden would be better than that. Monday was finger stick day. It was a little on the thin side. He didn’t change anything. It is now 15 years that I am on blood thinner. Hidden View School had their school trip on the 8th of June. They went to the Falls. They didn’t go on the Canada side. They are working on the corner of Pioneer and Clay Street. I will not say too much as I might be the only one who wishes that they would have kept their hands off. Why take the hills down and mess up the driveways? Here I go … that is enough said. We must be in the wedding season. We got an invitation to Windsor at Melvin and Sara Miller’s for their daughter Barbara to one of Freeman Mullet’s boys. Boy, it is not that long that Barbara was just a schoolgirl when she went along to Montana in the Mines. I am not sure what year that was. Let’s go back a few years. I am not sure what year it was, but it was June 1. Brother Uria and I were weeding the garden when the sisters called us and told us to get in the house. No, we were going to finish the garden before we go in, we said. But we got orders to “get in the house NOW! A big storm is coming.” We went. But we didn’t get in the house before the storm hit. We had to fight wind and rain, but we made it in. I do not know how long it lasted … not real long. We lost a lot of trees in the sugar bush. The way we hear it, we are going to lose one of our neighbors, Willard Slaubaughs. They are going to Cox Road.


May 27,2016: Is it really time for another letter? And what am I going to write? To start with, Andy Byler is still under doctor’s care. His heart is not working like we would want it to. He is up and about, but can’t do any work. Clarence Weaver can put some weight on his foot now. Still uses his crutches. We walked up last Sunday.

Crist Yoder’s Joseph was in the hospital and had surgery on his knee and is on crutches to get around. He goes back to the doctor on the nineteenth. Rudy Wengerd’s Katie just got her cast off her arm. Now Amanda, her sister, is wearing a cast after breaking her arm when the little wagon tipped over. So Rudys know what broken bones are.

Weddings are in season. We have 4 invitations and the bad part is two are for May 26 and two are for June 2. One is in Clymer, New York. We will pass on that one. One is at Benny Bylers and at Billy Gingerich’s the same day. We didn’t want to miss either one. Anna says we will go to one for dinner and the other one for supper. There is a funeral in Florida of a schoolmate. Her maiden name was Dena Miller. I don’t know what it is since she married. I haven’t seen her for 50 years or more. She died the day after her 72nd birthday. She was a sister to David R.S. Miller.

Most of the Amish schools closed their doors for another summer. Hidden View had their picnic last Saturday. It comes a lot faster than it did when I went to school. That is one thing I can truthfully say … I did not like school. We drove passed the Rajki Farm and there isn’t anything there any more. They didn’t leave as much as a corner stone. How did everyone like the snow last Sunday morning? For me, I thought summer was here.


April 28, 2016: Good evening to everyone. We came home from Canastota, South Dakota on Saturday. We were in the Ortman Clinic. We had Dr. Derrick this time. This was our eleventh trip out there and we had Dr. Lon the other times. Anna wanted a change. Clarence Weaver broke his foot. He was cutting grass. Must be he stepped in a hole or something; anyway, down he went. Andy Byler is not feeling the best. He went into the hospital twice to have his heart shocked, and it did not stay. He is thinking about going in and burning it some way. I hope the doctors know what they are doing. Anna had her Holmes group get together today. She really enjoyed the day. Everyone was there but Roy Erma. We have a wedding invitation at Sam Yoder’s. The wedding is in Cass City. Mich. Time will tell if we will go. Robert Benders have a sale in Hastings, Mich. that I’d like to go to. But, being we just came home from South Dakota, I better stay home. This is a day later … we came back early as the rain chased us home. A few times we sat in the van. One time we even picked up the tools and went back to work. But about 1:30 p.m. we had enough. When we came home from South Dakota, there was a sign on our door, “Welcome home, Grandpa and Grandma”. So the grandchildren were glad to have us back. I did go for a fingerstick on Monday. It is still on the thick side. We go to Sam Millers this coming Monday. I better hang this up, as my head is blank. I was sitting here for the longest time. Will try to do better next time.Feb. 19, 2016: I am a day late and a dollar short. Jacquie was here to pick up my letter and I was way out in left field. I can blame it on the bump on my head. Last Monday, I was back to the doctor. All this, “How are you feeling?” and all that goes with a check-up. My head isn’t right; the nurse says it never was. Well, she knows me, as I was going there every  four weeks for the last 15 years.

I am a lot better than I was five weeks ago. I drove the horse to Middlefield three times now and I can read an hour at a time now.

The boys are getting ready to tap. If everything goes as planned, they will tap tomorrow. Is this boy ready to see Spring come! The last few years, I am not a winter man.

Boy, did we have a surprise last Wednesday evening when a load from Fredonia came up to see us.  Coming were Allen Bylers, Enoch Byler, Melvin Troyers, Widow Emma Byler, Joe Mullets, Uriah Hostetlers, and William Yoders. There was only one thing wrong. They didn’t stay long enough. Now, today, I got two letters from Delaware. We get a lot of visitors; I cannot name them all. But, if they come from out of state, I try and write their names down.

We got word that Roman Troyer passed away. We want to go to the viewing sometime Saturday. We knew the Troyers for a long time.

I saw Melvin Miller in Walmart and didn’t recognize him. I knew I should know him, but my mind was blank. Later on, it came to me that it was Mel. Sorry, Mel, you can see that I still have a ways to come – I mean my brain does.


Jan. 23, 2016: Will try to write a few lines. Don’t know how far I will get. My head is not clear since my accident.

We were on our way to work last Friday, the 15th, when the driver lost control or something. I was knocked out and was in Akron City Hospital for 2 days. The good news is that I have a brain. The bad news is that I have blood on the brain, and 11 staples in my head. Three more weeks of this sitting around.

I have more good news. Son Daniels have a little Nathan since the 11th. The other grandparents are Eli and Katie Miller. He has one great, Mrs. John Miller Sadie. He also has two sisters and four brothers.

This will do for this time. Anna might add a few lines.

From Anna Bender and family …

We can’t be thankful enough for Bill to be home and doing OK. He does a lot of sleeping!


 

Jan. 5, 2016: A nice sunny day, but COLD! I didn’t go to work today. In this cold weather, my job is to keep the fire going so we can stay warm. This is the coldest we’ve had this season. We had 4.5 degrees this morning. We are one day closer to spring!

Last Saturday, the second of January, we were in Holmes County to the farm sale of David Bylers. This is Anna’s nephew. It was a cold day, but we enjoyed the day, saw a lot of the nephews and nieces who we don’t see very often. David had a good sale. One of the children is moving home and taking the farm over.

We started a brand new year and already we had a funeral of a good friend, Allen J. Byler. He was first cousin to my mother.

Huntsburg lost a resident who lived here most of his life, Park Thurling. I knew Park since I was just a little chap. My father did a lot of carpenter work for him. Park started the L.P. Gas in Middlefield. Father, Park Sr., and myself went to Willoughby and took an old building down for the lumber to build that building for Park Jr., That had to be in the 1950s.

Let’s go back a few years to January of ’77. We were living in Holmes County at the time. I was working for Maysville Contractors. Larry Weaver was our driver. This one morning, he came to pick me up. It was not cold and we didn’t have any snow. Anyway, I went out in the van. We started out the drive and he says, “Look at this place. It will be a long time till you see it again.”

I said, “If it is that bad, let me off now.”

We decided to get Eli and see what he says. We let the other guys stay at home and we went on to get that little barn we were doing out of the way.

We went to Curry Lumber in Wooster. We were working out of Curry Lumber. When we drove in Curry, Alfred was standing in the doorway waving his arms, yelling, “Get home! There is no one coming in here today!”

We headed back to Fredericksburg and decided to stop and have a coffee. To make a long story short, we were drinking our coffee and all at once, Larry says, “Boys! If you want to get home, we better go!” We looked out. It was snowing and blowing and getting colder by the minute.

We got home, but I had to walk down Thompson Hill, as Larry didn’t want to try and get back up the hill.

Needless to say, we didn’t go to work for a few days.


 

Nov. 28, 2015: Am glad to see you all again. As everyone in Huntsburg knows, it is a rainy day.

Thanksgiving is past for 2015. And Christmas is right behind it. As a school kid, it was a long time between the two. When the children were still at home, they sang Christmas carols. Now it is just the wife and me. We go to bed a few times and the next thing we know, it is Christmas.

We didn’t do much Christmas shopping yet. We want to take the grandsons that are out of school to Holmes County. Other years, we took the granddaughters. The boys think they should have a turn. They are right. The boys won’t want to stop at every store they come to … sports stores are a little different. There are nine boys. Dorothy Moses is the driver. She took this trip the last few years.

Anna was by Doctor Berman this forenoon. She says she can feel it that she wasn’t in South Dakota this year. It is a little too far to drive with horse and buggy. With winter coming, I like to stay close to home. Maybe, early spring we will go.

Reuben Emma was in the hospital from Monday to Saturday a few weeks ago. We stayed at home as the buggy was in the shop. It is ready to go the first of the week. My hands are tied if I don’t have horse and buggy.

Everyone in the state of Ohio knows that deer gun season opens on Monday. I did hang it up a few years ago. I never was a “deer hunter”. In my book, it is a difference between a “deer hunter” and to go deer hunting. You can ask Joe Novak.

Now, a “deer hunter” sits in a tree from early morning till late at night and does not move as much as a finger as he is afraid a deer will see him move.  And he does not shoot the first deer that walks by, as it is not big enough. The same thing happens the next day. Sooner or later, the deer comes by that he is waiting for.

A guy who goes deer hunting moves his stand every hour and more deer see him than he sees deer. And he shoots at the first deer he sees … but he can’t hit him or her.

Over the years I went, a lot of days I didn’t see hide nor hair of deer. How many deer saw me, I don’t know.

So that’s why I put me in the class that hunt deer.

My birthday girl wasn’t home, so I hope I didn’t mess the birthdays up!

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