Home Plain Country Hello From the Plain Community – By Donnie Miller

Hello From the Plain Community – By Donnie Miller


Aug. 28, 2019: The fall colors are coming out. Our maple tree in the yard has already turned red. And this morning, our granddaughter found a nice reddish leaf on the ground and we have taped it on the wall to remind us of the coming season. Tomorrow starts the Geauga County Fair and the winter will be right behind. Are we ready for winter?

Isn’t it wonderful to live where we have changing seasons! My hopes are for a long nice fall with a mild winter. Is this wishful thinking?

On the evening of Aug. 27, our girls treated daughter Saloma to dinner at Blazing Bills. Mom could not go along as we had a visiting group here which we greatly enjoyed. We had Sonny and Mattie Detweiler, Noah and Emma Mast, Bill and Lucy Miller, Mahlon and Elizabeth Byler, Jake and Amanda Mullet, and last but not least, Nevin and Emma Byler. Many subjects were discussed and solved!

Sunday evening, some of the children came home where we sat around the fire. There were sons Mikes, Tims and Eddie and Betty. Also, Sam and Katie and Andrews, Andrew, Walter and myself attended services at James Byler Jrs on Sunday and were company Sunday evening. Then, Monday evening was Troyer family night. Tuesday, the girls came home to clean, as church will be here on Sunday Sept. 1. So, I am still weary today.

Nancy and her sisters are visiting their niece Linda Kauffman as they have a newborn that has many serious heart defects and is facing more surgeries. Plus, she is a Downs baby.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019: Greetings to all who read. Another perfect summer day or should say morning. We who were so cold during the winter should be well satisfied after our warm weekend weather. Twas warm and sweaty after church on Sunday the 21st and then, on Monday, had to go to the clinic for an iron infusion … and had to wear a warm coat! Again, the saying is true … “if you don’t like the weather wait 10 minutes; it will change.”

This letter will be all about us again as Nancy had an operation on the 17th at Hillcrest to reverse her colostomy. All went well and the doctor also took out her appendix. She was released 2 days later and has a lot of pain, but is at home, recuperating.

Daughter Katie is here today to help along as I am a poor nurse. Son Dannie of Indiana came on Friday evening, the 19th. Granddaughter Susan Kaye came along. Dannie grows produce, so he brought garden goodies along, which we are enjoying, He came in with a load of Bowman relatives who had a family reunion at Amos Millers. They traveled back home Saturday evening. A short, but a sweet visit.

Ruth (Mrs. John E.) Miller had appendix surgery of late and, at a later date, will have to have her gall bladder taken out also. She missed church a few times but was able to attend on this Sunday. Mary (Mrs. Bill) Troyer is taking strong chemo treatments and is not able to attend services as of late. Now, Bill has contracted the shingles. (Ouch!)

Tuesday evening, June 18, 2019: We will start with the weather … cool and wet!! All letters and conversations are started with the weather … except sermons. So that is my “words of wisdom” for the month. Meanwhile, should we try to cut the grass?!

This is the wedding season among the Amish. Maybe that is why it can’t stop raining? Daughters Sara Jane and Katie Marie went along with me and we attended the wedding at Elmer Kurtzes on June 13. The groom was the grandson of our Mespo Scribe. So, check her letter for details. The rains held off as we started home about 3:30 and then drove through heavy showers all the way. Upon arriving home, we saw a real river running through our front lawn. Pity the farmers.

Wife Nancy was not able to attend as she still has stomach troubles off and on. June 25, she goes to the surgeon to schedule a date to reverse her colon-scope. We hope for the best. 

Friday, June 21: I have a heart cath scheduled at the Clinic. After all the times, I’m still a bit nervous … afraid they might find something wrong. My last cath was two years ago. Things are much different than they used to be. My first cath was in 1972 and they went in the crook of my right arm. Later, they went up the groin and you had to lay flat for hours with a sandbag on your groin (it seemed). Still later they used a plug and you could sit up in minutes. Now they go up your wrist and there is not much to it. Enough about ourselves.

Well, it’s now Thursday afternoon and it was a bad morning. Guess my age is showing as I thought my appointment was at 12:30 today, and at 8 a.m. the driver pulled in and I was still in my PJs. Had looked at the wrong date on my calender! A quick shower and we were on the way and made the appointment on time at 9:15!

Nancy and daughter Sara Jane were to the viewing of 7-day-old Matthew James Slabaugh who was born with heart problems and passed away after an operation. Parents are James and Sara (Gingerich) and grands are Jr., Ida Gingerich and Marty and Susan Slabaugh. This was their first child after close to two years of marriage.

May 22, 2019: A nice spring morning and it is not raining. We sure have had a wet spring. With all the moisture we have had, the lawns had to be mowed twice a week. For those who planted shrubs or trees this spring, they have had a good start. I’m sure those who were able to put out early gardens were able to enjoy lettuce and onions so far. Strawberries have been blooming and we hope not to receive a late freeze. We have very few lilac blooms this year. I guess a freeze caught the buds.

We are quite well. Nancy is gaining and she is enjoying the many visits and cards we have received … plus the meals that are being brought in two evenings per week. She has an appointment with the surgeon June 23 to discuss another surgery to reconnect and reverse her colostomy. Hopefully it will be a simple surgery.

Our son-in-law made us a brick patio behind our home and brought a new firepot, so come and sit with us around the fire this summer.

Weddings are going on this summer. We have four invitations hanging on our bulletin board, and time will tell if we will be able to attend any. There is also an invitation for a heart transplant reunion in Ohio and a kidney transplant reunion in Indiana … both in July. We will probably pass on both. We have a Troyer get-together planned at brother John and Sues on July 27 which will be a must to attend.

You stay well and enjoy the summer!

April 24, 2019: A wonderful time of the year! MY FAVORITE! Tulips have started to bloom. The daffodils are extra yellow this year. I suppose some people have early gardens planted. We have decided not to plant any garden this year. Our daughter shares her garden goodies with us.

Our strawberries do not look too well this year, so may have to beg for some from the family and neighbors.

Daughter Katie just arrived with some Maggie’s donuts. (YUM) The girls come every day to help take care of Mom, Nancy. Nancy spent one day shy of 3 weeks in Hillcrest Hospital. On April 4, she had an operation because of a perforated diverticulitis. They cleaned out an abscess and did a colostomy. Nancy is coming along great and we were to the surgeon yesterday and were told that it can be reversed in 3 months. So far, we haven’t had any major problems at home. We have clinic home care coming out a few times a week as her wound has not healed yet.


Daughter-in-law Nelson Liz from New York stopped in for a short visit Monday afternoon. A group of ladies made a flying trip in to visit family, leaving New York early Monday morning and traveling back home Tuesday afternoon. Coming with Liz were daughters Ruth and Beth Ann, and son Caleb.  Short, but sweet!

Well, that’s it. Want to pick up some meds and a few other things, so will drop this off in the mailbox.  Enjoy spring!

Feb. 27, 2019: Greetings to all readers and writers. A nice winter morning, but I’m weary of winter and am anxiously waiting for spring. Never had much patience and as I grow older, it’s getting worse.

The community was shocked when our good friend Bill Stutzman was found in bed on the 11th and life had fled. Bill was a friend to all and, as an ex-school teacher was a very popular man. At one time, he was a tour guide on many tours throughout the U.S. Nancy and I had the opportunity to go along with a few of his tours. He loved his waterfalls and stopped at many on his trips. After he retired from school teaching, he was the administrator for the Amish Community Aid Plan. Bill had made his wishes known for his funeral plans. The pall bearers were all named Bill. The sermons were all given by former students plus his home Bishop. He will surely be missed.

Wife Nancy had a rough winter with being in the hospital two times, once with pneumonia and a few weeks later with a bad UTI. Then a short time later, a mass was found at the end of her colon. That was removed by day surgery on Feb. 4. The mass was negative and she recovered very well. She missed church services four times.

We are in the time of seasons that maple syrup is being made. The Gingerich family sugarbush tapped their maple trees a few weeks back and have made some of that special sweet syrup already.

Reports are that John O. Mullet had a serious stroke and is in step-down. John, we hope for the best.

Nov. 23, 2018:  Oh, what nice sunshine this morning after many cloudy days. Thanksgiving was enjoyed yesterday with family. Son Dannie and Joann and baby Mahala were here; the Thanksgiving meal was enjoyed at daughter Sara Jane and Andrew’s. Six of our 10 children were able to join us. So, now is the countdown to Christmas. 

Today is Black Friday and the ladies are out shopping. Monday, the 26th, is the first day of deer season, so that means it is also the Amish ladies’ Black Monday Shopping Day. (Smile!)

Our thoughts are with the Marvin A. Miller family on Peters Road who lost their home in a fire. A 2-year old died in that fire. The family members are in three different hospitals with serious burns. This is the third house fire in the community this year, but the only death.

Nancy’s aunt, Nancy Wengerd, passed away on Tuesday, Nov. 13. Nancy was 92 years old. Her husband, Dan N., passed away June 16, 2010. Nancy had her home by her daughter Nancy (husband John L. Gingerich) on Newcome Road which is where the funeral was. She was buried in the Miller cemetery in Huntsburg Township. Survivors are seven daughters and seven sons. Now, Uncle Noah Mast is the only one left of the Jake and Mattie Mast family.

The Mahlon J. C. Byler family will be traveling to New York, the South Colombia area, today to have their Thanksgiving at son Allan’s tomorrow, coming back home Saturday evening.

Oct. 1, 2018: Oh, where has the summer gone!

Remember that at one time we looked forward to the coming winter (sled rides and snowball fights). We didn’t know when we were cold, but now, the bones get chilled just thinking about the snow and cold. It is old age or what? Guess it is mind over matter!

Our family keeps growing … 2 births in this last month. A daughter named Nancy to son Mike and Susie Mae. (Made Grandma proud of her namesake.) One brother and four sisters welcome the new baby. A son named Lonnie Martin to son Tim and Emma. Two brothers welcome him. Emma had problems after the birth and had to have surgery. But we are glad to report that all is well. Also, a son named Josh to Steven and Linda Troyer in our church district.

Grandson Philip had an accident at work when he tripped over some air hoses and shot a large nail into his knee. The job was close to Hillcrest, so they went to the ER there. He had a minor surgery to remove the nail and clean out the wound. Was kept overnight and then was sent home, but someone dropped the ball and forgot to prescribe antibiotics. Within a week, he developed a fever and was admitted to Southpoint Hospital and was once again in overnight, this time for IV antibiotic. Now, he is healing and anxious to return to work. I believe he went to Hillcrest to get the stitches removed this morn.

Wife Nancy developed infection in her left eye and had many trips to her eye doctor (also in Hillcrest) and is finally healing. Her left eye is almost blind since her brain tumor.

Excuse me as this is a very self-centered letter!

Greetings from the Plain Community

By Donnie Miller

Aug. 28, 2018: Time for another letter for the Middlefield Post Plain Country and, as always, I’m a day late. This is on a Tuesday morning and in two days will be the start of the Great Geauga County Fair. Surely this summer is almost gone. Where did It go? It has been a great summer with lush gardens and good crops for the farmers.

Church services were held here on Aug. 5 and also on Aug. 19.

We had a heart transplant reunion on Aug. 11. Andrew rented a tent from Paul Detweiler Jr. that we set up in front of the shop. The bench wagon was here so we had plenty seating. There were 11 transplantees who were able to attend. Attendees were from Clymer, N.Y., Sparty Pa., and Clintonville, Pa. There was also a bus from Holmes County, a vanload from Arthur, Ill and a vanload from Western Ohio. Our daughters took care of the menu. The day was too short.

Today is the funeral of Mary wife of John Troyer, a sister-in-law to scribe, Linda Weaver. Tomorrow is the funeral of Crist Esther Fisher. Nancy and I were able to attend calling hours of Esther but failed to attend John Mary.

The, later on in the evening, we were able to attend family night at Becky Johns. All attended except Ken Benders as their son-in-law Lester Troyers had surgery on Monday to repair the bones in his face. Lester fell off his house roof on Aug. 9 and is in UH Hospital in serious condition. Prayers are needed for the family.

Most of our schools will open their doors on the day after Labor Day. Many will have new teachers, so let’s remember our teachers in prayer as they start on their new term.

Greetings from the Amish Community

By Donnie Miller

Monday, July 16, 2018: Greetings to all writers and readers on this warm summer morning. It is hard to believe that we would be wishing for rain. 

Am anxiously waiting for fresh tomatoes and sweet corn. We didn’t plant any lettuce, but we do have radishes and zucchini to eat. The strawberries are just a memory now.

Welcome visitors with us Thursday July 12 were our step-brother-in-law Jonas Coblentz from Pennsylvania along with his son Menno and wife Clare, and son Leroy who is Downs. Also, along were his daughters Ada Troyer, Mandy Raber, and Nancy Fehr. They always try to visit us at least once a year. They also stopped at sisters Sally and Ada.

Last Saturday, we spent the day at Deer Park in Pennsylvania along with son Tom’s family and daughter Suzy. Was a warm day with lots of walking, but watching our grandchildren made a worthwhile day. We also stopped at Linesville on our way home to feed the fish. We took our two grandchildren, Jason and Micah, along as they help us out so much at home.

Can’t move around much in this hot weather, so am looking for books to read (or, in some cases, reread). So, lately, I read Uria R. Byler’s “As I Remember It”, and then I picked up Jonas Byler’s “Chattering”. I like to sit on the front porch with a fan and some food and drink and read and watch traffic. Such has been our summer.

June 18, 2018: Greetings to all readers this warm and muggy evening. Seems just a month ago when I was writing that it was so cool!

“As a rule, a man’s a fool,

When it’s hot he wants it cool.

When it’s cool he wants it hot.

Whatever it is, he wants it not!!”

Farmers have been able to put up some nice hay this last week.  Strawberries are again past for another year, and once again they were really good! I barely got my fill this year! And now, bring on the tomatoes and the sweet corn!

We mourn with the Bob Hershberger family in the death of his wife Sara, age 57. She was the daughter of Simon (deceased) and Clara Gingerich. Sara had a bad heart for many years with rhythm problems and cardiometry and underwent a heart transplant on May 8. She had a hard time recovering and infection set in. She passed away on June 9 with the funeral on June 12. She was laid to rest in the Yoder cemetery. Survivors are her husband Bob, sons Robert Jr. (Maria Mast), Jonathan (Rebecca Yoder); daughters Carol (David Miller), Lynda (Lavern Troyer), Kathy (Martin Miller) and Karen. 

Another death was of Edna Mae Hershberger, single daughter of the late Neal and Leah. She was 65 years old. It was a blessing she could go.

Wednesday, June 20, is my six-month heart check-up at the Clinic. It consists of an EKG, X-ray, blood work, and a visit with the transplant nurse. Usually a transplant needs a heart Cath once a year, but since my kidneys are not that good anymore, and the dye that is used during a Cath is hard on the kidneys, I might not have to have one until next year. Enough about myself. 

So that’s it for this time. You all enjoy the rest of the summer. After all, June 21 is the longest day already, and then the days start getting shorter!

May 22, 2018: Greetings to All Plain Country readers and writers. Am a day late in writing my letter this month, and I don’t have much in my brain this morning. Do know that I am enjoying the spring weather with the flowers. Suddenly the woods are green with the leaves and the grass growing.

Bob Hershberger’s Sara who underwent a heart transplant … I believe it was the second week of May … is now gaining a bit. Sara’s body has had a hard time accepting the new organ as she was very low when receiving the heart. We hope for the best and hope she can be home soon with her family.

Sunday evening, Nancy and I took dinner over to daughter Saloma and David and family. Before dinner, their son Myron disappeared and could not be found. We ate dinner without him, but as the time went on and no show, the sheriff was notified. A deputy soon arrived while they kept looking. Soon Myron was found in the basement under some blankets, fast asleep! Such a relief when Myron was found!

Sunday, we attended church way up north on Clay Street, along with son-in-law Andrew and Sara Jane. Others along were Noah and Bob and Emma Hershberger. It was cool and misting in the morning, but it warmed up in the afternoon.

Son Dannie and two girls were planning to arrive last evening for an overnight stay, but plans fell through. Nancy and I were highly disappointed.

Monday, April 23, 2018: Good morning! What a beautiful spring morning. Upon walking up to the road getting my morning paper, I noticed the birds were all singing so nice and happy. A mourning dove was sitting on top of the pine tree and cooing to me.

Bob Sara Hershberger is still in Cleveland Clinic awaiting a donor heart. She has been having some tough times, with all the medications she must take. But they have tweaked those and she is more stable. It is tough lying in the hospital day after day waiting!

Wedding season is starting, and daughter Sara Jane and Andrew are leaving for Munfordville, Ky. on Wednesday morning to take in the marriage of a nephew.

Nancy, who has had a chronic cough for a long time with nothing seeming to help, is now being treated for infective sinuses. So, she just finished a round of strong antibiotics and this morning she has a CT scan scheduled at Hillcrest hospital to check if the sinuses are still infected.

I also had surgery … on my eye on May 12 at the Cole Eye Center. After wearing a bandage for one week, it is now better, but still swollen. My lower eyelid was drooping and the doctor stitched it up. So far, it looks good.

March 26: Well! Finally, it seems like spring this morning. Still have some snow around. For a while there I felt like we would see snow until July 4. But God has promised that we will have summer, fall, spring and winter until the world ends. OH! I must pray daily for patience.

Sister Linda, Mrs. Dan E. Miller, passed away on March 14 after a five-year battle with cancer that started as breast cancer. Later on it came back in her bones and liver. Her large funeral was held on Saturday the 17th. Burial was in Clover Hill Cemetery. Survivors are her husband, Daniel E. Miller, four daughters and eight sons. Tonight the Troyer family hopes to visit Dan.

Also two deaths occurred this last week when Owen M. Miller and Ervin Yoder passed away. Both funerals were on Saturday the 24th.

Nancy and I were able to travel to Indiana over the weekend of March 11 to attend the baptism of grandson Robert son of Dannie and Joanna. Traveling with us were daughter Susy, Sara Jane and husband Andrew, their son Andrew Jr. and Leanna, also granddaughter Katie Mae and grandsons Jason and Micah. We left on Saturday afternoon, attended services and stayed for a bit of the young people singing, arriving home after midnight, Sunday evening.

Visiting with us on Saturday evening were daughter Katie and Sam. On Sunday evening, daughter Saloma and David were here. It made for a short weekend.

Two new families are in our church district, as Delbert and Rosanna Kurtz moved into a home on Hoskins Road in Burton. Robbie and Becca Hershberger moved into a home on Jug Road.

Bob Hershberger Sara was admitted to the Cleveland Clinic with fluid again and was put in ICU over the weekend when her blood pressure kept dropping. Sara is 56 years old and is in need of a heart transplant. Keep the family in your prayers.


Feb. 26, 2018: Greetings to all readers and writers this fine February morning. Such nice sunshine after what seems like a long cold winter. The birds are extra happy this morning. We have some bluebirds this morning by the feeder, and the suet cakes on our porch this morn. So nice!

Nancy and I plus daughter Suzy attended church yesterday at Melbern Yoders where our grandson James Hershberger was baptized along with John Kurtz son of Mel and Mary Ann. Was a special day. Later we visited with Dan and Katie Troyer. Katie just recently had surgery on her ankle and is recovering at home. She still has a large boot. Katie’s brother Owen Yoder had a serious surgery when he had a cancerous kidney removed.

Nancy and I, along with the girls, visited with sister Linda and Dan last Wednesday the 21st. Dan’s girls were also there, so it was a bit lively, Linda is handing in there, but her cancer counts are up. Please keep her in your prayers along with Owen and other sick and sorrowing.

There are two new babies in our church, a son named Dwayne to Daniel and Linda Hershberger, and a son named Mark Alan to Menno and Elmina Schlabaugh.

Nov. 29, 2017: Greetings on this fine Indian Summer morning to all Plain Country readers. Am home alone as the ladies are gone Christmas shopping today in Warren and Niles with Dorothy Moses as driver. We had planned to travel to Holmes County today, but I ended up in the Cleveland Clinic once again with blocked bowels. Was admitted on Tuesday the 21st and came home again on Friday the 24th. So the girls decided to go shopping locally.

Three elderly gentlemen passed away in the community this last month. Mel E. Miller passed away on the 14th of November and his funeral was on the 17th. Burial was in Troyer Cemetery, West Farmington. Survivors are four sons and four daughters. Enos Barkman Sr. passed away on Friday Nov. 24. Funeral was on Monday the 27th. Burial was in Yoder’s Cemetery. Survivors are four sons and four daughters. Jonas Miller SR. passed away on Saturday, Nov. 25 and his funeral was on Tuesday the 28th.Burial was also in Yoders Cemetery

Mel was born Aug. 24, 1934. Enos was born Sept. 24, 1923. Jonas was born June 28, 1924. Enos and Jonas were the oldest Amish men in the community and they passes away a day apart.

A new baby girl to Danny Ray Gingerich named Krista Rose. Grandparents are Dan and Leona Gingerich and Dan J. Kuhns of Kentucky.

Bill Detweiler had open-heart surgery at the Cleveland Clinic on Tuesday, Nov. 21. They repaired his triceps valve and replaced the aorta. Bill was scheduled to be released on the 28th. This was Bill’s third surgery and lasted eight hours. We hope far better days ahead for Bill and Martha.

Hello from the Amish Community

By Donnie Miller

Thursday Morning, July 20, 2017: Hello to all Plain Country Writers and Readers.

We are in the good old summertime with hot temperatures, thundershowers, sitting on front porches, drinking ice tea, and reading. What more can one ask for? Having friends and family stop by to join us!

Yesterday, I was at the Clinic to check on my swollen right arm. Not much to do about it as the pacer wires have scared my veins and we must watch so no infection occurs.

Today, Nancy goes to Hillcrest for an INR to make sure her blood is not clotting. She was scheduled for cataract surgery the third of August, but must reschedule as we are leaving for vacation on Aug. 8. And she still has a cough, although that is getting better.

We expect to leave Cleveland on Amtrak early Tuesday morning, Aug. 8, for Montana, staying away from home 10 days. We expect to visit my sister Kathryn in St. Ignatius, and also spend time with my nephew Daniel Byler in Lewistown for a few days. Niece Rhoda Weaver planned the trip. Daughters Susie and Katie will also go along to take care of Mom and Dad. Others going are Elwin, Rhoda, Nate, Barbie Weavers, Crist and Ada Yoders, and Clara Hershberger.

Sister Kathryn’s husband John A. Miller passed away this spring and was buried in Rexford, Mont. And would love to visit his grave but the distance would be too great to take that in. I’m sure that, after the trip out there, we will need plenty of rest.

Many weddings this summer, and wonder where all those young married couples will live. The community is growing and moving to the outskirts. We have Amish whose addresses are Warren, Rome, Mantua.  It’s impossible to drive a horse and buggy from one end to the other anymore. Over the years, many have moved and started new settlements!

June 22, 2017: Oops! I just looked at the calendar and this letter is due tomorrow. I guess I’m enjoying the summer and just lost track of time. Do not have much to report this morning as haven’t been out and about much lately, except for going to doctors and such.

Yesterday the 21st was the first day of summer and wife Nancy along with other ladies were out for breakfast and a day of visiting and a bit of shopping. Included were Jake Linda, Lee Ida, John Mary, Jake Jenny, and Elwin Linda. They ate at Dutch Country, visited with Harvey Susan and Mel Emma, and shopped at Nature’s Nook. While there, they spent time with Sam Emma. Understood they had a great time, but Nancy was exhausted when she arrived back home.

I had a heart cath on Friday, June 2. They went up my wrist and also down my neck. The good news is that all is still well. Now the next plan is to have a stent put in my right arm as I have a constricted vein in my upper arm. My arm has been swollen since December. Doesn’t really hurt, but is uncomfortable.

Nancy must have a cataract removed from her right eye in the future.

We were able to attend the wedding of Ike Bender and Erma Byler on June 13. Was a nice day although warm, but there were many shade trees to sit under for a visit in the afternoon.

May 23, 2017: Was a nice morning to sit on the front porch taking in the sunshine and listening to the birds with a good book to read. After so many cloudy and cool days, it is extra special!

Wedding season is in throughout the community. We were invited to two last Thursday, the 18th, but didn’t make it to either one. Maybe once the weather warms up and the rains slow down, we can plan to attend. Nancy’s cough doesn’t get much better, and I am weary much of the time. Is it age?

Hopefully, the soil is warmed up by next week, as it is time to plant the garden. I suppose the farmers are busy planting corn. We even saw someone bailing hay last week. Years ago, that wasn’t put up until July. Isn’t it funny how times change?

There are many sick and sorrowing people in the community, plus many newly ordained whom we want to remember in prayer. Seems we hear of so many people with cancer. But also, we have many what are responding to treatment and still have a good life.

There’s a new baby in our church district, a girl named Emma Lyn born to Albert and Dorothy Miller, their first. Grands are Albert R. Millers and Ray Schrocks; Greats are John Schrocks and Eli Katie.

April 26, 2017: A wonderful time of year. The earth is waking up. The flowering trees and shrubs are oh, so colorful this year. When gazing out back, we see the wild apple trees are oh, so nice.

Our farmers are busy plowing and preparing to plant their crops.

We were so blessed with visitors lately. Last night, the 25th, the one and only Mespo scribe for Katherine’s Korner, was along with a very interesting group. There was Joe and Katherine Byler, Robert and Barbara, and Jr. and Liz both Stoltzfuses, Henry Jr. and Kathy Miller, and John and Mae Bontrager. Henry and I both worked at Burton Rubber, and Henrys are the parents of son Mike’s wife Susie Mae.

In the a.m., Andy and Ida Miller, and Daniel and Martha Fisher made a call. They also wanted to make a stop at Enos Barkman and Lester A. Miller.

Our sympathy to the Harvey Weaver family as Harvey passed away at Cleveland Clinic after an operation to repair aneurysms at his heart. A stroke after the operation was probably the cause that kept him from recovering. Harvey was born Aug. 4, 1932 and was 84 tears old. Survivors are his wife Susan, sons Marvin and Barbara, Wayne and Sarah, David and Sara, and daughters Anna Marie and Owen Yoder and Linda James Weaver.

Also, our brother-in-law John A. Miller passed away in St. Ignatius, Mont. on March 11. John was born September 27, 1926 and was 90 years old. He was married to my oldest sister, Kathryn. Johns lived in Horse Fly, British Columbia for 7 months in 1969. Later they moved from Burton to Mio, Mich. From Mio they moved to Rexford Mont. and then to St, Ignatius. His wish was to be buried in Rexford. Survivors are sister Kathryn, three sons and five daughters. We could not attend the funeral, but, if health permits, possibly we can visit this summer in the month of August.

Oh, another group of visitors were here on the evening of the 24th. They were Dan O. and Kathy Miller, Lester and Martha, and John and Betty both Mullets.

It’s time to think about planting the garden and, of course, mowing the lawn!

Thursday, March 30, 2017: This is Thursday morning and this letter should have been written the first of the week already but Nancy and I have been going too much lately. Friday, p.m., we left for New York to visit Nelson and Liz and family. Was a short flying trip but so enjoyable! Going along were son Mike and Susie Mae and 5 children, daughter Sara Jane and Katie Mae, daughter Katie and Sam, Susy and granddaughter Mahala. It was cold and rainy, plus they still had snow from the last big storm. We arrived back home late Saturday evening and rested over the weekend!

Tuesday the 28th, friends took us along for a drive in Pennsylvania. We left Tuesday morning and visited with our good friends in Clintonville, Jim and Linda Byler, and Andy and Martha Coblentz. We met them on a Western Circle Stutzman Tour many years ago. Was nice to touch base with them again.

Wednesday a.m., we left early as Nancy had four appointments at Hillcrest hospital for tests. Am a bit weary just writing about our busy life. (Smile)

Two new families are in our church district. Menno Slabaughs moved into their home they purchased on Rt. 168, just north of Hubbard Road, and Chester Kurtz Jrs. moved into their home on Rapids Road south of Burton. So, I suppose that the people wonder about the early morning buggy traffic through the town of Burton on Sunday mornings.

Our brother-in-law John A. Miller passed away in Montana. John reached the age of 90 years and had lived in Montana since 1975. He was married to my oldest sister Kathryn. None of our family was able to attend his funeral, but some of his family attended. He lived in St. Ignatius, but was buried in Rexford, Montana.

Feb. 15, 2015: Greetings to all readers of Plain Country. A wintry morning with a fresh coat of snow today. Am trying to have patience waiting for warmer weather. When I’m the most winter weary, God sends a day with sunshine. So, hang in there, spring is on its way!

Wife Nancy is out and about this morning, visiting shut-ins and having a day out. Some lady friends asked to go along and am so glad for her. We all need a day out this time of year

The children gave us a walk-in shower for Christmas this year and it was to be installed today. But the plumber had the stomach flu this morning. Was looking forward to the day watching and having something else to do.

Do not like to complain about our mail service, but the Post that was printed on Feb. 1 arrived at our house the 14th of this month and must be they lost my last month’s letter. Oh well, they do bring much reading material daily.

My right arm has been swollen for about 2 months. Had two ultra sounds taken, so spent Monday the 13th at the clinic seeing the vascular doctor. She had another two ultra sounds taken and determined that I have constricted blood veins in my shoulder and chest area. Am wearing a sleeve on my arm. So still do not have very good answers!

Plans were to travel to South Columbia, N. Y. on Friday and Saturday the 17th and 18th. But had to give it up. Now we hope to go in March sometime. We have a new grandson there to cuddle and spoil.

We have many sick people in the community. Harvey Weaver had a serious operation at the Clinic to fix an aneurysm by his heart. We should have looked him up on Monday when we were in there, but were exhausted after sitting in the doctor’s office for 3 hours.

Mel Raber has had a battle with his health and is now in Briar Hill for therapy. We pray for healing for all.

Many have had the flu this year, and we read in the paper of children dying of the flu, so we all must take care. Drink plenty of fluids and stay home when not feeling well.

Nov. 21, 2016: Greetings to all on this wintry morning. It’s our first snowfall of this season. It is also very cold and windy this morning. Thoughts go to the funeral of 7 month old Leanna D. Miller who passed away on Friday, Nov. 18. She was the daughter of David Jr. and Maria Miller. Survivors are her parents, a sister Marcia, grandparents David and Amanda Miller, and Robert and Barbara Yoder and three great grandparents. She will be buried at the Miller Cemetery on Burton Windsor Road.

Time has flown so fast this year it is hard to believe we are in the holiday season already! At Thanksgiving this year, only two of our children can join us, daughters Katie and Sam and Suzy. Nancy feels she can cook the turkey with a little help this year. Haven’t done any shopping yet. Maybe all the shopping we can do is through mail order. The grands are all excited. The Christmas season with the programs in our schools is the most stressful time for our teachers. After all, we can all remember how excited we were at Christmas time!

Sunday evening visitors with son Mike and Susie Mae were Nancy and me, son Eddie and Betty, daughter Sara Jane and Andrew, and daughter Suzy, Was a pleasant evening to sit by the stove and visit. Our church services were held at Paul Gingerichs with Crist and Barbara Miller as our visiting minister and Joey Yoders furnishing the eats. Service on the 27th will be at Marvin Gingerich next door. Our settlement is growing with four districts being divided this fall.

Our district has grown with four families moving in this last 6 months. Saturday the 26th is the auction for the belongings of Jonathon and Alma, both deceased. On the 30th, the bids will be opened on the home where they lived on Georgia Road. You all have a nice holiday this year!

Oct. 25, 2016: Greetings to all readers this fine fall morning. We are in the most wonderful time of the year. The colors are so nice. Why would you want to travel many miles when we have some of the best colors in the nation! (This is because of the many sugar maples in this area.) We had visitors four nights in a row, which is so much appreciated.

Friday evening, Nancy’s family was here, Ken Sara, Becky Johns, John and Sue, Mel and Mary, and John and Martha. Saturday evening were son Tim and Emma. Sunday evening the singers were here plus Marvin and Regina Gingerich. Last night, Monday evening, old time friends Roy and Esther Bontrager, Elwin and Linda Troyer, Jake and Linda Weaver and Lee and Ida Bontrager were here. Another short evening. Now, today, daughter Saloma and Sara Jane are here. Wife Nancy spent three days in the Cleveland Clinic trying to determine what was causing her seizures. They discovered that she wasn’t having any.

All medications were stopped, so now she is feeling better. Oh! Daughter Nora Mae just arrived, so must hide in my den the rest of the day! (Smile!) Daughter Suzy painted our bathroom a nice bright yellow, so have to wear sunglasses to enter the bathroom. We were able to attend church services at daughter Jr. and Nora’s on Sunday. Can write that was in our old church district and we received such a warm welcome. We are sorry to hear of so many sicknesses … cancer and such … among our people … plus the many sorrowing. Our prayers are with everyone. With the winter coming on, those need our visits more than ever (in which we do not do our part).

Aug. 29,2016: Hello to all Plain Country readers. Hope all are well and happy this fine early fall morning. Today is the funeral of Danny Kauffman, age 29. Am glad it is a bit cooler. Danny passed away Saturday morning the 27th after a 10 year battle with cancer … a very courageous young man, an inspiration to all who knew him.

Survivors are his Father and Mother David L. and Laura (Miller) Kauffman, four sisters and two brothers, Grandparents Dan O. and Kathy Miller and Ida Kauffman. If you want to meet old friends or co-workers, just shop at Walmart. While wondering through the store, looking for my wife, I ran into Al Kirby, a retired truck driver at Burton Rubber. At the checkout, we met Dan Patterson and his wife, another co-worker in the lab. We missed out on the bus trip to Wisconsin for a Troyer reunion, as wife Nancy wasn’t feeling well enough to go along.

A very good trip was reported. Wednesday evening the 31st, Nancy’s family plans to gather at sister Mary and Mel’s as brother Chester and Esther from Kentucky are planning to be here for a wedding. We look forward to the evening even though the children ordered us not to stay out too late! Schools are starting this week. Our grandson starts the first grade this year. We will miss him during the day as he comes down each morning to check up on us. Burton Fair starts on Thursday, Sept. 1. Labor Day is a bit late this year, on the 5th. Can winter be far behind? Haven’t ordered my winter supply of fuel yet. Farmers are starting to fill silos. Corn looks like it is a good crop even though there was a lack of rain this summer. That’s it for this time. All stay well!

Tuesday, July 19, 2026: Hello to everyone. The summer is moving along much too fast. The days are getting shorter and it seems only last week we had some snow flurries! It is hard to remember how cold the winter was when it’s almost 90 degrees outside … but am sure enjoying it. Weddings and funerals have been held throughout the community. On the 14th, Nancy and I were able to attend the wedding at John H. A. Troyers of their daughter Nancy and Sam Fisher son of Mel and Mary Fisher.

A nice day and a nice wedding. Plans are to attend the wedding of Cindy daughter of Ken and Sara Bender to Michael son of Dan and Cindy Schrock on the 26th. Hopefully we will be able to attend. There were two more funerals in the community. On the 18th, was the funeral of Robert Emma Miller, age 90 years. Her husband Robert passed away on June 30, 1997. On Monday, Liz, aged 95, widow of J.J. Miller, passed away. Her funeral is on Wednesday the 20th. Her husband, known as J.J., passed away on August 9. 1987. I believe Liz was the oldest Amish lady in the community. Yesterday, I was at the Clinic for my third iron infusion and my anemic shot.

Must go back in 2 weeks for another shot, and then I may to go back to once a month shots. Visitors last night were Eli D. and Martha Miller and Lester Lee and Malinda Byler. It was an interesting but short evening. On Monday evening the 11th, our visitors were Joe and Tillie Miller, David and Betty Detweiler, Elmer and Mary Yoder, Noah and Barbara Yutzy, and Ellen Hershberger. It was another nice evening to sit on our front porch and visit. We have been overrun with flies this summer. It makes it unhandy to sit on our front porch! Saturday the 23rd, there is a planned transplant reunion in Clymer, N.Y. planned. We will have to miss it this year.


June 20, 2016: The first day of summer and also June’s full moon. After having a cool spring, it has sure warmed up. Crops and gardens are growing. Hay is being put away in the barns. Why do we say the “hay is being made”? We cut, rake, bale the hay and haul it into the barn. God makes it grow. Anyway, it surely is a wonderful time of year. Attended church services yesterday at Crist C. Hershbergers. After lunch, the men were treated to Fry Pies and soda pop for Father’s Day. How nice and thoughtful. Was able to bring one home for my wife Nancy. Wife Nancy is having her struggles when she developed seizures from when her brain was swollen from her tumor. She is on strong seizure medicine which has its side effects. So, she doesn’t always feel well. We both have appointments on Thursday the 23rd at the Clinic. We hope to travel to Cashton, Wis. the last week in August for a Troyer family get-together. Elwin and Linda Troyer have arranged a chartered bus to leave from B & M Tool early morning. We will be spending a night at a motel. The next day will be at the gathering and then back to the motel. The following day we will travel home. That would be the only way we could go along. Mrs. Alma Miller (Jonathan) has not been well, having small strokes. After better control of her blood pressure, she is having better days. She has missed being in church and we have missed her! Nancy and I are looking forward to company on Sunday evening the 26th when the Freeman Gingerich family has plans to visit. Then on Monday evening, the 27th, it’s the Troyer Family night by us.

Monday morning, May 23, 2016: Greetings to all readers this sunny morning. On the fifteenth of May we had a freak snowstorm. The snow covered the dogwood blossoms. Then, on the twenty-first it was full moon. So we were bound to see a weather change. So, this week, the forecast is for 80-degree weather. Finally!

Farmers welcome the warmer weather. Most have their oats sown and are planting corn. Need warm sunshine to help the crops grow. With all the moisture we have had this spring, the hay should be a good crop. A new schoolhouse is being built on Georgia Road this spring. The foundation is in and they are starting on the frame. Saturday the twenty-first, they were rained off. They hope to have the school ready by the time school starts in the fall. Last evening, the twenty-second, we visited at son Tim and Emma to see and hold our new grandson, Timothy Jr. Andrew and Sara Jane, Sam and Katie also joined us.

Nancy and I were both in the hospital this last month. Nancy was in as she developed seizures from scar tissue from her tumor. With medication, she is better, but unsteady on her feet. I was in for bowel blockage again … also due from scar tissue. This was on my intestines from past surgeries. Wednesday evening, May 25, we plan to have a benefit auction for the Amish Community Aid Plan known as ACAP. We hope to raise a nice sum of money to pay our community’s medical bills. It will be rewarding to all work together for the community. Many weddings are planned this summer. We can expect a wedding every Tuesday and Thursday for the rest of this year!

Feb. 16, 2016: Our feathered friends are busy at the feeders this morning. Another snowstorm overnight, plus a bit of a warm-up keeps things interesting. Guess this weather will help our maple syrup producers. I for one am winter weary. We do not want to complain, but it seems we still do!

Wife Nancy was at Hillcrest Hospital yesterday for two scans and we are glad to report her head still shows clear. Today, I go to the Clinic to see a surgeon about my infected gall bladder.

Tomorrow, the 17th, Nancy and her sisters will treat their sister Linda for her seventh birthday, which was on the 11th of February.

Making a short call with Nancy on Feb. 8, were Simon Linda, Lester Ada Marie Byler, Mrs. Ida Kauffman, Marvin Mae Schrock, Mrs. Laura Fisher, Lester Mary Ellen Byler, and sister Dan Linda. These ladies were all from the Bloomfield, Orwell area.

Also making a call here on the evening of the fourth were sister Sally Detweiler, her children David and Barbara Ann, Chester and Lydia, Robert and Elizabeth, Leroy and Barbara, Steven and Sally, and Norman and Viola.

Sunday evening the 14th, Andrews and we made a call at son Mile and Susie Mae at their new home on Cutlass-Mayfield Road just outside the Burg. This was our first visit since they moved on. There is still a lot of work on the outside once the weather clears up!

Many of our people are traveling south to Florida for a short vacation. I hope they leave the door open and let the warm air flow north!

We bought a new stove this year that burns sawdust bricks and we are staying much warmer this winter so far even though we’ve spent more on fuel so far.


Jan. 20, 2016: Greetings to all readers on this winter morning. Who was wondering if we will have any winter this year? Well, wonder no more as it’s cold outside, baby!

I like to see some winter and snow, but cannot take the cold anymore. It is also nice to see the pure white snow ,but it doesn’t take long to turn dirty.

We have had four deaths in the community since the new year. Al J. Byler died on New Years Day. He was 77, born June 11, 1938. Survivors are his wife Liz, four sons, three daughters and one son deceased.

Our cousin Nelson J. Miller passed on Jan. 9. Nelson was never married. Survivors are his sisters Esther and Eli Y. Katie.

Joe Kauffman (non-Amish) also passed away on Saturday, Jan. 9. His funeral was held at Maple View and he was buried in Maple View’s cemetery.

Andrew O. Yoder, age 19, died on Jan. 14. Andrew battled leukemia for 4 years. Survivors are his parents Owen J. and Elva M. Yoder, grandparents Jonas S. and Martha Yoder and Melvin M. and Fannie Yoder, four sisters and five brothers.

Let us remember the families.

Due to the deaths in the community, not all family gatherings were held. Yes, the families were together over the funerals, but the holiday get-togethers with families are important.

Our church was together on Friday evening, Jan. 8 to sing hymns and have snacks plus fellowship. The ladies got together at Alma’s on the evening of the 12th for games, a gift exchange and snacks. On the 15th, Elwin Linda invited Nancy and our girls, Lee Ida Bontrager and her girls, Roy Esther and her girls for a light supper, games and a gift exchange.

Additions to our family include a little girl named Rebecca to son Dannie and Joann who live in Indiana. We have a chance to travel to see this new grandchild on Jan. 29 and 30. We also have a new great grandchild to James and Katherine Miller named Jaylon Noah. This baby was transferred to Rainbow and Babies Hospital in Cleveland with breathing problems. We are glad to report he is improving and, hopefully, will be able to be released in the near future.

Also, our thoughts are with the Dan Kurtz family as Dan is in the hospital with colon cancer. We hope for the best. Also our thoughts are with Al R. Miller who fell on the j ob and is paralyzed. We hope that, with time, it can be reversed. Al is in an Akron hospital but will be transferred to Metro for rehab.


Dec. 1, 2015: Very hard to believe it is December. Seems the year has just flown by, but, still, some days seem so long.

We have been fortunate, as we have had nice weather so far. Had a green Thanksgiving, so will we have a white Christmas this year? If my memory is correct, we have had a white Thanksgiving and a green Christmas the last few years. Oh well, it depends on the weather!

Four of the children came home for Thanksgiving this year. Mom felt well enough to cook the meal with the daughters’ help. We had a great day. Andrews, Davids, Mikes and Sams joined us.

Are we truly thankful for all our blessings, or do we take it all for granted?

Now, Katherine, how many days until Christmas?

This is the week for deer season. The men are hunting and the ladies are shopping.

Brother-in-law John H. A. Troyer will start treatments this week for prostate and lymphoma cancer. How he reacts to treatment will determine what further treatments are needed. John was still able to do some deer hunting with the boys.

Visiting with granddaughter Kristina and Marlin on Friday evening the 27th, were Nancy and me, son Eddie and Betty and Lester A. Miller. Ice cream and cake were served for Marlin’s birthday.

The elderly in our church district are invited to David and Miriam Yoder’s on Sunday, Dec. 6 for a Christmas Dinner. Marvin and Regina Gingerich will also help prepare the dinner. During the long winter months, the elderly love a reason to get out of the house.

The girls are home today and I will find bookwork to do in my room to stay out of their way!!


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