Home Plain Country Katherine’s Korner – By Katherine Byler

Katherine’s Korner – By Katherine Byler


Aug. 30, 2019: Twenty-eight comforters were knotted by probably that many gals at the latest DDC gathering. Great fun, coordinated by Katie M. The next one is Sept. 4, which will be over with by the time this is read. This ladies’ day is held the first Wednesday of every month. The finishing touches are done by some of the gals by sewing around the edges and then they’re ready to go … to poor countries in need.

Another hint I learned … “if sitting around a campfire and “bugged” by mosquitos, sprinkle some sage on the flames. This should make them scatter!”

Oh my! The caramel topping we could almost taste on our ice cream had to be thrown out. The black glob in the center was a mouse … deader that dead.  Their son Wayne says. “That’s probably the way he wanted to go.” Yes, it happened to son John and Laure. Too bad, but at least it got the mouse they’d been after.

Some families are blessed with game-planners in the group. Such is the (brother) Dan J. S. Miller family. Son Mike keeps things hopping, even making up frivolous activities. One of his “inventions” was when he blindfolded an unlucky participant and had him/her walk across a floor strewn with loaded mousetraps, of all things. Ouch!

It was quite interesting to me to hear a friend relate how sweet corn can be made, especially at a campout or for a large gathering. Place husked corn in an ice chest, add boiling water to cover the corn. Replace the lid and leave it for an hour. Yum! Ready to eat! (We’ve still not had any sweet corn to eat.) Sometimes one hears of corn nearly ready to pick … and the raccoons get there first. This happened to Robert and Linda Gingerich on Newcomb Road. How disheartening … or maddening!

Fiftieth anniversary time for some … Uria and Lydia Miller were wed on Oct. 23,1969 as were Pete (Skip) and Emma Weaver. A sad inclusion for that day is the wedding of Sam Fisher and Sara Anderson who perished of fumes from a coal stove 3 months after their wedding. Allen and Ada Fisher also married that year on Oct. 21.

Already we’re nearing the 100 mark. Just so you know, Sept. 15 marks 100 days to Christmas!

Speaking of anniversaries, Dan and Ida Burkholder were greatly surprised by their family members who planned a 50th year celebration recently. It was a great turnout and Ida had no choice but to quit painting her kitchen, change her dress, and join the party! Congratulations to a fine couple!

July 19, 2019: Tis warm, then we get a cooling rain, then it becomes warmer again. So, we get all kinds, and are thankful for it … no flooding, tornadoes, earthquakes or the like so far! Dog days till Aug. 11, supposedly!

A misprint in the last writing … Rose, daughter of Harley (not Charley) and Rhoda Schlabach, was here with granddaughter Lori B. Whew!

We’re just about weddinged out for the summer. Though we were happy to be able to attend all we did. Didn’t do much good for the waistlines, but we’ll “worry” about that later.

Missed Mrs. (Dan) Lydia Gingerich at the Senior Center last time. She is recuperating from knee surgery. Hoping she can join us next time (Aug. 20).

Well, the Guineas are now mama and papa! We counted 10 little ones, but am so afraid they won’t make it if they don’t begin wandering about soon Who knows what mama feeds them? Papa isn’t much help; he just struts around, proud as a peacock.

Oh my, they’re getting closer! Grandgirls spotted a bear and tried to follow it on North Wiswell Road in Windsor. Another was seen in the same neighborhood at the same time. Eek! We have raccoons and skunks. Live traps don’t help. It’s all about “catch and release” around here! Double Eeek!

Again, time is short … plus it’s VACATION TIME No picking beans, fighting starlings, unnecessary phone calls, etc.etc. (for a while.)

Aug. 2, 2019: Katherine’s Korner Kontinued! Back again … to real life, catching up with garden stuff, laundry, auctions (smile)! We received five wedding invitations … two being the same day. One is the same day we go to the Senior Center (third Tuesday of the month). Time will tell if plans pan out.

Mid-August, you say, when our “letters” appear in the Post. Oh my! It reminds me to write in here that Carol Miller (Mrs. Mellie) went along to Carroll County on July 30 and asked me to write to let the people know that whoever wants to order a “Memory Bear” from her to not wait until the last minute before the holidays. She makes all designs with 22 pieces of fabric for each one. Speaking of holidays, on Aug. 14, we have only 132 days to Christmas. Am I right?

Yes, we had a nice vacation, but came home to the news that stray or wild cats had gotten into the guinea nest and destroyed the 10 little guinea babies! And you say you LIKE cats? Sorry, I don’t.

Now heart surgery finally planned for son-in-law Wayne Detweiler (hubby of writer Barbara Ann). Twill be open-heart to repair or bypass a valve. Wish him the best on the 14th and a great recovery.

An enjoyable eve was spent at neighbor Mel and Marie Yoder’s for an auction to get rid of some items before they move to a home in Windsor on Route 534 south. It’s nice to be able to go to places like that when nearby.

Honeybees do not like strange odors, as Dave A. Kurtz found out, especially after a spell of weedeating by same. Nearing a hive, he spotted a few bees glaring at him and, within a second, the whole shebang was after him, gung-ho! Of course, he ran hands swishing as he skedaddled! After many stings, and in recovery, he realized his sinus-allergy problems (or whatever it was) was cleared up for a while! Bee stings are good for a lot of things, I’ve heard.

By the way, Memory Bears (in memory of a loved one) can be ordered from Carol M. at 5127 Donley Road, Middlefield, or by calling 440-693-4092.

Our baby turns 35 on Sept. 11. How did we get this far? It’s time to accept it when others treat us like we are old people! 

Two favorite sayings of mine: “It is what It is!” and “Life is short; eat dessert first!”

June 24, 2019: It’s time to get a few lines on paper so there won’t be dismissal papers served! With attending weddings, viewings and funerals, plus an auction or two, it doesn’t leave much breathing space for other duties. And, we’ve had four great-grandbabies added to the family so far this year … one of whom we’ve not met yet.

Granddaughter Lori B. (Wayne and Elizabeth) from Carroll County came to spend the evening and overnight with us, bringing her friend Rose (Charlie and Rhoda S.) along. T’was certainly a treat; they mopped the floor while Joe and I went to town for groceries! Her parents then came up for Mrs. (Joe) Emma Weaver’s viewing, taking us along. They stayed here then for pizza, ice cream and strawberries before all going back home … an hour and a half away.

Speaking of Carroll County, probably most of the taxis going there for Mrs. Albert Miller’s viewing got sidetracked if going by their GPS directions. I was amazed to find IT directed us way around a much longer way! Yet, some people think there is nothing like it! (Smile.)

Gardens look like they appreciate the rains we’ve been having! Also, the trees and the flowers. Onions and radishes, in addition to leaf lettuce, are being enjoyed. (Onions tend to get kind of pushed aside by me, with going away so much … they can be quite a stinker! 

Mrs. Guinea is believed to be a sitt’n’ on some eggs. By the sounds of Mr., he gets riled up and calls and calls for her. But with a slight “gawk-gawk” from across the road, she stays put. She is seen at times, trying to console her mate for a short while. 

And the chickens continue to clip my hostas! They’re a type called Amber-Links (or lynx?) … the chickens, not the hosta …  and won’t start laying eggs till probably August. The hosta will be dead by then.

Son-in-law, Wayne Detweiler, is ready for by-pass surgery, also he has a blocked artery to be taken care of. I guess that’s why the bypass … a stent could not do it. He will be glad to get it over with and, hopefully, get to feeling better. He is 51.

With making a trip to Mespo, so very seldom, I am always glad when we meet up with someone we know. This time it was a group from Missouri, Mrs. Dan P. Martha Miller and some of her offspring. She is a sister to Mrs. Don U. Byler Ada and Mrs. Erwin Miller Saloma. Her late husband was a brother to Crist P. Miller who recently passed on. They were here to visit with him, but then didn’t come for the funeral. They visited at the former Dan Detweiler home, having been a sister to Sarah D. as well.

We’re still fending off the noisy, pesky starlings. Grandson Donnie was trying to chase the unwanted birds away BB-gun style, but they don’t seem to get the hint. For the first time ever, we have bluebirds to enjoy as regular feasters.

Already a half year has sped by since we celebrated Christmas 2018. Only 174 more days left until the next one …  as of July 3!

Memorial Day, 2019: a beautiful day to plant flowers and strawberries … anything at all! So nice when “someone” (Robert and helper) does it for you … but then one doesn’t get the exercise one should.

Weddings (and funerals) abound, all a natural part of life. We hope to travel to Atlantic, Pa. for 2 days this week to help cook and to attend the wedding of Joe’s nephew Chester W. Byler. The grandparents are all from Geauga County, so they won’t seem like strangers. What is the saying we hear? “A stranger is only a friend we haven’t met yet” (or somesuch).

There’ve been three funerals in the area in a week’s time … right after the thought I had that there’ve not been many the last while. Mrs. Dan H. Yoder Katie attended Mrs. Robert (Viola) Burkholder’s funeral, thankful for the sunny day. In 1979, we began a get-together of Viola and sisters and mother, plus my mom and me. My, I wonder what happened to those children who used to go with us! Viola’s mother, Mrs. (Mahlon) Sarah Byler could not be at her daughter’s funeral after a bleeding episode. It turned out she has a bleeding ulcer.

While I think of it, believe it or not, on June 7 we are down to 200 days to Christmas! 

In looking up Mrs. (Dan R.) Asa Byler’s family, we note that her mom was a Kandel. Son Robert wondered if there was a brother “Yankee”. Later, I read of a Kandel named Roman and I thought that was interesting to say the least.

Son John and family had a real-life story of “Life on the Farm” recently. It’s a favorite game of their Alan Rays and Pauls. Mine, too! Their pony had a baby pony, then mama needed attention, and how. Then the septic system acted up. Oops, wife Laura and son Matthew looked at each other, knowing about the ladies’ black stocking that went down the toilet a few weeks before! But John was not in on that story! He began digging and saw a blob among the debris. Matthew, ever leery, asked, “Is it black?” No, it wasn’t. Whew! It slowly emerged about the happening of weeks earlier and John had to accept that his wife and son kept something from him! Thankfully, the item in question was not the cause of the nitty-gritty problem. All’s well that ends well, and it gave a very good reason to rest that Sunday!

We are very thankful, over and over, for the use of a small fire extinguisher. One morning as I was baking yummy cinnamelts. By chance, the bottom door was left open and I noticed the flames where they should not have been! Whew! Needless to say, the unused-till-then spray can was grabbed and the first push of the button went straight for Joe’s head and my eye. C’mon! The bakery was just done, thankfully, but no more till I get a new stove.

Whoever was not at the West Farmington Senior Center last time missed out on surprise guests. We had, a “he” and a “she”. So glad they also brought hot dishes to share; spaghetti and meatballs! Thanks a bunch, Mary Ann and Saloma! Come again!

The variegated (two color) Hosta plant is becoming quite large, but the chicks that aren’t little chicks anymore love to peck at the leaves. The leaders are probably the two with combs; in other words, they must be rooster chicks! They belong to son Robert and he thinks it’s okay if they nibble at the greens, but woe unto them if they try to taste his newly-planted Hydrangea! By the way, I just got done reading how to turn your hydrangea blossoms a different color. If you want pink, add lime; for blue, add aluminum sulfate.

It’s usually about this time, around our anniversary date, that the roadside mowers rev their engines and commence their clipping! Our 53rd is June the ninth. 

In two weeks’ time, the 10,000 “swarming” bees ate four quarts of heavy syrup and it was already time to make some more. That’s probably all that sugar is “good” for, to produce honey, eventually.

We very much enjoy the two guineas that came waddling by. And there’s a fence around the garden!

Happy days are here again; five big fat hugs from five sons for Mother’s heart on Mother’s Day!

Not the best job, but she likes it otherwise. Granddaughter Katherine D. works at Pikey Bay (Mosquito Lake) minding the store, etc. This involves some plastic glovework, definitely. She has to separate the bait, a dozen per container. Yes, the creepy crawly WORMS! Better her than me!

“To err is human. But if the eraser wears out before the pencil, you are overdoing it.”

April 29, 2019: So now April has come to an end; how quickly the days and weeks speed by. If I were a poet like Kathryn Detweiler, a poem could be written about the bright green grass, the tiny leaves seen on bushes and trees. And the chirping of the birds. Whew! A Baltimore oriole was spotted; the jelly is waiting for them on freshly painted bright orange feeders! The garden which is, of course, much smaller than in years gone by, is freshly spaded, awaiting the plants and seeds for another year. (Was glad to hear hubby mentioning strawberries.)

We cousins along with our aunt (Dan C.) Sarah Byler had an enjoyable time at Mrs. Dan P. H. Esther’s to celebrate her 70th birthday which was May 1.  Mrs. (Wayne) Barbara Ann Detweiler was along with us. We had pizza and wings, garlic bread, cake and ice cream. Poor Esther made a casserole. Nobody told her we were having pizza.

Another fun day was when a bunch of local ladies were at a stamp convention in Akron. We filled up at “Bob Evans” on the way down, finishing with “Wendy’s” on the way home. Mrs. (Mel) Maurine Shetler was planning to go with us but got awfully dizzy before going too far. She ended up being taken to the hospital by an ambulance, returning the same day. We were sad she couldn’t go along with us, and she was, too. We saw acquaintances there from Clymer, N.Y., Spartanburg, Clintonville and Troutville, Pa. in addition to gals from nearby Holmes County area.

Four local ladies had some good visits with shut-ins recently. Mrs. Maurine Shetler, Mrs. Malinda Kurtz, Mrs. (Bert) Sara Miller and I visited Elizabeth Detweiler, Mrs. (Dan R.) Ada Byler an Mrs. Dorothy Byler. Of course, we got to eat at Dairy Queen, which was an added pleasure!

We’re stocked up with maple syrup, thanks to sons John and Robert. We even had a wagon ride back to John’s sugarbush and saw the latest technique in cooking syrup! Wow! Amazing! Robert bought five gallons to hopefully last him for a year. He does not like to eat sugar. But … when I came home from M&M Surplus (at Mike Slabaughs) with a dozen fry pies, oh my! He couldn’t stop at just one! (They ARE good!)

I pulled out some rhubarb already. I gave it away. Perhaps, if I give enough away, someone will bake rhubarb torte or pie and send one over!

“You never realize what a poor loser you are until you start dieting.”

On the news … it said with the cold weather we’re having, we’re going to have days in May and June in the 20s! (March 5 news)

Needed … recipe for date mixture on crackers, baked 10 minutes, topped with cream cheese frosting, and EAT! Yum! Lost the recipe in our fire (May 7, soon to be four years ago).

Yes, I was fortunate enough to be included on a wonderful outing to John S. Mary’s. Usually if you can’t say something good about something, you say nothing. That was NOT the case this time. Ray Mast and all four girls, Jake and Linda Weaver and John and Barb Mast helped make the day complete.

We visited Joe’s brother Harvey at the Cleveland Clinic where he had a heart valve replaced. Now we want to visit them again since he is home. Hubby, now that he’s 75, is quite content at home!

An evening was spent so enjoyably at the Steve and Twila Miller home for a ribs and chicken dinner to celebrate the 70th birthdays of my twin brothers, Sam and Dan. A very enjoyable though short visit with Crist and Maryalice Miller next door was included as well. Brother David turned 64 the same day, but he has to wait 6 years to be treated so grandly. The nieces have orders to do it if not enough siblings are left anymore!

Once again, I’ve been asked to write about the dangers of walkers and riders on the roadsides after dark with no lights or vests. (It probably won’t do any good!) It’s bad enough in the daytime but wish they could better picture two cars or vehicles trying to pass each other traveling opposite ways while trying to avoid the scooters. And … no lights in the rear also does not make sense; ask any driver. Thanks for listening.

Joe and I were caught in a terrific rainstorm on the eve of the 72-degree day we had recently. We walked to Route 534 to Susie Detweiler’s who lost her father, Dan, carrying our coats. On the way home. It was a different story. Borrowed umbrellas helped immensely, but it was hard to keep them from turning inside out!  After about 1 /2 mile of this, we got a ride with Mary Sue Landis, who was taking “End of the Commons” workers home! Whew! Twas very much appreciated. Found out later that the Reuben and Andy Detweilers, returning from grocery shopping had spotted us and were going to give us a lift. By the time they came up our road, we were gone! Thanks, anyway!

We had a delicious pancake breakfast at the Milo Mullet Jr. home on Penniman Road. Glad we had a way to go.

Oh yes, we were the only ones at Susie Ds that evening. Lester and Rachel Y. wanted to join us, but that’s when the boys wanted to try out their new pony. Matthew, 15, got thrown from the wagon, receiving a gash on his knee. He was taken to the emergency room for stitches.

We were at Allen Ray and Elizabeth Millers one evening to see our latest great-grandbaby, Lucas, born Feb. 28. He’s a cutie.

Daughter Elizabeth and Wayne C. B. were here one evening (from Carroll County … something to cheer about). They were at his folks (Poleys) for brunch and also stopped at Joe and Emma Weavers for a short visit.

About that news item mentioned earlier, the 20s in May and June was talking about dates, not temperatures!

We saw our first goldfinches on March 28.

Oh yes, almost forgot … only 258 days to Christmas!

March 1, 2019: It’s a bright, sunny morning. Too nice to sit and write. Hubby is 75 today and we’re expecting several of the children’s families to come surprise him. Now if something hurts, I’ll tell him it’s because of his age.

We both got a lot of exercise going out to the yard and picking up the many twigs and branches that were strewn all over the lawn since last weekend’s powerful windstorm.

We got a call from son John to say he and Laura became grandparents for the first time last eve, 1 hour and 15 minutes before midnight. Their daughter Elizabeth and Allen Ray Miller had a baby boy at Geauga Hospital and they named him Lucas. (Twas almost on great-grandpa’s birthday!) Other grands are Al and Leona Miller, Orwell. This makes 13 greats for us.

Our Tuesday eves’ dining out at Mary Yoder’s and visiting friends afterwards have come to an end. This is only in February, the buy-one-get-one free deal which we all enjoy. This year, we visited at Aunt Sarah B (Mrs. Dan C.) at Crist and Maryalice Miller, Daniel and Betty Burkholder and the Mike Slaubaughs. Our group includes the Crist J.S., Jonas V. and Davis J.S. Millers, the Dan P. Hostetlers and us. Dan and Esther H, couldn’t join us this last Tuesday because they were along on a three-day trip visiting in Lancaster County, Pa. They were missed!

Daniel Burkholder, 85, Nauvoo Road, had carpal tunnel surgery on his two wrists Feb. 20, if I’m not mistaken. He had quite a lot of pain. That’s why they make pain pills, right, Daniel? (Smile)

We’re sorry to hear writer Kathryn (Mrs. Rudy) Detweiler had to suffer through difficulties of infection, etc. after knee surgery. Maybe worst of all is the canceling of their trip to warmer territory … in plain words, Florida’s sunshine. Sure hope she shows improvement soon.

At this writing, it’s already 65 days since Christmas 2018. It doesn’t take much to figure out how many days to Christmas 2019! Which reminds me. I received a postcard from Key Largo, Fla. from friend Carol (Nelson) Miller. She went with her folks, Nelson and Ada, plus Delbert and Rosanna Kurtz when they left two weeks ago to put in cabinets that they made for someone. Carol may be celebrating her birthday today because she really doesn’t have her own day except for every four years. She was born Feb. 29, 2000.

Feb. 1, 2019: We are in the midst of a DEEP FREEZE at this writing (Jan. 31). The thermometer told us 10 below 0 this morning. Our sons’ roofing jobs don’t sound too inviting right now. They reported that Enos Frey Jr., who works with them trapped a coyote and will get it mounted. I say. “UGH!”

Was impressed to hear nephew Adam M. (Sam) is the therapist for Elizabeth Miller (Mrs. Andy M.). She is a daughter of the Mark Hershbergers and has suffered from cancer, had shoulders and knees replaced, and is staying at her folks at present while getting therapy to help with walking, etc.

Susie (Dan M.) Detweiler underwent serious back surgery Monday the 28th at St. Vincent Hospital. He has to take it easy for several months.

Hubby was fortunate to not land in hospital the other evening. The only place he landed was the bottom cellar step! Such a crash I haven’t heard in all my born days. With the empty ash pan from the stove in hand, he slid on the top cellar step and bounced down 10 steps (as did the ash pan)!!! A very tough guy! Yes, 3 times he drove a mile and half (horse and buggy), loaded 10 bags of coal, brought it home, and carried it to the basement! Now I have to remind him, “don’t work so hard!”

Our visiting night was enjoyed once again, although it was extremely cold out. We spent the evening with Daniel and Cathy Burkholders (Burkys). Twas Henry Jr, David D. Millers, John Bontragers, Robert and Barbara Stoltzfus and Mrs. Jr, Liz S. and us two. Jr. was ill and could not join us. Cathy’s brother Allen and Mary and girls also came, plus Mary’s Mom, Mrs. (Enos) Mary Shrock. Maggie’s Donuts were our treat.

We found out a former Mespoite, but for 50 years or so in southern Ohio, passed away. This was John A. Miller, brother to (Dan J.P.) Martha Miller and (Ben) Mary Byler.

We were glad to be able to visit a little with Emma Brown when she was in the area for her 90th birthday. Surprise! She certainly was surprised. Was so special to visit with her siblings, most of whom live in Kentucky.

Oh, mustn’t forget to mention that the Burkholder boys, Jacob and Nathan, along with their cousins, Emily and Hannah M., tried to teach me how to play a card game called “Snitch”. Sorry to say, I could not follow, but I did learn a calculator trick from Nathan! Yay!

And the triplet Billys are now twins. A wee Billy goat died on the John and Laura Byler farm, leaving two for the boys to share. Alan Ray and Paul take their chores seriously, methink.

And the war goes on … will I just stop feeding the birds altogether so the starlings stay away? Or should I get a bigger gun? Need to do as I was advised … dump some slop on the ground somewhere, and when the greedy gobblers congregate, POW! In the midst of them … see them scatter and stay away (hopefully).

Ruth Jean Hawkins, former director of West Farmington Senior Center and now living in Florida, wanted me to write and thank the nearly 100 persons from Ohio who sent Christmas cards and letters her way. She misses all her friends, but said she finds persons there also needing hugs, like she did while living here!

Nov. 26, 2018: To see and feel a little sunshine at times, cheers the heart, Spent a couple hours in cold, windy Chardon recently. Was taken out to eat for my birthday … and also shopping … was so great! Wayne and Barbara Ann D., and John and Laura B. were so kind. Also came home with the ever-necessary Poinsettia plant! Thank you, J. and L., So the upstairs extra rooms look like someone’s about ready for Christmas! Oh, by the way, on December 5, it will be only 14 full days till the BIG DAY! Then, we start the countdown for next year, I suppose!

We at the Farmington Senior Center are already missing Ruth Jean Hawkins who moved to Florida to be near her daughter. Things will just never be the same. Glad that I can close my eyes and picture her all around us! Her new address is 1825 Pelican Dr., Ft. Pierce, FL. 34982. She is aged 93 1/2 years old.

The Millers (of my family) are gathering in brother Allen’s new quarters in one end of the shop at sister Betty and John’s. Allen will also celebrate his 66th birthday with a huge Giant Eagle cake big enough so we can all take some home?

We have a new mail box since Mrs. Willie Detweiler’s mother, Ina Bontrager, moved into the little house Willie built for her. Welcome, Ina.

Hope our visiting night goes as planned. We hope to go to visit with Freeman D.K. Miller on Route 534 in Farmington. It’s hunting opening week, and to be 29 degrees on that day! Horses need a workout, same as “some people.”

I read this in an old “Country People” magazine … “If you tell a man there are 300 billion stars in the universe, he’ll believe you. But, if you tell him the barn’s just been painted, he has to touch it just to be sure.”

We had a very enjoyable two-day trip to Holmes County recently, shopping, eating, and enjoying being with friends. Rudy and Kathy Detweiler were the ringleaders, so to speak. Always of interest to me is the meeting of old and new acquaintances in that vast, hilly county. We even met up with John Schmid, the singer. He’s related to a lot of local folks, being in both the Byler and the Gingerichs genealogy books. Actually, in the Byler edition, it is his wife-to-be who is listed.

It was with heavy heart that the Detweiler family went on the shopping trip. Their friend of 30-plus years, Robert Rutan, had passed away a day and half before, very suddenly.

Hunting season has different memories for different folks. Forty-two years ago, we could not come home from the hospital with our cute little girl, born the day before my birthday. The reason we could not return home when we wanted to … the taxi drivers all seemed to be on hunting trips out of town and/or out of state, Me? Not happy, to say the least! T’was our first girl, after three bouncing boys. Daughter Barbara Ann Detweiler was our first born. She couldn’t always handle the boys though she tried. The brothers had different ways to retaliate (maybe with a water balloon, John?) 

We’re truly getting “up there”. Our oldest grandchild, Paul J. B. turns 30 on Dec. 12.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the Marvin and Marie Miller family who suffered from an accidental explosion, losing 2-year-old Ruthie in the devastating after-effects.

Sept. 28, 2018: The autumn chill brings the garden to a close. Late planted green onions are ready to be devoured. Lots of peppers hanging on are waiting to be shared. Family gatherings, weddings and such cause one to get out the coats, especially for the cool mornings. Hard to believe we’re into October already and only 75 days to Christmas. You knew it was close, didn’t you? And Robert Jr. M., thanks for your mail and newspaper clipping. CRUD!

Our family had a super gathering at daughter Barbara Ann and Wayne D’s, and included my brother Allen as well. Wonder what all he took in that day. Twas a cool day; all wore coats after sweltering heat the day before, so the roaring fire felt great! The hamburgers, hot dogs, salads, desserts, punch and lots of coffee were great! Was good to see all 12 great-grandchildren there with their parents!

We’re sad that Dan Detweiler, age 83, had to be in the hospital again. He had three broken ribs (must be from a fall?) and a leaking colon. After nine days in hospital, a colostomy was performed. His sons take turns to be with him 24 hours at a time. He has 10 of them. Thankfully. We wish him better days.

There’s still a lot of work around this place before winter (says I), but first on the list in hubby’s eyes was the cutting up of a fallen dead tree in the pasture. He admitted he should not have attempted it by himself. “But I did,” he said. After three hours, he came in with a muddy seat and a gash in his breeches from the saw! Doctor said he needs exercise (high blood pressure), but I suppose not all at once!

Joe and I and his siblings were in Atlantic. Pa. one eve to visit their brother Wallie Jr. and family. Jr. had been taking chemo for colon cancer, He has great pain, possibly from a fissure (hopefully not from cancer) and had blood clots. So, after testing his liver (clear!) and putting a screen in his veins to slow down the clots, he is to undergo surgery to see if he still has the cancer cells. His wife is Martha, daughter of Bill J. and Lizzie Byler, formally of Donley Road. Jr. is 60 years old.

Aug. 31, 2018: We’re still having warm and humid weather as I write this, but, hopefully, by the time you read this, we can enjoy sitting on the porch again. Perhaps we can think cool things, such as only 103 days to Christmas as of Sept. 12! With school children back in school, they’ll have that to look forward to.

And in this 90-degree weather, there are two funerals in the area. Mrs. (Crist) Esther Fisher, 87, passed away Sunday, Aug. 26. She was a widow for more than eight years. Mrs. John J. Troyer (Mary), 77, passed away Saturday, Aug. 25. She had suffered from cancer as did Esther. A good thought that Esther did not have to suffer much, nor for a long time. They both leave a great emptiness. (Mary was a sister-in-law of writer, Linda Weaver.)

In the last issue, it read “Leir” instead of Levi, Miller. When writing cursive which I mostly do, it can look different, I need to type like some guys do!

I’ve been to another benefit auction with the gals. (Smile!) This time it was in Pierpont and enjoyable even though very warm. Some of the Geauga auctioneers went to help their cause. ‘Twas much appreciated by their community. This is north on Route 7, almost 10 minutes from Lake Erie. Yes, I bought stuff, of course, surprising hubby who thought I was just going to a gathering. Well, I didn’t lie. It WAS a gathering. I just “beat around the bush” a bit.

Looking out at the vast array of green trees, tis mind-boggling to think that perhaps the next time we write, it may be about trees turning orange. Whew!

Yet another great-grandchild added to this Byler family, numbering 12 so far. Latest is a son, David Jr. 9.5 pounds to granddaughter Kathy and David Mullet. Grands are Allen M. Mullets and Joe and Mary Jane Byler. Another great is Mts. Amanda Mullet.

The Miller family (John S.C.) has plans to head out for Carroll County to visit Uncle Levi S.M., just turned 93, then to brother John and Sues to finish off the evening with food and fellowship and …? (Smile.)

Seems like going to weddings (and funerals and viewings) is the norm. No use to lose weight till we slow down on the eating. Hubby is eating well, feeling better and looking better! Thank you, Lord!

A huge birthday surprise celebration (number 62) is planned for sis Betty (Mrs. John P. Weaver. Guess we’ll call it a housewarming as well! They’ve moved into their new addition, very cozy, while their son John Jr. and family live. In the main house now. Brother Allen lives in one end of the new shop. We haven’t welcomed him to his new quarters as of yet.

We’re very thankful for “Robert’s Garden” giving us plentiful amounts of vegetables like tomatoes and hot peppers. One has to, no, I guess one wants to can all we are able to have plenty to eat when weather becomes cooler. Twill be here afore we know it. 

Yes, the years add up. So many of my friends are turning 70. Mrs. Andy J. (Barb) Byler is now a the “Big One” and writer Linda Weaver will be by Sept. 26, Lord willing.

Talking about hubby’s health, blood tests of August first showed normal. Joe said he knew he was! So far, so good, no signs of brain alterations … for both of us … if you catch my drift!

Am still trying to plan a day for grandsons to come help me paint a few shop-fronts, just the sides facing the house. Isn’t that a good idea? Actually, the one building Is an ancient outhouse, so it may be a valuable antique, needing preserving.

Oh my, it’s a wonder sis Betty (Mrs. John Weaver) didn’t have a heart attack when sis and sis-in-law (actually four sisters-in-law) her three daughters and 22 nieces began arriving one evening for a birthday surprise (number 62). We got to tour her new house, as well as brother Allen’s and had scrumptious cake, ice cream and snacks. And things were discussed that don’t bear repeating! The biggest surprise was when brother John and wife Sue came from Carroll County with four of the nieces from there. They had just been to John’s home the evening before!

July 16, 2018: We’re still trapping mice! And some were spotted running from under the porch to the bird feeder and back. So, that’s where they get their nourishment. If we can only find where they come inside, the ugly things. And, believe me, they are ugly.

It’s time I call fellow writer Linda Weaver, who had a gruesome experience at Pymatuning State Park. She was going downgrade with a scooter and, lo and behold, no brakes! She fell on her face, breaking her nose and also fracturing a shoulder, if reports are correct. She turns 70 in September, after that, perhaps, all is downhill! We wish for better days for you, Linda. 

We spent an interesting day in Shiloh, Ohio near Ashland for an auction for the benefit of Special Needs Children. I was with a load of 12 other gals. Even brought home two watermelons that I didn’t bid on, but ”had to” pay for. We were also asked to go along to a school auction in Carlton, Pa. Fun! Fun! Fun! Thanks, Allen Hostetler and Cora Kurtz and daughter Kathryn, plus four granddaughters of theirs. Our Robert went along as well. Missed Allen’s folks, Joe and Cathy. (Would have been more fun!)

Only four and a half more weeks till school starts again. Granddaughter Katherine Detweiler is a Special Ed teacher and has been preparing quite a while already. Speaking of counting days, seems there are only… yes, ONLY … 145 days to Christmas. A little cooler weather might feel good!

Friend (Chon) Mat Miller informed me she’s going on a three-day vacation. I am not sure where but think it involves Paradise. Her friend Vera Detweiler and daughter and family are also going, planning to sleep in tents. Yes, it sounds in-tense (in-tents)!

And the sparrows making nests in the phone bell does not ap-peal to Joe. (Get it? Ap-peal!) The bell doesn’t peal now!

Don’t ask daughter Barbara Ann what she found among the rags she was taking from the washing machine. She thought she’d help her girls with the laundry, but, perhaps, not again. She wonders why it had to happen to her!

Heavy rains the evening of July 16 won’t help the wheat or oats crop if it knocks it flat. On the Leir E. Miller farm where son Leir Jr. farms, he figures 80 percent of one field was flattened by recent rains. It had been a very good crop, he says. His 89-year-old mother, Elizabeth, was along on our trip to Shiloh.

The Ervin Byler children were visitors one eve with John and Betty Weaver and Allen Miller. I was lucky enough to be there. This included Eli and Martha Miller, Lester Lee and Malinda Byler, Andy and Ida Troyer, Al D. Miller and Mrs. (Wally) Ada Byler. An old letter was shared that was written by their grandfather, N.Y. (New York) Byler. In it, he wrote that “Mattie (meaning Mrs. Eli Martha) cut both hands pretty bad when giving the dogs water. She bled like a stuck pig.” This was in 1954, before she was married. Perhaps, she had used a coffee can with very sharp edges. She stated that “Dusty” always did get excited!

To Mrs. Ivan Rachel Miller … our bird suit cake recipe is quite similar to yours. However, we use bacon fat if we have it and omit the sugar. It seems to be a hit.

From the writer …No, I did not get the dress “sown”, nor did I get it “sewn”. A misprint, for sure! And Mrs. Anna Yoder was not cook for Mrs. Bob Sara Hershberger. Must be a line was left out last time. It was me, yours truly, who has memories of an enjoyable day as cook’s helper at Jon and Rebecca Hershberger’s wedding
last October.

June 18, 2018: Yes, I was worried; I could not open the box of cornflakes, nor unscrew the cap on the gallon of milk. My arthritic fingers just would not cooperate. (Come to find out, upon getting the box of cereal from the shelf later, it was upside down! So, it wasn’t the fault of my fingers, it must have been the eyes! Okay, have to blame it on something.) I had cataract surgery on the second eye and am waiting for new glasses. Maybe everything will work then. Let’s see, what do I take for my mind?

It was too early, 5 a.m. to be exact. Found myself out of bed and looking for my flashlight. Looked all over: under the pillow, under the bed, on top of the covers. Whoops! It was in my hand. Lit and being used to look for same! Did anyone mention mind problems?

We keep busy going to weddings and viewings. Time to get a dress sown for grandson’s wedding which will be over when you read this. (If it’s July 5, there are 172 short days till Christmas!) Perhaps we’ll be cooled down before then. June 21 will be the longest day and it’s nearly here.

This is not the only place that “things” happen. ‘Twas reported to me that Mervin J. Weaver leaned on a wire fence and it was a HOT one. It would have been a perfect picture for a newspaper’s front page – of the high jump (into the pasture?) that he made. Let your minds wander, he is a tall man.

We spent a fun evening at Buster M’s auction site for “Gentle Solutions” and were lucky to win a “Bakery Basket”. Just loaded! Too bad it’s too warm at the moment to do serious baking!

We are sad for those whose loved ones have passed on. Mrs. Anna Yoder who was a regular at the Senior Center, was ill only a few months and passed away June 16. She was a cook with Bob Hershberger Sara 8 short months ago at their son Jon and Rebecca N. Yoder’s wedding. Precious memories, how they linger.

We’re at war right now. Have nabbed six little gray monsters, and more are on the loose. Why, oh, why did one jump out at me from the candy drawer and not at the grandchildren who were opening and closing said drawer all day long 2 days before. (That’s probably why they stayed away … too much going on.) Gives me the creeps still, to think of it. 

And Robert bought a “live trap” at the auction to try to rid the place of coons. Fine, but who wants to get rid of the pest the next morning… or even look at it?

Two cataracts removed, over and done with; color vision changed (sniffle). Can hardly wait for my new glasses, make me look (I mean see) better!

May 21, 2018: Looking out our many windows, I see a world of green, the sun shining brightly. We tend to ignore the forecast in the paper which shows dark clouds and, perhaps, rain! There are two young chaps here, Alan Ray (11) and Paul (9) and they are helping Granma by staying outside till this missive is finished!

Garden is tilled, ready for planting. Son Robert says it’s his project this year. So, we are picturing father and son side-by-side, each thinking he himself is BOSS!  We’ll see. (I stuck glad bulbs and onion sets in a flower bed which son thinks is the dumbest thing … the onion sets part). Some are already six inches. Tall. (Tee Hee!)

We’ve been to three weddings, meeting many different people each time. Always nice to see old friends, and some look older even though they’re not. We must keep moving to keep limber. Have quite a few more weddings coming up. Weight Watchers, here I come!

Sounds like our family is also getting older and having our share of ills, etc. It started with hubby Joe and he’s much better. Son Wally is slowly getting back to basics since surgery for an abscess in his lung. Daughter-in-law (Joe) Mary Jane had two serious spine surgeries at the Laser Spine Institute. Another daughter-in-law (John) Laura had serious pain and after an ultrasound, etc., they discovered gallstones and she may need surgery. Of course, daughter and fellow writer, Barbara Ann Detweiler, has rheumatoid arthritis quite bad, but keeps going. Some can think, “This too shall pass.”

A change, a big one, on Gates Road at John Weaver/Allen Miller residence. The old part of the house (Allen’s) has been torn down and a new shop put up with living quarters in one part for him. Son John Weaver Jr. will move his family into the main house when John Jrs have a new home built right next door in the near future. John Jr. also owns the store now (Grandma’s Fabrics).

Look out! 201 days! Sorry, Ray Mast. It is what it is.

April 25, 2018: By all appearance, and looking at the calendar, June 7 is nearing and, correct me if I’m wrong, it looks like 200 days from then until Christmas! Sorry for skipping the days last time.

It’s the time of rehab for some. John P. Weaver is recuperating from hip surgery. The doctor scraped out a lot of arthritis; no wonder he’s been hurting for years. John turned 68 in February. Their granddaughter, Caitlyn, 12, daughter of Ray and Cindy Byler suffered much pain until she was operated on one a Sunday evening for appendicitis. 

And yet another happening and no broken bones, amazingly, when Kathy M. took off to answer the phone at 8:30 one eve. Trouble was, her one leg was sleep, causing her to make a “crash landing” after falling down the entrance steps! The telemarketer call never got answered.

Noted in a local newspaper: Famous children’s book author, Beverly Cleary turns 102!

We were privileged to be a part of Robert and Emma Stutzman anniversary celebration on April 14. Soon will be other special days as well. Brother John and Sue wed 50 years ago May 16th. John Kuhns informed us that was also the day Ray and Martha Stutzman wed and he couldn’t attend because of the Miller-Miller wedding. Nine of my brothers plus my husband worked at Flambeau and had off that day. (Somebody had to stay and do the work, John! Sorry!) 

Traveling up Bundysburg Road north of Route 87, we were searching the ditches for a lost item (a hubcap from a buggy wheel). Lo and behold, the eyes were bug-eyed from seeing all the TRASH! Okay, if it would be worth something, we could pick it up and sell it at the local consignment auction! That’s not the only road with garbage, Sure, ’twould be good to have children gather and bag the waste, but is it safe to be by the side of the road doing it? How can folks be so crass?

Told Earl S. about my daughter thinking Best Cuts is a place to buy meat, when he told me of his experience of going to Newbury Springs to have his car springs fixed! He was nicely informed they just “do” water!

Whoo! Whoo! There go two 3-or-4-wheelers just a flyin’! Oh, my, here comes a sheriff right behind them! Talk about exciting!

Well … had to write something to fill the page!

Bits and Pieces of the Past

We had a lot more snow this winter than we’ve had for several years, and we enjoy it. But there comes a time in every mother’s life (I believe) when those gloves and stocking caps and boots just aren’t exciting anymore, to say the least.

Barbara N. Byler is looking forward to the 24th when she celebrates her 86th birthday.

The 25th is a big day for the Dan M. Detweilers, when their cows will be sold at auction. Actually, it is the cows they’re milking; they belong to the owner of their farm, a Mr. Pettiti of Cleveland. He owns several greenhouses and plans to build one on the farm where the Detweilers live. They have enough helpers to operate one and will keep the family at home together. Pettiti is one of Ohio’s largest seller of trees, all kinds, ranging from a couple hundred to over 1,000 dollars per tree.

Billy, 11, son of William J. S. Millers, spent a couple hours in the hospital emergency room Wednesday night. He had a bad stomach and tests were taken, He missed school all week. School was closed Monday because of icy roads so that makes only four days absent for him. Our first sore throat of the winter here at our school caused Joey to miss three days of school.

A daughter names Linda was born to Andy J. Millers (formerly Teacher Sarah) Friday morning. This is their first child. Grandparents are Jerry J.P. Millers and Andy J. M. Millers. She has one great-grandparent, Jerry P. Miller. 

March 26, 2018: Spring has sprung, but it doesn’t feel like it. Still snow to be seen and cold wind to be felt. We’re not in Florida, so what can we expect.

Son Wally B. inhaled too much dust while sawing old beams in a house being renovated and suffered a bout of pleurisy. This is an infection and very, very painful. If Joe remembers little of our early days of marriage, he’ll never forget his painful attack of pleurisy! He went to the emergency room, was given strong antibiotics, given a CAT scan, was admitted for overnight observation, undergoing thorough observation the next day. When I called him, he said, “It’s a boy!  They’ll keep him until the lungs are clear.”

Another great-grandchild was added to our family, the second girl adding to seven boy grands for son Joe and Mary Jane. First time parents are Joseph III and Elizabeth. Other grands (first time) are Mel and Ida Byler, making sis Betty and John Weaver also greats. Whew!     

Got “lucky”; got a bunch of hamburg to can … made meatballs, chili, stuffed pepper soup … yum!

Plans are for daughter Barbara Ann and me to go to Carroll County to daughter Elizabeth’s for the day. Doesn’t happen often enough. Someone asked us to go along to make a load. So we’ll have brunch and go on yakking!

Looking for brother Crist and Barbara Ann to come home from their first ever trip to Florida on March 27. Anxious to hear how they enjoyed their 10-day vacation (counting 2 days coming and going).

Did a bunch of puzzles already this winter in between necessary jobs that go with keeping the house shipshape. I say “shipshape” because granddaughters bring things up to par every 2 weeks. OK, so I’m older; I get help and will accept it gratefully.

Another check-up with the heart doctor is in the offing for Joe. He’s doing very well, all except for his swallowing. Will make an appointment to have his esophagus examined and maybe stretched again. 

We scootered down to visit Dan Detweiler on Route 534. The cold wind didn’t help us any, but were glad we went. He was in the hospital five days with pneumonia. Better days ahead, I hope.

Katherine’s Korner

By Katherine Byler

Feb. 26, 2018: Oh, we’re tasting the good old Geauga County Maple Syrup … as good as ever! I recall my dad always waiting on John Shrock (Route 87) so he could buy his year’s supply there.

We wanted to pick a dry, mud-free day to go watch son John and gang cook sap on Dead-End Shedd Road. They, along with Noah Miller Jr., seem to know what they’re doing! And their syrup is delicious. Yes, we got a free 2-quart sample!

And, Mahlon, we finally ate the Christmas (yes, there’s that word) ham. Thank you, it was yummy! Wayne Ds and John Bs were here to help us eat mashed potatoes, ham, beans, etc. (Mahlon Crash Miller works at neighbor Jake’s Air Tool Shop, as does A. D. Byler now, too!)We were over-run, in a good way, by grand-daughters last week. They came to do some serious cleaning. (They also went home with a lot of STUFF I no longer wanted!  So, now, they just need a house to set it up in!) What a great feeling that they do this for us. The only downside … we have to realize we are older now and NEED help! (Smile!) Thanks, girls.

All good things come to an end. Tuesday eve visiting nights every February follow the buy one get one free dinners at Mary Yoder’s. We had fun and interesting evenings at Mrs. Dan Sarah Byler’s. Andy and Barb Byler, Al Liz Byler (and David and Martha (smile)) and, hopefully last but not least, at Bill and Esther Bylers, Nauvoo Road. (This is being written on Feb. 26) They celebrated 60 years of marriage. There are many more friends we still want to visit, but, don’t hold your breath. So many are moving to Florida, including some of our group. So, we need to wait until they return. (Note a thread of envy there?) In our crowd are the Crist J.S., Jonas V., David J.S. Millers, Dan P. and Esther Hostetler and writer and husband. Wally and Barb M. joined us one eve.

Oh my, already to under 300 days to that special day … 288 to be exact!

Bits and Pieces of Long Ago

Submitted by Katherine Byler, written by Mrs. Albert Mast

Orwell, Ohio Aug. 27, 1961

Visitors in the Dave Yoder home Sunday were Ervin L. Troyers and Marvin Hostetlers.

The Dave Yoders had a Troyer reunion the 15th. Some attended from Holmes County. In the p.m. the John Rabers, Eli and John Troyers and Mrs. Dan Troyer of Holmes County and Lizzie Ann Byler of here went to Sugar Grove, Pa. and spent the weekend there at Dan Yoders and Mose Millers.

Sam and Cora Bylers spent the week camping at Pymatuning Lake. Edna Miller stayed with Jamie and Mark.

The Andy E. Bylers moved on the Moss Farm on Route 88 on the 18th. Andy and Katie Mullet moved on where the Andys vacated the same day.

John Detweiler of Marion, Ky. Spent the 18th with the writer and family. They were Tuesday eve supper guests with Dan Fishers in Mespo and overnight guests with my folks, Monroe Masts. Mrs. Detweiler is my cousin and they lived in Paraguay for nine and a half years, so they had some very interesting experiences to relate.

Mel and Lora Byler welcome their first born, a son named Samuel. He was born the 26th and weighed 7 lb. 6 oz.

Monday is the day when some mothers shout Hurray! And some cry! School begins. Ruth Shrock (Marvins) and Marie Kauffman (Alberts) are the teachers. When you have three girls to send, you lost a lot of help and those lunches to pack! Ugh! But the peace and quiet … ahhhh!

Jan. 29, 2018: So. We’re heading towards spring, are we? We hear talk of cooking sap for maple syrup, of sowing seeds in the greenhouses; what else can it mean?

Have done three big jigsaw puzzles so far, looking for smaller ones that don’t take so long. Cleaning gals (four granddaughters) whizzed through the house and then helped with a puzzle.

Am thinking Christmas gatherings are over with by now. Also, annual Amish School Spelldowns will be past by the time this gets into print. Time is just bringing us that much closer to next … Christmas! There, I’ve said it! On March 1, it will be 300 days, remember?

We enjoy our company; brother Crist, Barbara Ann and family came to surprise me (for my birthday!). John and Mary Slabaugh, John and Barb Mast, Jake and Linda Weaver brought cake, ice cream and apple dumplings one eve, plus some fine conversation! Son Joe Jr. and family brought 70 gifts to be opened. Oh My!  What fun! The first surprise for my 70th was a van with a large trailer pulling in to go “away”! Altogether there were two daughters, two daughters-in-law and eight (yes, eight) granddaughters ages 17 to 23. We went a shoppin’! My, what a blow out we had! Memories made.

Some horses are anxious to do some long-distance traveling, especially ours. Must be they get tired of just standing around in the barn. Of course, I could take the reins if Joe needed help to hold them back, but he’s not shook up and lets them go till they’re tired, I guess.

February is, of course, birthday month for some. Of note are two especially … the 22nd is the date for Dr. Henry Trybus and the 18th for Bruce Daniels. Ages not stated here, thank you. Happy Birthday to both of you.

Was glad I had a way to Martinsburg in southern Ohio to the viewing of an aunt, Mrs. (Wallace) Edna Byler recently. She was 89 years old and had heart problems.

Nov. 24, 2017: Thanksgiving Day is just over, but we must be thankful every day. Especially so since spending 2 hours in the emergency room with hubby after his choking on his dinner. It happened after only a few bites. The Heimlich maneuver did not seem to help. Luckily Wayne and Elizabeth’s driver (Carroll County) was here and could rush us to Geauga Hospital right away. Given a relaxant that sometimes helps and moving around to get his gown on (frown) in readiness for a surgical procedure, the offending particle seemed to give up the ghost and left him, so he could breathe easier again.

Son John’s family and Wayne and Barbara Ann D. and family were also here. John and Wayne B. went along to the hospital. Being a holiday, there was very little going on up there.

Less than 3 weeks to Christmas … makes me glad I don’t have to count anymore … for 2017!

About Ike’s (Ebersol) and Mike’s (Slaubaugh) first meeting at Mike’s dad’s horse-shoeing place, no less (Martin S.) which Ike relishes in the telling. Mike had a good (great) horse and showed it by driving him in a cart with no bit in the horse’s mouth. No problem. Several years later, Ike found out that was the first (and only?) time Mike tried that trick! Well, it worked! Whew!

And talking about horses … one seldom hears of one coming loose from a hitching rail or such. But. My. This does happen. And it did to John C. Detweiler, of all people. He thought someone was playing a trick on him when someone said his horse was no longer there behind CVS. He mentioned it to the right guy … was it Yogi … who said, “Oh, was that your horse? He came up to Save-A-Lot parking lot and someone tied him up!” And seldom had he been that route before! All’s well that ends well. Of course, he never mentioned it to his wife!

While in Lancaster, Pa., we saw many, many fields of baled corn stalks and soybeans. They make use of every little thing, even after beans and corn were harvested. What a neat idea, we thought. We also visited a winery, sampled some, bought some. However, they did not have a proper way of packaging the bottles. One dropped and crashed onto the parking lot tarmac, causing us all to gasp and stare. What’s one less, I guess.

We greatly miss going to that place (Lanc. County) the 2 days after Thanksgiving as usual, with Bill S. as tour guide. It wouldn’t be the same with a substitute!

These Bylers gathered at Joe’s brother Lester’s house recently and went to the cemetery to put in their brother Jonas’ gravestone. He passed away 1 ½ years ago. We also took of his belongings of which he had quite a collection. Cleaning aids to kitchen items, to tools, on and on. End of an era for him, which makes us sad.

Sept. 2, 2017: THERE! It’s ready! The house, I mean. When the cleaning crew arrives, they can get right to it. It’s always good to know when the granddaughters come to help, so I can make it look like I did something myself!

Now we’re into cooler fall, weather, which makes it easier to get some long-neglected cleaning (and organizing) jobs. Oh, and don’t forget the canning … never-ending to some.

An enjoyable day was spent recently with Jr. and Sara Ann Byler of Guys Mills, Pa. They are both not exactly well. Mrs., Rudy (Kathryn) Detweiler planned this and asked us plus brother Crist and Barbara, Joe and Tillie Miller, Crist (Poley) and Ruth Byler and Andy and Ida Miller.

Weddings are still on the go-go-go! Granddaughter Elizabeth (John-Laura) Byler was wed Aug. 31 to Allen Ray (Al and Leona) Miller. Twas a most beautiful day, and a great showing of Joe’s and my brothers and sisters. Many thanks! They plan to have their “starter home” on the upstairs of the shop at the Ray and Fannie Burkholder residence on Old State Road. This is where her parents had their start. The family now consists of five boys and no girls, causing Alan Ray to wish Elizabeth would live close-by, so she could still wash dishes! I believe when he and Paul (8) are finished with the work of tending all their goats and sheep, their hands could use the soapy dishwater, surely!

Before I forget, the date is nearing … on Sept. 15, there will be only 100 (yes, 100) days to Christmas! Told ja!

I read of two Amish schools having a pest control contest. Together, the two schools succeeded in reducing the local population by 3,383 sparrows, 556 mice, 335 starlings, 77 rats, two grackles and three groundhogs. They were not from this area. Whew!

What a letdown! You’re going down the road in your horse and buggy when, all of a sudden, a wheel goes faster than the buggy, causing the horse to be so startled, he stood on his hind legs in a hurry. It turned out to be their hind buggy wheel, the axle having broken. This happened to Paul and Laura Miller and son Joey.  Yikes!

Looks like local roads are being worked on … improvements noted. Can’t quite figure out why some get attention twice and some not at all!

Our visiting group spent an evening at the Bill M. Byler home. His brother Marvin and Clara were also there, and, of course, also Monroe and Arlene Miller and five children (all scholars!) from another part of the house. This was John and Mae Bontrager’s pick (her uncle) and also there were David and Marianne Miller, Henry Jr. and Kathy Miller, and Robert and Barbara Stoltzfus.

We were happy to be included in a 2 day trip to Holmes County, shopping and eating. Two of the load ended up too sick to go to church the following Sunday. Oh, my! Twas Mrs. (John) Mary Slabaugh and Mrs. (Jake) Linda Weaver. Told Mary she needs to take vitamins, at least Vitamin D for sunshine!

Senior moment … adding in your checkbook register when you should have subtracted.

July 24, 2017: Oh, my! Must write that it’s about time for the bells to ring. Thirty-three days and children will be heading back to school with bright, cheery faces … and hope that the teachers will do the same. A smile goes a long way in everyone’s daily doings!

Before I forget, it’s way past time to let you know how many days to Christmas. Only 144 days, if I counted right! You’re welcome.

We are all glad that my brother David is on the road to recovery after “falling off the wagon” recently. It could have been so much worse. He landed on his head and suffered a broken bone in his back. He was in the hospital only overnight. This David is my baby brother (David J. S. Miller) and is 62 years old.

Wow! Happy to report birth of twins at son Johns … a boy and a girl and all is well. Reports are the ears are longer than the head, oh my! That’s probably natural for kids that are 100 percent Nubian. When I called just now to get the facts straight, Paul, 8, could also add the news that they have also added a pair of sheep twins to the flock, one of each again, Whoop-de-do!

Sometimes people play tricks on purpose … sometimes they don’t! Two eggs were hard-boiled and put into son’s lunch. He ate only one, so I put the other one in again the next day. When he came home, he threw it at me (playfully) and said to stop playing tricks on him. What! What did I do! Turns out I cooked an artificial egg, not on purpose. Mystery was solved when grandson Alan Ray, 10, revealed that he had put the egg in with the real ones! Thank goodness, the egg didn’t melt when cooked.

Seems the weddings are still going strong. Excess poundage is one result, but it’s so enjoyable to be able to go and enjoy the day with friends.

Almost won the lottery recycling newspapers for bedding in the barn. Paul Mast’s barn to be exact was the good deed being done.  For no definite reason, grandson Paul was flipping through the pile when … WHOA! … something caught his eye! It was a real honest-to-goodness 50-dollar bill! They called and asked if I was missing any money and I said I was. Sorry to say, it did not quite reach to the Mast farm. Paul got a $5 reward.

Hubby is a lucky guy to still have 10 toes. In some complicated way, he went over his foot with the brush hog, slicing his shoe clear through. He quickly went for a chair, untied his shoe, removed it and held it upside down. In his words (jokingly) he was hoping to pour out some blood! Perhaps the little toe was broken because ‘tis quite sore.

June 23, 2017: With summer officially here, we have to switch to another gear of which there’s not many left to choose from anymore. We’ve kept busy dressing up for weddings and then, there’s always a funeral to attend. Just a reminder that we need all these to be a part of the “total picture”, you might say. Then, along with all this, it takes many cards to send and calls and visits to be made to do our part in showing love and friendship.

Speaking of friendships, it’s sort of uncanny the way we keep seeing Dr. Wirt, and sometimes also his wife, at unusual places. Once was at the doctor’s office, no less, a few times in Walmart, and even at our Dollar Store in Mespo. He knew my dad well and now most of his offspring, for better or worse! ‘Tis always enjoyable to chat with him … on our part, anyway.

All the family wanted was a safe place to live. With only one parent and three offspring, where could they go? All they owned was the coats on their backs … the sleek, black, furry kind with a neat white part down the middle. Well, they should not have tried moving in at the John and Laura Byler residence; they have enough to contend with, I think. The family was chased from under the porch in due time and were taken care of, one by one. However, they did not go without leaving great evidence, nose-wise. It didn’t take us long to unload her groceries and get out of there!

So, I won’t write how many days to Christmas, but be warned. It’s probably like my son said, after the 4th of July, it seems it’s not long till we’re getting ready for winter!

Nathan Byler, 14, son of Wayne and Elizabeth in Carroll County, got a wallop in more ways than one while playing ball. Sliding into second base, he must have collided big-time with the second baseman, resulting in a mighty injury of the shin. He went for x-rays to make sure nothing was broken, but he had to miss out on some major ball playing while his black, blue, purple and yellow leg heals!

We have some very interesting reading since receiving Joe’s mother’s side Shrock history books. They were well put together with Mrs. (Dan) Emma Byler being the one to do the headwork, which was much appreciated. Thanks, Emma!

May 28, 2017: Tomorrow is Memorial Day and am glad the weather forecast predicts a nice warm, sunny day. Many folks will be camping, traveling, etc. As for us, hubby plans to leave at 2:30 a.m. with his buddies to go fishing at Lake Erie.

Daughters Leah, Miriam and Kathy and I will clean the shop and get ready for the Farmington Community Yard Sales … not until June 22 and 23, but with all the weddings and things going on, it’s best to start early.

We enjoy having our neighbor John and Lois Cashiotta over for brunch for his 76th birthday. He is a neighbor who is always helping out others and he does a lot for us and Martys. They also joined us.

Our visiting group traveled to Southington to Betty Johns Bill on Monday evening. I took Barbecue chicken and homemade pizza. The others took delicious snacks, pies, etc. He has long lonely days by himself. Going were Mrs. Mel Kathryn Byler, Ray and Sue Burkholder, Emanuel and Maryann Stoltzfus, Lester and Sara Hostetler, Yogi and Maryann Miller and us.

Judy Sly, age 69 of Mespo passed away May 20th. She was in many activities. Her son, Donald Sly II has the Russell-Sly Funeral Home in Middlefield where her calling hours were.

It was a nice morning to walk to church today at Joe and Leona Miller. Visitors were Bishop Melvin Ray Shetler and Joe’s parents David Lee and Sara Miller here on 534, Mespo, and Joe’s brother Mark and Rachel Millers.

An old proverb from “the Good Old Days” was, “Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without!”

Lovely Springtime is so quickly moving on by. We’re enjoying weddings in and out of the area. We attended two in Cub Run, Ky., so very enjoyable. Our driver was from Atlantic, Pa. and he picked up Joe’s sister Fannie, out there. Eighty miles an hour and an 80 year old at that. Two weeks later, he tipped his tractor into a ravine and lost his life. His name was Lloyd Berber; he used to make many trips back and forth to Middlefield from Pennsylvania.

Our grandson Joseph Byler III was married Thursday, May 25 to Elizabeth, daughter of Mel D. and Ida (Weaver) Byler. This was also the 49th birthday of Joseph II.

Time to pace ourselves, so many weddings, so much food! And now again I’ve reached my “half birthday” (half way to November). We’re thankful for health as good as it is. And must say SORRY for those with heart issues who refuse to seek help because of costs. There’s hope for the one I can think of. But the other relative remains to be convinced.

And Les M. (not Leo) in case you were wondering, on June 7, it’s only 200 days till Christmas. Amazing, isn’t it?

We spent an enjoyable evening at the old Windsor Elementary School building recently with former classmates and partners. We ate a delicious dinner made and served by Mrs., (John) Leona Detweiler and helpers. There were alumni there from as far back as the early 50s. On the same eve, brother Allen Miller attended a dinner in Mespo for anyone having gone to Mespo School. Dinner was by Mrs. Crist (Poley Ruth) Byler and daughter Shirley M. It seemed that hubby enjoyed the eve as much as I did, plus we won a begonia. Lucky Jake and Linda Weaver won two!

Dinner with Dad

Submitted by Katherine Byler

At dinner, Dad invited his young son to say a table prayer. The boy bowed his head and thanked God for the fried chicken, the mashed potatoes and the brownies that were to come for dessert. Then he looked up at his dad and asked, “If I thank God for the Brussels sprouts, will He know I’m lying?”

Bits and Pieces from Long Ago

September 1981
Middlefield, Ohio

From Mrs. Elmer J. Miller

Joe and Mary Ann Weaver are the proud parents of their fourth son, named William. He has one sister. It is Mary Ann’s brother Clarence E. Miller who is to be married today at Uria D. J. Millers, north of Mespo.

Also getting married soon is Melvin, son of Widower Ervin M. P. Miller and Mary, last single child of Albert and Katie Troyer.

Mrs. Marvin L. Yoder is wearing a cast on her foot. She slipped on the back steps at home and broke a bone at the outside of the foot. They live just south of us at his folks, Lester A. Yoders. She is Amanda, daughter of Mrs. Emma Byler, is 35 years old and has a family to care for.

Noah J. Mast and son Elmer, 16, were both hurt by their big bull. Elmer had brought him into the barn from his stall in the adjoining shed and on the way back from the watering trough, the bull suddenly attacked him, got his horns into his stomach and tore a long gash, so his intestines protruded. He got away, but the animal attacked Noah and had him pinned against the wall. Their younger son, Simon, 14 had to fight the bull with a pitchfork back into his stall. Noah and Elmer were both taken to the hospital. Elmer was in shock and underwent 2 hours of surgery to close up the wounds. Both small and large intestines were bruised and lacerated. Noah had 2 fractured ribs and expected to come home the next day. Submitted by Katherine Byler

April 29, 2017: Well, spring seems to have come early this year. I mentioned maybe winter will be early, too. Was informed that Christmas will still be the same! Won’t write anything about it this time, but wait till next time. Is that OK, Leo M.?

Thanks, Mr. Polomsky, for the extra meat in the sunflower seed! ‘Twas well preserved and, of course, I was the one who had to find it. Joe checked; yep, it was a field mouse … which is “nice” in his book. (Good thing it was  BEFORE breakfast!)

Son Steven R. B. had surgery at the Hernia Center in Beachwood on a Friday and was back to work by Monday. He has his 39th birthday on June 2. (He used to say Jan s-ookent reversed) 10 days after his brother Joe Jr. turns 49. They keep pushing us up there!

The doctor ordered Dan (Jr.) Byler a huge amount of Vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin. Now Dan claims to be shining brightly as the sun. They live in PA, but spend time in this area, too … for which we are glad.

We had some grandsons here overnight which was enjoyable. I think it was Paul, 8, who thought I was putting eardrops in my eyes. Alright, so where do I put the eye drops?

Speaking of grandboys, it’s been reported that in one day, two sets of baby triplets and one set of twins were added  to their flock of sheep. Wow! Hey have a huge pasture to romp in. Alan Ray, 10, claims his dad can retire soon! Total is 16 babies along with 16 adults.

We’re into the Frogmore Stew dinners, (but we serve it in the kettle, a smaller amount). (Son John) Laura made a cannerful and ‘twas a hit. Wayne, almost 22, claimed he had to wait 21 years for this; he couldn’t believe he hadn’t tasted some up to now!

We tricked the starlings; are putting the suet on birdseed trays, It worked’ they’re no longer around.

Watching salt blocks get sold at an auction brings back memories. They are put in pastures for the animals. Asked hubby if he recalls licking them. He said yes and right where the cows left the indentation after licking over and over at the same place. Yuck!

A few new faces at the Senior Center we’re glad to see. Mrs. Maurine Shetler and Mrs. (Bert) Sara Miller joined along with sisters Mrs. Marie Yoder and Mrs. (John) Elmina Kurtz. Am always “afraid” there’ll be a wedding or some such on the third Thursday of the month to keep us away from the Center (and friends)!

Mrs. Dan (Sheila) Byler had to call hubby at work, mind you, to say her washing machine won’t start. Of course, there’s always someone who asks if gas was put in! Come to find out, when Dan took the container to buy gas, he got kerosene instead. Could have happened to a younger fellow, but, now we cam blame it on age, I guess. Dan is 71, but that isn’t old anymore.

I never realized someone else besides me goes to a Horse Sale and looks at the people instead of the horses. And a man at that! You’d think it wouldn’t be so, but that’s absolutely all right, I say. Picture this … Mervin J. Weaver bent down to pick up a dropped pen and there, in front of his eyes, was a pair of real Dutch wooden shoes. (Maybe it was a Dutch Harness Horse sale?) Well, that’s all it took to get the conversation started and it lasted for an hour! Many questions came: “Can you walk normal?” “Yes, Very comfortable”, and on and on. Mervin even got to try them on. So he must have done his peacekeeping work for that day.

Our most recent visiting night was with Donnie and Nancy Miller. There was Jr. and Kathy M., the Jr. and Robert Stoltzfuses, John and Mae Bontrager and us (the odd couple … Smile). It was enjoyable, of course, and Kathy served her delicious white sugar cookies. If I break my leg, sure hope she makes me some. Or even some of her yummy raisin puffs.

March 31, 2017:Well, according to my calculations, Christmas was about 119 days ago. This means we’ve only 9 months, and once more, a reason to get together with family to celebrate!!

We’ve had a busy winter time … and feel very fortunate to enjoy a mostly calm one, weather-wise. Hubby is doing exceptionally well, groaning already with all the weddings coming up!

There was a great turnout at the Mespo Expo for a benefit auction for son Joe Jr. and Mary Jane who had to tear their house apart because of mold. They live on Penniman Road in North Bloomfield and are now moving back into their living quarters, the first in 3 months.

Grandson John Mark, 15 1/2 (John B.) was sort of downhearted at said benefit. He was standing next to his big brother Wayne (almost 21). Guys kept saying HI to Wayne and no one acknowledged the eager “little” brother. So sad.

Our visiting group spent an enjoyable evening with writer Mrs. (Joe) Sarah Miller. Twas David and Marianne Miller, Henry Jr. and Kathy Miller, the Emanuel Jr. and Robert Stoltzfuses, John and Mae Bontrager, and Joe and I. It is now 6 months that Joe passed away. He is missed.

Son John and Laura and two sons, Melvin and Dorothy Troyer and 4 kiddies, daughter Barbara Ann D. and two girlies, plus Joe and I had a great time visiting at my brother David and Mary Ann M.s. Mary Ann had a hip replacement and David had a birthday. Baby brother turned 62 years old. Am always ready for an excuse to eat ice cream and cake … and it appeared that Melvin was, too!

Melvin T. Jr. and our grandson Andrew D. popped in one eve and chatted a while. Thanks, boys.

We also enjoyed an eve with some Detweilers who brought snacks and visited … Melvin D. Jr., Adam D., the Rudy Ds and Lena and Savilla D.

Their brother Dan, who turned 82 on Christmas Day, spent 4 days and 5 nights in St. Joseph’s Hospital in Warren. He had pneumonia and serious infections. He had just stated undergoing chemo for leukemia. We wish better days for him.

Should have mentioned earlier about Dr. Henry Trybus having a birthday … was it February 22? Don’t worry, Doc, I won’t reveal your age!

Brother Allen, sis-in-law (David) Mary Ann and I went to cousin) (Jake) Susie Yoder’s one bright, sunny Thursday, to join in wishing cousin Andy D. S. Miller a Happy 60th birthday. He is in rehab at Blossom Hill Nursing Home at present Once again, there was cake and ice cream to be had. Yum!

An overnight trip to Jasper, N.Y. for a benefit auction was enjoyed recently. John and Mary Slabaugh got a load together for the same to benefit Mary’s cousin Dan (Crist Y.) Byler, 72. John Jr. and Esther also went as did Marvin (also a cousin) and Mae Shrock. Felt sorry for Marvin. He suffered from restless leg syndrome on the way out. Mrs. Mary got deep down cold that day and ended up going to the doctor afterwards, Whew! Yes, it was VERY cold and extremely windy out there.

By the time this is printed, we will probably have celebrated our oldest child’s 50th birthday! Daughter Barbara Ann (Mrs. Wayne) Detweiler was born to us on April 1, 1967. She is thoroughly enjoying her birthday cards and letters. Thank you, everyone!

Plans are to go to a steakhouse in Boardman; then our only other daughter, Elizabeth, and hubby Wayne Byler of Carroll County can meet us half way and surprise her some more … along with our 4 married sons and wives from this area.

Feb. 18, 2017: As it stands right now, the latest count of Amish widows in this northeastern part of the state has reached the total of 150 persons. Widowers in our area number 43.

Good things come in threes … little lambs, that is. Soon twill be spring and then they can romp and play in the pasture. Son John and family are welcoming their little wooly ones, although they’ve lost one or two.

Now they’re deep into cooking maple sap with their main “cooker”, Ray Mast, taking off for the Gordyville horse sale along with grandson Matthew J.B. I guess John wants to teach wife Laura the fine points of cooking syrup.

There they go again; they just did it 2 or 3 weeks ago. A dump truck goes slowly down the road while 3 guys walk just as slowly behind it, taking turns to shovel a gravel mixture into the holes. Maybe they need to learn how to fix AND maintain a road … or two … or three! There was an informative article in the local newspaper about Farmington roads. Now they need to do interviews in Mespo and Parkman as well. It’s ridiculous, actually, in this day and age.

The Parkman whatevers say they get up to 18 calls a day to complain. Does it do any good? I don’t think so. Suppose one has to go higher up, maybe to ODOT!?

Oh, and another thing; there are 81 Amish couples in this area who have been married 50 years or longer. That is, if I counted right. Crist and MaryAlice Miller are wed the longest, 67 years.

The Crist J. S. Millers, Dan P. and Esther Hostetler and Joe and I spent a pleasant evening with Enos Barkman, Sr. At 83 years of age, he can reminisce for quite a while. Very interesting.

Plans are to visit Bill Stutzman next. We’re glad to hear he’s doing better. Hope we don’t do him harm.

A bunch of “Miller” gals were invited to Katie and Anna Miller’s house on Hayes Road recently. Oh, my, did they know it could become so loud? Daughter Elizabeth (Mrs. Wayne C.) surprised them all by being there, too.

Trying to tell myself to leave the puzzles be, to not get one ‘til my mail is caught up. So many cards need sending. Word puzzles are good, as are those with numbers. They say it keeps one from losing their brain functions! Hope! Hope!

Work is progressing and nearly done on son Joe and Mary Jane’s house on Penniman Road in North Bloomfield. Those in the know took care of the mold in their home, enabling them to once again hopefully have the chance to live mold and sickness free. There is a benefit auction planned for March 24th at the Mespo Expo Center for the costs of the do-over.

There were 10 ladies on one load with driver Dorothy Moses to visit Mrs. John Mat Miller one evening. Twas very enjoyable to say the least. Actually, am not allowed to say more! I was lucky to be included, along with Ray Mast’s four girls, Mrs. Paul Mary Ann Mast and two daughters and Mary Ann’s mom, Lydiann Miller, plus Mrs. (Eura) Sarah Miller.

Well, as always, if I open my bottle of 300 aspirins on March 1, they’ll last till Christmas if I feed Joe one a day.

And, only 20 more days till Elizabeth D. Byler turns 33!

Jan. 12, 2017: Gloomy is the order of the day at present. But wait a few days; perhaps it will be back to snowy landscapes and sunshine! ‘Tis raining … water is flowing through the pasture, rushing under the road on its way to bigger tributaries a bit south of us.

We walked … yes, walked … to visit Dan Detweiler and daughter Susie last evening. Think it may be a mile and a quarter. Didn’t think of taking umbrellas, but, lo and behold, we had to borrow several for the trek home! Some other church couples were there as well and I got to taste another of (Jr.) Kathy’s yummy cookies. Hadn’t seen Kathy for 7 1/2 weeks, so it was almost a meeting of strangers! Dan D. got a lot of birthday and Christmas mail, which he appreciates. Of course, he’s always ready for company. His birthday was on Christmas Day and the day before, on a Saturday morning, plans were for all his 10 married sons and three sons-in-law to come there to make breakfast and eat together! OH MY!! Heard they even had sausage gravy. Sounds interesting. Let’s see … when is Joe’s birthday? Oh yes, it’s March 1; can always remember it because it’s then only 300 days to Christmas! (Sorry … but it always comes up!)

Lester A. Miller celebrates another birthday, only his 81st. Would love to go visit again. He and his granddaughter, Lucinda C. (Lulu) wanted a cane or wheelchair for Christmas. Guess which one she got! Then, we also think of Lester’s uncle, our friend, Mel Shetler, who would have had his 79th birthday on Jan. 21. His widow, Maurine, started making cards, a fine pastime, and she has, I think, some beautiful ideas. She also has a very cute little toy poodle for companionship.

Was not happy to read that Bill Stutzman was in hospital at Christmastime. Wishing for better days ahead, Bill.

On the farm, babies come by ones or twos, some don’t make it. Sheep, that is, for John and Laura Byler. But, now it’s time to repair that tubing in the woods, getting geared up to begin taping those maple trees. Noah Miller Jr., who is in shares in the Sugarbush, is getting anxious to get started. They usually do quite well. With everything looking rosier here on the home front, we look forward to investigating their system sometime.

Work is steadily progressing on Joe Jr.’s house, clearing all evidence of the mold that was plaguing them for some time. They can stay at their daughter’s meantime, Barb and Ben Yoder who live just up the road. Barb had foot surgery, so her family’s aid will come in handy.

A cute story omitted last summer. … 5-year-old Betty Ann Detweiler (Roy E.) had to wear a cast for a while on a broken arm. It got very itchy, which is normal. But she insisted there were ants crawling inside said cast. She stated emphatically that she knows when the doctor takes her cast off, they’ll find a bunch of ant nests!

We joined brothers Crist and Barbara Ann and 3 married girls and families at brother Allen’s house on a VERY cold Sunday p.m. for supper, and the revealing of 2016 Secret Friends. He received some nice gifts, of course. Family times are precious. The 14th and the 21st are Miller and Byler gatherings for us for Christmas, (There’s that word again!) And thanks, Jr., for the interesting (impartial?) mail you keep sending!

Just now, nearly had a heart attack! A loud Ka-boom from the bedroom where Joe was resting and sleeping. Ran in and there he was, on hands and knees on the floor! Oh my, he did fall, and the bed is quite high off the floor. Helped him up and all was all right, thankfully! Whew!

Am not sure when this will be printed, but it may be about 60 days till your birthday, Elizabeth B, (Daniel J.)! She faithfully reads this paper and others, too. Right now, she may be busy putting together one of her seven  (1000 piece) puzzles she got for Christmas! She is 32 and a niece of Elmer Byler who died recently.

Think about it:  an alarm clock is a mechanism to scare the daylights into you!

Nov. 29, 2016: Okay, the party’s over; it’s time to get to the business at hand… Christmas cards! In addition, to some we want to add birthday and sympathy cards … and a letter! Daughter Elizabeth (Mrs. Wayne B.) was my partner on the trip to Lancaster, Pa. the Thursday and Friday after Thanksgiving. We went with Bill Stutzman’s tour.

Of course, we spent more time on the bus going and coming than we did in actual shopping … and eating! They say, “what happens on the bus stays on the bus”, but that’s not always the case. My journal’s nearly full! It doesn’t mean I’ll share. Joe’s doing very well … should be good as new soon. He’s recovering in fine shape from recent hernia surgery. You might say life looks a bit rosier for him, thank the Lord.

This is being written on the first day of hunting season. Memories take me back to 40 years ago when we had a cute little girlie on the 29th. Bad timing, because it was very difficult to get a taxi to bring us home from the hospital. They were all tied up with hunting trips! (The hospital is no more; twas Brentwood Hospital in Warrensville Hts.) We’re not hearing the end of it. Just because we crashed their party! Maybe next time they’ll invite us! Twenty-four Miller girl cousins (yes, 24!) gathered as they always do on Election Day.

This time, it was at the Marvin Yoder (Cathy) home in Burton. We ate at Dairy Queen on the way up, thinking we could have dessert there. WE could … and we DID. But we had to serve ourselves. There was no way they could get rid of us 6 aunts until we were ready to leave. And believe me, they tried. My journal doesn’t even hold it all; it was so mind-boggling. And, oh, the noise! We’re nearing the holidays and it seems every year there are numerous funerals at this time. And keep all those who mourn in our thoughts and prayers, Also, keep in mind those who are incapacitated due to accidents, etc. Going into a bigger business or having chores for his wife to do while he works? Son John (Dead End Shedd) has pigs, calves, ponies, sheep, chickens, and horses (of course).

Now, he has made a trip to Holmes County to get 11 more sheep! Maybe his barn will get full after all. Of course, the sheep with their wooly coats can be in the pasture. Sons Alan Ray and Paul have rabbits. Alan Ray’s doe has little ones, but Paul’s big buck is just trying to stay warm. Only 17 more days to Christmas. As if you couldn’t keep track by now. Time to start keeping a record for 2017, right? Son Joe Jr. and Mary Jane of North Bloomfield are fighting a problem with mold. Tests are being run and they are hoping that at least the newer part of the house can be saved! This has Joe running his fingers through his hair constantly.

Oct. 31, 2016: First … two necessary additions omitted from last month’s visitor list (widowers) Lester Burkholder and Elmer Dan Yoder were just as welcome as the others! Hopefully, weddings are about over for 2016. Always enjoyable to visit with people and sometimes to be asked to help cook. Oh my, I could write a book! At one wedding, it was so wet a mole joined us in the tent… maybe looking for scraps? And at another, we made chicken until it was running out of our ears!

Most of it being boneless, it doesn’t take as much … something to take into consideration. (It was nice to take home some leftovers!) Just when you think the week can’t be more tied up, there’s a viewing and funeral and you always take time for those. Former Ohioan, now in Clymer, N.Y., cousin Allen A Byler, 71, passed away the 23rd. The funeral was on the 26th. At one of the weddings, Benny A. Miller had to leave church ‘cause his pigs were out. Guess they wanted to be a part of the “action”, too. Benny has a hefty new barn; he must make room for the piggies! He has horses and ponies and calves, too.

Now he needs a goat in the barn to help keep the animals healthy. (I’m serious, Ben!) Mrs. (Andy) Cindy Hershberger reports going to town and people smiled and smiled so nicely at her. Am not sure when she finally decided why. Her apron was different than her dress! Usually a no-no when going away. Were glad it was Cindy and not just anybody! Am canning turkey and chicken meat while it’s on sale. I say picking off the good stuff from the bones is the worst job of my married life! TEDIOUS, but, oh, so good to have on hand this winter.

With only 45 days to Christmas (tried to tell you!) It’s high time to make those cards and sign the ones already made. We are thoroughly enjoying Secret Friend gifts monthly. Oh my, the fruit basket, the groceries, all so welcome but don’t feel worthy. There was a Soft Hands dish soap included and ‘tis what it says. Perhaps not made for bachelors? Thank you, anonymous friends!

Oct. 3, 2016: You have to take the “bad” with the “good”, so guess will have to list one of each when writing! First of all, the hanging baskets ferns still look really nice, but the flies, mice and yellow jackets are taking over. And very badly, I might add! How very disgusting and irritating! Good: Granddaughter Katherine Detweiler inserted a new ink cartridge into my typewriter. Bad: Now the margin is changed and the correction button doesn’t correct. (When all else fails, read directions … which I’ll do when I have a minute … or an hour!) Welcome bunch of 10 widowers visited us one evening. Twas another very enjoyable evening of conversation … and snacks, of course. (Told them I should have invited a load of widows.

That didn’t go over too well! ) Filling the chairs on our porch were Lester A., Ervin A., Josiah J. and Bill U. Miller, Neil Schmucker, Melvin (Buster) Detweiler, Alvin Erb and, last but not least, John M. Slabaugh. Joe’s siblings were here one eve with snacks that could actually be called super. They brought subs from Subway, no less, plus apple squares and ice cream. Wallie Jr. and Martha, and Clara and Fanny from Atlantic Pa. came. Harvey and Fannie B. couldn’t come as her mother Mrs. Edna Kuhns was staying with them at the time. Daniel J. Byler, Nauvoo Road stopped in for a chat one Monday morning. He happens to be a son of the Mrs. Jerry E, Byler who was a writer to the “Budget” and wrote the letter reprinted in this paper under the title, “Bits and Pieces of the Past”. Son Joe Jr. and Mary Jane and four children brought supper one eve.

The girls cleaned house. The boys mowed some grass, helped me wash the buggy (what a relief!) and got rid of some leaves. Twas a very enjoyable eve. Hubby is doing so much better; we’re all so thankful. The medicine must be working … Praise the Lord! Next on the agenda is getting the hernia repaired’ but that’s not something you need to know! Son John, Laura and boys came one eve with supper, yum! But they couldn’t do any “fix it” jobs because it was on a Sunday! I think it’s their turn to come clean, so perhaps … “a-hem” … I’ll have a to-do list ready? Just kidding! Joe’s becoming more able to do jack-of-all-trades tasks around here!

Daughter Elizabeth came up from Carroll County recently for the day, so she joined Joe and me, daughter Barbara Ann and her Katherine plus (John) Laura for lunch at Vinny’s in Middlefield. We finally used our Christmas 2015 gift cards from the Post and Barb Fontanelle. Thanks! And it was delicious! Oh my, was so happy to go along to DDC Clinic’s Benefit Auction in Spartans burg, Pa. one evening. Saw many, many friends and acquaintances (about the main reason to go). Yes, I did get some deals, but no winnings at the Silent Auction, of course. Perhaps at the Middlefield one (Friday evening, the 14th)? The date reminds me that you need to know … only 73 more days to Christmas! And, schoolchildren, not even that long until you have to recite your poems and sing your songs at the programs! Yes, a chapter has ended … we will truly miss Joe J. M. (Sawmill Joe) as he was just “always there”. Joe and I drove over for his funeral along with an estimated 998 others from 8 different states. No one can take his place, nor would they want to. He will be forever remembered and missed.

Our visiting group spent an evening with widow (Allen B.) Liz and daughter Martha and husband David E. M. Oh my, it was a very pleasant evening, learning new things and having pleasant conversation. Liz shows a true interest in others and I believe those who don’t know her were impressed. Greatly. Mustn’t forget to write about the reunion at (Roman) Matt Troyers on a recent Saturday. A nice sunny day to drive over and then to town for groceries. Always good to connect with my dad’s cousins, missing the ones who weren’t there. Not many older folks left to ask questions of about way back when. The Leroy D. Millers, newlyweds, moved into the small part of his folks’ (Dan L. and Alma M.) house. The David M. Yoders, who vacated, moved into Alan E. Byler’s house on Nauvoo Road and Alan and Karen B. moved in with her folks, the Joe Millers, to help with the farming. Andy J. and Sarah Miller and daughter moved to his folks (Jerry and Alta) on Peters Road.

Sept. 2, 2016: Yes, it feels good, very good, to have a break in the weather. It’s Friday, the second of September and can finally enjoy sitting on the porch. Anywhere but the kitchen! Last evening, after dark, of course, I noticed we have a visitor … if one can call it that. Nearly swallowed my tongue, or called 911, or somewhere for help. Yes, it was a mouse and usually where there’s a Mr., there’s also a Mrs. or vice versa. Creepy, that’s what it is!

Joe is out mowing some lawn. He enjoys the extreme warm weather and is not looking forward to wintertime. Forecast is for very warm weather again next week and we want to attend a wedding then. We enjoyed going next door for a wedding on Aug. 25, Willie Detweiler’s Martha to David Barkman’s Enos. They will live in a trailer behind his folks on Georgia Road. It was nice to connect with many friends, especially the groom’s grandfather, Enos Barkman, age 93 on the 24th. John Mark B. turned 15 and thought it high time to get rid of some beard hair.

Must be his dad’s razor/shaver was sharper than he knew, because he ended up with more than he bargained for, an obvious scrape of the chin. Maybe he’ll wait a while now. He enjoys his job with Barnes Construction. Maybe he can do some jobs for us as grandparents now, as well! Wonder if writer Linda Weaver is looking forward to her birthday on Sept. 26? Seems they come so often, we may as well sit back and enjoy! For those who are glad I keep track, and even for those who aren’t … come Sept. 15, we have only 100 days to Christmas! GET WITH IT… you, too, Shmutz!

Told some children they will soon be practicing for Christmas programs! Am glad when the flowers start drooping and looking tired. I don’t like to see pretty flowers freeze. It’s soon that time. We picked a perfect time to scooter to the Dan Detweiler home for delivery of cards and a visit. Aunt Susie D. had gotten an ice cream cake for Matthew and Anna Marie Yoder’s birthdays and there was enough for Joe and me to share! Yum! We’re invited to a wedding in Kentucky. Keeping my fingers crossed, hoping to go. This is on Oct. 6 and involves Joe’s nephew Ray A. Kauffman’s son Samuel. Someone gave me some old Country magazines at the Senior Center the last time we were there.

They were taken by an unknown person and am hoping they will be returned the next time we go, if whoever it is finishes reading them. It may not have been anyone reading this. Smile! Things get lost right in my own house, from under my nose. Missing are some paper flowers I put together to put on cards I make. They’ll turn up sometime. (I hope!) Viewings and funerals sure bring relatives and friends together. Although sometimes seemingly not long enough, a handshake or a hug goes a long way in one’s memory bank. My aunt-by-marriage, Mrs. Mary Bontrager passed away recently at the age of 86 and it was good to see the three boy cousins (her sons) and families from New Mexico, Florida and New York State.

What a sight! The grapes haven’t been trimmed and they are bigger than ever. Their growing upwards into the apple tree has led to said tree being renamed the GRAPPLE tree. How we’ll get the grapes when they’re ripe is anybody’s guess. The bushes are simply loaded with little green globes right now. The birds attacked our blueberries, even with the netting! Grrr! Am hoping by the time this gets printed, the dog days will be over! Did you ever hear of the song, “I Left My Heart in San Francisco”? Well, hubby Joe can sing, “I Left My Hair in Pymatuning”.

We were out by the lake for the day and son John gave his dad a trimming! We were treated to a delicious luncheon at the Fontanelle residence in Burton recently. It was for all who are connected with the Post and the Plain Country. We missed Joe and Sarah Miller as they had a reunion that day. Thanks, Barb, and your “cook”, Mrs. Miriam Slabaugh and daughters. It had to happen again. After all, “things” come in threes … good, bad, or otherwise. Lester and Mattie Gingerich headed out for a wedding one early morn. Getting closer, nothing was stirring, so they asked a gal who was walking down the road, “Isn’t today the wedding?” “Oh, no,” the lady informed them, “that’s next week.” The best part was, Les said to the woman, “You don’t know me, do you?” She said, “Yes, I do.” Oh, oh, not good. (They did not attend the wedding the next week, in case you are wondering!) Grandpa and Grandma had boy helpers for 2 days recently. Alan Ray, 9, and Paul, 7, ran the brush hog and weed eater.

The weather was in the 90s, so they rested often and drank water and thirst quenchers. Now, they can say the granddaughters aren’t the only helpers! It is TOO quiet after they leave for home. (They are sons of John and Laura B.) Turning 40 used to sound ancient. Now, our children are heading for that and some are nearing 50! Oh, my! Five cousins celebrated turning 40 this year (1 in 2017) by going “out” for the day recently, eating and shopping. Wonder if they’ve learned already that life is not all roses? (Smile!) The celebrants included Mrs. (Enos) Mary Frey, Mrs. (Allen Ray) Barbara Ann Yoder, Mrs. (Mel) Ida Byler, Mrs. (Wayne) Elizabeth Byler and Mrs. (Jake) Sarah Ann Miller. The Miller brothers and sisters had a great time at brother Joe’s home one recent evening. Of course, we had to take “snacks”, a feast, actually. No need to eat supper before we go, for sure. Brother John and Sue from Carroll County brought Uncle Levi and Eva along. Levi turns 91 on Aug. 20. That’s also the date 95 years ago that Aunt Mary was born. (She was Levi’s and my dad’s sister.) Whew! Red Cross Bloodmobile is coming back to Mespo on Aug. 15 from 2:30 to 6:30 p.m.

There is a blood emergency going on at present in northeastern Ohio. Instead of counting the days to Christmas this time … by the way, it’s less than 150 … we must start the count down to the start of school! Already! Groan! Only 33 more days! Should have written about brother Joe’s experience with knee replacement surgery of June 22. He had quire a bit of pain. He says he does the therapy he’s supposed to do, but he’s glad the other knee is still “working” fine.



June 26. 2016: Way under 200 … in actuality, only 171 days … to Christmas! Aren’t you glad somebody is keeping track? And it may help us to keep cool to think of it. Hubby is doing great after knee replacement June 13. They gave him another pint of blood before coming home to keep his iron count where it should be. We’re getting company and it helps pass the time. Tom and Betty Miller chose us to be the hosts, bringing along Mrs. Dorothy Byler, Mrs. (John U.) Mary Miller, three brothers and wives; Mahlon, Joe, and David J. Byler, Freeman E. Millers and last, but far from least, John M. Slabaugh. John H. and Minnie Schmucker from way out west (Idaho) stopped in for a chat, reminiscing of days long ago. We were so glad.

They and Minnie’s sisters and families hope to attend a reunion on the 4th of July at the Sam Weaver residence (Route 87). This takes in the Eli Bylers (Kentucky) and Robert Masts (Montana). Robert and Sara also have a Mast reunion and a school reunion (in Guys Mills, Pa.) to take in, so they will surely enjoy seeing so many friends and relatives again. Someone could check your neighbors’ calendars to make sure they have the correct date for the wedding. Certainly, with so many weddings going on, it can happen. Dan (Pud) Detweiler “caught himself” before leaving the house, if I heard it right. Harvey and Martha Fisher didn’t fare so well. They got ready (no breakfast) and started walking. No one else on the road, “Are we early? Or late?” They finally asked some scholars and were informed that the wedding is “next week”! Oh me, Martha made a beeline for home, not waiting on poor Harf. You need to hear her tell it! She made bacon and eggs and told her hubby, “Here’s our wedding dinner!” Such is life from day to day when a couple is retired. Mrs. Lester (Rachel) Yoder had a serious rupture operation, her 4th. This time, it was at the Cleveland Clinic and we’re hoping this is her last surgery for that. She’s 38 and has a family of five children. Thank you to all who sent Rhubarb Dessert Recipes! Yum! By the time you read this, another 4th of July and a Mespo Ox Roast will have come and gone. Someone once said that after July 4th, winter’s not far behind! I didn’t say it! Only those with close ties to Mespo can understand that one has to come to the Ox Roast (mostly to see old friends and acquaintances, perhaps?), Oh, yes, there’s also the food and the flea market! It’s very enjoyable, if one doesn’t go at the busiest time of the day!

Oh yes, more visitors that we had were the Crist J.S. Millers, Crist and Susan Miller, Allen and Elizabeth Miller, Mel E. Miller, Sam and Liz Weaver. And Daniel and Martha Fisher. They brought snacks, of course. Brother Crist J.S. helped himself to a portion of thickened strawberries and the dip sitting next to it. Not impressed with the taste of those two together, he mentioned it out loud. It didn’t take us long to inform him that the dip was a cheese dip for the pretzels. Better luck next time, Bro! Oh my, mustn’t forget to write about the great surprise we had on June 11, a beautiful sunshiny day. We were lured to daughter Barbara Ann and Wayne’s home where a large tent and tables and seating space were set up in their yard. Of course, tears flowed. Who’s going to sit in all these seats? Turned out not only our children, but also all Joe’s siblings and all but two of mine (out of a possible 13!) came to help us celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary. I was especially happy because most of our 41 grandchildren could help in the celebration! Thanks to all! Oh yes, Joe’s brother Eli and wife of Kentucky weren’t there, Brother-in-law Al Mast, likewise. Had to get that in because he reads the Middlefield Post! He was in for his brother-in-law, Jonas B’s funeral. End of an Era … after nearly 40 years of the Red Cross Bloodmobile coming to Mespo, it doesn’t look real promising that they’ll come back. Mrs. Elmer Mullet (Mary) writes in the paper 34 years ago, “Thank you for all donors in Middlefield (where she volunteered her help). They collect a total of 378 pints!” Mind-boggling! I remember those busy times!

May 29, 2016: I had a dream and it seemed so real. Wee little school children were going around a room lined with senior ladies. Each was to ask a question of any lady they chose. It was a surprise when one asked me, “How many days to Christmas?” Guess this is as good a time as any to inform you … as of June 8, there are 199 more days! We finally let the coal stove go out the last week of May. Now, we have 10 bags of coal left for starters in about 4 months, believe it or not! Now, we need to open windows, but not too early in the morning.

At 5 a.m. it’s shut! Shut! Shut! Shut them! The birds start singing, “Get up! Get up! Get up!” The traffic past our house is a vast array of you-name-it at most any hour. There are many semis, including Fed-Ex, and UPS. Two huge vehicles met each other right by our mailbox, having to slow down anyway because of the corner. I wonder, did they give each other a friendly wave? It’s not safe for pedestrians, or scooters or ponies … at least not when it’s time for workers to travel home and there are vans and more vans. We were at Windy Knoll Horse Sale in Sullivan, Ohio near Ashland on May21 with a cheery load. It’s so interesting, the people you get to see. Oh yes, I enjoyed the horses too.

On the way home, I got dropped off at what used to be Windsor Elementary School on Route. 322 for a delicious dinner (by Mrs. John Leona Detweiler) and reminiscing with former classmates of … what is it … oh my … 50 years ago! Some of the Gid Wengerd family and two of the Eli Hostetler family were there in addition to Jake P. and Linda Weaver, Dan J.M. Miller and Clarence E. Miller. There may have been over a hundred total. This past month was one to remember for at least three local gals. Mrs. Rudy (Amanda) Kempf is sporting a cast on her broken left arm. Things could have been much worse, She was coming down the hill with a scooter (a new one at that) … the scooter stopped and Amanda didn’t. Mrs. Marty (Miriam) Detweiler got her hand in a punch press at work, crushing it severely. Doctors tried to reattach her middle 2 fingers, but it did not take and they ended up removing them. This was her right hand and, yes, she is right handed. The third incident was of the painful bout Mrs. Isaac (Erma) Miller had before doctors did gallbladder surgery. She cried with so much pain that her husband was suspected of abuse and was asked to leave the room. Sometimes they can be TOO careful or aware! I need a recipe for Rhubarb Cake with a warm sauce served on tip. Did I share it with someone who could give me a copy of it now that mine’s gone? Sure hope so.

We’ve been fortunate to attend some weddings recently … three of them within a mile. “Tis good to share … the chattering with friends, sharing best wishes, to say nothing of the yummy food. One even gets hints of what to write for the Plain Country. For instance, “Every time I hear the word “diet”, I wash my mouth out with chocolate.” Sounds like a winner. Aunt Mary S. Miller, 94,fell and fractured her shoulder. She stays with Katie and Anna Miller on Hayes Road. She enjoys company; wish we’d get there more often. Her address is 15267 Hayes Road, Middlefield. Sometimes I feed the horses, sometimes I don’t. Especially not now. The second time in a month a cat (not ours) has claimed the hay manger for a nursery. YIKES! There are about 3 cats roaming around, checking barns for mice, which we are glad for. Skippy the dog won’t let them close to the house, that’s for sure. (And he’s not much bigger than those fierce felines.) Joe was getting anxious to drive his horse again and then he had a setback. Every movement brought pain and more pain. It’s very difficult for him to watch others do what he can’t. Neighbor Jake B. made a memorable Memorial Day for us by weedeating, leaf blowing and mowing! It was very much appreciated.

April 29, 2016: Where do I start? It’s raining and it’s time for Marty Miller’s sale days. Forecast is for a high of 60 tomorrow, the main day. Will miss seeing Levi Yoder there; he was usually to be seen helping the auctioneers inside the big building. We need some things, so hope to go and check out some prices. They, as a rule, have about anything you need … or want! Daughter Elizabeth and Wayne B. came up from Carroll County last eve. School’s out, so all the kiddies could come along. Wayne had some stops to make, and then he picked up some pizza for us. He forgot to use the gift cards to pay for it, so, now I still have them and look forward to using them soon! Nora Mae and Lori were making some cards while they were here. Donnie, 5, was checking out all my interesting “stuff”. Including my new BB gun! (It was unloaded!) Robbie, the bookworm, was mostly quiet and reading … till it came to Pizza Time! And Nathan went with his dad to see some different country. He is 13 and in the eighth grade next year. We are enjoying our company that comes. One evening this week, it was Mrs. Monroe (Sally) Detweiler and her offspring. This included daughter Barbara Ann (writer) and husband Wayne D. One learns a lot if you keep your ears open and your mouth closed. Like I always say; it happens to the best of us. Rudy D. Byler, none other, was perched on the edge of a horse-watering trough holding a grandchild. Whoops! Feet went up, he pushed the child from his lap (quick thinking) and down he went, getting soaked in the not warm water. All’s well that ends well, I hope. Poor granddaughter probably felt so sorry for her grandpa. Also it was related to us how John J. L. Miller and Eli E. Troyer went for a ride in a kayak. As luck would have it, John didn’t stay upright, so that didn’t turn out as planned. Try, try again? Also … Mrs. Steven (Sally) Troyer took quite a tumble, but I won’t write about it here! Senior Moment … Swallowing a time-release niacin pill when you meant to take a multivitamin tablet… so you’re flushed all over and your skin itches for an hour. Interesting Tidbit … A doctor, former pharmacist, stated that one should read the ingredients on the containers of medicines bought over the counter. The name brands are not always the better buy. It’s all in the name. It felt good to be so informed. Now, we know. Hubby received great news at the recent checkup of his knee surgery. The other knee is tentatively scheduled for June 13 replacement. Thanks to all for mail and visits! May 7 is a year we lost our house and belongings to a dreadful fire, but we’ve been blessed since, many times over. So many have given of themselves, have shared untold “riches”, surely bringing blessings to themselves as well. May God be praised.Oh! Groan! A few days after you read this will probably be the day to turn those clocks ahead one hour, ready or not! But if it means spring’s near at hand, we will welcome that sign!

Whew! Just now checked the calendar to see how many days to spring and noticed Daylight Savings Time doesn’t start until March 13. Then, another week after that is spring! And, another thing, as always, 300 days after my husband’s birthday on the first of March is Christmas. (Just thought you might want to know.)

Neighbor Willie Detweiler stopped in his tracks one day recently when at work a nailer sent a spike through his shoe and foot. Lucky for him, it missed the bones and was carefully removed – not by a nail puller, as someone wanted to do. Ouch!

On a 5-degree below zero sunny morning recently, we spent a forenoon at the doctor’s office getting the final OK to go ahead with the first knee replacement for my husband. The sunshine put us in a good mood and the doctor did even more so, with his permission to go forward with the plans for March 14. (If nothing turns up.)

With brother Bill turning 70 years old, our family of Millers has to take him and his better half out to a restaurant for dinner, and it happened to be on the evening of said doctor visit. There were 19 boys and girls from our church here to sing for us, blending their voices splendidly. Thanks again!

Senior Moment … Confusing your age with your cholesterol count when someone asks you how old you are!

A tiny baby son named Robbie Jon was born Feb. 10 to Isaac and Emma Byler. Grandparents are Henry Jr. and Kathy Miller and Atlee and Erma Byler. Grandma Kathy was oozing and aching over the little one until his 4 1/2-year-old sister, JoAnna, informed her, “Well, Grandma, you can go to the Warren Hospital and get a baby, too!” Said Grandma is looking at a 60th birthday come May.

Thanks to Emanuel Stoltzfus, Jr. for plowing out our driveway on a very-deep-snow morning. Pretty soon, we may have to send our horses somewhere to be broken in again; they have had quite a break from work. We’ll probably truck them to Willis W., the horseshoer as soon as we can call and schedule.

Our supper group supped at Mary Yoders on a Tuesday eve Buy one and Get one free deal. Then, we spent the rest of the eve at the Crist P. Miller home. Those going were the Crist J. S. and David J. S. Millers, the Jonas (Yogi) Millers, Dan P. and Esther Hostetler, plus my sister (John) Betty Weaver and me. It was interesting to say the least, to watch the revealing of the stump where Crist had part of a leg removed several years ago due to diabetes.

Joe had welcome company while I was at the Senior Center last time… all men…10 in number. In looking over the names just now, I noticed that one wrote he missed me. He should be thankful he got a chance to talk, although I appreciate the thought. I know I would have enjoyed it, though. Those who were here were Crist J. Miller and four sons, Joe J. Miller and two sons, and Jerry J. Miller and son. Thanks fellas, come again.

Maple syrup time. Son John and crew made nearly 130 quarts the first week of February because of tubing, vacuum and reverse osmosis. He is in shares with Noah Miller Jr. (son-in-law of Paul Mast), and is actually the main guy. They are very lucky to have Ray Mast at their beck and call during the day, to cook the sap when all the rest are at work. The end product justifies the means, but there is a lot of work and time involved. Keep it up, guys. This is on the former Joe Gingerich farm on Dead End Shedd Road, now owned by son John.

Patience is the ability to idle your motor when you feel like stripping the gears.

Jan. 22, 2016: Already we are 40 days past Christmas when this is being read. And only 40 days till Spring! How about that? Glad I can keep track! Maple syrup time coming up. Reminds me of the song Joe used to sing (to me?) and played on his harmonica, “Maple Sugar Sweetheart”.

Most of the (Derby) Dan Mary Miller family were here to visit one evening, bringing food and conversation! No, Andy E.A.M. I won’t put in here what some man said about your jelly!

Most of my brothers and wives and offspring spent an enjoyable eve at my sister’s, the John Weavers, recently. Joe and I were there, too, of course. Again much food and conversation. We even had to do some Quizzes … good for the brain. We had a special spooky visitor, keeping nearly everyone puzzled as to her identity. It was truly hilarious.

We usually celebrate siblings’ 70th birthdays. Brother Bill has one coming up about the same time he is retiring from Grand Valley Door (I think). Baby brother David, 60, is wondering who’s going to be around to celebrate his 70th. Daughter Barbara Ann said the nieces and nephews will help! Thank goodness!

Neighbor Fannie B. (Mrs. Elwin) brought supper down one evening and probably didn’t realize we had three meals in one! Leftover meatballs, ranch taters, and Ramen Noodle salad were just as delicious the third time around!

The Andy and Crist Schlabachs were here one eve recently with their visiting group. They, of course, brought lots of snacks along. Others were Mrs. (Mose) Fannie Miller, Mrs. (Bill) Lizzie Miller, Mrs. (Jake) Irene Miller, Mrs. (Mose) Mattie Yoder and Mel and Marie Yoder. I learned a thing or two. Oh yes, (Jr.) Liz Stoltzfus was also there awhile as this included her relatives.

My aunt (by marriage), Mrs. William C. (Kathryn) Byler and Mrs. (Kenneth) Irma Kuhns paid us a good visit and gave us a thick, cuddly comforter from their church ladies. Actually, all visits are good; have never heard of a bad one.

Hubby Joe didn’t feel like getting out of bed one morning and thought he may as well be bedridden. With some extra effort, he did get up and get dressed.  Mornings are his worst, sorest times.

Granddaughter Mrs. Ben (Barbara) Yoder had her first foot surgery, taking four hours. A long recuperation ahead. Oh my! Their address is 9286 Penniman Road, Orwell, Ohio, 44076, if you care to send a card.

Senior Moment … pouring birdseed into your cereal bowl and putting cereal into the birdfeeder.

Vocabulary Lesson … “You’re” means “You are” and cannot be used when writing about “Your” possessions. Simple as that.


Jan. 8, 2016: WHAM – BAM … it’s here, ready or not! 2016 goes on our papers, checks, and what-have-you … after mistakenly writing 2015 several times. And winter is finally here, something we need especially to get that old sap a-running!

One week of the new year gone, which brings us closer to mid-February when, hopefully, hubby can have a knee replaced. Later on, they’ll do the second one. He’s having quite a bit of pain at present, all over. Guess we should spend a few months in Florida or Arizona!

Granddaughter Barbara, Mrs. Ben M. Yoder, age 25 and mother of three little ones plans to have foot surgery … one at a time, over a span of 6 months. The first one is scheduled for Jan. 21. Wishing her a swift recovery, but, as it involves the bones, it’ll probably take much patience!

On a beautiful, unwinterlike day a few weeks ago, Andy and Emma Kauffman made the trek from Huntsburg area to visit here (she’s Joe’s sister). She brought lunch and 2 dozen jars of home-canned vegetable soup and navy beans. (Now, I really WILL be full of beans.) Worth more than money, for sure, this gift was. Thanks, Emma.

We also had a nice unexpected visit from Andy and Emma Weaver of Jasper. N.Y. on Tuesday the 5th. They came in to spend the day, Wednesday the 6th, with her siblings at the Sawmill Joe residence. They wanted to do a lot more visiting, but the driver had van and navigational problems and things didn’t work out quite as planned. Maybe next time, as they had wanted to stop at Andy and Barb Bylers as well. Andy W. was a boyhood chum of Joe and Andy’s in Pennsylvania.

I meant to write what my dictionary states is the meaning of “trek”. “To travel by ox wagon” is one meaning. Howsomever (is that a word?) the Kauffmans came with horse and buggy and was I ever impressed as I watched them go. Joe said, “That’s a Lester Shrock horse.” Way to go!

Freeman and Katie Ann Miller braved the first real cold and wintry eve of the season and ventured here for a visit. It was about a half-mile walk, so they were bundled up really well. Temperature was in the teens.

Senior Moment … climbing up an extension ladder to put away a box of Christmas collections on the top shelf … and then realizing you left the box on the floor.

We were literally “attacked” and overrun by some granddaughters recently. Had to get out of their way as everything needed turned upside-down and cleaned. There was no keeping up with them. Everything did look and feel great when they were done. All I can say is THANK YOU and glad they are all a bit more fussy than I am!

English lesson: There is no such thing as “would of”. If you want to shorten “would have”, you can write, “would’ve”. Oh, the same goes for “should have” (“should’ve”) and “could have”(could’ve”). Pass it on. You’re welcome. There … I feel better already!


Nov. 30, 2015: Oh my. It was 68 years ago already that my Mom and Dad had their first daughter after four  sons. No doubt she was spoiled, but like B. Stutzman says, “I didn’t do the spoiling!” It was fun, though!

And another trip to Lancaster County, Pa. with Bill Stutzman tour group over and done. The trip out and back is more enjoyable than the shopping (almost)! I  guess it’s usually the right combination. Friendships are made and kept from year to year, adding to my Christmas card list! Which reminds me, I no longer have a list! Must start anew. Same with birthdays. I feel I’m missing some!

We had 19 degrees this morning, BRR! Still have holes to dig to plant tulip and daffodil bulbs … GROAN!

Well, you may be happy to know I’m no longer counting the days to Christmas for 2015. (Sorry Sarah, Donnie, and all !) And you thought I started too soon?

Need to get more recipes replaced. It’s time to make that delicious Ribbon Salad for our holiday gathering with our children (Dec. 19, Lord willing).

It wasn’t the greatest news ever that Rudy D. Byler needs stent surgery for his ailing heart, but hope it’ll make him good as new again! His son planned to drive him back to the woods to hunt deer. You can’t keep a good man down.

Hubby is maneuvering a bit easier since he got a cortisone shot pumped into each kneecap. Also helping the cause of mobility is the fact that he now has a motor scooter to enable I m to go places. He went a half-mile up the road to visit with the John Brickers, And, don’t you know, he came home with five pounds of sausage from Rudy Kempf, who has a butcher (and a half) there at the Brickers, also the Kempf at the Kemph home. Rudy also sent us some deer hamburg, very much appreciated. Rudy and wife Lydia visited us Sunday eve. Harvey and Mary Ellen Frey visited us in the afternoon.

Some of the Dan E. Miller children visited us one evening. Taxi didn’t show up for some of them, sad to say. Another enjoyable eve, bringing back many memories of our fathers, who were first cousins.


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