Home Plain Country Greetings from Garrettsville – By Rachel Miller

Greetings from Garrettsville – By Rachel Miller


Aug. 28, 2019:  It’s time to get a letter out for the Post. The last time, I forgot to have one ready. I have to be on the stick or I might get a pink slip! (Giggle!)

It gets dark sooner now. It’s 9 p.m. and dark already. We were sitting out on the porch and just came in.

I was getting a little sweet corn ready for the freezer and then I saw it was wormy, so I threw it out.

Yesterday, I had a big laundry and when Barbara came home from work, we canned 20 quarts of tomato juice.

How is everyone doing? I am just getting over a cold. I still cough some. Ivan has back and leg pain. He had an MRI last week and he has severe spinal stenosis. He will have to take care of that.

Last week, I was to Sisters Day at brother Ervin’s. I got 3 /4 bushel of peaches from him from his own trees. I made 18 pints if slush with them and froze the rest … except I have a few in the refrigerator. I have to bake a peach pie tomorrow for Barbara’s lady. And will make us one, too.

I have canned all the pickles I want, but still there are some here. I should get the sweet onions out, and the potatoes will soon be ready to dig. I picked two musk melons last night and have lots of tomatoes.

The other day, we were going down the road and 6 or 7 deer ran across the road in front of us. There were several does and two fawns and last, a big buck.

July 19, 2019 :Will write a few lines this morning. I’m sitting out on the porch.There’s a little breeze here. We had 70 degrees at 5:09 a.m. We will get a hot one today, I think.

Ivan is tilling the garden. I weeded and hoed the last two evenings after sundown. Twas nice to work in since we got about an inch of rain Tuesday and Wednesday. It had been so dry, it was hard to pull weeds. We didn’t mow our yard last week and we will wait until next week to do it. Our lawn was starting to turn brown in spots. Today, Ivan will get a load of 100 bales of hay. He will send a taxi tonight when it comes to pick up grandsons to unload it. I have beans starting and little pickles. We had to plant more of both as they didn’t all come up. Everything is growing good now with the warm weather and rain. Wednesday I had Sisters Day at Mose Clara. All were there except Anne Mary from Atlantic, PA.

June 29, 2019: It’s misting this morning. We got 3 /10 of in inch through the night. We will go to town this morning. If it’s nice this afternoon, Ivan will mow lawn. He did some last evening.

We have a wedding invitation for today, but we will pass. Ivan has a lot of back problems. I would like to go, but as we get older, it’s harder to get around. I hope they have a nice day. Thanks for the invitation, Chester and Lori.

We have our spring cleaning done. Now, flower beds need more attention. It rained a lot, and the weeds grow. 

Yesterday, I had Sisters’ Day. Sis Anna Mary came from Atlantic, Pennsylvania. Sister Clara and sister-in-law Linda came. Sarah couldn’t come and we missed her. There are just a few of us now, Sarah had been in the hospital. She went in Sunday morning and came home Tuesday evening. She was dehydrated and her potassium was low. She also had a bowel obstruction. She has had a lot of stomach problems lately. Hope she feels better soon.

My yellow canna has a flower now. I hope the chipmunk stays out! One nice thing with all the rain we get is we don’t have to water much.

We have strawberries to eat, and peas, lettuce and green onions. The orioles are feeding their young and soon they will bring them to the feeders.

April 25, 2019: It’s raining this evening, a slow rain. Ivan just got the front lawn cut when it started.

The leaves are slowly coming out and the grass is nice and green.

We were to town this forenoon and then Ivan mowed lawn and I cleaned the bedroom and spare room and did some ironing. 

We are getting stuff ready for a basement sale on May 1. There will be a lot of yard sales in the neighborhood that day. I don’t have much, but Barbara has more. Daughter Sadie and her three daughters have a lot, also her daughter-in-law will bring stuff here for the sale.

The strawberry plants are setting green and everything in the early garden is up and growing as are the plants I stated in the greenhouse. Celery and banana peppers are now up.

Barbara has started spring clean upstairs. She has one room done and one to go. I cleaned the shelves, that’s about all.

Sunday a turkey was up by our house. The bluebirds are ready to nest but the sparrows chased them out of one. We clean the house every day, but there’s always another nest started! (Grr) They don’t want to give up, but we don’t either. We have four different houses.

I saw a grosbeak yesterday, and I put out my oriole feeder and the hummingbird feeders, too. I haven’t seen any hummingbirds yet. The last 2 years I got my first hummingbird on April 23.

Two weeks ago today, we were to niece Jones Fannie for our Sisters Day, Sister Anna Mary came from Atlantic, Pennsylvania. Her two daughters, Marie and Willis Ella, came with her. She gave us some yellow Canna lilies. I got two and planted them by the wall by the basement. Now, a chipmunk was digging in one, the little rascal! Now will have to try and catch him. (We have all kinds of wild critters, like a little squirrel that keeps crawling up the pole to the bird feeder.)

Tuesday, I was to a quilting bee at Lester Bylers. The quilt was for Lester Jr. and Mary Allen (my niece). Also, there were Mrs. Ervin Byler, Mrs. Andrew Byler, Mrs. Albert Detweiler, Mrs. Albert Miller, Mrs. Mose Miller, Mrs. Joe Miller Mrs. Phineas Yoder, Mrs.  Norman Byler and Mrs. David Kempf. We had a mix-up in the morning. Mrs. Albert Miller and Mrs. Albert Detweiler were to go with me but got in the wrong taxi. That taxi driver only knew the first house number where he was to pick up another lady too. They did come home with me when things were straightened out.

All’s well that ends well!

Thoughts of Mom

Mother’s Day coming up makes me think of and miss my mother so much. She could always cook such good meals … and bake too! It was always a treat to go home and have a meal.

My mother always worked so hard. Her laundry would be white as snow and her house was always clean. Her garden was clean and neat in the summertime. She mowed lawn until her last 3 or 4 years.

She had arthritis in her hands and feet, but she kept going. She hardly ever raised her voice. I wish I could be more like her.

Mother fell and broke her hip when she was 76 years old. She had had cancer 5 or 7 years before that and after her hip healed, her cancer came back.

Mom died in December. She would have been 79 had she lived until February.

“My Mother is a special gift. “God bless her” is my prayer for all that she has done for me and for her loving care!” Submitted by Susan Yoder

March 25, 2019: I just got done with my laundry now, at 3:30 p.m. It’s blowing and I hope it will still dry. We were to town this forenoon. This morning, it looked like rain, so I didn’t do my laundry then. It did sprinkle some, and it still looks like it could rain … then the sun almost comes out.

I’m browning some pork chops to cook for supper. We’ll have salad and Penny Savers.

The blue birds are checking out the bluebird houses and so are the sparrows (Grrrr). I think the bluebirds started a nest in one of them.

Our thoughts are often with Mrs. Ervin Troyer (Ada). She’s Ivan’s sister and was in the hospital about 2 weeks with fluid around her heart and pneumonia real bad. One lung collapsed and the other is damaged. She was on life support until Monday at 6 p.m. when they took her off. So now, last night they took her home to take care of her with hospice help. Her vitals haven’t dropped too much. We had been up to see her Friday forenoon. She was on a chair taking a breathing treatment and she could still talk some. They were talking about putting her in step-down. Saturday, she got worse, or maybe it was Friday night, and they put her on life support.

Ivan is out splitting wood. Yesterday, he was sick in the afternoon with stomach flu with stomach ache, dizziness and weakness.

We saw the deer again in the field next to us Saturday. Seven of them headed to go across the road and then Barbara started the motor in the basement and the deer turned and went for the woods.

A week ago Wednesday I was to Atlantic, Pennsylvania with my sisters Mrs. Mose Clara Miller and Mrs. Albert (Sarah) Detweiler and also brother Ervin’s wife Linda, Mel Anna Mary’s daughters Marie and Mrs. Willis Byler. Willises have a small greenhouse and she brought some tumbling cherry tomato plants along. I got a yellow one and a red one and put them in my hanging baskets. 

I got some of my seed order and am now anxious to get some early stuff out.

Barbara was home Tuesday p.m. and worked outside. Yesterday she came home at 1 p.m. and we were working outside. I trimmed the roses and raked corners that had leaves. We did the rock garden and picked up twigs. So much to rake, seeing as we had it all clean in the fall.

Feb. 28, 2019: I was getting some mail ready and saw it is time to get this letter in the mail too, as the deadline is March 1.

Today was a nice day, but cold. We drove to Garrettsville to do our shopping and it was our lucky day! IGA had customer appreciation day … good sales, 10 percent off everything … plus free lunch! They had ham and cheese on a bun, a small bag of Doritos and a chocolate chip cookie in a bag. Plus, there was a slice of jelly roll with cream filling on a plate and coffee. Ivan said he doesn’t want supper and I don’t either. We are always gone 3 1/2 to 4 hours as it is 4 miles. We were also to the drug store to pick up refills of prescriptions, to the hardware as I had a $5 coupon (I got blue bird nuggets and some suet cakes for 69 cents). And then we went to Family Dollar and also to the bank. That’s why I like to drive; we can come and go as we please. 

I hung away hangers and folded clothes from the basement before we went. 

Barbara was mid-winter cleaning and did the kitchen this week. I will wash the curtains tomorrow along with the white laundry.

We’ve had a lot of funerals this year already. Last week it was Bill Stutzman and John E. Detweiler. The week before was Jerry Miller Ida who was blind for quite a few years and had other health issues.

I want to start lettuce but the ground is still frozen, so I will start some in a foil pan and get my little greenhouse set up. As soon as the ground can be worked up, I would like to put out sweet onion plants, peas, and radish. So, I better get my seed order out. Ivan says we are putting our rows farther apart this year. (Smile) We don’t need as much and it is harder to take of it. But I like my garden and flowers.

Tomorrow night, son Rays are coming for pizza. We will have an ice cream cake too for Sarah and Jacob’s birthdays. Jacobs was in February and Sarah’s in March. They are both special.

Jan. 31, 2019: Hello this cold evening. We had -7 at 7 p.m. It was -1 at 6:30 this morning and then it kept getting colder. It got windy and snowed some, too.

The house was nice and cozy warm. We have just been heating from the basement with our old wood stove. And today, we started the hard coal stove in the kitchen. But it soon got too warm, so we will let it go out tonight and will start it again in the morning if necessary. 

I was sewing on a dress today, have to hem it yet. Also worked on the puzzle we have going, a 1000 piece one. This is number six or seven we have done.

Last night, daughter Sadie, the Marvin Kurtzs and two girls and James were here. I had them over for Sadie’s birthday. She is 48 now and our youngest. 

Barbara worked today until noon and, this afternoon, cleaned the basement. We have lots of birds (including starlings). (Sigh.) 

Seems like we had a lot of funerals in January. There was an older lady, a man, a 70-year-old woman and a 35-year-old mother of 7 children, and a special needs 13-year-old boy.

Ivan keeps busy taking care of the stove, bringing in wood, doing chores, and bringing in the mail and the newspaper. I wasn’t outside today. It was very Icy last night and today.

Saturday is Groundhog Day. Will he see his shadow? Either way we will have 6 more weeks of winter. (But it’s supposed to go up to 50 degrees by Monday.)

Lots of seed catalogs coming makes me anxious to send an order and start seeds. So, I browse through the catalogs.

Nov. 25, 2018: Will try to write for the Post again this evening.

Ivan went with the driver to get Barbara and Mary Hershberger at Clara Millers where the girls are for supper. I was reading and want to get this written.

Today was a nice sunny day. It seems good to see the sun after having so many dreary and rainy days. Friday was sunny, too, but the sun is so far north that I had to hang my clothes up to finish dying. My daughter would say I should get a spinner and they would dry faster. I say I would be handling them more and slow to tend to all. Maybe I could get Ivan to help when we come home from town.

 Friday, sister-in-law Dan Sarah came from Atlantic Pa. for the evening. What a nice surprise! She came with Mrs. Noah Detweiler and daughter who went to her sister the Marty Ray Millers. Tuesday evening, we had a visiting group. They were our old neighbors on Nauvoo Road, Jerry and Ida Miller. Ida has been blind a long time from diabetes. Some of their children were along; sons Mahlons and Davids, daughters, the Ruebens, John and Norman Detweilers, Danny Millers, and also Mary Ann Byler. I hope they enjoyed it as much as we did.

Wednesday, I had Sister’s Day. Mose Clara, Albert Sarah and Ervin Linda were here. Mel Anna Mary from Atlantic Pa. didn’t come.

 Thanksgiving Day, we had sons Rays and three children, Allens, Ivan Jrs. and John, and Marvin Kurtz and Julie. We had a good day. It had been a while since we were all together for a day.

Sept. 27, 2018: I will try and write my letter tonight as Jacquie will pick it up.

Today, I cleaned the bedroom and spare room, put some green, red and orange peppers in the freezer, and got some hot and banana peppers ground up ready to make hot pepper butter tomorrow. Ivan mowed most of the lawn this afternoon and Barbara will finish it tomorrow, Tonight, we two went for a walk.

The weather is cooler and nice to work. We had a little fire in the stove in the basement today.

Last week on Thursday there were tornado warnings out, and a tornado was seen, but did not come down. In Middlefield, one uprooted trees and blew a trampoline on someone’s barn roof, and the new building that was started by the D.D.C. Center was flattened and ruined. It rained hard, they say. We didn’t get any rain here.

We had rain Monday and Tuesday. We got 1 3/4 inches. Now today was cloudy and the paper says sunny the next four days. We will see. Hope for a nice sunny day tomorrow to do laundry.

Barbara went shopping tonight with her sister and girls. She has started fall cleaning upstairs. I did some in the bedroom closets, shelves, etc. I didn’t get much done yet.

Ivan finally got the ground hog. First it was under his woodpile. Then it was digging holes into the little shop that isn’t cemented.  The groundhog was a big fat one.

(* Due to a shortage of room, Rachel’s letter written for the Sept. 12 edition of the Middlefield Post was printed in the Sept. 26 edition.) 

June 24, 2018: A nice morning. I’m sitting out on the porch watching the birds. We have young cardinals, nuthatches, and woodpeckers and also more hummingbirds. Looks like rain again. Yesterday, we had showers off and on all day. Ivan did get the lawn mowed between showers. Barbara was mowing, too, so it didn’t take as long.

I picked a quart of strawberries. We picked 36 quarts now off the 25 plants we have. They are about past.

We got 1 7/8 inches of rain Friday night and Saturday. So far. It’s been kinda rainy for the summer fest. Maybe they will have a better day today (the last day).

Son Allen ended up in the hospital through the night Friday. He was passing some blood. He had a colonoscopy last week and the doctor thinks it’s from that as he took off a plop that was OK. But he wanted to see if it was an ulcer. Allen is on a liquid diet and today they want to give him solid food if the bleeding stops. He’s hoping to come home tonight, but, maybe it won’t be until tomorrow. Ivan, Barbara and I are going up at 11 a.m. to visit.

I have a stargazer lily plant. It’s blooming and some of the flowers are as big as a dinner plate. The flowers are orange and one stem has 10 blooms and 14 buds, one has eight blooms and six buds, one has 11 blooms and 10 buds and one has seven blooms and 20 buds. I had to tie them up as they are top heavy. Wish they would last all summer!

The garden is doing well. I was out weeding Friday afternoon after it quit raining. We had mashed potatoes with lettuce, gravy and peas, both out of the garden. And we had strawberries out of the garden, too. It was so good.

We had a granddaughter get married Thursday and went to help on Wednesday. I should have sent this sooner, but it slipped my mind … a Senior Moment? Anyway, they had a nice day and a nice wedding, plus lots of good food. I guess there were seven weddings that day. I hope they all find a place to live.

We have a nest of crows in the treeline. I hear them. So yesterday, I put out stale bread crumbs for them. 

July 13, 2018: Will write my letter and get these in the mail tomorrow. 

It’s nice in the house, not too warm sitting at the kitchen table with the north windows open with a nice breeze.

It’s 94 degrees outside. A nice day to get laundry done. I also finished two shirts for Ivan for every day. Still had collars to sew on and button holes. Now, they need buttons yet. After I get this done, I want to go out and pull weeds (after it cools off a little). Ivan was busy today mowing and weedwacking. He also made some clothes dryer racks this week.

I’ve picked a couple cucumbers. There are lots of small ones that I have to watch as I don’t want them too big.

Yesterday afternoon, Mose Ida Miller, Bert Sarah Miller, Bill Edna Byler and I visited with Dan Alma Miller who had been in the hospital but is better now. I think she had a stroke. Also, scribe Ellen Hershberger was in the hospital. At first the doctor said it was a stroke but doesn’t think so now. Hope she is better.

June 17. 2018: Sunday evening and a warm one! We have 97 degrees. We were to church at Andrew Hostetlers. We are relaxing at home tonight, trying to stay cool. I was out under the shade tree napping. I came in here to do some writing and it’s cooler in here!

The garden is doing well. We can get peas to eat this week. We were out working in the garden Friday night. Ivan tilled it.

Yesterday, I did laundry and we were working in the yard.

They say in the 90s this week, so I’m glad we don’t have too much outside work.

Thursday is the wedding at son Ivan Jrs of Cristine and Joe Miller. I go to help get ready on Wednesday.

This week Thursday afternoon John U. Bylers and we went to the wedding in Orwell at Andrew Weavers. They had a nice wedding and a nice day.

Mrs. Anna Yoder passed away Friday evening from cancer. She was a widow, 92 years old.

The orioles are at the feeders more; I think they’re feeding their young. Will be watching for them to bring the youngsters to the feeders.

Lots of nice hay was bailed the last couple of days. Ivan didn’t get his yet.

We have another great granddaughter, Savannah born to Allen and Katie Miller. Grandparents are Norman Yoders and Ivan Millers. Greats are Crist J.S. Millers, Marvin Bylers and us. Am not sure about the Yoder side.

May 27, 2018: Time to get this written. We are sitting on the porch reading and watching the birds and having coffee. It’s so nice out here when there is a breeze.

We had a little rain last night, only 2/10 of an inch, but it did give the garden a little boost. Barbara and I planted it about full yesterday afternoon, plants and all, hoping we’d get some rain today. 

Friday afternoon, we three were to the viewing of Mel Betzy Miller. She was 56 and had a brain tumor. Just 9 months ago, her husband Mel died, also of cancer. He was about the same age. I feel sorry for the family. They have seven married and still six at home. The youngest is 11 years old. There is one girl who will get married this summer.

Thursday were two funerals, Mrs. Abe Coblentz (91), and Daniel M. Troyer (46). He died of a heart attack.

So many weddings! We have six invitations here, some the same day. When our grandson got married, there were seven other weddings that same day. And someone said that there are 11 weddings on the 31st! (We were invited to one but can’t go as we both have appointments that day.)

We planted bubblegum petunias at the driveway by the big rocks. Last year, they grew all over. I hope we have luck again this year.

Strawberries are blooming and look nice; they have green berries on them. Early onions and radish are ready to eat and the early peas are ready to bloom.

I had no luck with my lettuce, so I sowed more.


When I was growing up at home, this was a busy time of year. We had to go with Dad with the wagon and pull mustard. 

Come June was hay making time. I used to drive horses with the hay loader to get the hay (which was put up loose). I would also lead the horse with the hay rope for the grapple fork to unload. I also had to go to the hay mow to stomp down the hay.

I wasn’t allowed to drive the horses to put in crops. I always thought Dad was afraid we would have crooked rows. (Smile!)

We never had ice. We had a deep well pump and would pump the water until it was cold. Then we could make Kool Aid.

Usually, once work slowed down a little, Dad would take us to the zoo for our vacation.

April 20, 2018: It seems so nice to see the sun shining this morning. The paper shows full sun for the next five days.

I should have written this last night, but I was reading.

I have color laundry to do after I’m done here. I did the whites when we came home from Garrettsville yesterday. I hung sheets and towels and a few other pieces out, the rest I hung in the basement. I’m fighting a cold with some chest congestion, so I thought I better not hang it all out. What was out dried nice. Barbara brought it in when she came home.

On Wednesday, I had Sisters Day. They were all here: Anna Mary came from, Atlantic, Pa. and niece Miriam came with her. I had said let’s have Guinea Pig. Get out your cook books and make something you never made before. It was good. I had Chicken Spaghetti Casserole and Dinner Buns. One brought rice with broccoli; the rest brought dessert … Jell-O, etc. I opened a jar of my mixed pickle yet. Anyway, it was fun and interesting. (We were the Guinea Pigs that had to try the new stuff.)

We have three wedding invitations and had one wedding already last week. It had been rainy all week, but the day of the wedding, the sun came out. (But it was windy.) I have to sew a dress for a wedding, for cooking, and help Barbara with hers.

When Barbara comes home, we want to go to Middlefield to do some errands.

Tuesday, I go to a quilting at a niece’s along with my sister-in-law and the girls. Wednesday, we cousins go to Atlantic, Pa. To visit our cousin Mrs. Wallie Detweiler, a widow. There are 10 of us going. (Her husband passed away a couple months ago.

On Monday afternoon, Ervin Schrocks, Joe A. Millers and us two were to University Hospital rehab to see Toby Stoltzfus who had his leg taken off between the knee and thigh. He had a knee replacement about four months ago and kept getting infection, so they had to take it off. He’s been back and forth in hospital and rehab for four and  a half months now and is ready to go home. He gets phantom pain but is a lot better. He might go to Burton Health Care a while, which is closer. He needs therapy,

March 27, 2018: Raining this morning at 35 degrees. Will make the grass grow and maybe the lettuce and radishes I put in the ground. Now I want to put my sweet onions in as soon as the garden is ready.

Yesterday was a nice washday. The clothes all dried nice and could be put away. Barbara and I went for a walk last night after supper. I saw something ate the tops off some tulips by the big rocks, maybe deer. Barbara said some went running the other morning when she went to get the paper. We’ve seen them across the road under the apple trees again. They pass by our property at the tree line and also on the other side where soybeans were, back to our woods, to the neighbor’s woods. They run back and forth.

I think the sugaring is past for this year. 

Ivan has been cutting some wood that was down back at the woods. He brought it up and split it. Now, there’s two bigger trees back there that Allen will come and cut down for him. They are dead.

I had a tooth pulled Thursday afternoon and had a sore mouth so I didn’t go to church Sunday. I was afraid I’d get cold in it. We had 18 degrees that morning. Ivan and Barbara walked. It was just about half mile from here, Andrew Millers.

Little Nathan broke his leg a couple weeks ago and has it in a cast. I’m thinking he’s 3.

Friday morning, I went with Ivan to the viewing of Owen Miller. He is Ivan’s cousin and our neighbor. Ervin Yoder of Bundysburg Road also died. Both funerals were Saturday.

Wednesday, Barbara and I were to Atlantic, Pennsylvania to a quilting at niece Joe Miriam. My sisters and some of the girls also went.

March 4, 2018: Sunday morning! The sun is so nice. We did have quite the snow and windstorm. We got between 6 and 12 inches. Was hard to tell with the wind. So March came in like a lion.

The blue birds are busy at the feeder. The black birds are starting to make nests. The snowdrops are blooming. Daffodils and tulips are coming up. The lilacs and Pussywillows are starting to bud.

They say we are to get more snow Wednesday … probably sugar snow. The maple syrup guys like this. I would like to watch someone cook and make spatsa with fresh syrup. I remember when Dad cooked in Pennsylvania. Just for our own use. We used to take eggs and cook them in the sap for hard-boiled eggs.

We usually get our syrup from John Fishers. He makes very good syrup.

It will soon be time to sow lettuce and radishes. Will start my tomato seeds the end of the month. As you can hear, I have spring fever! But there are still some winter projects to do, so no hurry.

Widow Sam Yoder Emma passed away and her funeral is Monday. She would be 97 on March 7. I would like to go to the viewing today. Joe and Anna Miller are our friends and she is her mother.

Friday night was the benefit for Sunny Acres School.

We had plumbers here yesterday to put new plastic pipes in for our water. We had copper and after a while they got to leak. So Barbara and I went shopping in the forenoon being as we didn’t have water. She, then, did laundry in the afternoon when they were done and while I cleaned up.

Jan. 25, 2018:  Will try to write this morning early. Barbara is getting ready to go to work. Ivan is still sleeping.

We had some snow flurries yesterday. We had some cold weather two weeks ago. The lowest we had was  -9 degrees.  Anyway, we had a freezer on our back porch (smile). It was nice doing puzzles and watching birds. I didn’t venture out … to the mailbox is all. Now I have to get some sewing done. Ivan needs shirts.

Barbara is doing some mid-winter cleaning. She was washing walls last week. She washed some rugs and throws yesterday in the laundry mat. The dryer must of been too hot as the dark curtains were wrinkled. We were ironing last night.

We, along with Joe and Anna and Ervin Shrock, were visiting widower Joe Hostetler one evening last week. We were planning to go visit Toby Stolzfus this week. He has had a rough time with infection, being in the hospital several times. He is now in rehab close by the hospital. When they get it all out, they will put the knee replacement back in.

Monday was the funeral of Clarence Bender. He was 85 and had not been well.

I have laundry to do today, so I better get started.

Nov. 28, 2017:  I’ll try to write my letter tonight. Jacquie will be here to pick it up tomorrow.

Today was a nice day. We must be having our Indian Summer, as we had snow and cold.

I was out raking leaves this forenoon. Ivan mowed the lawn. I had piles of leaves and Ivan and Barbara had a trailer load to haul away this afternoon.

Barbara was at her job this forenoon. After lunch I washed off the two-seater buggy, Glad that’s done. The other buggy should be washed off too, but it’s not as dirty as this one was.

Thanksgiving Day we were at son Ray’s.

We finally have more birds again, but only one or two cardinals. I hope they come, too. The other day, when I put meal works out, I had six bluebirds. They like them.

A week ago Wednesday was our Sisters Day. We were to brother Ervins. Anna Mary made it from Atlantic, too. I think she’s about done with her chemo.

Sept. 2, 2017: Saturday morning and will write my letter before the others get up,

It was a chilly 49 degrees last night. We were to son Rays for their Leroy’s birthday. He is 29 years old now and a special boy. We sat by the fire. Sadie and Julia went with us, also sons Als and Jrs, and Barbara went. We had cake, ice cream and snacks.

Thursday, we were to the wedding at Ray Yoders in our church. They had a nice wedding and a nice day, and good food. We had another invitation for that day for one of Ivan’s great nephews.

Barbara and I canned 13 quarts and 14 pints of chili this week. A couple weeks ago I canned tomato soup and we froze corn twice. We have 18 bags. We also canned apple pie filling. I have 1/2 bushel of apples here to can applesauce. We froze a couple pints of peas.

I took out the winter onions and dug the potatoes this week. Ivan cut the corn for the horse. So the garden is cleaned out except for tomatoes, peppers, cabbage and carrots … also my flowers. The butterflies like those and so do the bees.

We have another great granddaughter, Marsha. We now have 14 greats and one in heaven.

We have four more wedding invitations here. Two are the same day.

I have stuff here to can relish yet, so hope to get it done Monday.

Ivan has his wood all split and stacked now, and we burned one pile of brush in the woods. He still has several more and he wants to mow again back there.

July 13, 2017: It’s about bedtime, but will write my letter before I go. Ivan and Barbara have showered and hit the bed already.  We drove to town today. Ivan had a follow-up at the doctor.

I did my white laundry this afternoon. Some was dry, or almost, when it rained a little. So I brought that in and the sheet and pillowcases could be put right on the bed. The towels and washcloths I took down this evening in a basket, I will put them out tomorrow to finish drying. I was afraid it would rain if I left them out. We had thunder and lightening early this morning and a hard shower. We got 3/4 inch. We got 1 1/2 inches earlier this week.

Did you see all the rainbows we had a couple weeks ago on Monday evening? They were nice and one had dark colors. There were 2 double ones and one end of one came down to the ground by our tree line. A taxi driver told me he counted 22 rainbows in all that evening.

We have all the cucumbers to eat that we want now. I also picked and shelled peas last night.

I finished a shirt for Ivan yesterday, all but the buttons and buttonholes.

Tomorrow night, the children all are taking us out to eat for Ivan’s 79th birthday, which was Sunday.

Ivan keeps busy mowing the lawn and weed eating, cultivating the garden … and he still likes to make wood. He got his woods all mowed and trimmed. Now, of course, he can rest under the shade tree.

Last Thursday, we were to the wedding of our grandson Marvin Kurtz Jr. and Betty Ann Wengerd daughter of Ray Wengerds. They had a nice wedding.

Our son Ray had a bear outside by their entrance, He was also seen at Andy Troyers and on Bundysburg Road. That’s too close!  We also heard a wild animal Sunday night around  2 a.m. It was loud and shrill, sort of like a cat. The horse was scared and running around in the pasture, Good thing we had electric fence. Was it maybe a wild cat?

June 24, 2017: Will try to write a letter this morning. We have 61 degrees now, shows full sun. So hope for a nice day.

I have laundry to do and the basement to sweep. (Ivan usually mops it.) Also want to do some baking.

The Garrettsville Summer Fest is going on this weekend, so they want a nice day. We had a good rain yesterday. We got almost 2 inches and it gave the garden a boost.

I was out yesterday giving the tomatoes Tums. I see we have green tomatoes. Everything is growing, but I had to take some dust out, as some plants needed it.

We had our second meal of peas last night. Also have lots of lettuce, onions and radishes to eat.

It’s about 5:30 a.m. and I have to get my feeders out. We bring them all into the shop at night as we have “critters” out there at them during the night. So, I like to get them out as soon as it’s daylight as the Orioles come looking for them. We have Baltimore and Orchard Orioles and seem to have more than before, so maybe some hatched. We also have more Hummingbirds.

Ivan is feeding the deer again. So we see some of those, too.

Yesterday, when we drove to town, we saw a doe and a fawn on Brosius Road in a field. There were turkeys there also.

We were to the wedding in our church at Marvin Byler’s of Leah and Norman Bender Jr. They had a nice day and a nice wedding.

Today is the funeral of Betty (John) Miller. She was 86 years old.

The special son David, son of Mark Kauffman’s passed away Thursday. He was 26 years old.

We have lots of wedding invitations. We had two Thursday. We had three on June 1. Would like to go to all, but couldn’t make it.


May 28, 2017 I’m sitting in the back porch. It’s nice out here and I can watch the birds.

Some of the garden is coming up, and plants look nice. We got rain about every day last week.

Yesterday, it was nice and I got a big laundry dried.

I hear the parachute plane, so they must be jumping today. It’s clouding up, so maybe we’ll get some rain tonight.

Tomorrow is Memorial Day and that’s when we usually plant garden, but it’s about all planted now.

Friday night, we were to son Ivans for his 50th birthday; Barbara went with us and Marvin Kurtzs, Rays and Als also came. Ivan Jr.’s 3 marrieds were there. We gave him a perennial with 50 one dollar bills tied on. We had cake, ice cream and snacks. It was a nice evening … especially after raining 3 or 4 days in a row.

On Thursday evening, I went with Marvin Kurtzs to the viewing of Widow Emma Kurtz at Ferdie Millers. She was 92 years old and hadn’t been well. She died at home.

Mel Mary Miller passed away yesterday at noon. The funeral is tomorrow afternoon at 1 p.m. at her home. She is Ivan’s sister-in-law. We are going this afternoon to the viewing for several hours. Our daughters are going with us, as is John Martha Miller. Martha is also a sister-in-law.

We had thunder through the night and another 1/4 inch of rain. We got 1 2/5 inches on Sunday. We will have our 21 days of rain in May.

April 30, 2017: Good morning to a sunny morning at 50 degrees. Yesterday, we got up and it was raining. It rained most of the day.

We took a clock and a lamp to Ben Detweiler to fix last night and then spent the evening at son Rays. We brought an ice cream cake from Dairy Queen, as today is his 53rd birthday.  Ben’s wife is getting better since spending a little time in the hospital from a stroke.

Tomorrow is May 1st already. Time goes fast. My tomato plants are growing in here. I don’t need more, but can give them to the children.

I put my jelly feeders out again this morning, as I take them in at night. Something was eating the jelly, maybe deer. If the raccoon gets in them, they knock them down.

The orioles came last week. I haven’t seen humming birds yet. Will look for them next week.

Our garden is plowed. Now he has to come and till it. I have strawberries to get out and sweet onions. My early garden is up and radishes about ready to eat. The yard and everything is so lush and green. I love spring.

My daughter Sadie had lots of nice rhubarb. She gave me a bunch. I made rhubarb strawberry pie for Barbara’s lady and a small one for us … also made rhubarb custard pie.

The rose breasted grosbeak are here and chipping sparrows are singing.

When we went to town, I saw fields of yellow mustard. It made me think of when I was a young girl at home and Dad would take the team and wagon and we had to go out and pull the mustard. Now, they just spray it.

March 28, 2017: We’ll see what I can come up with this evening.

It was overcast most of the day and up in the 50s. I spring-cleaned a closet today besides back-washed and doing the regular daily duties. I was also out in the treeline raking some old leaves and twigs, etc and made some piles to burn when they dry out a little. Also trimmed rose bushes and weeded by the shop.

Tomorrow, Joe and Anna Miller and us want to visit some shut-ins, something we’ve wanted to do a long time already.

Sunday, we were at church at son Rays. Barbara also went along.

I sowed some lettuce and radish last week, and the radish is up already. I want to start a few tomatoes yet this week or the first of next.

We seem to have some leaves to rake all the time. Those oak trees in the treeline seem to hang on all winter and keep blowing over the yard. We’ve had lots of wind and have picked up branches and twigs several times. But we love the treeline and sitting in its shade summers.

We had quite a snowstorm the other week. I think it’s snowed on the Easter lilies three times now, and Saturday will be April 1.

Last week, I was sewing a dress. Have more sewing to do when I get to it and clean the other closet and drawers. Then there’s my china cabinet and the dishes. I’m not in a hurry to do more spring-cleaning yet. We did do mid-winter cleaning.

Thursday, Ivan had a doctor appointment for blood work and a check-up. He’s busy making clothes pin dryers. We took six to the store to sell last week. She was down to the last one.

Feb. 15, 2017: About 6 p.m.and we have 24 degrees. Today we had snow showers, but nothing that stayed on the ground.

I had Sisters Day. Albert Detweiler Sarah, Mose Miller Clara and brother Ervin Byler Linda were here. Sister Anna Mary (Mel Detweiler) of Atlantic Pa. didn’t come. Maybe she didn’t feel good as she is taking chemo treatments.

The little Mespo baby, Amanda, died and the funeral was Sunday. She was 3 months old and weighed 3 pounds. She had been in the hospital with RSV and it was too hard on her.

On Friday evening, is the benefit auction of Joe U. Miller at Buster Schrocks. Our church has to take baskets for the silent auction. Barbara, John Elva and I are together to get one. Joe has cancer and they live in Andover, Ohio. But he had been staying with his children here while he was taking treatments,

Greetings from Garrettsville

By Rachel Miller

Jan. 12. 2017: I wonder how your husband is doing, Jacquie? I hope better. I’ve been thinking of you.

Today was a rainy day. It was up to 57 degrees; now it’s down to 34. If we had as much snow as we got rain, we’ be snowed in!  We don’t have our rain gauge out anymore, so I really don’t know how much we did get. I think four inches. I heard it raining all night and sometimes hard.

Well, the holidays are past and January is about half over already. When I was little, we’d put a soup plate at our place at table the night before Christmas, The next morning, we’d have an orange in it and a gift beside it. We were always at home on Christmas Day. I don’t think we wanted to go away.

The New Year is here and what will it bring? Maybe it’s a good thing we don’t know. I remember when the year 2000 came how people were afraid. But now it’s already 2017.

I remember Mom always made butterscotch nut fudge, and chocolate fudge, and O Henry Bars. When I was a schoolgirl, I had my chores. One was to fill the two coal buckets. We kept the coal in the basement and when I would go down to fill them, I’d swipe a piece of candy which mom kept in the basement. She always made the candy several weeks ahead of time. I don’t know if she realized some was missing. She never said anything. Anyway, it was good!

Dad always had a nut dish with a couple nutcrackers and two picks. He would have bags of mixed nuts that we ate. I don’t think we had turkey at Christmas dinner. We always had chicken that we raised ourselves; I know we could not wait to get up in the morning on Christmas. As soon as we heard Dad up to do chores, we would be out of bed. (That was 5 a.m.)

I have Dad’s nut dish, the crackers and picks now, from Christmas.

Thank you, Fontanelle for the gift cards. We ate at Vinny’s with last year’s gift card and we liked it very much.

Our neighbor, Marvin Miller’s little MOPD baby was in the hospital for two days the other week. She just cried and cried. They found gas in her intestines and changed her milk. Baby Amanda is home now and is a good little baby. I’m glad for them and the baby that they could help her. She is about 3 months old now.

We were to town today. We needed refills on our prescriptions and a few groceries. It rained hard a couple times.

I did my laundry when we came home and hung it in the basement. Ivan had to clean out the ditch in the front yard by the sluice as it was plugged with leaves. The water was running over the road. Now it goes through the ditch again.

Since the snow is gone, we don’t have as many birds at the feeders.

(Editor’s Note: Thank you all. Husband Frank had his fourth stent successfully placed on the 18th and is resting at home, staying off his sore foot (not related.)

Nov. 2, 2016: It is already 9:00 and 25 degrees. Seems colder as it is damp. I just had my shower and washed my hair after dishes were done and was reading the Budget, and, of course, I fell asleep. Ivan had gone to shoe Barney tonight. He was back by 6:30. Today, we drove to town and I also took care of the laundry from the basement and cleaned the linen closet in the bathroom. So now our fall cleaning is done.

I also cooked some apples for fresh sauce for Thursday. I think Marvins and children will come for a turkey dinner. Monday, Ivan had to go and be scoped. It was five years. So I didn’t do laundry until in the p.m. I hung the clothes in the basement. It was the color laundry and I didn’t get started until 2:00 since it was 1:00 when we got home. We were to Robison Memorial University Hospital. A couple weeks ago Friday night, son Ivan Jrs and granddaughter Lucinda, and the Albert Millers and two children were here.

Bert got up on the roof and cleaned the gutters on the second story part by the treeline. It was full of leaves and also had a sunflower growing in there. It was about 2 feet tall and had a little flower. (Smile!) A bird must have dropped a seed in that gutter. Ivan mowed lawn last week and I hope that’s the last. We got up to 2 inches of snow Saturday morning and Sunday was windy and cold. So most of the leaves are gone from the trees. Mrs. Owen Miller called. She said she’s out of the clothes dryers Ivan makes, so he will take six over tomorrow and then make more.

October 25, 2016: Today was a nice day, a little cool. I was cleaning a closet today, beginning the fall cleaning. Barbara is working upstairs. I still have the closet floor to do in the bedroom. I also cleaned a few drawers and made butterscotch filling for 2 pies. Tomorrow is our sisters’ day in Atlantic, Pa. at niece Ella Mrs. Willis Byler. Sister Clara Mrs. Mose Miller, sister Sarah and her 4 daughters, and brother Ervin Byler Linda are going. Also Mrs. Rueben Byler Mary is going along to her friend Mrs. Allen Fisher Wilma.

Last Wednesday, Ivan and I were also to Atlantic on a little trip, driving around. Urie wanted to see where he was born. We visited at his nephew the Elmer Bylers and my sister the Mel Detweilers. The trees were nice and we went past where I went to school. The schoolhouse looks the same as it did 60 years ago … on the outside anyway. We moved to Atlantic when I was in the eighth grade with only two months to go yet. I remember I wanted to quit and not start in a new school. But, of course, I wasn’t allowed to. We’ve had deer back at our feeder, so started to feed them again. Ivan says we feed them and someone will shoot them.

We should put up No Hunting signs back there. There was a guy here yesterday who wants to coon hunt in our woods. Ivan said to go ahead and he can get the skunks, too. We had a dead skunk out by the wash line Sunday morning and also a big possum. We have a white skunk around here, too. The other morning, early, I went out to get the paper with a little flashlight. When I got to the end of the driveway, all at once, the skunk came from the other side and crossed the road! Well, I got the paper and was back in the house in a hurry. Yesterday, she was by the shop lean-to eating sunflower seeds under the bird feeder. She looks all white. I didn’t see her today, so I hope she left here. We had a wedding invitation for today, but didn’t go. I would have liked to, but it was way out in Orwell. Ivan wasn’t interested. He had a brush hog job that he did today.

Last week Save-A-Lot had hamburger on sale and I got some to can. It was $1.78 a pound. Barb and I canned seven quarts and 25 pints. We also canned green pepper and onions in barbeque sauce. The garden is all cleaned out now except the celery. Would like to plow it and the strawberry plants, too and sow rye in. About three weeks ago Friday eve, John Coblentz had an accident with the tractor. The wheel went over his stomach and the brush hog too and it dragged him a little ways. He was in the hospital a week and is now in rehab a week and may come home Thursday. He has six broken ribs, three vertebras and his tailbone.

None are out of place, so he just has to heal. He is not allowed to stand on his leg for three months. The leaves are beautiful. We have woods all around and right now it is so nice. I thought we had a little tree growing in the gutter by the house on the side that is two stories high. Now, it is a foot or so high and I can see it is a sunflower! It is in flower now! Nov. 1 would be my Dad’s 102nd birthday if he were living.

Sept. 29, 2016: It’s time I get this in the mail. Today was a rainy day with some thunder also. We drove to Garrettsville. Both of us had follow-up appointments at the doctor. Then we did shopping. So it was 2 p.m. by the time we got home. Our communion service was on Saturday as we had visitors from Carroll County.

So Sunday afternoon neighbors Marvins and we walked over to visit Bobby Fishers. He had back surgery a month or 6 weeks ago and is coming along well. Last Wednesday evening, I went with Jonas and Sara Byler to the viewing of Lizzie, a widow. When I came home, Marvin Kurtzs were here with Ivan and Barbara. I still had a visit with them.

Thursday evening, Als were here. We had two does and three fawns across the road at the apple trees. They don’t scare easy. Last night, Ivan and I drove to Mose and Sister Clara for Clara’s birthday, which is next week. Sister Sarah, the Albert Detweilers and brother Ervins were there too. Today is at least one wedding. Not a very nice weather day, but at least it’s not pouring and the sun did shine a little this forenoon. I dug the rest of the potatoes

Tuesday. We got a bushel from a little more from three short rows, enough for us. Wednesday evening, Barbara and I canned a batch of iced tea. We used green tea bags this time. The other time, we used some blueberry tea bags. I still have some green peppers to use. They are nice now since it rained. The ones this summer were red right away and had dry rot on the bottom.

This Saturday, Ivan and the boys want to go to Chalkers Sale and next Saturday if it’s nice, we want a wood frolic for them. Monday evening, our visitors were sister-in-law Andy Lucy Ann, Daniels, David, Ches Dorothy, and the three girls. It was good to see them. Wednesday, I was to Sisters day at brother Ervins.

Remembering Grandma

By Rachael Miller

This month is 32 years Ivan’s mother died. She was a widow for 23 years. Ivan’s father wasn’t too healthy. He had pneumonia in his early-married years. At that time pneumonia was pretty much considered incurable, there being no penicillin. The doctor advised him to move to a warmer climate. Anyway, the children don’t remember him ever being very healthy.

The girls and us daughters-in-law used to go stay with Grandma. We’d go one evening and stay until the next evening. Ivan used to drive me over and spend the evening there before going home. He’d come back the next day to take me home. Grandma couldn’t walk and was in a wheelchair; she got around with it. She should have had an operation on her knees, but didn’t want to.

She was 80 years old when she died. I used to enjoy staying there with her. I’d take sewing to do, as she wasn’t hard to take care of. Grandma would sit and do hand sewing. Sometimes, Sadie would go with me. She was the youngest. She used to Auctioneer for her, letting on she was selling her cane or wheelchair, etc. Grandma liked that. We did that for 2 years. She died 32 years ago this month.

July 19, 2016: We have 89 degrees at 7 p.m. this evening. There’s a breeze and it’s not humid. Yesterday morning, we had thunder and lightening and about 4/10 inch of rain. Some places had a downpour and high winds, My sister Clara, the Mose Millers, live about 2 1/3 to 3 miles from here and had a storm and hard rain. It twisted off a telephone pole and a branch of a tree close to the house, but it didn’t fall on the house.

The storm did blow out a barn window and some more stuff was blown around. Yesterday was the funeral of Mrs. Em (Rob) Miller. She was 90 years old. Tomorrow is the funeral of Mrs. (JJ) Liz Miller. She was 96 years old. Both had not been well. This forenoon, I went with Ivan to Geauga hospital for a preadmission test. He will have a total knee replacement of the right knee on August 1. He did the left knee done 3 years ago.

Last Thursday morning, Marvin Byler was on the way to work and the driver took the ditch so he wouldn’t hit someone else. Marvin got thrown out and broke his back. His son Benji was in the back lying down sleeping. He and the driver weren’t hurt. Marvin had a rod and pins put in and he came home last night. So he was there only five days. Aden Byler (7), the adopted son of Wally and Mary Byler was in the hospital a week with staff infection. He also came home yesterday. Wally son of Wally Kurtz cut off three fingers on his left hand. He was to the emergency room and came home with a big cast.

He has his pointer finger and his thumb left on that hand. He helps his Dad in the cabinet shop and is 17 years old. The garden is doing very well even if we don’t get much rain. I’ve had four ripe tomatoes … only not very big. Have lots of cucumbers and peppers. Canned sweet dill and want to do bread and butter pickles this week. I cooked some grape tapioca this afternoon to take along to sister Clara tomorrow for our sisters’ day. Our yard hasn’t been mowed for three weeks and is brown. The back is a little greener than the front. The new little girl in our church is Emily, born to Danny and Laura Hostetler. Grandparents are Andy Hostetlers and John Millers.


May 24, 2016: Will write a few lines this morning. It comes time to write before you know it. I was thinking that Plain Country isn’t this time! The sun is coming up and looks like we’ll have another nice day. Yesterday was beautiful. Barbara and I were out last night planting garden. We have to plant some more potatoes and have to get sweet corn and carrots. Maybe I can go out today and plant the rest of my flowers. The strawberries are blooming and some green beans are there. I want to give them fertilizer. Yesterday was a good laundry day. Clothes all dried nice, suits were brushed off and aired out. We were to town, too. Ivan worked back in the woods, cleaning up, and also mowed the back yard. His other knee is bothering him, so he needs to take care of that. Last week, we were to the wedding of Albert Millers Cindy and Jerry Miller, son of Mart Millers. They had a nice day and a nice wedding. Sunday evening, son Ivan Jrs. were here. We had an ice cream cake for his 49th birthday. It is now 6 months since my open-heart surgery. I am feeling fine and can work more. We have a couple more weddings in June. We were to Albert Detweiler Sarah for our Sisters Day last Wednesday. Sister Mel Detweiler Anna Mart and her daughter Marie and also niece Miriam (Mrs. Joe Miller) of Atlantic came. So we were all there. We have a robin making a nest here by the porch. They had one with eggs that hatched already and are on the second one. The orioles are busy at the jelly and we have grosbeaks and catbirds coming to the feeder.

May 2, 2016: Today is a cloudy day and it did rain this morning. It was raining when we got up. We got 1/2 inch last night. Saturday night and Sunday morning, we got 9 /10 inch. The leaves are starting to come out and the grass really grows and is nice and green. Ivan and Barbara had to mow twice last week. Orioles are back and also the Grosbeak. The barn swallows are also here and we have one pair of hummingbirds. Strawberries are blooming, so I hope we don’t get a hard frost now. Barbara and I were to John’s nursery Saturday; we got some plants and have them on the back patio. We will cover them up if we need to. We had 32 degrees Friday night. Saturday night, it started to rain and it was still raining Sunday morning. Ivan and I drove to Garrettsville today to fax my Budget letter. I did laundry when we came home. It’s hanging outside, but I don’t expect It to dry much tonight. Tomorrow afternoon, sister Mose Clara and I want to go visit sister Albert Detweiler Sarah who had hernia surgery last week. She had three hernias to fix. She is doing well. Thursday, we two are going to the wedding at Joe J. Millers on Shedd Road of Susan and Mark, son of Vernon Yoder’s. Susan fell off a stepladder at work last week and broke her leg. Maybe, she will have to get married on crutches. Mrs. Toby Stoltzfus is going with us. Mark and Susan will move into their rental house. Here is an interesting article I read in one of our papers … a company said they process 66 semi loads of potatoes everyday of the week for McDonald’s. Now, that’s a lot of French fries!Feb. 17, 2016: I will try and get this in the mail tomorrow as I missed getting it out today. We have 20 degrees not. It is not as cold as it was over the weekend! We had one on Sunday morning with wind. I didn’t go to church; it was too cold and I was afraid I’d get a cold and cough. Ivan and Barbara went.

It is now three months since my open-heart surgery. I still get some mail. I’ve had a lot so far. I have secret friends who send cards, some bookmarks, letters, stickers and even some money. Today I got number two. It had a word scramble and a baggie with some paper capsules that I am to take one a day. Today’s said, “Will power to eat one salted peanut a day.”

We get company too. Someone is coming tomorrow night. Last Thursday a couple of the neighbors were here with salad, pizza, etc. Wednesday, I had six ladies here and next Wednesday, my cousins are coming. I doubt if they all will come, as that would be a lot.

We got a lot of snow over the weekend and Monday night we got 6 inches. Ivan worked all day yesterday to get our driveway plowed. The pine trees were loaded with snow and looked so nice with the red cardinals. We have a lot of birds. They are real busy at the feeders. About two weeks ago, we had eight deer cross the road by us and go down beside the treeline in the field.

Jan. 19, 2016: We have 15 degrees at 3:40 this afternoon. We have a dusting of snow. I guess up north of here they have a lot more. This morning, we had 40 degrees and a wind blowing. Yesterday was cold and windy, too. I felt sorry for the folks at the funeral yesterday of Andrew Yoder, 19. He had cancer and also got a fungus infection.

We have a new baby in our church, a Jonathan Leon to Jonathan and Barbie Miller.

On Friday evening, Barbara and I went to the church Chinese exchange at Kenny Regina’s. We had a lot of fun and lots of snacks!

Last night, we had welcome company from our old neighborhood on Nauvoo Road. They were William R. and Edna Byler, Daniel and Malinda Byler, Noah Detweiler and Sovilla and Albert Detweiler and Sarah. We had a short, enjoyable evening.

On Sunday evening, son Ivans and John Mark were here. So we are still getting company and still get some mail every week. It’s now 10 weeks since my surgery and I am doing well.

On Saturday, we are going to Atlantic, Pa. with my sisters and brother to sister Anna Mary Melvin Detweilers for a late Christmas, I want to fix some snacks yet to take and bake a couple pies. I’m not sure what kind to make yet.

Jan. 4, 2016: I will write my letter and send it on the way. We have 13 degrees now at 6 p.m. this Monday evening and about three inches of snow on the ground. So, maybe we will have winter now. But the paper says it will go up to 35 to 40 degrees on Wednesday.

I am coming along good from my open-heart surgery and feel better than I have for a long time. I was in the hospital a week and got good care, but I didn’t sleep well or have an appetite. Tomorrow, it will be eight weeks since I had the surgery.

I was to my surgeon on Dec. 23 for a check-up and he said everything is healed and looks good so I don’t have to go back to him. I do have to go to my cardiologist in Chardon in March. The surgeon said I can do what I feel like, but I need to walk a lot. I go every day. (I should have gone earlier today, but it was too cold, so I didn’t go.) Yesterday, I walked to church at John Gingerich’s, which is half a mile from here, and walked home, too.

The day of my surgery was also the funeral of Marty Miller from our church. So, we had to miss out on that. We did go over on Sunday afternoon.

Thursday was the funeral of Nathan, 22-year-old son of Johnny Bylers. He was walking home and was killer by a car. So sad. We didn’t make it  over, but our thoughts were there.

Did everyone have their Christmas gathering? We were to son Allen’s for our family gathering on Dec. 19. We will go to Atlantic to my sister, the Mel Detweiler’s, on Jan. 23.




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