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.
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.