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Katherine’s Korner


By Katherine Byler

May 18,2020: It’s time to get some words on paper (for what they’re worth). It’s good to pause and look outside and appreciate the view, green as it is. One can almost taste the strawberries as the pretty white blooms can be seen quite abundantly,

Viewings and funerals have been quite numerous in this area, Oh, but when one is ill, there’s no attending any, which makes me so sad. In a week’s time, 3 of the 4 oldest Amish men in the area have passed away. They were widowers, all in their 90s. Am thinking Eli J. Miller is now the oldest at 93 years. The oldest woman is Mrs. (Dan J. P.) Martha who turns 95 on June 1st and is very healthy for her age!

While I think of it, June 8th may be thought of as a special day. You’ll know it’s only 200 days to Christmas on that day! Whew! I remembered!

My brother, Wallace Miller, turned 70 years old May 15th and hopefully we siblings can take him out to eat soon. It’s something we do when each one turns 70. Out of 12 children, eight have now passed that milestone.

Sis Betty’s husband, John Weaver, was ill for a few weeks and finally went to the hospital for 5 days. Prognosis was pneumonia plus blood clots in the lungs. He came home with oxygen and is slowly gaining. He turned 70 in February.

Farmer boy grandsons, Alan Ray, 13, and Paul, 11, sons of John and Laura, have big plans. They go to work one day a week and are saving their money to buy a pony at the next pony sale. They’ve already bought a harness. It’s good they have chores to do and a farm to run!

April 21, 2020: Well! At this writing, 4/21/29, we have to wonder, can we put our winter wear away for the summer? We had a wintry day Friday. So much so that someone asked me in town if I ordered it. He (C.H.F.) presumed because I keep track of the days to Christmas, perhaps I was responsible. (Not telling, yet.)

Henry Miller, Jr. retired from Burton Rubber as of April 1st and said he should have done it a long time ago. He is very much enjoying hanging out the laundry and washing dishes. (So he says.)

Crist and Mary Detweiler of 8889 Parker Rd., Orwell (or thereabouts) were eligible this year to be recognized for 55 years of marriage on February 9th. They haven’t been in this area again until recently. Congratulations!

Wishing I still had the book “Carrots Love Tomatoes”, telling me what NOT to plant next to each other in the garden. If I hear a ruckus any time soon, it’ll probably be the strawberries throwing a fit about those stinky onions a few feet away! Hope they won’t taste like each other.

Saw in the paper the other day Author Beverly Cleary turns 104. No interview, no nothing; one wonders … Also, in the paper, an obituary for former Mespo school teacher, Mr. (John) Santagata. He is the one-time teacher that used to appear “old” in a younger person’s eyes when he really wasn’t. As my eighth-grade teacher really wasn’t 80 like I thought!

There was a picture in the paper the other day that made me think of my mom. The gal was sitting at an old-fashion black Singer treadle sewing machine with her head down fast asleep! That’s a good memory I have, being quite tired (and who wouldn’t be with 10 boys?) and resting tired eyes for a moment or two. Another Mother’s Day and, as always, it brings sweet memories to mind, of one now gone from our midst for 35 years, and of a stepmother who passed on 18 years ago. May they ever rest in peace.

March 20, 2020:  On this, the first day of spring, we don’t know if winter is on its way out or not. We now want to listen for thunder and count ahead 6 months then supposedly will be the date of the First Frost of Autumn. Not that we’re looking forward to fall already, but time does go by pretty quickly. All too soon, we’ll have to start counting the days to Christmas, right?

So, when does a puppy lose its cuteness and charm? Its teeth are quite sharp when playfully nipping at your legs, etc. The dog was ill and taken to the vet and Robert was informed he’ll have to change the name as the pup was not a male! So now, she answers to Marley and doesn’t realize yet that she is an outdoors dog.

Spelling Lesson: Surprise does not have a z in it, thank you very much. And there is a rat in separate, so you spell it as such, with two as and two es. Just sayin.

An enjoyable day was spent recently with Aunt Sara and Lester Hostetler. Others there were sister Betty, (Joey) Mary Gingerich, Amos H. Catherine and girls plus three grands. Aunt Liz Weaver from Kinsman along with her daughter-in-law, (Sam) Sarah Weaver and (David) Nancy Weaver from Michigan. Surprising us greatly were cousin Mattie Miller and her brother Andy from Martinsburg, Ohio. They are children of the late Aunt Anna and Eli J. S. Miller. Of course, cousin (Homer) Martha joined us as well.

Thinking of those spending time in Florida, including writer Susan Yoder and husband Norm, along with her folks; my brother Crist J. S. Miller and wife Barbara Ann, also brother Joe and wife Tillie are here for 3 weeks. Guess we’re not ready to spend leisure time so far south, although I would wish to, it’s not hubby’s cup of tea.

On April 22, those responsible are hoping for a good turnout at the Deutch Center to knot comforters for overseas. That is, if plans don’t change from now to then.

Have been blessed with lots of mail, gifts, and visitors since hip surgery on 12/31/19. Feel humbled, but it is deeply appreciated. The doctor says everything looks AOK, thankfully.

Brother Bill J. S. Miller, 74, spent overnight in the hospital. They say ministrokes are the cause. We wish him better days. Also, better days for Dan P. Hostetler, 73, who took a severe tumble, hitting his head hard on their woodstove. He had a fractured skull and blood on the brain and was in hospital 2 days. Guess doctors think patients can recuperate at home. Dan had a huge gash on his head and had copper staples put in.

By Katherine Byler

Feb. 21, 2020: There are four general things you can do with your hands: 1) put them in your pockets for safe keeping; 2) fold them in apathy; 3) wring them in despair; 4) lay them on a job that needs doing. So, the latter is what I need to do as I try to gather something worth a little something to write about. 

We’re having sunshine this week, but not warm days. Tis a cold wind that blows as we take the puppy out for his exercise. He’s not ours but we can still see to his needs! He was adopted by son Robert.

The Millers got together once again, this time at niece Susan and Norm Yoders for a yummy mock steak supper! All brought a dish to pass. Absent were John and Betty Weaver and brother Allen as they are on a tour bus to Florida, going as far as Key West. They spent time in Pinecraft, then headed south to go over the 42 bridges to touch each island of the Keys. A total of 12 days is how long that they’re gone. They did report back, of course, that they were quite warm at times!

If anyone has batting (quilt and comforter) to share with projects at the Deutch Center, it would be much appreciated. Even pieces that are leftovers can be used. Many “blankets” are made there to be shipped overseas to those in need. You may also donate money to buy some. Call me at 693 4432 if you can help out. Thank you.

I am spending days and days writing letters in answer to the many received since my bad luck. It is with great fondness that I’m “hearing” from so many people; old friends, etc. The mailman is avidly watched for. Hubby says “What are you going to do when he no longer brings you mail.” Like a child, twill be sad for me! (Not really.)

Grammar Lesson: Don’t say “Each to his own”. The correct way is; “To each his own.” Opinion or deduction, or whatever.

Welcome to the new writers for the Post! It will surely be even more interesting.

Neighbor Harvey Frey had yet another trip to the hospital. Now doctors say they may have to remove his stomach and he will have to be tube-fed instead. Won’t wonders ever cease! He is 72.

Jan. 24, 2020: Where does one begin after a long hiatus? So much has happened in the last month or 2 … some happy, some bad. What do they say … some good in everything? Like when you break your hip you get visitors, mail, food, etc. But you also miss out on viewings, funerals and birthday parties, to name a few. We were glad to be included on a visit to widower Dan E. Miller with son Joe Jr. and Mary Jane, and the Ben and Barbara Yoder family. Elmer and Kathy Kurtz and daughter, and Matthew and Maria Kurtz joined us for a very pleasant evening.

We’re so thankful for daughter Barbara Ann and grand girls who come do laundry and clean house for us. Then, we also had the Bylers here for our family Christmas … missing brother Wallie Jr., of course, who passed on Dec. 1. the Millers were at brother Dan and Mary Ann’s on Jan. 18 and, oh, the games we played and the food we ate … keeping is on our toes?

Poinsettias are “wearing down”, glad to see them go. Guess it was too cold for my Christmas cactus to bud out. Will have to give it some castor oil, obviously.

Neighbor Harvey Frey has had a long recuperation from surgery and more. At times, it pays in the long run to bide one’s time, aged or not aged! (Smile!)

We’ll miss sister Betty and Jake Weaver while they’re gone on a 12 day sojourn all the way to the end of Key West, Florida. This was a Christmas gift from their offspring. John will have to spend his 70th birthday on the road!

Nov. 22, 2019: Once again, as I pick up the pen, the sun comes out! Hope it stays; how it cheers the soul.

Brother Bill J.S. Miller needs cheer. Final results of testing show cancer in lower spine, besides in prostate. He is 73.

Sixty-six years ago today, Nov. 22, I can tell you exactly where I was and what I was doing. It was the day our President was shot and killed. John F Kennedys death brought everyone to their knees in grief.

Guess I will print my Uncle Levi’s name from now on, in cursive it looks like Leir, although there is no such name that I know of!

On Dec. 4, it’s only 20 days to Christmas. Do I have to start over so soon?

Hunting stories aren’t so exciting for me, but this one tickled me, especially to know my niece is NOT a hunter!  (Writer) Sue Yoder went with her hubby Norm one year (one time).  Norm was in the tree, Sue on a pail at the bottom.  She was singing so as not to get bored (?) then Norm tells her, “Be quiet (Shut up!), you’ll scare the deer away”.

Very enjoyable entries for my diary were the two trips we took to Holmes County recently. One trip was with five of our children and partners. The other with the John Slabaughs, the Jake Weavers and Ray Mast. With my feeble mind, I can’t recall all that we said or did, but some of the dumb stuff I do remember! Will no say more.

Am anxious to walk to neighbors Robert and Barbara Stoltzfus home (6th eve and 7th) for a large variety of crafts etc. offered by many participants.  (100 tables or more is what I heard) (Tables, not vendors.)

What has a hundred legs, but can’t walk? Fifty pairs of pants.

Thanksgiving Day near at hand, and over with when this is printed. High time to get Christmas cards on their way after that big day. Big, as in BIG eating? Thankful for family to gather with.

Oct. 25, 2019: Son reports that, on Oct. 17, he saw Christmas merchandise being put on store shelves! Whatever attracts the shopper’s eye, that’s what counts! Now that we’re on the subject, the holiday IS drawing closer like it or not! Only 31 days. That’s not far off, is it? Oh yes, telephone poles are being “spruced up” (get it?) with fur boughs and ribbons. 

Spring forward, Fall back. Been there, done that by the time this gets into print. Always a change to get used to. Nov. 3 marks the changing of the clocks.

A great afternoon was spent recently with dear friend Elizabeth Detweiler who turned 90, surprising even herself. Mrs. Maurine Shetler, Mrs. Jonas (Yogi) Miller and I had a grand time of reminiscing of by-gone days! There are others we want to visit soon, so we hope we get it done!

We’re making visits to Joe’s brother in Pennsylvania who grows weaker with cancer. It saddens us so, but it is great to be together at such times. Brother Jr’s wife Martha reports that her sister Mrs. (Andy) Amanda Miller came to Ohio for gull bladder surgery on the 24th as an outpatient, if all went as planned. Sure hope she will then be pain free. Her husband is son of Albert Jr and the late Betty M (Bridge Road).

A never-before reunion on Oct. 26 was planned by Chris M. Troyer in Carroll County at my Uncle Leir’s home. Leir is the only person left of the couple that started a settlement in Cassadaga and Sinclairville, N.Y. back in 1951. This “peaceful paradise” lasted unto 1959 when the last family left for lack of growth. Memories abound of growing-up years, not the least being of me accepting a dime on the school but from an older girl for my crisp new Canadian dollar!

The autumn colors “popped out” after all, for which we’re grateful. They didn’t seem to start out too well and all too soon they will give way to cold and snow, as is normal. It’s okay if we’re prepared! Hubby carried over 100 bags of coal, tossed then through the basement window and then stacked then ever so neatly. We are thankful for how well he’s doing!

A few 2-day trips to Holmes County for enjoyable “together times” are in the offing … both being highly anticipated by me. But not so much for homebody hubby! One trip is with family, the other with friends. Like I always say, it’s the company you keep that will make you or “break” you! (Smile!)

A very enjoyable time was spent at a few “Open Houses” held conveniently on the same day. First, we went to the “Sunshine Training Center” on Route 528, visiting with many longtime friends, very special children. Hugs were so heartwarming. Then, a mile or so in a southerly direction, we went to my brother Chris’s home for his 80th birthday surprise! Hugs all around again, including some for Jr. and Sarah Ann Byler from Pennsylvania, and Uria and Martha Miller from Kentucky. Oh, the food! Fit for royalty!

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