Home Plain Country Wheelchair Life in Windsor

Wheelchair Life in Windsor


By Mrs. (Allen) Sally Byler

May 13,2020: Good morning, everyone!

Wednesday morning and the sun is shining!! No rain or snow!!

Sunday was Mother’s Day and I feel kinda spoiled. Three bouquets of beautiful flowers! One from children still at home, one from son Allen and Maurine, and one from Lester and daughter Katie. Allen Maurine and boys, Liam and Elijah, came down Sunday afternoon. After a meal of chili, pasta salad, vegetable pizza and Ice cream, we spent the rest of the evening playing dice with Maurine being the winner most of the evening. Al was almost ready to kick me out the door at one point. He scored 2500 points with 1 shake of the dice, and with the next shake only 100 points, for a total of 2600 points. But he still had 5 dice and was not gonna shake again. So., I said, “Come on, 5 more dice and you’re not gonna use them, what a chicken!” So, he said, “OK… fine.” And rolled the other 5 dice … and … lost all 2600 points!!! Needless to say, he was not impressed with me. After I was done laughing, I told him. “Always remember what happened when Adam listened to Eve!” 

My article did not get printed last month, so I don’t know if it got into the office too late, or if it got lost in the mail as the same day I mailed it I also mailed my article for an Amish paper that I write for weekly. That also did not get printed.

So … Happy Belated Mother’s Day to all you mothers. June is Father’s Day, so happy Father’s Day to all you fathers,

I had also mentioned my Mom’s birthday in the article that did not get printed, so Happy 63rd to Mom on May 29th (Eli Byler Katie) and also to daughter Sara Jane who turned 18 a few weeks ago on April 29.

Our thoughts have often been with the Raymond Miller family. Last Friday was the funeral of Raymond’s wife, 29-year-old Rebecca. I don’t know all the details. but she recently had a heart transplant. Raymond is the son of Rudy and Edna Millar. Rebecca was the daughter of Donnie and Viola Smucker. They have 4 little girls, ages 2 – 10. Now, last night we heard Viola’s mom, Susie Mae (Dan) passed away. Our sympathy to all the families!

Well, my mind is kind of blank … think I have writer’s block this last while. So, will write a Father’s Day poem and then sign off.

Enjoy the summer!!

March 18, 2020: Easter greetings to everyone! 21 years ago today, we were blessed with our third child, Willie. My, how time flies! I was just 22 when he was born, and 28 when daughter Leah was born … and she was number 7! So, I guess maybe I had to grow up with my children?

The weather in Windsor the last few weeks had been lots of cloudy days and more rain. But we also had some sunshine, which was awesome. Maybe all those cloudy days make us appreciate the sunshine more?

Last Friday eve, Al, Robby and I were at Mel and Sara Millers on Lanese Drive. I went with my battery wheelchair. Al and Robby went with Al’s scooter. Their house is wheelchair accessible, so it was easy for me to get in with the wheelchair. The sun was shining and it looked beautiful out, but we were not on the road very long until I discovered the wind was cold! Cold, for me, is painful, so I kinda wished we had stayed at home. But I was also glad to get out of the house and being able to see Sara and their son Albert, and Emma and her children who were also there. 

Sara had come home from the hospital on Tuesday … another surgery on her foot. She also has an infection in her foot, so she is once again on antibiotics.

Two weeks ago Saturday, Dad and Mom spent the day in Enon Valley. They got to see all the remodeling that is being done on the house sister Susan and I grew up in.

Here is the finish to the story I started last month about the one-time Grandpa John who was not impressed with me. Where I grew up in Pennsylvania, there were only 20 some families, and some of them were spread out some distance. So, depending on who’s turn it was to have church service, we sometimes had a little way to go. We had two one seater open top buggies that kinda looked like what they used to call “doctor’s buggy” years ago. One was Dad and Mom’s and one was for sister Susan and me. Anyway, one Sunday morning, Dad and Mom had left and by the time Susan and I got on the road, and so they were out of sight. Church service was at Isaac Yoders, I’m thinking about 10 miles or so, up toward Mount Jackson. Going up that way, you were either going up a hill or going on a slow, gradual uphill with a few flat stretches. Dad was driving a “super bowl trotter”. Sometimes we would say that with that horse you could get a late start and still be there early! But I was driving “Travis”, a small broad chested, fancy, black horse. When walking or going a slow trot, he would arch his neck and look like he was kinda prancing. But when he would switch to “high gear”, you knew you were moving! We were about half way there and moving at a decent clip when we caught up with another buggy that was moving along very slowly, and, oh no, it was Grandpa John driving “old Tony”. (To my way of thinking, Tony was about as old and as slow as Grandpa.) Now, you gotta remember, we had already gone a fair distance in an open top buggy on a crispy chilly morning. I was ready to reach our destination and feel some heat. I think Travis and I had the same thoughts that we were not moving this slow the rest of the way. It ain’t happening! So, as soon as we got to a flat stretch with no cars coming, I started tightening the lines, talking softly to Travis … and, wow, poor old Tony probably never knew what passed him! Needless to say, it did not take us long to get to church. Later on, Grandpa made a remark to Mom about the two little “hot rodders” that passed him. Yup, that would be me!

Well, this story is getting long enough. We’ll finish the rest of my scribblings nextmonth. Friday, the 20th is our little “tag along”, Robby’s, 6th birthday.

By Sally Byler

February 24, 2020: Greetings to each of you on a cool, sunny morning … I think this is actually 3 or 4 days in a row that the sun has been shining!! We also had a few mornings with beautiful colors in the sky!! Although I have been too sick to enjoy it as much as I usually would, as I love watching the colors in the sky in the early morning hours. 

One thing I miss since living in Ohio is hearing the train whistle, especially on a cool, clear morning. The old B&O railroad went through downtown Enon Valley (where I grew up). Downtown consisted of Muskguires Feed Mill, Enon Inn, the fire station, the post office, Fry’s Ice Cream, 3 church houses, and the old “corner” grocery store owned by Mildred Patterson. (It had the old wooden door with slanted sides on each side of the doorway and an old wooden floor that squeaked with each step you took. The interior of the store was always kind of darkish. It also still had the old hitching rail right outside the front door.) I remember watching farmers unloading grain at the feed mill. In years past (before my time) the train would stop at the mill to load up grain.

For some reason, when I was preschool, I got the mindset that the town of Enon Valley was called Enon Inn (probably didn’t realize what the Inn was), but I remember one day I was standing in the garden watching mom pull weeds … I had my arm in a cast, the results of climbing on a stack of feed bags … grandpa John (mom’s dad) who lived on the farm across the street, had walked down and was talking to mom when I popped up and said. “When mom’s done pulling weeds, we are going to Enon Inn!!” Mom had plans to go to Enon but NOT Enon Inn!! I remember grandpa laughing, but don’t remember what mom had to say. I also remember one time grandpa was NOT amused with me … but, maybe we’ll save that for next time, so my article does not get too long.

March 20 … first day of spring … racing clouds … whistling winds … coats flapping in the breeze … bright kites circling in the skies … the dance of swaying trees … the cheerful sight of crocuses … the first sweet breath of spring. It all just part of the many moods the month of March can bring.

Thoughts …

. Spring is a lovely reminder of how beautiful change can be.

. Spring usually brings many mud puddles, much to most little boys’ delight.

(I found this little verse and it brought a smile to my face. You know you are getting old when you walk around a puddle instead of through it!)

Just think …

“Man is like a postage stamp … he gets licked, depressed, stuck in a corner, 

sent from pillar to post.But, in the end he gets there if is he sticks to it!”

Jan. 21, 2020: Hello everyone! What a beautiful winter day we are having! Snow is just slowly and lazily drifting down and we also had some sunshine this forenoon.

Well, I got a call from Kathryn Detweiler asking of I’d be interested in doing a monthly article for this paper. So, since I enjoy writing, or rather typing, can do lots of it, and since that’s one thing I can still do, I agreed to give it a try. I hope I won’t bore y’all to tears! I also had the privilege of talking with Jacquie on the phone. She sounds like a very friendly people person!

Well, maybe I should start off with introducing me and mine. As you can see at the top of this article, my name is Sally. I guess you could call me a “transplant” as I did not grow up in Ohio but in Pennsylvania in a little town called EnonValley (which is Indian for “Valley of Many Waters”). My parents, Eli and Katie Byler, were dairy farmers. Then, when I was 8 or 9 years old, we sold the cows and started a bakery. So, my one and only sister and I grew up in a bakery … cookies were the main thing we made and, to this day, I’m not overly fond of cookies (unlike most people).

I was 15 when my parents moved out here to Geauga County. We lived in a shop house at Junior and Clara Shetlers on Girdle Road that first summer, and then bought the octagon house on 534 in Windsor. And so, that’s how I met my husband, Allen A. Byler Jr., son of Allen and Mart Byler who lived about 1 1/2 miles up the road from the octagon house, in the house we now live in. This is a century home that will be 200 years old in 2 more years! Imagine the stories these walls could tell!

Allen (or “Al”, as most of us call him) and I married in 1995. We have eight children: Allen Eli (24) married to Maurine Miller, they have two boys, Liam Seth (5) and Elijah James (14 months); Katie (23) married to Lester Byer, they have Jesse Ray who turned 1 on Dec. 24; Willie, almost 21; Lucas Andrew (19); Sara Jane (17); Mark (15); Leah (14) and our little “surprise tagalong” Robbie, who will be 6 in March.

The reason I chose “Wheelchair Life in Windsor” as my heading is because there are four of us Windsor residents within about a 1 1/2-mile radius who are in wheelchairs.

Our neighbor across the street, Noah Smucker Jr., known to everyone as “Chunie” is in a wheelchair with M.S. Mrs. Sara Miller (Mel) has rheumatoid arthritis and also recently had a foot and part of a leg amputated and is waiting on her prosthesis with hopes of being able to walk some again. Al’s Aunt, Mrs. Fannie Miller (Ervin), lives on Chubb Road and had polio as a child. She used crutches for many years, but now, she relies mostly on a wheelchair. As for me, I also use a battery powered wheelchair, the results of a genetic disease, C.M.T. which stands for Charcot Marie Tooth disease. Those words came from the three physicians who identified it in 1886 … Jean Martin Charcot and Pierre Marie in Paris, France, and Howard Henry Tooth in Cambridge, England. This is in the same disease family as M.D. and M. S. Maybe, in a future issue, I’ll write more about C.M.T.  M. S., Polio and Rheumatoid arthritis.

This past week, I have felt undeservingly spoiled. Last Friday, (Jan. 17) was birthday number 43 for me, and on Tuesday, Laura Slabauch (Ray) dropped off a gift bag with dress material, a book, candy, etc. Thursday eve, my family, along with our son, Allen, Maurine and boys, my sister Susan, Andy Hostetler and children were here with mom’s pepperoni rolls, cake, ice cream, and Maurine’s blueberry cobbler! Friday morning, Mrs. Marie Detweiler (Chris) dropped off flowers and ice cream cake. Then “Chunie” brought a bouquet of flowers and later on, Orwell Flower Shop delivered a bouquet from friends in southern Ohio. A gift bag with a candle, candy, a grapevine plaque, etc. came from Liz Miller (Marty). Plus, there were lots of letters and cards in the mail. Thanks, everyone!

Yesterday morning, Al’s mom and step-dad Marty and Mary Miller, left for the sunny southern regions of Florida. Think they were ready to get out of the cold Northeast? Niece Miriam Hostetler is leaving this week for Colorado. I think their plans are to be gone most of the year. She has a job waiting out there working in a bakery.

February is the start of maple syrup season. Was going to put a maple syrup recipe in here, but don’t have very many, and it’s time to get this in the mail.


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