Sunday, December 6, 2009

Christmas memories

I have been ask to share my childhood memories for the children at church tonight . So I have been thinking about it this past week. What was Christmas like for my family in the 1950's?
Our family did not go to Grandpa's house for Christmas like Marvin's family did. By the time I was five years old, my paternal grandparents had passed away. About that time, my maternal aunts had grandchildren of their own and had their own family Christmas. Since my mother was much younger than her siblings, we spent almost every Christmas at home. But we did not feel sorry for ourselves! As long as I can remember, it was impressed on us "This is Jesus' birthday!" For weeks the excitement would build to a cresendo level! My mother would order a decorated cake from the baker. The words on top of the cake said "Happy Birthday Jesus". "How old is Jesus?" I often wondered. Our parents did not have a lot of money to buy presents. Some of the " really big" gifts were my first doll with hair, my first and only bike and my first wrist watch. I still have all three of them today. Some of our family activities reflect the interest of my two parents. Daddy usually led us in singing one Christmas carol after another. Mom often had a special "Christmas story" to read to us.
One year my parents bought a cardboard fireplace. It looked like a red brick fireplace with a cardboard log and red light bulb. When we plugged in the light, we felt like we had a real cozy fireplace...just like they do in story books.
As Christmas approached, the excitement steadily increased. When we shopped in Ephrata, we begged to go up to the second floor to see Toy Land. We did not expect our parents to buy any of the toys for us. It was just fun to look at all of them. I can still see all the pretty dolls on the shelves! My brothers looked at the toy trains and cars. One of the most fun things at that store was to ride the 1912 elevator, one of the first elevators in PA. It was built like an open black iron cage big enough to hold about 4-5 people - if they were not too big. You could actually see the supporting cables outside the cage...and hoped they did not break when you were part way up to the next floor.
When we shopped in Lancaster we could watch the animated displays at Watt & Shand. The one display had two little kid goats in a pillow fight with feathers flying in every direction. When the door to their room slowly opened, and their mother peeked in the room, she would see two little goats "pretend sleeping" in their bed. As soon as Mama goat closed the door, the pillow fight would resume.
Our family attended a small mission church in another county. My Dad rented a bus to take most of the church people Christmas caroling. We went to many homes tucked in the hills of Berks Co. I loved to stand beside the Weaver sisters and hear them sing the beautiful carols of Christmas...and even teach us some new ones. Enroute from one home to another we had a breath taking view of the gaily decorated Christmas Village...while adults commented on the enormous electric bill those folks must pay in December.
A week or so before Christmas the ladies from church came to our house to bake Christmas cookies. Even some older town ladies came to help. We baked cookies to distribute to some needy families and divide among ourselves.
About that time my Dad would set up the train on the dining room table. He started with an engine and a few cars with a small track. Every year he added something new like more cars, trees, and small buildings. If we had permission, we could put a little white pill in the smoke stack of the engine. Then while the engine went around the track, it would give of little white puffs of smoke, just like the real train that went though town. We thought that was the grandest thing you can imagine!

This poem came in an early Christmas card. I love it!

Memories are a special house
We build inside ourselves
Where love and laughter linger
Where all our past life dwells.
On holidays like Christmas
We can draw upon the store
Reliving happy times
And feeling all that warmth once more.
Wherever we may travel
The house is always there
To help to blend the old and new
To build on, grow and share.
This house can never get too full
Just grow from floor to floor,
Because the joy of making memories
Is always making more.

Make some memories for you and yours this Christmas. May they focus on the real reason for the celebration..the birth of Jesus...God's unspeakable Gift to us!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Berlin Walls of Today

World War II ended just weeks after my birth. The Cold War was in full swing during my childhood and youth. Swarms of returning soldiers were landing in their homeland during those years. Warily, my sister and I checked the porch roof for soldiers before we tucked ourselves into bed at night. When the shrill air raid siren from our local town screamed loud and long on a school day, we students clambered to hide under the school desk until the "threat of danger" had passed. The Russians and Communism were a real world threat. US Army planes overhead and the words "Maybe the Russians are coming" would send shivers of fear through my whole body. Krushav, the Russian leader's threat "we will bury you" was a familiar line known by everyone...from children to the hoary head. . We never dreamed we'd live to see the day when the powers of communism woud lie in ruin. The Berlin Wall separated family members and friends in that German city for so many years. It was a wonderful testimony of God's prevailing power when communism fell in 1989 and the Berlin Wall came down piece by piece.
But as long as humanity exists and the prince of darkness has a measure of liberty, people will hate and destroy each other.
Recently I came to this website and pondered.
The article states there are five walls existing today.
#1- The Israel/Palestine "Separation barrier". The Israeli's proposed a physical barrier in 2002 to prevent terrorists from entering Israeli territory. When we visited Israel in 2008, we observed first hand some of the severe hardships this barrier creates for ordinary, non-violent citizens of the West Bank.
#2- US/Mexico border fence. In 2006 a 700 mile long fence on the US/Mexico was approved by the US government. A majority of Americans support building a fence along the entire border. We have been eyewitnesses of this "wall" and some of the ramifications involved.
#3- The Korean Demilitarized Zone- This heavily militarized zone divides North and South Korea since WWII.
#4- The Wagah Border Crossing (India-Pakistan) The border between these two countries has been relatively peaceful for the past six decades. But in Wagah, a divided town hosts the only road link between India and Pakistan, their rivalry is displayed every night. During a ritual ceremony the India and Pakistan soldiers pass within six inches of each other every night with the "legal line" between them before shutting down the road and lowering their flags. Their animosity is waning as evidenced by the ceremony that now ends with a brief handshake between the rival soldiers.
#5- The Great Firewall of China- China's Ministry of Information Industry has manned the world's largest Internet censorship and filtering system. About 40,000 cyber police monitor the country's Internet users. While it may not be a physical wall, the users are not permitted to access the complete World Wide Web which limits their interaction with the outside world.
These boundaries and walls between nations and peoples are a sad commentary on humanity. And I think of a familiar hymn by Kirk & Deby Dearman based on a prayer by St Francis of Assisi (13th century)
Lord, make me an instrument of you peace,
Where there is hatred let Your love increase,
Lord, make us instruments of Your peace,
Walls of pride and prejudice shall cease
When we are Your instruments of peace.

Where there is hatred, let me show love
Where there is injury, we will never judge,
Where there is striving, we will speak His peace
To the people crying for release
We will be Your instruments of peace.

Where there is blindness, we will pray for sight,
Where there is darkness, we will shine His light.
Where there is sadness, we will bear their grief,
To the millions crying for release
We will be Your instruments of peace.

Let the walls of pride and prejudice come down.......for His glory!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Shipping Out

Over the years, our place has become somewhat of a mini- distribution center for various causes. It is not a job that was officially assigned to us but it is one we enjoy.
Today I dragged this pile of bags down from the attic where they have been waiting . Tomorrow we plan to attend the Christian Aid Ministries (CAM) open house near Ephrata. So they will begin the journey to who-knows-where. Included in the stash is outgrown clothing, sewing supplies, several comforters from our sewing circle group, used Sunday School material and empty pill bottles. Neighbors, friends and church people have all made their contribution to the collection.
For many years we collected used Sunday School books to send to Nigeria where they were used at a youth camp. But the duty fees for them to receive the boxes became too costly for their budget. So now we send them to CAM for distribution instead.

Another project of the day was to prepare this stack of boxes to be sent to Northern Youth Programs (NYP) . Many of the contents are donations from our congregation. The ladies sewing circle is sending a box with six baby comforters for a missionary to distribute to native mothers. Our church's annual kitchen linen project for NYP yielded almost 100 tea towels, 42 dish cloths, a dozen hot pads, plus some hand towels, a bath towel and a few wash cloths. One dear older sister canned 15 qt of green beans out of the summer abundance. A young woman went on a shopping spree and hopes to bless her friends in the North with several boxes of personal items. Of course, we added some things to send to my brother and his family who live at Sioux Lookout where they serve the Lord and the church. An older couple in our church plans to pick up the boxes next week. They graciously offered to collect the boxes at several locations north of Harrisburg and take them to Lebanon where they will be loaded on a truck to take their long journey up the north road.
Next month our church plans to assemble Christmas bundles for the Shining Light Children's Home in Tijuana. Last year we had the special privilege of personally distributing them to the children when we visited the Shining Light Home. How blessed we are to be part of the whole chain of those who "distribute to the necessity of the saints" around the world!
The next thing I'd like to ship out is the mice that are invading our domain this week! We do not feel blessed by their presence!
But who would want them? So the question remains...where do we ship them? Russia, China, Haiti, Mexico, Canada , Timbuktu...or Mifflinburg? Maybe on the back porch to the CAT.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Landis Valley post #2

Next post on Landis Valley Museum.. how do you like the rules for teachers in 1872?
This cupboard in Henry & George's family was one of their family heirlooms. Marvin remembers the 20 cats that inhabited this room with Henry & George. He says the cats would climb the window shades and play with the pull strings.
The outside of Henry & George Landis' house. Good they were bachelors...what woman would have put up with the 80,000 to 100,000 items they had stored in a few buildings before the state took over and made a real museum out of their collection.

This group almost made you look over your shoulder to see the Alps on the horizon.

Below: This is the house where my Uncle George and Aunt Emeline Felpel lived near Landis Valley. The barn, chicken houses and other out buildings are gone. The long lane is gone and you access the property by a new street. It is surrounded by new houses in a development. But the sun room to the left of the house makes it easy to identify. It appears to have the same old tin roof. When I was growing up in the 1950's this house seemed to me the epitome of elegance. There was glass french doors between the living and dining room, a sun room, the grand old piano in the living room, winding stairway to second floor...
My Grandma had a broken pelvis when she and Aunt Emeline were involved in an accident at Landis Valley not far from here. Aunt Emeline gave her excellent care while she recuperated in the sun room. ( I think that room must have had to be bigger than it appears now:-))The accident happened on the front lawn of the Henry H Landis home (Marvin's grandparents). We both remember going to view the damages to the black iron fence and lawn after the accident. But we did not meet there.
Another thing I admired about the Felpel place was Aunt Emeline had a bird bath in the middle of the lawn in front of the house. Bleeding heart plants circled the bird bath. The only photo we have of my sister Lucille (in my mother's arms) was taken in front of this house.

Landis Valley Museum

This is the house where my Uncle George and Aunt Emeline lived near Landis Valley. My Grandma had a broken pelvis after she and Aunt Emeline were involved in an accident on the front lawn of the Henry H Landis home. Marvin & I both remember going to the scene after the accident to view the damages....but we did not meet there. My Grandma recuperated in the sun room (attached to left of house) with Aunt Emeline's excellent care. I remember a bird bath surrounded bleeding heart plants in the middle of this lawn. The only picture of my baby sister Lucille with my mother was taken in this front yard. The barn, chicken houses and other outbuildings are gone...but the sun room still has the old tin roof! I thought the interior of this house was so grand with french doors between the living and dining room, a big, old piano in the living room, the sun room, the winding stairway to seemed like the epitome of elegance in the 1950's.

The Landis Valley Museum school house has a list of rules posted for teachers in 1872. How do you like this?

Engraving a tombstone with wooden mallet and chisel. Slow tedious work!

Ever since my mother died in 1993, my sisters and I plan an activity to celebrate one of our birthdays. Sometimes our brothers and their wives are included. This year my youngest sister Carol and I exchanged our birthdays. I chose to attend the Harvest Days at Landis Valley Farm Museum the week of Carol's (Oct 7) birthday. Lester had to work and Merle is in Thailand so it was just the three girls this time. Landis Valley Museum is a highlight for Marvin since his Grandpa Henry H. Landis farm has been swallowed up by the museum that Henry and George started years ago. The guide told us they collected between 80,000 to 100,000 items. Good they were both bachelors or they would not have gotten away with stashing so much in their few small buildings. The first time I attended the museum was on a class trip in 1956. George and Henry served as the tour guides if I remember correctly. The cupboard below was an original Landis family piece. Marvin remembers visiting this house that about 20 cats inhabited with Henry & George. They would climb the window shade in this room.

Last spring our oldest daughter and her homeschool children invited us to accompany them to the Homeschool event there. That's what drew us back in October for Harvest Days on Saturday. They had a lot of demonstrations like slaw making, candle making, butchering, weaving, spinning flax, and more.
We saw the school house, Marvin's Grandpa Landis' house, the country store, and more. At the store we learned that eggs would cost $6-9 dozen if they would be in proportion to today's income. Reason: Chickens did not live under electric lights nor have some of the newer feed improvements etc. so they only laid eggs the spring and summer. If you ever had a birthday cake, it was very special. Too bad if you had a winter birthday..eggs were out of season. At the end we enjoyed some German music. It almost felt like the Alps might be on the horizon.
I tried adding more pictures...but it did not work for me. Maybe I will post more pcitrues on a new post.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Taste of Swiss-German culture

Today we went to Landis Valley Museum Harvest Days. Ever since our mother passed away in 1993, my sisters and I do something special on our birthdays. The birthday girl plans the activity. One year Romaine & I exchanged birthdays so she could plan a summer activity and I could plan something for December. This year my youngest sister ,Carol and I agreed to exchange birthdays because my choice was at Landis Valley.

The museum is home stomping ground for Marvin. His grandparent's farm has become part of the museum's property. It was an interesting day! Do you know that the cost of eggs would be about $6-9 dozen in comparison to today's income? Why were they so expensive? Because chickens laid eggs seasonally before there was electric lights and other improvements. Chickens lived longer, but the eggs were almost nonexistent in winter. That means you did not get a birthday cake if you had a winter birthday. If you had a birthday cake any time of year, it was a very special treat.

The simple life of the settler's cabin would seem appealing but it was not an easy life! Consider raising your own flax to spin and weave your own homespun cloth, make your own candles, butcher and smoke your meat and much more. And we tend to think their lives were lived at a slower pace???

The last thing we did was watch this group do their thing....close your eyes and pretend you see the Alps somewhere on the horizon.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Summer's reward

For many years I enjoyed my mother-in-law's admiration of my canning shelves at the end of summer. Her praise and affirmation boosted my spirits after many hours of labor at a hot stove in the heat of summer. I confess that some times before her end-of-summer visit I rearranged the jars to give a more colorful appearance.
My mother-in-law has been gone for nearly 20 years. But these quotes express something of my gratefulness at the end of the gardening season.

"The first gatherings of garden in May of salad, radishes and herbs made me feel like a mother about her baby- how could anything this beautiful be mine? And this emotion of wonder filled me for each vegetable as it was gathered every year. There is nothing that is comparable to satisfactory...or as thrilling as gathering the vegetables one has grown." by Alice Toklas

The following poem was taped at my jar shelves for a long time.

Labor of love
Shelves of vegetables and fruit,
Gleaned from bush, or tree or root,
One by one they tell a story,
Fresh tomatoes, rhubarb glory,
Snap beans stacked in green array,
Corn and kraut preserved to stay.
Each one represents her labor
Made worthwhile in taste to savor,
Berries and some cans of peas,
Memories left unawares
Testify that nature's treasure,
Knows no value one can measure,
Wintertime will show the worth
Of her salvaging the earth.
by Vivian Hansbrough

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Getting ready

About two weeks ago a relative invited us to join them on a trip from Oct 9-23, 2009 to Greece and Turkey to visit the places where the Apostle Paul preached the Gospel. We have considered it. We have passports, good health and each other. But paying the ticket is the biggest drawback. Do we just go on good credit and pay later? We never traveled on credit before. But the more we study maps and itinerary, the more interested we become in making the trip. We have even purchased our prescriptions ahead and bought a bigger suitcase to replace our worn weary ones. While we continue our normal routines, we are preoccupied with the thought of everything the trip promises. We see ourselves with bags all packed, meeting the group and boarding the plane. But before we go, the barley should be planted and firewood stored up for the winter. More fall housecleaning should be chalked off the "to do" list. We talk to our friends, look at photos and read about the places listed on the itnierary. There is so much to do! One woman said, "I can either get ready, or I can go. But I can't do both!"
Oh yes! I should have told you...the group is full. We are invited only on a "standby" basis. Will the tour leader call tomorrow to say "There is room for you now "?
However, as the time approaches, we have about come to the conclusion that we should wait for this trip until we have sufficient savings rather than to go on our good credit rating. We don't know "when" or "if" we will ever go to Greece/Turkey. But if something changes this week, and God makes it clear that we are to go, I am confident that we can pack on short notice and go.
And I consider...I have received an "all expenses paid trip" to my heavenly Home. I do not go on my good credit, and pay later. It is paid in advance by the precious blood of Jesus who paid the ransom for my sins and gave me a gift certificate to travel at His expense. If I do not ever visit Greece/Turkey it will not be a great loss, but to miss heaven is eternal loss.
Nor am I on "standby" waiting for another to cancel their trip to heaven. There is always "room for one more" to accept His free gift of salvation and prepare for the "greatest dream trip ever!"
Sometimes I grow weary of all the activity of "getting ready". There is so much to do in the time that remains. There is the normal duties and committments that continue. I love to hear the experiences of others and be reading and studying available information (my Bible) . I am sometimes preoccupied with everything the "trip" promises. I strive to be prepared to leave at a moment's notice when the Master calls my name for the "dream trip of my life" . I dream of meeting Him with my bags all packed and boarding pass in hand.. My mind wanders to the description of our destination site. Am I excited enough to be talking to others about the wonderful opportunity and hope they decide to join our traveling party? Do I get acquainted with other " enrolled tour members" in advance and enjoy the anticipation and excitement with them?
Let's go! Are you getting ready?

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Bring the books

Do you remember the growup feeling of holding a book at arm's length and reading. Even simple words like see, come, go, hat and cat were delightful for a first grader to read. And then we advanced to big words like "something" and"everything".
We snuggled against a mother while she read to us. "How can she remember to tell the story exactly the same every time?" we wondered. When we could read for ourselves, the appeal of books was a compelling force. Transported into other worlds, we found there was much to learn, see, do and imagine as we devoured many good books during childhood. Whether twirling on a backyard swing or drying dishes, a book became a familiar companion. We read while we brushed our teeth or buried our heads under the blankets to read with a small flashlight at night. Even through the teen years my mother continued to read wholesome, uplifting books to us in an effort to strengthen our faith.
The pleasure of books has not faded as youthful energy wanes. Life may be full of things to do, and places to go. But there is always a book waiting on the shelf beckoning. In the farm house, we had a bookcse in nearly every room of the house. Now, in our current home, we have a room our daughter-in-law named the "Library".
Yet, with all the books we possess, none compares to the Book of books! It is the greatest Book ever written! The Bible is God's way of revealing Himself to man. Many good books have been written under God's divine guidance, but no other book can claim God as the author, except the Bible! Various human writers were so completely directed by God that every word is His inspired writing. Napoleon said, "The Bible is no mere book, but a Living Creature with a power that conquers all who oppose it."
No other book can bring comfort, healing, hope, courage, guidance, challenge, conviction and faith like God's unchanging Word. Take away all the other books if you will, let the Bible remain!
The Apostle Paul said, "When thou comest, bring with thee...the books, but especially the parchments." 2 Timothy 4:13
Sometimes people are in awe when they meet a "real author" like my sister who has written about half a dozen books . Have you met the Bible's Author yet? Don't put it off! It is a life changing experience!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Changing seasons

I have felt for many years that like the Jews we should celebrate New Year in September. It is the month when schools are opening for a new term, the summer weather and holidays are behind us and we settle into new fall schedules. The garden is beginning to look bare and even the trees are dropping a few leaves. The birds are gathering with all their friends and relations for the long trek south for the winter season.
Today Joyce Bupp's column in the Lancaster Farming took the words out of my mouth on the subject of changing seasons and the "September" New Year.
My Resolution #1- Get back in the exercise program and practise more portion control at the table.
#2- Clean out the attic. It got dusty, dirty and disorganized while Karen's attic room was taking shape this year. Although it seemed like an impossible task , it did not go away.
So I started this week. My attic is not one of these "under the eaves" cubby holes. It has space under the eaves, but there is a "room" in the middle. At this point Karen has one side of the attic. That leaves the whole west end of the attic for my things... that means a lot of space to collect "stuff". Our collection is no match for the Landis Valley Museum. This was the week to discard some of the historic items up there.
Why do we need the huge Dell box that the computer was packed in when it was new? The computer specialitst told me last week that my PC is bordering on antiquity. We won't be needing that box to return components that are under warranty.
My favorite Farmer keeps a pair of old shoes for a spare when his work shoes need repair. But three "hole in the toes" pairs of shoes? He chose the "best" of the worn out pairs and fed the rest to the outdoor furnace.
Then there was the baby crib that has not been used for 25 years. I kept it hoping to have space to set it up for visiting grandchildren. We never had the space and the youngest grandchild (at this point) is heading for his 4th birthday. Besides, it is out-of-code and illegal to sell. When we are great-grandparents, we may too feeble to babysit anyway. See what I mean about changing seasons. Even life has it's seasons. We made room for a crib in our bedroom for most of 20 years. But that season is past and the crib is reduced to ashes.
I have not yet tackled the box of Christmas decorations. Then there is the box of empty boxes that are saved for sending a package to our son's family who live along the Pacific or for gift boxes at Christmas. I think some of them should go the way of all flesh too.
Some of the boxes hold letters from another season in life. Maybe I should read all the letters from my long ago North Carolina penpal and return them to her for her posterity.
Marvin remembers the winter day when his Dad built a little barn for him from orange crate lumber complete with a little barn hill. No one has used it for 50 years, but it is there and will remain for a start on our Landis Family Museum.
Then there is the stash of family genealogy books that did not get sold. Hah! that family has a reunion coming up...maybe we can give them away for prizes.
We don't need the plastic gallon jars that were saved to send veggies to a distant mission. Since we have less garden and less energy, I suppose that season is over. And then there was the big box of plastic milk jugs and several boxes of glass vingar jugs saved to make cider...and we have no more apple trees?
There is little monetary value in the things in our attic. The wall paper hanging tools might get used again some day. The bag of poly fill and muslim fabric scraps might turn into Raggedy Ann & Andy dolls someday.
And the other fabric scraps just might get used for comfort or quilt tops...... if God allows yet another season of life.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Survival Skills

Back in the 1970's we were a family with young children. The US was experiencing a recession and "fuel shortage scares". There was predictions of a major depression somewhat like the 1930's in the future. We did not know if we would live to see a major depression or what our children might face in their adult lives.
We remember deliberately making some choices to help our children develop some survival skills. Living on a farm gave us the opportunity to buy a cow that provided enough milk for table use. We made our own cheese, cottage cheese and butter. Some of our children learned to milk a cow by hand. My husband taught our sons to fix things by using what we had on hand like bale twine and plow shares. He taught creativity like making a small tool with "junk parts" and a welder. They learned how to fix anything from a small kitchen appliance to the combine. My husband sought out professional electricians, plumbers and mechanics to learn the "how-to's" for many "do-it-yourself" projects.
We baked our own bread using some of the wheat grown in our fields. We grew fruits and vegetables to preserve for winter use. We felt so blessed when the canning jars were filled, apples and corn were dried, the chest freezer held more vegetables and fruits. Potatoes were stored in the cold cellar. We butchered the grass fed beef we raised on our pasture and stashed it away in the freezer. Venison and other game found their way into the freezer or canning jars.
Our daughters learned to make their own clothing. They could also use discarded scraps of fabric to make a book cover, doll clothing, a purse, curtains or whatever they desired.
Today our children are grown and some of them are raising their own families. We are so blessed to see all of them using "survival skills" in one way or another. It may not be in exactly the same ways we did, but we can observe them "making do" with the resources they have on hand. Last evening we dropped in at one daughter's house to find her husband mixing up a bucket of homemade laundry soap. Other daughters make their own bread regularly. Another daughter finds scrap material and designs curtains for her room. They can decorate a cake or design their own decorations or gifts by using available resources.
Our sons know how to repair vehicles or appliances. They can replace a roof, fix the kitchen sink or build a barn by harvesting trees from our woodlot.
Eternal values are still the most important aspects of life, but in a shaky economy, we are blessed to observe grown children knowing "how to make do" or "do without".

Friday, August 14, 2009

Now for the ways we are different. I'm glad we agree on the things that really matter!
1.She says: I like coffee
He says: I prefer tea
2. She says:Hot peppers and onions please
He says: No onions and certainly no hot peppers
3. She says "Open the windows at night for fresh air"
He says "Close the windows, it might get cool or rain during the night."
4. She says: I have kept a diary almost every year since I was 13 years old.
He says: I stopped writing a diary when we got back from our honeymoon on Sept 10, 1965.
5. She says: My best time of day is 9am.
He says: Things start to fall in place for me about 3pm

6. He says: I like to go to bed about 9:30-10pm
She says: I go to bed whenever I get done. It could be 10 or 11 or later
7. He says I squeeze the toothpaste tube at the bottom like it is intended.
She says: I squeeze the toothpaste tube wherever it happens to land in my hand.
8. He says: When I am reading, background music is distracting.
She says: When I am reading, background music is relaxing.
9. He says: I prefer strawberry or vanilla
She says: I like chocolate
10. He says: I like sweet treats
She says: I like salty snacks

11. She says: I like to try new recipes.
He says: I will try most things once, but I prefer Pa Dutch cooking.
12. She says: Money in the checkbook is to pay bills and hang on to as much as possible. The money in my wallet is for spending.
He says: The money in my wallet is to save as long as possible. The checkbook is for spending.
13. She says: I write at least one letter weekly.
He says: I write a letter once in every decade.
14. She says: I do not like to be late or have someone waiting for me.
He says: I do not like to waste time by being too early. And I do not like when I have to wait on someone too long.
15. She says: I can remember at least some phone numbers and birthdates.
He says: I can remember names and faces better.

16. He says: I like to meet new people.
She says: I prefer my old friends and acquaintances.
17. He says: My shoes are either on my feet or in our bedroom.
She says: My shoes are wherever I kicked them off last.
18. He says: I like quick showers
She says: I like a nice, warm, soaking tub bath best.
19. He says: I usually remember where I put things.
She says: I often forget where I put things.
20. He says: I often forget the details when given verbal instructions.
She says: I used to remember details that people told me (but I am losing it)

21. She says: I turn on the lights when I walk in a room.
He says: I turn off the lights when I leave a room.
22. She says: I like new clothes.
He says: I prefer my old well-worn duds
23. She says : I will "shop around" hunting for the "perfect gift".
He says: I will settle for "something" rather than shop around.
24. She says: If I take a nap during the week, it is between 2-4pm.
He says: If I take a nap during the week, it is before 10am.
25. She says: I will print out directions on Map Quest.
He says: I'd rather just find my way somehow.

26. He says: I like when the toliet paper comes off the roll from the top.
She says: Doesn't matter to me which way it comes off. I'm just glad if the last person replaced an empty roll.
27. He says: I like eggs and cereal for breakfast..and served in that order.
She says: I like variety in the breakfast menu.
28. He says: I think there should be at least one calendar and clock in every room of the house.
She says: I think one or two calendars are enough for a house. I'd rather have a phone in every room...and clocks...whatever!
29. He says: I like a place for everything and everything in it's place.
She says: I am somewhat organized in the big picture of things.
30. He says: I like things visible so I can find them.
She says: I hate clutter!

31. She says: I enjoy a librarians and archivists meeting.
He says: I prefer Ag Progress Days.
32. She says: I need to brush my teeth at least once or twice a day.
He says: I brush my teeth whenever I think of it.
33. She says: I like ketsup on chicken corn soup.
He says; Ketsup on what? Ketsup is for eggs, hot dogs or hamburgers!
34. She says: I like to cook a big family dinner.
He says: I cook when I heat food in the microwave.
35. She says: I like a ladies/girls tea party.
He says: I prefer a smorgasbord where there is real food.

36. He says : When I read a book, I read it and there is no reason to read it again.
She says: When I find an especially good book, I may read it several times and enjoy it more each time.
37. He says: I like to get dressed first thing in the morning.
She says: I could easily begin the day in housecoat and slippers (but I don't for his sake)
38. He says: I like ice cream on Sunday night.
She says: I prefer popcorn.
39. He says: "The hay is wet. How soon could you be ready to leave for Niagara Falls for a few days? I'd be ready to leave in an hour or two?
She says: I'd like to plan a trip to Creation Museum sometime next year? I need to write to several friends that live in the area and make some plans to visit etc. I want to plan our visit to fit their schedules, you know. And I need to check out some places on the Web.So we need to begin planning.
40. He says: Do you have my shaver, my sunglasses, my toothbrush etc (after we are driving down the road at the beginning of a trip)
She says: Here's the list. Whatever is on the list is packed.

41. She says: I like a clean towel very day.
He says: I could reuse the same one for a week...(but he doesn't)
42. She says: I like to set the alarm clock when we need to get up earlier than usual. Otherwise I wake up 20 times a night because I am afraid we will oversleep.
He says: I hate alarm clocks. I wake up 20 times in the middle of the night thinking the dumb thing will probably go off soon.
43. She says: I do not like soggy cereal, bread etc. Yuck! I like to eat cereal before the milk makes it soggy.
He says: I like the summer soup my mother made with bread, fresh berries and milk. Yum! I like to jab applesauce into a piece of cake and mix it all together.
44. She says: I like being married to an old man who does not remember receiving the same Father's card from one year to the next.
He says: What card?

our 44th list

Like I said in the previous post:
Marvin & I made up a list of 44 things we agree on and enjoy as part of our 44th wedding anniverary. They are not all necessarily in the order of importance or value to us. There are more..these just came to our minds today.

1. God's Word is the final authority. (This is truly #1)
2. Personal devotions work best for us in the morning.
3. Our church activities come before pleasure/leisure.
4. Family first, but we enjoy our friends too.
5. Honesty pays.
6. Bills need to be paid on time, if possible.
7. Work is not a burden if you enjoy what you are doing.
8. We "slept in" if we stayed in bed until 7am.
9. Spring is our favorite season.
10. We enjoy unexpected company.
11. It is a pleasure to attend grandchildren's programs etc.
12. We both like bargains, rebates & senior discounts
13. We enjoy helping adult children with their projects
14. Christmas is special!
15. We need a Sunday afternoon nap
16. Reading a good book is a favorite activity
17. We like potato chips!
18. Trips are treasured memories!
19. We like when the checkbook is balanced (and there is money left at the end of the month)
20. Chorus programs and hymn sings at church are special inspiration times
21. Watching the sunset on the Pacific ocean
22. Dinner invitations, Sweetheart banquets and the Chinese restaurant's buffet
23. Breakfast, dinner, supper (by the way) go ahead are from Lanc Co.PA
24. Family reunions
25. Marriage vows are for life! Love can last a lifetime too!
26. We like fresh flowers on the table (in season)
27. Ah! remember the 1940's and 1950's
28. The Direct Connect on our cell phone that connects us many times a day
29. We try to take care of our bodies but expect they will be "used up and worn out" when we are done with them.
30. God still hears and answers prayer.
31. Every day is a new beginning.
32. The day of miracles is not over.
33. God forgives and redeems the past.
34. We do not have children to raise or cows to milk every day at this stage of life!
35. Pizza is a good invention that was unknown in our childhood.
36. Raw milk, farm eggs, day old bread, fresh produce seconds and home preserved food are appreciated.
37. We enjoy attending an Old Order Mennonite church service occasionally
38. We look forward to walking all over heaven together and exploring the sights and scenes
39. We enjoy doing service projects when we are able
40. Teaching a Sunday School class
41. Phone calls from children, grandchildren, the twins and others we love
42. We are "country folks" and like it
43. Hearing about the salvation of a lost soul or one who experienced victory in a struggle
44. That we are still married to each other after 44 years of life together.

The next list will be our 44 ways of being different.
Today is our 44th anniversary. We went out for lunch at the China House, our favorite area restaurant.
We worked on some lists that I will include in the next post...if this one goes through correctly. The lists are 44 things we agree on and 44 ways we are different. We are not quite finished with the lists but it was fun to do.
Today our son and daughter-in-law are also celebrating an anniversary, their tenth one.
There is a first for everything! And since this is my first blog, it is a test run. As for frequency and style of new posts, they may be sporatic, mundane or eventful. . There may be commas, exclamation points, question marks or periods. But here goes!