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?