Wednesday, January 21, 2015

A New Phase of Life

Last fall our family moved my in-laws to a new little retirement home, just a few blocks away from their home of 50+ years.
It was an exiting day for them, as they had looked forward to this. We had a few younger friends helping us out, and they made such a difference!
At lunchtime we all took a much-needed break for lunch at my sister-in-laws.
What didn't fit in the house, started piling up in the garage.
With a bit of discussion as to where it should all go....
Mom didn't want too much clutter in her new living/dining room, but after a few months of adjustment, that's exactly what happened. After all, where do you put the things from a lifetime?
She worked hard in the house, putting things away, while the rest of us did the moving.
Here is her new kitchen, basically cluttered up with things ready to be put away. It's so nice for her to have all the modern conveniences with so much more counter space. It looks lovely now, after her hard work. I know she is enjoying it, plus a spacious pantry.
It's good bye to the old house, with all it's good memories....
and on to the new.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Another Elias Installment...#3

Monday, October 30, 1849        

The long table was loaded down with food, and Elias greedily eyed the wedding cake in the center. It was filled with plump raisins and had cinnamon dusted on top. His mouth watered, as he looked at all the good things. Most of their family and neighbors were still in the parlor giving Fadder and the widow Wegner their good wishes. Gus Wegner stood beside Elias and reached out a hand to snatch a bite. Elias caught him by the wrist and told him,
          “No Gus, not yet. You have to wait for the grown-ups to start first.”
          “But I’m hungry, Elias, and they are taking long.”
          “They will be here soon and you will have a big plate full,” Elias reassured the small boy.
Elias himself could hardly wait. Supper was much later than usual, well after sunset, because everyone had put in a regular day’s work on their own farms before gathering for the wedding. His Aunt Carys came into the kitchen and stood behind the boys. She suggested with a smile that they each dish up some food and take their plates out to the back porch.
          “Just don touch da cake,” she warned.
The boys needed no more urging and soon were eating happily on a wooden step out back. Elias bit into a long ear of corn, dripping with butter. They had grown a lot of corn this past summer, and had plenty stored in the root cellar. The plate on his lap held thick chunks of pork, the last of the vegetables from their garden, and a heaping pile of potatoes, mashed with fresh cream and butter. He was enjoying this, as the food had been plain during the long two years since Mother had gone.
          “Sure do like it when the families get together and the food is so good,” Elias said with his mouth full.
          “Ma makes good food,” Gus told him. “Supper’s always good.”
          “I’m glad you’re all stayin’ here now,” Elias said, and turned his head just long enough to grin at little Gus.
There would be six children on the farm now, along with Fadder and the widow Wegner. He supposed he would have to figure out what to call her besides the widow. She would still be a widow he reckoned, but now a married woman again since she married Fadder. Was she now Mrs. Williams? That didn’t sound right. That had been his mother’s name. He couldn’t think of the widow Wegner as his mother. Elias knew she would be the mother of the house now, but she wasn’t his mother because he already had a mother. Yet, he thought, he liked her a lot. She was kind, but sort of work-worn in her face. He gave himself back up to eating with gusto, and decided he didn’t know what to call the widow.
The wedding had been brief much to Elias’ relief. The widow, in her good dress, had stood under the big oak tree with Fadder, holding some bright colored leaves and berry branches from the green woods along the river. The Reverend from their church in town had come to say the words. Elias had noted that Fadder looked happy, and the lingering strain from the past two years had gone.
Light spilled out on the porch from the lamps burning in the kitchen and laughter was in the air. Gus and Elias went inside, cleaned their empty plates, returned to the porch and Elias leaned back, content. Gus was in a sitting position on the step, but his bottom was rhythmically bouncing up and down in rhythm to the croaking frogs.
          “When can we get cake? Did ya see it?” Gus said to Elias.
          “Yeah, I saw it. It’s really big and full of raisins. We’ll have to wait, though, ‘til the others finish their suppers and someone cuts the cake.”
          Gus’ brown eyes sparkled in the light.
          “I get to sleep with you tonight, Elias.”
          “Yes, and you get to share in my work tomorrow,” Elias teased him.
Elias didn’t really mind the company of the little boy. He thought it would be good to have a brother along with all his sisters. Fadder had told him to help the boy learn farm work, much as Fadder had taught him. Gus’s father had died when Gus was just a baby, and he had not learned much about farm work from his grandpa Wegner.
Standing in the open door behind them, Gus's sister, Esther, said,
          “They’re cutting cake now, and Ma said for you to come get some.”
 Gus and Elias were right behind her as she turned back to the full kitchen. The widow was handing out pieces of cake, and Aunt Carys was pouring out big cupfuls of fresh cider. Once again settling themselves on the top step, the two boys ate their cake and took long drinks of cider. Elias felt he could never get enough of the delicious cake, and when Gus was too full to finish his, Elias eagerly ate the rest for him.
After a time, the gathered neighbors and relatives sang a song of good will to the newly married couple, their voices floating out past Gus and Elias into the fall evening. Soon after, they started leaving, and the widow (with her now-four-daughters) began cleaning up the food and dishes. Fadder went out to the barn for some late chores, while Gus followed Elias up the back stairs to their bed. After a while, the newly formed Williams family settled down for their first night together under the same roof.

 Thomas Daniel Williams


Tuesday, January 6, 2015

A Little Shouting From the Rooftops

I had some leftover fresh cranberries, and saw this bread on another blog I follow. It is a great alternative to fruitcake for a festive holiday cake. I stirred it up last Sabbath afternoon, and soon the house was smelling delicious. It is quick and easy, and tastes wonderful. Choc full of nuts, cranberries and chocolate, even the insurance man thought it was great (he doesn't prefer fruitcake!)
If you would like more info and the recipe, follow this link:

* We were blessed with another family member today, the 6th of January. Jameson Peter Jones joined Julie's family, weighing in at 8 pounds 13 ounces, and 191/2 inches long. Mother and son are doing delightfully well. I feel like shouting it from the roof tops.... but posting it here on the blog will just have to do. More photos coming soon, I am promised.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas Gifts

It's a white Christmas in Central Oregon...a beautiful Christmas Eve. Here are two links to something special as my gift to you. (Click on the gray lines to access the links.)

The Word goes forth in a wonderful way...God is still at work in America

This is a video, so scroll down a bit until you see the photo and then click on the arrow in the red box. Watch all the way to the end, and have a kleenex handy!

WWI Christmas Truce 100 Years Later...

One disclaimer here: this is an advertisement, albeit a wonderful one. It was done by an English chocolate company, Sainsbury's, in conjunction with the Royal British Legion. It's really worth watching. If you want to know the history of the historic WWI Christmas Truce go here: This lady has done the research, and written out the story well.

Merry Christmas, and Lord willing we'll meet again in 2015!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Final photos from Julie's Trip

A last group of photos from Julie's visit...remembering it has been a lot of fun!
We drove to Burns to spend some time with Grandma and Grandpa while Julie, Bronwyn and William were here. On Saturday, the men got up early and left for breakfast at the truck stop and a trip to the High Desert.
Meanwhile us girls went to the annual Cowbell Breakfast, which was a fun treat. Julie had not done this since childhood. The cowboy ranchers cook and serve the breakfast, consisting of a hearty beef steak, pancakes and eggs (with a shot of whiskey on the side : )
We went inside to eat, and Bronwyn is patiently waiting for her breakfast.
 Grandma is always happy to go and visit with her friends as well as enjoy the coffee.
We enjoyed a good day together, which also included the Burns Parade, and a visit to the Harney County Fair. The men got home later that day, and they arrived none the worse for wear, just a little dusty.
 The insurance man loves to visit the desert on the land of some friends, and was eager to take Will along.
 They had a good day, and were fairly successful. Always a good day in the insurance mans' book.

We all enjoyed a good church service on Sunday,
 and then a good family dinner together.
  One of the reasons Julie particularly wanted to visit on this trip, was the fact that Grandma and Grandpa were moving after 50+ years in the same house. She got to see the old house and show William, before they moved.

 Grandma and Grandpa were ready for a smaller house and a little more retired style of living at 93 and 92 years of age.
 They moved basically just around the corner later that month, and are very cozy in their new little home.
We all had such a good time together, and we were all glad that Julie could make it. BTW, Julie is due with her 9th child, a boy, in mid-January.
A trip back to the Portland airport, and a little time with sister Joy in Woodland, Washington before flying home for Bronwyn and Julie. Will stayed with us for an additional week before he too flew back to West Virginia. Such a treat to have him alone for a week with Grammie and Papa. It's quickly becoming a favorite memory.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Thanksgiving Feast

My heart is full of gratitude this week, with the anticipation of a table full of loved people enjoying a wonderful meal together (not to mention a Seahawks game). However, my mind constantly returns to the reason we celebrate, our Great God who rains down blessings on His creation. I read a post that says it better than I could, so if you need a mind reset, or a little break, follow the link for a small moment of blessing. The Thanksgiving Feast    Happy Thanksgiving to you!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Time with William

My goodness a lot has happened since I last posted. With all the frozen snow outside our window, it's hard to believe I was talking about the pretty flowers a week ago. We have managed to stay warm, and enjoy the deep snow from our windows.
To get back to Julie's visit... we had a wonderful time with grandson William for a week by himself. The insurance man took a little time off, and we went camping in the Fort Rock area of Eastern Oregon. It was dry and dusty, after a dry summer.
But the blue skies and pine trees were beautiful anyway. We chose an un-improved camp site, and mainly had it to ourselves.
This allowed for William to drive around the camp unhindered on our ATV.

He got the hang of it quickly and had fun on Saturday, getting faster.
 Until Sunday morning, when things went awry. He turned the wrong way into a barbed wire fence, and then into one of the pine trees. He walked back to the trailer to tell us about the accident. Our first question was "Are you alright?" After ascertaining he was, we walked back to the site to inspect the damage. 
 Proclaimed un-driveable!
 Papa and William fixed the broken fence, and sustained a few scratches.William a few more from the crash through it.
 They brought over the pick-up and managed to get the ATV pushed up onto the bed to haul home. God was so good to let that happen safely, as there was no help in the immediate area.
 William is showing me that he is sad that the accident happened, but that he is happy he was not hurt!
Our campsite was right next to an abandoned Forest Service Ranger Station at Cabin Lake. People lived and worked here in the 1940's, and it was then converted to a summer guard station and there are still six rustic buildings left on site. The Forest Service closed the site for good in 2002, but it was added to the National Register of Historic Sites in 1985. William and I hiked over to inspect the buildings while the insurance man prepared things to travel home.
Head Ranger's Home in the 1940's

 William decided to leave a mark of his passing....
While Will was at our house, he set out to accomplish this mighty jigsaw puzzle. Quite an impressive goal, considering how little we were actually home. He was working on it, right up to the time that we left for Portland and the flight home to West Virginia. He almost made it, and so Papa and I finished the final few pieces when we got back and Will, here it is. The final finished product. Windsor Castle complete.
What a treat, to have time with a very special young man.