Monthly Archives: January 2006

Please pray for my friend, Lynn.
Courageous, beautiful, serene.
Smiley, joyful, realistic.
So different from me,
but we have the same Heavenly Father.
And both of our earthly Daddies
are recently home to Heaven.
So much alike, too.
We both love words and laughter and friends.
We both love our homes and our families.
I love Lem and Jess.
She loves Jess and Lem.
She prays for her daughter and my son.
I pray for my son and her daughter.

Today, Dear Friend, you face an incomprehensible challenge.
And my prayers can scarcely think of anything else
besides an operating room at Johns Hopkins,
And what is happening there.

Lord Jesus, in your Holy Name I pray
For an incredible anointing of power and healing.
Guide the hands and thoughts of those who are operating or assisting.
Hold Lynn’s family in the calm of your grace.
May your eye that sees the sparrows keep watchful care of Lynn.
May the evidence of YOU be so inescapable
That no one, NO ONE can ever say
that it was anything but you!




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Happy Birthday, Beloved Son in law!

       I’m so glad for the Papa and Mama whose guidance and example and home and genetic contributions have made you who you are.  (Thanks, James and Karen!)
       I’m so glad for the love between you and Christina that brought you to our family.  It has been such a special gift.  We are so imperfect, often fail, and often don’t understand like we should (so unobservant!) but you have accepted us and shown respect even when we didn’t deserve it.  Thank you!
       Thanks for a wonderful evening.  It was a grand Birthday party, Christina!  It is nice to come to your house.


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She did it again!  Made my Xanga page a thing of beauty!  Thanks, Christina.  I love it!


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Christmas Eve, 2005

     Today has been challenging.  I took Linda for her GYN appointment.  There is something so wrong about holding down a blind, handicapped person so a doctor can do what must feel like such a violation to her.  She has a noise that she makes when any medical procedure is going on that she doesn’t like.  Ethel once said that it sounded like a wounded rabbit, and I haven’t been able to think of any other way to describe it.  I hate to be participant to any of it, but I also hate to abandon her in her hour of need.  And then she tested positive for hemo.  So now she is going to need a colonoscopy.  JOY of all JOYS.  Yes, well.
     I brought her home to load a dishwasher, and get her some lunch.  Then the two of us went out to Mama’s to take care of some bills and banking.  Daddy always balanced the checkbook for Mama.  I sat there and looked at his neat figures, and his distinct way of balancing the checkbook, and murmured against myself at my large numbers and my way of balancing a checkbook and felt inadequate against my mother’s loss.  Her tears were so close today, and I felt like I had been the perpetuator when I inadvertently brought some pictures that I had printed out for my brother and they got mixed in a stack that I had brought for her.  Clint had expressed an interest in a picture of Daddy and his brothers and I had another one that I thought was so good, so I printed them both and when Mama was leafing through Clint’s stack, she came unexpectedly upon them, and it was a jolt to an already fragile composure.  She is so small since her surgery last April, and since Daddy died, she isn’t eating enough.  I saw her standing by the table, tears streaming down her cheeks, and knew that nothing any of us could say or do would really make it better.  Even my pain beside hers looks so piddly. . . When I am there, I feel his absence so much more, and it makes me realize what she lives with all the time. 
      I talked to her today about how good it was that we had him so long.  And I told her that it is hard to believe that someone who was so “Alive” right up to the end could be so “dead.”  Now don’t go jumping to any quick responses here.  I know he is more alive than he has ever been.  I know that we shall see him again.  I know that what we put into the ground was only his shell.  So no one go telling me that I am not being spiritual or scriptural here.  I’m not talking about his spirit or eternal life.  The Daddy we knew, the body that we called “Daddy” and what embodied “Mark Yoder” to us — THAT body is dead.  We shall never know it again as we have known it.  That seems pretty final right now.  And you know what?  It’s hurting tonight.
      Anyhow, I needed to come home because Certain Man and I had an appointment with the accountant in Lewes.  We had a good time together, even with my subdued state, (we even used a Cracker Barrel gift certificate for supper!  That was cheap!)  When we got home, I came across this picture of two of my favoritest young men.  I thought about Christmas Eve, and how hard it was for us.  But, as this picture depicts, it was not all gloom and sorrow.  We had laughter and good memories and a sweet, sweet time together as a family.  Bitter sweet?  Yes, you really could say that.  But as every day passes, I am more and more aware that this is what life is all about.  The laughter and the tears, the grief and the grace, the living and the dying, all mixing together to make the fabric of what is human experience. 
      And I am so glad that the ONE who is weaving the fabric sees the “right” side and He has a pattern and plan.  I have often said that our lives are like a tapestry in the making.  We see this side — with its knots and skips and “stray” threads, and we often feel the needle!  But Someday, Some Glorious day, we are going to see the “other side” and it is all going to be beautiful.  And what’s more, it’s going to make sense! 
       What a Day that will be!



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So, last night we got together at Loretta Miller’s house for a married ladies slumber-not party.  What a hoot!!!  We had nine ladies and we had time to pray for each other, time to play some games that made us laugh and laugh.  And then each of us brought a snack that started with the same letter as our first name.  What a wonderful spread that made!  And then some of the ladies went home, and some stayed until after one o’clock.  Then four of us that thought that we would spend the night stayed up and talked until almost four o’clock, and then I thought that I might just as well go home.  I needed to get Linda up this morning and so I decided to spend the rest of the night at home.  Then I thought I was running out of gas on the way home (I had been running on fumes for a day or so!) so I was most glad to enter my garage safely at home.  I came upstairs and crawled into bed beside my husband and he never found out that I was home.  I was too keyed up to sleep at first (doesn’t usually happen to me!) but then I got to sleep and didn’t want to wake up! I am just about dragging along at reverse today!  Whew!  Was it worth it?  ABSOLUTELY!!!! Thanks Xanga girl “Gokum”  That was really fun!  And thanks, too, VIRGINIA!  I love your house!  And you are a wonderful hostess.  It was just so comfy being there.  And thanks to all who made the evening such a fun time.  I loved it so very much!!!


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It’s been a month since you went to Heaven.  Sometimes it seems like years.
We’re trying hard to run the race, to be people you would be proud of.
They say it won’t always hurt this much, and I do believe it’s true,
But sometimes the need to see your face is overwhelming.
If I didn’t believe that we will see you again, I don’t know if I could stand this.
Thank God for the Hope of Heaven.  Thank God for the faith you showed us.
Thank God for sweet, sweet comfort
On days when it seems like it’s been too long.

I shall see you, soon again, in the land of Life.
I shall hear your voice again, singing praises to King.
No more heartache, no more pain, you are HOME FREE!
And I’ll see you soon again in the land of LIFE.
Where there is peace, peace in His presence,
And Joy, evermore.
We will never more depart, never face one more good-by,
You are HOME. . .
I shall see you, soon again, in the land of Life.
I shall hear your voice again, singing praises to King.
No more heartache, no more pain, you are HOME FREE!
And I’ll see you soon again in the land of LIFE.  (Pelle Karlesson)


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       This is a view of the village before we took it down.  (In case you didn’t know, you can click on the picture, and it will make it bigger for you.) The little fellow in the front of it belongs to the “gracegiven” gal.  His name is also Daniel, and he is almost three.  His sister, Sarah, is four, and his Daddy and Mama are expecting a new little one in a few weeks.  In this picture, he was busy waiting for the train to come around again.  He would have been happy to stand there for hours, watching the train go ’round and ’round.  One of the things that Certain Man has always practiced was making the village as “child friendly” as possible.  He didn’t want the children to be destructive, of course, but he always has allowed them to touch if they were careful, and he loved to run the train for them.         But now, that is over for another year.  My family room seems to have expanded greatly!  I can get to my windows again, and we can wind the cukoo clock on the back wall.  These are things to be happy about!


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  It’s now 11:15. 
  The day was full of writing a long overdue letter and an overdue thank you note.  It also held drop in company, some laundry, trying to figure out what to have for dinner tomorrow, some long phone calls, a much needed run to the grocery and drug store and taking down the Christmas Village.
  That last item took terribly long.  For those of you who don’t know, Certain Man has a Christmas village like no other.  It fills two tables that are actually sheets of plywood, and he uses differents sizes and shapes of stryrofoam to build it up into a small mountain with a train running through the mountain so that it looks like a tunnel.  It really is something.  It takes him a long time to put it up, but when it is finished, it is a thing of beauty and artistic arrangement.  It is one of my favorite things about Christmas at our house  But there comes a day when it is time to dismantle the village.  This is the thing I hate most about the village.  It all has to be taken down and put away.  And today was that day!!!
  I hope that when we get it out next year that it doesn’t bring a feeling of sadness.  It was put up the weekend before Thanksgiving, so it was here through small Christmas with Lem and  Daddy and Mama and Nel and Rose — Just before we said good-bye to Lem for what we thought would be a long time.  It was here through the ensuing weeks while Daddy’s health got more and more precarious and over the days of his death and funeral.  It was here when Lem got to come home for Christmas after all, and for the weeks now since, when there has been numerous people in to see it, and while we as a family enjoyed it so much.  But right now, it smacks of the season we have just been through and that season wasn’t the best Christmas ever. . . So, quite frankly, I was more than ready for it to come down. 
Certain Man is amazing when it comes to his village.  It really is his project from start to finish in both setting it up and putting it away, so I just had to help.  I didn’t need to organize.  I think it is safe to say, though, that we are pretty equally tired tonight.  He had to replace a feed line motor this morning and I had to do my shopping tonight after 8:30.  And I am headed for bed — done with my work or not.  It will just have to wait this time.  Tomorrow is Sunday.  Blessed Holy Day!  I am good and ready for a day of rest.  And Monday is a holiday for Certain Man, so maybe he will have more time to rest up.  (Knowing him — NOT!) 
  Have a wonderful Sunday! 

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Today I spent the day at my Mama’s house. We had some book work to go through, and there were some papers that needed to be filed at the social security office. Specifically, she had a letter from the Social Security administration asking her to call for an appointment. When I called to make the appointment, we learned that she needed to have both a death certificate and a certified copy of their marriage license.

So, we looked and looked and looked. In Daddy’s little wooden box where the birth certificates and deeds and mortgages and automobiles titles and old bills of sale and some 40-year old credit records and even some love notes were. It wasn’t there.

We looked in the filing cabinet where there were sermon notes, and seminar notes and genealogy books and old school records and things that the Mennonite Historical Society would be interested in and the letters from when Daddy first started at the nursing home and had to give monthly reports to Uncle Laban’s family, and the newspaper clippings of the Medicaid Fraud Fiasco and letters from the church in New York City. But no Marriage License.

So we went through the closet and looked at old valentines and letters from us kids to Mama and Daddy. We went through boxes of pictures and boxes that had love letters in them (I told Mama that I needed those letters because it was time for me to write my book that compiled my parents’ love letters — she wasn’t impressed. I did not get permission.) No Marriage license.

I remember seeing it tied up with a ribbon at some time in my life, and there was a brief wild moment when we thought we had found it, but it was Daddy’s high school diploma.  So we looked in the other closets and the roll top desk and on the shelves in the computer room.  It just wasn’t to be seen anywhere.

“If Daddy were here,” I said, “I am sure he would know where he put it!”

“I’m not so sure,” said my Mama dubiously.  “I don’t think he always knew where he put things.”

Along about two o’clock, I decided that we had looked long enough.  I had prayed that we would either find it or be able to procure one without too much hassle.  So I called the Bureau of Vital Statistics in Delaware to get the number for Pennsylvania’s Vital Statistics.  They were most helpful.  I called Pennsylvania.  The recorded message that went on and on finally came to the part that said “Copies of Marriage Licenses and Divorce Decrees are no longer available through the Bureau of Vital Statistics.  To obtain these documents you must contact the county through which they were issued.”

I got on the Internet and accessed Google.  I typed in “Juniata County, PA” and hit the search button.  The first entry up was the “Official Website for Juniata County Government”  and from then on it was easy!  I called the number listed for the register and recorder and got the most helpful, pleasant lady on the line. 

When I told her what I needed, names and dates, she said, “Hold on for just a minute.  Let me see what I can find.”  And in less than five minutes, she was back.  “We’ve got what you want right here,” she said.  “Now if you will send a request for a certified copy with a check for five dollars and a self addressed, stamped envelope, I will get it right out to you!”  I asked her how long it would take.  She said that she was getting it ready right as we spoke, would hold it there at the desk, and as soon as the letter came, she would get it right off. 

So, I got the letter written, Mama wrote the check, I stopped at the post office to procure two 2-cent stamps and it went out in the afternoon mail.  And then came home to help Rachel study for exams tomorrow and now to get some shut-eye myself.  I didn’t get anything much done here that I wanted to do, but at least we solved the great dilemma of the Marriage License. 

And let this be a lesson to you.  Do you know where your Marriage License is?  Is it a certified copy?  You never know when you might need it.


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A little thing like a spur on the heel of a foot.

Good Doctor injects medicine to make it feel better.

Certain Man’s Wife wants instant cure.

Not gonna’ be.

And now the hurt in the heel

And the hurt in the heart

wrap all up together, and who can tell?

Are these tears for the heel?

Or for the heart?


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