Monthly Archives: January 2006

I’m Back!!!!

Thanks, Christy-girl for posting my notice.

Thanks Beloved Son in Law for fixing my computer!

Thanks Caleb, for your good help, too! 

What would I do without people to help me???


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Mama wated me to write that her computer is being worked on and she will not be posting for awhile. Jesse is working to try to get it updated and in better working order.It should be a few days at the most.

~Christina (for Mama)



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I wonder if a by-product of grief is bone weariness, or if it comes from all the activity that goes along with all the stuff that has to be done.  I really haven’t had trouble sleeping when I get to bed, but I am so tired!  I should go to Dover this afternoon, get my car cleaned and pick up some stuff, but I am afraid I will fall asleep on the way.  I guess I will just go to the local car wash and forget that it needs a good job.

Tomorrow, I plan to go with Mama to Baltimore for a follow up with her thoracic surgeon.  She had a CAT scan with contrast early last month, and needs to have that evaluated and see how she is doing over all with her cancer.  The last scans were totally clear, and we are hoping for more good news.  I am afraid to hope too much, because it seems like most of the news in the medical field here of late has been anything but good.  She seems to be doing okay, though, and even with the devastating last few weeks, has been hanging in there and doing as well as can be expected.

The Yoder Family Calendar is finished.  Finally.  My sisters and I worked the last two days (with some help from Deborah and Christina) and my sister-in-love, Polly, took two pages to her house to do there. And all the pages are done!  Now we need to get it all sent off and printed.  We will be a few weeks late, and I am not happy with that.  Daddy always loved to look through it and see everyone’s birthday and anniversary pictures and he didn’t get to see any of this. 

Because we are so late, the new version will mark the first anniversary of his death.  Where will we be then, I wonder?  Going through the pictures this week to find ones for the calendar has been really difficult for me.  It seemed like everywhere I turned, there was his face.  Usually smiling, almost never talking, just watching the things of life going on around him, contemplating, listening, just there! 

Some days the thought of him in that City of Light is not enough to stay my tears.  How very much I miss him!


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So today I butchered the fat roaster that had gotten left behind by the chicken catchers last week.  I was in the middle of Monday morning sorts of things when Certain Man came in and said, “I am going to just wring the neck of that old roaster that got left behind.  I need to set up chicken houses, and I want him out of there.” 


 “Please don’t do that,” says I.  “I will put water on right now and come out there and get him.”  Certain Man looked dubious, but I grabbed my biggest kettle, and filled it to the brim and put it on the burner.  I finished straightening my kitchen while it started to cook. 


When it came to a boil, I said to Blind Linda, “I am going outside to catch a chicken.  I will be in really soon.” Blind Linda didn’t say anything.  I sharpened my biggest butcher knife and headed out to the chicken house.  When I got out there, Certain Man was in the Manure Shed working on his tractor. 


 “Did you catch that Chicken?”  I ask him brightly. 


“Oh, no.  I forgot all about it.”  He stopped whatever it was that he was doing and came through the mud to where I was standing. 


 “Which house is it in?” I ask him. 


“It’s in house two, I think,” he says, “Unless the fox got it.  Could’ve gotten it.  I didn’t see it this morning, I don’t think.”  We enter the darkness of the empty chicken house and Certain Man flips on the lights.  There was the object of my intentions, fluttering about down near the end of the house.  Certain Man turns off the lights, and we edge our way down towards our hapless victim.  I wasn’t much help at this juncture, I tell you, because I do not go running about in chicken litter chasing an 8-lb ball of feathers that has those spurry things on the sides of its legs.  I will “herd” but I usually do not chase.  Certain Man had some ideas up his sleeves, and he shortly had the roaster in a big bucket with the lid on. 


“Are there any others?” I question hopefully. 


“I don’t know,” he said.  “I’ll go look.”  At this point, our Australian Cattle dog, Shepherd, who has proven trustworthy enough to run about the place comes eagerly up, hoping to partake of a chicken dinner.  I remember that he is not easily controlled when he sees a flopping chicken.  So I carried the bucket with the chicken in it up to the dog pen.  Shepherd follows, panting happily.  Whenever I go to his pen with a sort of container, it usually means that he is getting fed.  He ran quickly to his dog pen and got inside.  Oh, disappointment.  The gate got locked and there was no chicken for the doggy.  He looked reproachfully at me as I walked away.


By this time, Certain Man was back with the news that there were no other chickens.  So he helped me rig up the baler twine to hold the roaster in an upside down position, and we got him properly restrained. 


Then I asked Certain Man if he would take the bucket into the house and bring out the boiling water that was on the stove.  The execution of the chicken is always my department because Certain Man cannot bear to take a butcher knife and cut their throats.  I don’t particularly like it, but I realized a long time ago that if we were ever going to eat chicken from our own flock, I was going to have to do it.  So he went after the water, while I removed the head from the body of the unfortunate chicken. 


 When he got back, the atrocity was over, and I plunked the body up and down and up and down in the boiling water until the feathers were loose, then I hung it up and plucked the feathers off with the help of Certain Man and a pair of latex gloves that he had procured for me from the house. 


When the Roaster was sufficiently naked, I cut off the feet and brought him into the house where I could scrape off the pin feathers and butcher him.  He was a fat old bugger, and I had some trouble getting him properly ready for my pan.  But tonight he sits in a tub of salt water, and tomorrow I will put him in the freezer until Saturday night, then we will take him out, and I will stuff him with some stove top dressing and plunk him into the oven before we go to church and we shall have him for lunch, if the Lord so wills. 


This gray day has held many good things. . . That old roaster is butchered, I made the party mix that usually is a “before Christmas” thing.  I baked bread and I am planning to still sort the laundry for tomorrow.  Certain Man and Eldest Son are on their way home from the airport, and I have already gotten a run-down on his happy weekend, so once Certain Man gets here, we should all be able to get some sleep.  If the Lord tarries, and the plan carries, we will work on the Yoder Calendar for this present year.  The Yutzy side of the family has been long done. 


Oh, well.  Some things are out of my control.  Which is a good thing, really! Blessings for a wonderful new year.


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Sitting in the sanctuary, listening to the hymns,

In my Daddy’s place beside my Mama,

Thinking about Heaven, wondering what he’s singing there.

Sitting in the sanctuary, feeling hope and love and grief

And seeing it mirrored on the faces of the people he loved.

Knowing that they loved him, too.

All of us, missing him, knowing that the days ahead

Are uncertain, uncharted, unfamiliar — and unwanted.

Choosing here to think about the hope.  Thinking about

The spirit of expectancy.  The spirit of holding on.

The determination to hold out for a blessing.

What would he want us to do?

He would want us to do what God wants us to do.

He would want us to love each other.

He would want us to focus out instead of in,

Find something to do for the sake of The Kingdom.

He would want us to tell the good news,

Give to the work of the church, support the ministers.

He would want us to be faithful, people of courage,

Doing what’s right because it is right.

He would tell us “It always pays to be kind.”

And he would tell us that it will be worth it all.


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