Yesterday was so sweet. 

Dick, Jean and us

Daniel and I on the left, Dick and Jean (Witmer) Stauffer
 on the right. Good times.

Daniel and I went to Lancaster for the day to have some stress-less time together.  (We were in need of quiet time to talk and to relax!)  About 8:30, I thought about the fact that Gary Burlingame had given us a gift certificate to Cracker Barrel for our anniversary, and we planned to use it at Lancaster’s Cracker Barrel.  I had learned to know a gal from Lititz that graduated with some of my cousins from Lancaster Mennonite High School, and we had some very common threads running through our lives.  On impulse, I e-mailed her and asked if there was any way that she and her husband could meet us there for lunch.  She called back while we were already on our way to Lancaster, and God made a way for them and us to meet for a most enjoyable time.  

Later that night I commented this to Jean on her Blog site (

“. . . What a precious, unexpected blessing to meet the Stauffers face to face, and to talk foster care and broken hearts and uncertain futures and great kids with the perspective of having the same FATHER.  Thank you so much for making the effort to join us today.  It meant a great deal to us. . . ” 


From lunch at Cracker Barrel that got over inordinately late, we drove to Denver, PA to see our friends, Bev Martin and her parents, Ted and Jean.  A friend of hers also joined us for the late afternoon and evening together.  And I forgot to take pictures, so I dug some out from last fall when Bev’s daughter got married in the garden that is carefully tended by Bev’s energetic Mom and Dad.  So these pictures were taken last fall, but you can still get an idea of the lovely setting.

Bev and Daniel 9-05 

This is Bev with Daniel last September. 

 Bev's Mom's Garden gazebo

There is this lovely Gazebo up the little hill.  This is where we grilled hamburgers, made s’mores and visited.

 Bev's Mom's garden

The garden is a many splendored thing.  I have never seen anything like it on a private property.  It is just incredible!  And one elderly couple has done it all.  Bev’s Mom designed and laid the many stone paths and built the pond and the stream that leads into it.  She and her husband fashioned a pump system that pumps water up the hill, and then it goes down over this water fall into another pool, then overflows onto another water fall and then cascades into a huge pond — which she also fashioned and has stocked with lots and lots of hungry goldfish.

Bev's Mom's Garden 2 

This is the upper water fall

Bev's Mom and Daniel

This is Bev’s Mom and Daniel talking by the fish pond.  Being there was just so relaxing.  Bev’s parents had another engagement last evening, and left around 6:15, but we and Bev and her friend enjoyed the evening until around 9:00, when we left for home.  Pulled in around 11:55, and called it a day!


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10 responses to “

  1. What a wonderful day with friends! I am so happy that you two got some ‘away’ time. Your lives have been so hectic, and you really needed that day. What a beautiful place Bev’s parents have. Maybe some day I will be able to do that, too…

  2. Yes, it was indeed an unexpected blessing to meet you face to face. I don’t know how many things I’ve thought of since yesterday that I wanted to ask you, but forgot. I guess that lunch just wasn’t long enough!! And WOW!!! There’s no way from your description of Bev’s parents’ gardens that I would have imagined such an incredibly beautiful place. That gazebo looks like something from Better Homes and Gardens. Thanks for inviting us to share in your special day. We feel honored.

  3. So glad you were blessed with such a special day!!  Love you both!! 

  4. Sounds like a wonderful day. And those gardens are spectacular! Someone does a lot of hard work there.

  5. Mary I kept thinking of you on your day in Pa.  So glad it was a special time. 
    Don’t you think that Dick Stauffer looks like cousin Don Yoder? 
    That waterfalls and Gazebo are both incredible.  You could tell someone put a lot of love and heart in it.  So beautiful and creative.  What a treat for ones to enjoy!!!!

  6. Now that was a wonderful way to celebrate your anniversary!  Such lovely memories!

  7. It is so neat that you two couples got to meet!  She grew up about two miles from me, but we know them best because Dick is a brother to one of our brothers-in-law.  These days we stay in touch with our blogs and meet in the grocery story every now and then.

  8. There’s nothing like reconnecting with old friends!  Glad you had a great day away.

  9. Thanks for your comment on my site.  I added a comment to you below it, as there were already a gazillion comments on your last post and I was afraid you wouldn’t find it.    Anyway, glad your celebration went so well.  The gardens are beautiful … and a wonderful passion for retirees with energy to spare.  You all come see us now, hear? 

  10. How beautiful! That waterfall is really something. Looks like you had a wonderful  celebration.

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