Monthly Archives: September 2007

Evening update:  I did get in to Dr. Rowe’s office today — and I have a hard, walking cast on my foot.  The break is a slanted break in an area that the doctor feels will heal.  He said that it will take time, but it should be okay with a hard cast and keeping it immobile.  He said that I can go to Women of Faith.   (That is, if I am careful!  Do you all hear me singing a gladsome song of praise?)  A fracture a little more in the direction of my heel and he said that I would have to have had surgery — with a plate and screws and such.  That area just won’t heal without intervention.  This area, though pokey about it, should heal just fine!

I am a gal with a very thankful heart.  The story could have been so different, and God has been so good to me.  I have also decided that there will be no heroics.  I am going to try to do as much as I can from my chair and do what the Doctors say to do.  I bet I will be bored, but I am also excited about all the stuff I can do from a sitting position.  So keep me in your thoughts and prayers, and I will try to keep you all posted!


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Guess what!

I am broken!

Last night, after my small group company went home and I had gotten Blind Linda to bed, I told Certain Man that I was going to go in and have things checked out.  I wanted him to go to bed — I wanted to go alone because I really can sleep on those stretchers if no one is hovering about fussing about having to wait so long.  He thought he should go, too, but I reminded him that it really wasn’t in his best interest or mine.  This hospital is notorious for making people wait.

I got in there at 11:00 — and came home at 4:30 with a half cast/splint and orders to see my orthopedic guy today if at all possible.  The emergency room doctor is puzzled by “some things he saw . . .”  and wants it all checked out.  I know there are old fractures on that foot and a ridiculous amount of arthritis in a band around the arch – and now a broken metatarsal bone.  I am not unduly worried that there is something earth-shaking.

Would you all pray for me about something?  I am signed up for the Women of Faith Seminar in Philadelphia tomorrow and Saturday.  I’ve been so excited to be going for my very first time with some of my bestest friends  — including my Eldest Daughter and two of my cousins and two friends from church– and I really want to be able to go.  Navigating on crutches is difficult because the knee I wrenched is on the other leg, and it isn’t bearing weight very well.  I am not having alot of pain, for which I am grateful, but I want to be wise in what I choose to do.

And once again, I am so glad that it wasn’t worse.  It really could have been.


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Certain Man’s Wife Stays Home

Now it came to pass that the second Wednesday of September in the year of our Lord, 2007, was a beautiful day indeed. And Certain Man’s Wife was delighted at the opportunity to open windows and air out the house and get some things done.

She was especially looking forward to this particular day, because she was invited to a luncheon with some special friends on the lawn of a Xanga friend, Curtsellie. Indeed, she was greatly anticipating an encouraging afternoon.

It hasn’t been an exactly fun week for CMW. Somehow, though she doesn’t remember when or how, she bumped her head. She thinks it happened on Wednesday past when she went to Dover, and managed to tangle with the car door, but the details are very fuzzy in her brain. What she does know is that when she combs her hair, there is a very tender spot there. However, what really got her attention was a very stiff, very painful kink in her neck. This pain radiates out her right arm and makes many daily chores difficult. Like combing her hair. And giving showers to Cecilia. And hanging up laundry.

Last Friday, when it first became apparent that there was a problem, she called her good Chiropractor, Dr. R, and was dismayed to hear that there were no openings at all for that day. So she took a Monday morning appointment and prayed that the weekend would be okay. Saturday was rather uncomfortable, and Sunday morning, she sat in her beloved La-Z-boy with an ice pack and tried not to cry.

Certain Man, from the other La-Z-boy looked on with concern. “Hon, do you really think you should even go to church?”

“I need to go. I have the casserole for the Leadership Team meeting. Besides, I’m afraid I will miss something important.”

“Sometimes you just have to miss.”

“I know, but it seems like every time I do, I am so sorry. Like last weekend at Retreat. Sunday morning, I was feeling more than a little depleted, and I left the service to make sure the lunch was in the oven, then just went over to my cabin and sat there for a little, and missed the best part of the whole weekend! I came in on the tail end of things, and that was sweet, but I’ve been mad ever since that I wasn’t there for the whole thing!”

Certain Man just shook his head, and said no more. He knew she wasn’t staying home. Some ice and some Advil and a prayer did their part, and she managed to get through the day quite well. Better than she expected, actually.

Then Monday morning dawned and she headed out to the Chiropractor bright and early. This was important, because Our Girl Nettie needed blood work, and in the afternoon, CMW was scheduled to have a molar pulled. Dr. R is young and exuberant and encouraging. He is daddy to six young children, and CMW likes to hear him talk about his life and his theories and his family. He was quick and efficient as he adjusted the hurting neck.

“Not only did you do a number on that neck,” he said, “you also rotated some ribs. I think I had better see you back again this week.” So an appointment was made for Wednesday morning early enough that CMW could make it to the luncheon, and then she headed out to pick up Our Girl Nettie for blood work, and eventually, ended up at the dentist’s office with great dread and trepidation.

This dentist was CMW’s Daddy’s dentist through the last years of his life. He was incredibly kind and accommodating during the last few difficult months when, in addition to the chemo and the lymphoma, The Daddy got a bad toothache. CMW trusts him as much as she would almost any dentist, but that isn’t necessarily saying anything profound. He is professional and good, but he still was pulling her molar, and there just is no fun way to do that. The procedure went well, and there was very little alarming noise on the part of the patient or the tools needed to do the extraction. It’s just that there is something so devastating about having a tooth extracted. But eventually, after sectioning it and pulling it, one root at a time, it was all done, and CMW was on her way.

So the past few days have been of the kind that made CMW want to just climb into bed and stay there. Of course, that wasn’t to be. Our Girl Nettie had an appointment in Millsboro yesterday, and CMW’s Sweet Mama was leaving on a trip, so it seemed like there were lots of things to demand attention.

Today. Ah, today! CMW was looking forward to this day!

This was the day that Youngest Daughter had a dentist appointment at 8:30. She does not have her car right now because Eldest Son is using her car while his is in the body shop. (That is another story that I am not at liberty to tell.) CMW had a Chiropractor appointment at 9:30 in Milford. Lunch at Curtsellie’s was starting at 11:00. CMW was supposed to take a dish of food to share. Then Cecilia’s’s bus was late, and Our Girl Nettie was almost in reverse when it came to getting dressed. CMW sent out a frantic SOS for Middle Daughter who was just getting off work at eight, to please come and put Cecilia on the bus so that she could take Youngest Daughter to the Dentist appointment. Middle Daughter was cheerfully obliging.

There was general melee when Beeba’s Bug, the DART Bus and the Family Van were all occupying the driveway at the same time, but eventually, CMW and Youngest Daughter got on their way. Ten minutes late, and minus CMW’s checkbook and billfold. After dropping Youngest Daughter off, CMW flew back home to cook some eggs for the egg salad sandwiches she was taking to the luncheon. She loaded the dishwasher, and got Our Girl Nettie on her bus, listened to Middle Daughter’s account of her night, and collected her billfold and checkbook. By now, it was obvious that someone besides CMW would need to pick up Youngest Daughter and take her to school. So Middle Daughter willingly agreed to do that, and CMW was off for her appointment at the Chiropractor.

The appointment went well, and when the staff heard that she had a luncheon to attend, they were able to speed things up a little, though not enough to insure that CMW would be able to make it by 11. This concerned CMW, but a conversation with Middle Sister made her feel like being late would be better than not going, and she was looking forward to it so much, that she decided that she would persevere and go!

So, she went home and made her egg salad and put it on her homemade bread that she had remembered to set out from the freezer, and cut the sandwiches in little squares and arranged them on a Corningware tray and covered them over with plastic wrap. She turned out the lights in her house, and she gathered her stuff together. Come to think about it, she needed her camera. And maybe the batteries weren’t fresh. So she added a pack of batteries to the things she was carrying and mentally ticked off her list. Camera. Batteries. Phone. Egg salad sandwiches. Glass bottle of ice tea to drink on the way. Everything was just fine.

So she headed out the door to her van, arms full, but happy to not be any later than she was. She came around the end of the van on her way to the driver’s door when her left foot went off the edge of the concrete, and just that quick, she was on the floor of the garage. Her camera and phone bounced across the concrete, her tray of sandwiches slid unceremoniously out of reach. The glass bottle of tea landed “Ker-shlam!” but didn’t break. The left foot was doubled in half with the little toe turned under and the right knee was in a most uncomfortable position. CMW knew that there was no one that was going to come flying over and ask stupid questions, so she took her time in unraveling herself to a straight position. She laid on the hard floor and thought dismal thoughts of discouragement.

But she wanted to go to the luncheon. She wasn’t broken. She wasn’t bleeding. She was not even brush burned as far as she could tell. And she really wanted to go. So she picked herself up from the garage floor. She gathered her scattered possessions. She put things into the car, and started it and backed it out of the garage.

Once outside the garage, she began to think. Her foot was hurting. Her knee was hurting. Her shoulder and neck were still hurting. And the jaw, where the molar had come out was hurting. She looked at her poor, almost squished sandwiches and started to cry.

And she called Eldest Daughter and she didn’t answer her phone. So she cried some more and left a message that she wasn’t coming. And she called Middle Sister to see if she had left for the luncheon yet, and cried some more and told her that she wasn’t coming.

Then she put her sandwiches in the refrigerator and took her things into the house and cried some more. There were things that she needed to do, so she changed the washer and folded some laundry and swept the entry. Nothing she put on her foot felt good, but she took some strong pain medicine and rubbed everything down with Blue Emu Cream and decided that it was time to stop crying.

It was time to get perspective. There were no busted lips, no concussions, no need to call for help. Sometimes we don’t know what we have been spared by what we miss. And this is one of those times when CMW believes that she may never know the reason, but senses that she should be content in what is. Not everything in life is hers to know, though she often wishes it were.

And that is the news from Shady Acres, where there have been great expressions of sympathy and caring. Eldest Daughter came home from the luncheon with a card that brightened the day considerably, and CMW is awaiting the morrow to see if she will be able to walk.


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The news at Shady Acres is that this old lady (ME!) had to have a molar pulled yesterday.  I feel like I am dragging myself around very miserably, but I need to shake it off, because I need to take Our Girl Nettie for a doctor’s appointment this afternoon. . .

In other news, Shady Acres had over an inch and a quarter of RAIN last night.  Today is muggy and cloudy.  I love it.  More Rain is in the forcast for the afternoon and evening.

In some old news, Certain Man and I had some company on Sunday night to play some games and eat some food and enjoy some fellowship.  We enjoyed the evening immensely!  There were people we missed, but it was still a nice little gathering of friends.

B  Sunday Night  Donna and Amy

Donna and Amy came without Dale.  He was “meetinged out” from being so popular over the last few days.

B  Sunday Night Dave

Dave was pondering something extra important, I guess.
He didn’t look quite so sober when he was playing “Greedy”

B  Sunday Night Robert

Robert listens in on a conversation.
His words are often few and far between.

B  Sunday Night Loretta

And my friend,
She may be pondering the injustices of
having to keep score for the Quiddler game
and not winning.
Never mind, Loretta, Dear.
We know that you could beat us all hollow if the cards were right!


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As some of you know, Middle Daughter has been in the process of moving for several months.  She and one of her cousins planning to live together in the little lakeside house that I showed you earlier.  On Saturday night, Beebs and Holly invited their families to supper.  What a wonderful time, indeed!

B  Supper 1

On one side of the table, Middle Daughter, Beloved Son in Law, Eldest Daughter, Polly the Patchworker, and her husband, my youngest brother, Mark.  At the end, though you cannot see him, is their son, Jeremy.

B  Supper Max

Baby Max was in the mix somewhere, too!

B  Supper 2

At the other side of the table was Jeremy’s lovely wife, Cheryl, Friend John, Polly and Mark’s son, Timmy, Holly, and Youngest Daughter, Rach.

B  Supper Mama

My Sweet Mama was there.  Isn’t she wonderful???


Holly and Deborah are both bookworms.  This little house has some things that it has never had before:

B  Supper  living room

Look at those beautiful hardwood floors!


Maxie had his usual fan club!

B  Supper  Rachel and Max


B  Supper Max and his fan club

B  Supper Great Gandma and Max

What a precious time together!  The food was great!  The house was comfy and inviting.  And the fellowship was so warm and full of love and laughter. 

How very much it makes me think of our Daddy . . . 
He would have loved being at Deborah’s house and having supper with us all.  
I suppose that we will always miss him on these special nights. 
Once again, tonight, I choose to think about him safely Home, across the River. 
The house is comfy and inviting and full of Light. 
The fellowship is full of love and laughter. 
And Jesus is there. 
What more could a man want? 
What more could we want for him? 




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 Many, many years ago, three young women (sometimes more, but these three were the “core” for much of the time) met once a week to pray together,  and to be accountable to each other.  We met at my friend, Etta Fern’s kitchen table and she and Marilyn and I, with our children playing happily somewhere in the house, experienced friendship and God in miraculous ways.  The years have taken us many miles from each other, but this morning’s Sunday School lesson brought back to me those days, as I remembered the song which we sang together nearly every time we got together.  



By Thomas O. Chisholm

O! to be like Thee, blessed Redeemer,

This is my constant longing and prayer;

Gladly I’ll forfeit all of earth’s treasures,

Jesus, Thy perfect likeness to wear.


O! to be like Thee, O! to be like Thee,

Blessed Redeemer, pure as Thou art;

Come in Thy sweetness, come in Thy fullness

Stamp Thine own image deep in my heart.

O! to be like Thee, full of compassion,

Loving, forgiving, tender and kind,

Helping the helpless, cheering the fainting,

Seeking the wand’ring sinner to find.


O! to be like Thee, lowly in spirit,

Holy and harmless, patient and brave;

Meekly enduring cruel reproaches,

Willing to suffer, others to save.


O! to be like Thee, Lord, I am coming,

Now to receive th’anointing divine,

All that I am and have I am bringing,

Lord, from the moment all shall be Thine.

O! to be like Thee, while I am pleading,

Pour out Thy Spirit, fill with Thy love,

Make me a temple meet for Thy dwelling,

Fit me for life and Heaven above.


Marilyn Showalter and Etta Fern Miller — if you are out there somewhere and reading this — I want you to know that those mornings together, the prayers and the tears and the music are so much a part of who I am today, and I remember with gratefulness the contribution you two had on my life.  I will always love you!



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Church Retreat, 2007

We, the people of Laws Mennonite Church, have just finished our annual church retreat.  Pictures cannot begin to capture the fun, fun time of the weekend, but I still want to share some with you.  These are some of the faces:

A  Jonathan and Althea 1

Jonathan and Althea blessed us with their presence overnight on Friday night
Jonathan shared in “Family worship” on Saturday Morning before they went on to visit relatives.


  A  April       A  Abby 

What a variety of people join us for Church Retreat! 
If we were a large church, it could be highly inconvenient!
The way it is, it lends a great flavor to our time together.


  A  Beka  A  Chevie 

There are things to laugh about, things to amuse . . .


A  JR Gary and Jonathan

Discussions to have, problems to solve . . .


 A  Cameron and Jessica 2

Hugs to be given and gotten, children to hold and feed..


A  Christina

“NO, she’s NOT!!!”


A  Emma

Blowing up balloons can be daunting when you are so small.


A  Shirley, Jean and Loretta 

It is great to have some time to talk and connect!


A  Beloved Son in Law

Our Beloved Son in law


A  Daniel Hughes at the crafts table

Church Retreat can sure tucker a guy out!


A  Nikki

It can make otherwise fairly sane people lose perspective.  You go, Girl!


A  Pizza time 2

Of course we had lots of food!  Ever since I can remember, the menu for Saturday night has been

(Hooray for Sam’s Club!)


A  Relays

It can be scary when you don’t know what the next relay is going to be!


A  Stomp the balloon

The “balloon stomp” was a big hit.  Literally!  Some people came away with bruises.


A  Stomp the balloon 1

Two of the last four contestants.


A  The Wheels parade

The Wheels Parade is always a big hit.  Here the family of His Help meet prepare for the event.  (Can you believe that Mrs Mast had her seventh baby just a few weeks ago.  I think she looks great!


A  Ugly Shirt Ugly Hat contestants

We had a splendid talent show.  (This wasn’t it!) There were wonderful crafts.  We had a softball game and a soccer game.  The Youth Girls organized some challenging relays and exciting skits that caused us to laugh.  On the last day, we had an ugly shirt/ugly hat contest and that motley crew up there is sum total of the brave participants.


A  Emily's ugly shirt

A little girl and her ugly shirt.


A  Announcing the winners

Announcing the winners.


A  Dale Hangs

“Hang that fellow with that ugly shirt.  And be quick about it.  We need that rope for the pinata!!!

A  Pinata time

Turn around three times, Ethan, and wallop that red chili pepper for all you’re worth!

 We had three pinatas — a frog, a red chili pepper and a soccer ball.  Each took an exorbitant amount of energy to break, and each made an exorbitant mess on the floor. But finally, it was all cleaned up, the floors were swept and scrubbed, and the chairs and tables put away. The families gathered themselves and their belongings and headed home. Certain Man took his faithful truck and trailer and Cameron and her loot and went home.  The camp caretaker came over and we were able to figure up the bill, do a walk-through to make sure everything was in order, and then I collected Blind Linda and went home, too.

Another Church Retreat is History! 

(It’s all over but the laundry!  E-w-w-w-w-w-w-w!) 


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