Monthly Archives: August 2009

My Sweet Mama’s Family got together, those of us who could make it, for a family reunion on Saturday.  We had a splendid time!  I took alot of pictures, and if you want to see them, just go to my photos, look for “Albums, and find “Wert Reunion” and you will find them there.

In other news, Our Girl Audrey had surgery today to repair a compression fracture on her T12 vertebra.  She got along really well, and Dr, Rowe says that she can probably come home tomorrow.  The house is strangely quiet without her.  Except that Linda is in her bed, giggling like a hyena!  I guess she thinks it is funny to be in her room all by herself.

A week from tomorrow, I see the orthopaedic surgeon, and hopefully we will get a more definite date as to when they will do surgery on these knees.  In other news, Cythia Abraham, a dear friend from New York City is fighting what appears to be a losing battle with cancer.  Her husband passed away shortly before Daddy did, and left her with four young daughters.  I don’t know what the girls will ever do without her.  She is an incredible Christian, and she brings peace wherever she goes. It is hard for me to think of the church in New York city without the steady, faithful, full of joy Cythia, and my heart is so sad for her tightly knit circle of friends and her lovely daughters.  This is certainly one of those times when there is no “right” answers.  Except that Cythia reminds us over and over again that God does what is best, and that she intends to trust Him.  And so, in part to honor her unfailing example, I purpose that I will, too.

 

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My Auntie Rach is getting even for all the times
Mommy put her hair in tiny little rubber bands.
Today was initiation day.
Mommy and Granny and Auntie Rach were laughing so hard they were crying. 
Nevie was MAD.
He felt very sorry for me.
“I am not even going to laugh.
It STINKS!!! 
It is NOT funny!
I am going to bring her some toys to play with because she doesn’t like it!”
And so he did.

 

Charis and Rachel
Auntie Rach was the one who did it!
She was very pleased with herself.

 

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Audrey came home with her red hat today.
I am not at all bothered by things on my head.
And so, here I am sitting on Audrey’s bed,
The youngest member of the red hat society ever!

 

 

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So often I come to you with things to pray about — and this is no exception.  Saturday evening, my cousin’s son and his wife, Donovan and JulieBeth Witmer, flew to Ethiopia to retrieve their precious baby daughter, Noemi.  They have waited a long time for this adoption to be finalized, and they, with eleven other families arrived in Addis Ababa yesterday with much anticipation of a week filled with spending time with their babies, seeing and experiencing the culture of their new family members and bonding with the babies.

Sadly enough, Donovan and JulieBeth’s Noemi was very, very ill.  She had to be put into isolation because of a rash, and she has ear infections, congestion, and diarrhea.  They are, of course dealing with international doctors and they hope to find a “quick resolution” to the problems, but the time in Ethiopia is a whole lot different than what they had anticipated.  And there is much cause for concern with the baby’s health and being able to take her out of the country.  They have loved this baby for a long time, and this is the one that they have prayed for, dreamed about and desperately want to have as their own.  This family is in need of your prayers.

If you would like to read the story that leads up to their departure on Saturday you can find it at:

http://robertswitmer.blogspot.com  

Thanks!

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Earlier this week, when the family of Eldest Son’s Ohio Heart Throb, (whom we know as Regina, as well as Eldest Son’s Wife) was coming for supper, I took a look at my garage and the pavilion and decided I needed some assistance. 

So, I called for Hortencia, my beloved neighbor, and also our renter, to see if she wanted to clean for me for a few hours.  With Friend Karen’s great help in communication (Hortencia speaks almost no English and I speak almost no Spanish) we got the arrangements all worked out.  Hortencia came and got an early start, and was making great progress.  I saw her out there, slaving away, so I went out for a little while to try to talk to her a little.  The heat was oppressive, and she was sweating profusely as she worked.  She returned my greeting, but she seemed unusually sad.

“I talked to Lupe!” I venture, hopefully.

She understood, “Si,” she says proudly, and smiles broadly.

“She was doing so much better than the last time I talked to her.” I add, a little more boldly.  “It makes me so glad.” (I smile and hug myself to show that I am so very pleased.)

She pauses, and turns her head away.  I am startled to see that she is crying.  She purses her lips and tries to keep the tears from falling.  “Baby is sick.” she says, and begins to sweep furiously.

I knew that Lupe’s baby was sick, but she has been taking her to the best doctor, and it appeared to me that things were doing okay — But I thought maybe I was missing something.

“Hortencia, are you okay?”  She either didn’t understand or chose not to respond.  She resolutely turned her back and began to sweep.  And I needed to get into the house, so I came back into the cool of my air conditioned home while she swept in the heat.  And of course, I’ve been pondering muchly. 

Hortencia is about my age.  Her husband and I are actually almost twins.  When I consider how diverse our lives are beyond the point of being moms and grandmoms and women of about the same age, it feels like I’ve been plunged into a stifling room as hot as the outdoors where she was working that morning.  I know that she has had very random work.  Both of their wage earning children have left and it is just her and her husband in the trailer.  Money is tight.

I asked her, then, if she could stay a little longer and work inside.  I hoped that she could cool off, and that I could justify paying her a little more.  She and her funny little husband have lived in the trailer in our side yard for close to fifteen years.  They don’t pay a lot of rent, and we have always mowed the yard, provided the fuel oil, paid for trash pick up and supplied their trailer with water from our farm’s deep, sweet well.  When the oil prices went up, we asked if they could begin paying for their own fuel oil.  We can get it cheaper than they can, so we always have it put on our bill, and the plan was that they would pay us. 

There is something that I need to say about our tenants.  They have been the best renters we have ever had, and they take care of the place and they have been conscientious about not having raucous and unmanageable parties.  Hortencia’s husband has even stopped drinking and become a sober and hard working man because they are concerned that we might throw them out if he starts to get drunk.  I understand from the stories of their children that he is a most unpleasant drunk, so we have been grateful that, for whatever reason, he has decided to stay away from the alcohol that has been the ruin of so many of our Hispanic friends.  And they always pay their rent.  And usually, on time.

That being said, they have not paid for their fuel oil.  And the communication issue is, of course, a problem, but when the total was over $800.00, Certain Man was not quite so mindful of their good points. 

“Hon, you’ve got to do something,” he would intone at regular intervals.  “At $400.00 a month rent, you are paying them to live in our trailer.  I understand that it is hard for you, but you are too soft hearted.  You need to make them pay.  How do you ever expect to get ahead if you don’t make them pay for their fuel oil?”  I had heard his arguments over and over again, and I honestly did agree with him, but when I knew the dynamics of their lives, and thought about all the trouble that owned them, I couldn’t bear to be too hard on them.  Then I thought that maybe now and then Hortencia could do some cleaning for me, and I would just deduct it from the fuel oil bill.  That worked once.  And then, she needed some of the money for something or other, and asked through friend Karen if I could give her “half” and take the other out of the oil.  And so, that is how we have done it now for three times – but the trouble is that when it comes time to pay, and I see how hard she has worked, I feel so sorry for her, that I usually pay her what I would plan to give her for the work she does, and then I credit her an equal amount on her fuel bill.

Okay.  Right about now, I can hear the outcry.  I know that it isn’t my job to make up for all the things that aren’t right in our economy.  And I know that the immigration business is a sordid and complicated affair.  And I know that there are people out there right now that are askance with the thought that I am such a push over.  I know just as assuredly that there are those of you out there who understand exactly how I feel.

I’ve been given so much.  I have the freedom to come and go as I please.  Yes, there is the terrible problem of illegal immigration, but there is also the thing that we didn’t choose to be born where we were, and we didn’t choose to have the lines fall to us in such pleasant places.  I will own that Certain Man and I have made decisions over the years that have brought us much blessing, but for every decision that we have made, there were a thousand other decisions made for us that are also blessing us far beyond what we deserve.

And when I look at my neighbor, and I think of all that she has borne in her life, and especially when I consider what she has to look forward to in the future, I am overwhelmed by sadness.  I think about her concern for her far away girlie, Lupe, and the grandbaby in a land where babies die so often that the first birthdays are celebrated elaborately just because the baby is still alive.  I think about her son, so full of promise and character, now back in Mexico with a pregnant girlfriend, and so little future.  And I think of her two other daughters that are stateside – neither in situations that would comfort a mama’s heart.  I think about her longing to return to the land of her birth, Mexico.  She works so hard, and she settles for so little because she feels she has no right to ask for more.  I sometimes think that her mind may not be as quick as some, but the poverty that she was born into and the abuse she has suffered over the years certainly has contributed to her limitations.  And whether she can think as quickly as some or not, she still has deep, deep feelings and her capacity for love is immense.

I wish so much that I could just sit down and have a heart to heart talk with her.  I have so many things that I would like to know about her, and I long to look into her heart.  And I understand that the time grows short.  Just this week, I was told that she and her husband are saving up to buy a pickup to return to Mexico.  They have considered returning for years, and always something comes up to make them stay.  This time, I have a feeling in my bones about it, and I expect that one day, maybe without warning, they will pack up and go.

And when I stand before my Heavenly Father some day to give account of the deeds done in the flesh, I pray that this is one situation that will have been acceptable in His eyes.  I don’t really care if it makes me money.  I don’t care if people understand.  I don’t care if we are thought pushovers or bad business operators — in this particular matter, that is.

But I do want my Heavenly Father to say that I treated the alien in the land with kindness and respect.  That I went out of my way to help where I could.  And that I practiced the Golden Rule, and “did unto others as I would have them do unto me” regardless or ethnic origin, social standing or mental capacity. 

And I believe it is safe to trust Him.  Even when it comes to $800.00 worth of fuel oil for which we may never be paid.

 

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An evening with friends

We had a great time last evening with (Daughter in Law) Regina’s family.  This is the week that Andy and Saloma Yoder’s entire family came to DE to the beach, and Raph and Gina thought it would be nice to get together.  We thought so, too, and so did the fine folk of Gina’s extended family.  There was some discussion as to where — but I asked Gina if we could please have it here, since with my ladies and my knees, it is really hard for me to go anywhere for very long.  What a splendid time we did have!  And yes, this entire family has been together at the beach since last Saturday.  It sounds like a grand time to me.  (Even made me wonder if Certain Man and his family could accomplish such a feat.  Oh!  That sounds wonderful!!!  We had so much fun when we went to Gatlinburg several years ago!) 

And Yes, last night, I did take pictures!

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Our daughter in law, Gina,
And her sister, Marilyn.
(There was LOTS of sun this week!)

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This is Gina’s brother, Fred, Her Mom, Saloma,
And Fred’s baby daughter, Raelynn.
The one person I didn’t get a picture of
Was Fred’s lovely wife, Jen.

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Ruth, Sunburned but lovely as ever, is one of the best Mommies I’ve ever seen –and is also Gina’s oldest sister.
Here she is with Ava and Lilli.

 

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Lilli was enthralled with the
family rocking horse.  This little
horse, made by
Suzyquekau‘s Grandpa Milton Beachy.
It needs some repair, but someone
as little as Little Lilli Troyer
can ride it just fine.

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Uncle Raph has a good time with the nieces that he
acquired by marriage.  This is Annie.

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This is Ava, and it is interesting to me how comfortable the girlies are around men.  I believe it is because they have one of the best daddies in the world. 

 

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Besides this one, of course, and our Beloved Son-in-Law.

Don’t you know, we have to churn ice cream whenever there is a cookout at Shady Acres.  But frankly, it was too hot to do it outside.  So, Certain Man came up with a plan to do it inside.  In the laundry room.  Inside a plastic foot tub. 

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Surprisingly, it worked very well.   There were enough masculine arms to get the job done, and plenty of young, female admirers to cheer them on.

 

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Here, our Beloved Son in Law holds down the freezer while Gina’s Daddy, Andy, takes his turn at churning. 

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I wish you could see Beloved Son in Law’s hand.  He had been holding the freezer down with his hand until Certain Man got him a blanket to put on top of the freezer and sit on.  Imprinted in his hand from where he had been holding it down was “White Mountain Freezer” (except it was in reverse, of course).  As you can tell, he was closely examining the damages while Ruth’s husband, Conrad, (daddy to Annie, Ava and Lilli) takes a turn at the crank as well.

The evening was just plain fun!  We enjoyed it very much.  The young people played “corn hole” for a while, and then the family piled into their two vans and headed back to Rehoboth. 

Good friends, good times, good memories.

Thank-you, dear friends for spending the evening with us. 

 

 

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Summer days

I thought you all might enjoy some pictures from the last few days.

For starters, Youngest Daughter, decided that the toy box was in desperate need of her organizing, cleaning, and discarding ministrations.

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When Certain Man made this years ago, it was intended for a wood box so it is very large and very deep.  Somehow, there came a time when we needed it far more desperately as a toy box, and it got pressed into service.  The only way to really get to the bottom of it is to get into it.

 

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“This job is really discouraging, Mom.  I’m going to be at this forever!”

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“What are these things and WHY do we keep them?  Well, this gal is getting rid of them!”  (As well as lots of other things.  CMW went away so she could keep from interfering.)

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Charis got her first taste of fresh peaches this week.  Eldest Daughter and Beloved Son in Law have gotten her this nifty mesh bag that you can put fruit into, and then the baby can suck on it and not get any particles into their mouths.  It is so interesting to me.  Charis is rather unimpressed with sweet things, but loves fruit.

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This is Chris’s little “friend” who comes to sit on the kitchen floor and “play” with Charis while the Mommies can tomatoes or make whoopie pies for the Charis Fund, or whatever.  She is a precious little girlie, and we hope that she and Charis really will be friends some day.

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Uncle Raph stopped by for lunch on this particular day, and none of the guys can resist this smiley, happy baby.  It does wonders to a day to stop and chat for a minute with this little bundle of miracle.

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Last night (Friday) Jesse and Christina went out and left Charis at our house.  She was lonesome for her Mama and Daddy, and so Rach took her out for a ride in the red wagon.  She acted like she wished it would go faster.

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Auntie Rach provided the manpower.

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“Here, Love Bug, let’s cover up your little legs so you don’t get too cold!”

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“I think I could get used to this kind of transportation!”

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“Let’s see what kind of mischief we can get into together, you and I, Love Bug!”

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Wow!  Those big brown eyes! 

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Uncle Lem and Auntie Jessica came last night, and Lem got his “Charis fix” for the next little while.  Philadelphia doesn’t seem so far away, but it is too far to just drop in any old time, so we cherish these times together.

Rachel had some friends over for the night on Thursday night, and they kinda feel like family, and we had a great time together.  Finally, even they were tired.

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Much friendly sparring went on, and I hope they weren’t too mad at either each other (or the rest of us) before the night was over.  We enjoy them so much.

 

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I honestly don’t know what was so funny.
I honestly don’t WANT to know what was so funny.
All, Trisha-girl.  You are a funny girlie.
And Hannah, I love this picture of you. 

For more pictures, go to my photoblog.  There are quite a few more, there.

 

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An enchanted evening . . .

I mentioned in one of my blogs a few days back about friends who planned an evening out for our anniversary.  JR and Linda had gone over and over our schedule until we found a day that was suitable for both couples and then told us to block the evening of August the sixth out for a surprise excursion.  JR is not one to let someone forget something, so we were duly reminded, Daniel had to get off work early, and we were to be “ready to roll, dressed and in their car, by four o’clock in the afternoon.

We made it with one minute to spare.  At 3:59 by the clock on JR’s dash, we were driving out the lane at Shady Acres. 

“Turn left now!” said an authoritative female voice.  The GPS was clearly programmed for somewhere, but there was no destination listed.  Daniel and I both were completely clueless as to where we were headed.  It did read “93 miles to destination” so we knew that much at least.  With the help of the GPS, even when JR ignored her when she said, “Make a u-turn on Old Shawnee Road and return to Route 36” (didn’t do much for our confidence but realized that he is fascinated with pitting mind and experience against some kind of canned intelligence), we finally came into the town of Havre de Grace, Maryland, and pulled up beside a small paddle boat with the words “Lantern Queen” emblazoned on the side.   It looked like a great evening was ahead for us, and we were not disappointed.  I forgot my camera in the scurry to be “in the car, ready to go by 4:00” but Linda had hers!  And she was so gracious in e-mailing the pictures she took (and the ones that someone took for us) and here they are!

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The four of us, soon after we got on board.

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There were sailboat races in the area.  These didn’t seem to be especially fast paced or exciting, but they were beautiful.

 

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There seemed to be alot of sailboats that were very much alike.

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Concord Point Lighthouse.  One of the oldest continual use lighthouses in the United States

 

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My good husband and I, enjoying the evening so very much.

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It looks like lightening is hitting the cabin, but it is a string of lights. The boat was really small, and the atmosphere was personable and relaxing.  Supper was wonderful, and the staff was courteous and accommodating

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On the way home, there was this one incredible moment when the sun hung briefly over the horizon and then was gone.  Linda caught this shot at the last possible moment.  It was a wonderful evening!!!

Thank-you, dear friends.  We had a memorable time!!!

 

 

 

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