Monthly Archives: January 2010

Oh, no! Oh, NO!!!

I’ve broken my toe.  I’ve broken my toe.

It’s the truth.  (I wouldn’t spoof!)

But my knee is doing so well that they turned me loose from physical therapy.  I do not have to go back!

Thank you, Lord Jesus!!!

About that broken toe — Yesterday, when my friend, Emma, was visiting me, I got up to get something and ran into the leg of a chair or table or something (I honestly don’t know what!) and it kinda rammed in between my little toe and the one next to it and it really, really hurt!  (“And the toes were on the foot of the leg that got a new knee, too,” she says sorrowfully, “as well as the foot that had a broken bone a couple of years ago.”)

I said to Emma, “I am almost sure that I just broke my toe!”  She looked at me like she couldn’t believe it.  (I guess that I wasn’t acting like I was in enough pain– She didn’t know that I wanted to hold my toe and dance about and holler!!!).  Instead, I walked in a very controlled manner to my chair,  pulled off my sock, peered upon it with great sympathy and it actually didn’t look too bad, but something was kinda’ “crunching” in there and my little toe really, really  hurt. 

“Well,”  I said, “I guess I’ll just see how it does. Maybe it is just sprained.”  (Wishful thinking!)  The day wore on, Emma left to go to work, Certain Man came home and went to work in the chicken house.  I fielded the many phone calls, fed my ladies, cleaned my kitchen, did a Xanga post, and occasionally would pull off my sock and gaze at my poor little toe that by now was turning quite purple.  I googled “Small Toe Fracture” and sized up the advice.  As I weighed my options, I decided that a trip to the emergency room in Milford was a great waste of useful time.  Google recommended “ice, buddy taping, elevation and rest”.  Those things I could do at home, indeed, wanted to do at home.  I had a surgical followup the next morning, and it seemed to make good sense to wait.

And so, I did.  This morning was its usual race against the clock with  the buses– complicated by a two hour delay because of snow, and an Audrey appointment this afternoon at two o’clock.  I had carefully calculated distances, and thought that it was “do-able” — that is, an appointment in Lewes at 10:20AM and one in the boonies of Dover at 2PM.  That was before. everything. else. happened!!! 

I put gauze between my toes, taped the two little ones together, actually got knee highs on and my snow boots before leaving for Lewes.  Even with the unpredictable roads, I got to my Lewes appointment on time and the receptionist told the man ahead of me that the PA was on time.  I was delighted until an hour later, I was forced to admit — She lied! 

The waiting room was cold.  So cold that a large black lady came in, plopped herself on a bench seat and said very loudly to the assembled victims  “It sho is too bad that they didn’t have enough money to pay the ‘lectric bill and they done shut off the heat!!!”  (She repeated this loudly twice or three times just in case the receptionist didn’t hear her at first!).  We shivered in silence until the waiting got to be about an hour or so, and then conversations began to spring up all over the room.  There was surprisingly little complaining, but we shook our heads over how long some people had waited, discussed plans for the day that had gone awry and mentally adjusted our schedules.  Just when I thought all hope of being able to make it to Dover on time was gone, they called my name.

The technician said that she was taking me back to get the Xray out of the way to try to help appointments run more smoothly.  She asked how the knee was doing, and I said that it was healing wondrously, and that I was so thankful for how it has done.

“But,” I said in a very small voice, “I think I might have broken my little toe yesterday.”

“You what???” She said.  “You think you may have broken your toe?  How in the world did you do that?” 

So I told the tale, and she suggested that she have a look at it.  I took off my snow boots, took off my black knee-hi stockings that I hate so much, and there was my poor, tape bound toe.  “I guess you really do have it taped,” she laughed.

“Actually,” I said, “It is only one piece of tape.  I wanted to not put a whole lot on it in case I needed to take it loose.”  Which I did while I was defending my taping job.  Really!!! I had taken a strip of tape about five inches long, had thread it between my second and third toes, brought the tape on top around the two littlest toes, and taken the rest of the tape around and brought it down a little lower, just in case the break was below the toe.  It was sports tape, and when I did it, it felt right, and I thought it looked pretty good.  Right at this moment, suddenly looking at it through her eyes, it looked kinda’ pitiful, wrinkled and there were black fuzzies sticking to it from my stockings. 

I pulled the offending tape off, and she looked at my purple bent toe, and said cheerfully, “Yep, I think that toe is going to need X-rayed.  Let me check with your insurance to be sure that I can do it at the same time that I am doing your knee, and if I can, we’ll get it done.”  She soon came back and said, “Yes, indeed.  There’s no problem with your insurance.  We can do it!”  And she did. 

When she pulled the four X-rays out of the developer, I saw her put the two from the knee up to the light first.  “Your knee looks great!” she said.  “It’s doing just fine!”  She put the other two that she had taken of the toe up and looked them over.  And said nothing.  She snapped them all together and put them in an envelope for the Jen, the Physician’s Assistant, to look at.

“What did you see?  Is my toe broken?”  I asked.

“I’m sorry.” She said, very, very kindly.  “I can’t tell you.  You are going to have to wait for Jen.  They have a room ready for you already, and we are going to put you in.  It will just be a few minutes.”

I looked at my boot and my limp stocking and my now bare foot.  “Should I put my stocking and shoe back on?  Or is the PA going to want to look at it?”

She didn’t hesitate a minute.  “No.  Don’t put anything back on.  Jen is going to need to see it.”  And I knew.

I sat in the examining room with a large print Readers Digest that claimed to be the funniest issue ever, and pretty much read every joke in there, but they were not funny.  Most of them.  I used the time to do some bending exercises on my knee so that I could impress Jen when she came in with how well the knee was doing.  And I waited and waited.  About 15 minutes after I was in there, a nurse poked her head in the door and said, “Let me see your knee,” and I dutifully pulled up my skirt and she ran her practiced hand over the scar and said, “Just beautiful!” and went out again.  (I’m still puzzled about that one.  I think they sent her in to break up the monotony, maybe.  I know there were some really angry people milling about because of the long, long wait, but I wasn’t one of them . . .)

And then, after another 15 minutes, Jen came in with my chart.  “So, you broke your toe, did you?” she asked.

“Is it broke?” I asked.  “Is it my toe, or is it my foot?  I’ve been so afraid that it was a “Jones” Fracture (a break in the bone that leads to the toe — especially difficult at times to heal) and I am quite relieved if it really is my toe.”

“It really is your toe,” she said, “but first things first.  You are here because of your knee.  Let’s talk about that first, and then we will get to the toe.”  And so she made me bend the new knee, and straighten it, and she discussed therapy and whether I needed to continue, etc. etc. etc..  And then she said, “and now.  About that toe.  I don’t want you bending it.  I think you should be in a flat shoe, and I don’t want there to be any movement.”

I looked at her in disbelief.  Some of my therapy involves standing on tiptoes and going back down, 30 rounds of such shenanigans.  And riding the bike.  The foot just naturally curves as you ride bike.   She could see my hesitation, but I tried to bring myself around.  I finally said to her, “Jen, one of the things I purposed when I decided to get my knee replaced was that I was going to do what I was told to do to get better, and if I have to wear that flat shoe for my toe to heal, then I will do it.  But if it really isn’t necessary, then I would really like not to wear it.”

She was thoughtful and did some calculating and finally said, “I will leave it up to you.  If you want the flat soled shoe, I will give it to you.  If you think you will be okay without it, I will let it go.

I finally said, “Okay.  Why don’t I take the shoe, and if I am in a situation where I think I will be on my foot for a long  time, or I am going to be bending it, I will wear the shoe.  Otherwise, I will wear what feels best, and I will try to keep it taped and immobile.”

“That’s good.  And I will need to see you back in 5 weeks to see if it is healing,” she said.  “I wouldn’t have to see you again with your knee, but I do need to check the toe.”  She stood in the middle of the room, hesitating a bit, and then said apologetically, “I hope that you won’t have to wait so long then.  It’s been a really bad morning . . . “

I had stretched out my hand to shake hers, but suddenly felt the impulse to hug her.  “Thank you so much for my new knee, Jen,” I said, “and tell Dr. Choy that I am so happy with it and thank him for me.” 

She hugged me back and thanked me and looked happier.  “I’ll send the girls in with your new shoe, ” she said and was gone.  The girls came in with this dainty little shoe with velcro pads — and it didn’t fit.  “We need a large,” they hollered to someone out there, “Women’s large” they said again for all the world to hear.  And I got my shoe, and took care of all the paperwork and flew home to pick up Audrey and go to Dover for a lower extremity ultrasound series.  While they worked on her, I skedaddled over to SAM’S for some much needed supplies, and then went back to pick her up and then came home to my warm, welcoming house.  It is cold in Delaware, and I feel so blessed to be able to look at the stars and curl up in my chair and just take life easy.  So far this evening, it hasn’t been unbearable, and for that, I give grateful praise.



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Faces of Christmas, 2009








The girls 

 And Charis learned a new trick, too!




  I might have to dig out my gate!



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Some of you have received this by mail.
For those of you who didn’t —
This is our annual Christmas Photo Card and letter.



Shady Acres** Christmas, 2009

♫ Joy to the World, The LORD is Come! ♫


Dear family and friends,

            I am sitting here on my recliner, and the activity in my family room swirls around me in happy circles. My sisters are here, working on pages for our extended family calendar. There have been many memory making minutes today as we have looked at pictures, talked to extended family to procure what we need, and tried to shuffle the many pictures into some resemblance of order. It is astonishing to realize the size that a family can become as the years pass. The Mark Yoder clan currently numbers 75 (and hopes to add five more in 2010!).

            Our own little family increased by one this year. And it is pretty much the story that will define the 2009 chapter in our family history book. We’ve waited and prayed and waited and prayed for a grandchild (pretty much ever since there was the prospect!). But as the years passed, and we saw the heartbreak of our daughter and her husband, there were times when we wondered what God was up to, and if the prayers of my precious Daddy, now in Heaven, would ever be answered concerning a child for them.

            God has his own timing, and this was the year for that prayer to be answered in a fullness and joy that we never dreamed possible. In February, Jesse and Chris were notified that a birth mother had chosen them and that they were to be the parents of a baby, sex unknown, to be born later that month. The story would take a book to fill, but time after time, Jesse and Chris (and their families, as well) had to return to the place of just trusting God to work out what seemed like an impossible situation. Our joy was complete when Charis Nicole was born, healthy, strong and happy on April 24, 2009. Yes, the due date was that far off, but she finally arrived! Ever since they brought her home from the hospital at less than 48 hours old, she has been lighting up our lives. She is one of the happiest babies we have ever known, and she has a smile that will melt the gruffest heart. Well worth waiting for on every count, she meanders in and out of our lives with joyful abandonment. She started crawling at six and a half months and at eight months continues to surprise and worry us with what she can accomplish when she sets her mind to it.

            Christina is a stay at home mama, and Jesse still works at Burris Foods as administrator of their particular computer programming. Having a baby has changed them in such good ways. There is a softness that is beautiful, indeed, and we thank God for answered prayer. Both Jesse and Chris are active in various roles at Laws Mennonite Church, and we are so glad for their contributions there.

            Deborah is as busy as ever. She is working “per diem” at the local hospital’s ICU, and teaches Sunday School. The children there dearly love “Beeba” and it has been a blessing to her. Currently, she is planning a trip with Wycliffe to Chad, Africa to help with their Kid Zone program. If plans carry, she will be leaving in late January. She will be working with the “small toddler” group, and is very excited about going. On a similar note, she had promised Rachel back when Rachel entered High School that she would take her on a trip to Europe the summer after Rachel graduated from High School. This was the year for that, and Deborah did an incredible job planning, reserving, and giving leadership to the trip of a lifetime for her little sister. They took along a cousin, Holly Yoder, and they had a splendid time, visiting over twenty countries. Deborah has also been the one holding down the fort here at home in the last three weeks since my knee replacement. It has been wonderful to have my own personal RN!

            Raph and Gina live about five miles away from us, and we get to see a lot of them. It has been an eventful year for them, with both of them having job changes. This resulted in some scary times when it seemed like the future was uncertain, but God provided for their needs, and both have jobs at this point. They are more than busy with outside activities: Gina helps to coach the volleyball team at our local Christian school, Raph plays on the worship team and is also involved with playing softball on the church team. Together they work as assistant youth sponsors at Cannon Mennonite Church. Gina works for a Bridal consultant and Raph is a carpenter with Warfel Construction. We think they have done a splendid job of facing the many unexpected challenges of this year.

            Lem and Jessica live in an apartment in King of Prussia, PA, where Lem is finishing his Master’s Degree at Bryn Mawr. (He graduated in May from Cedarville University with is BS in Social Work.) Jessica has a good job at the Veterans’ Administration in Philadelphia. They are involved in a local church there that is active in meeting the needs of the community (something they are both passionate about) and have plans to put their membership there. Lem is exploring counseling jobs for when he graduates in the spring, and then Jess hopes to go back to school for her Masters. We actually get to see them quite a bit, and it is a wonderful weekend when they come “home” to see Jessica’s parents and us. Lem and Jessica have also shown courage and maturity in facing the many decisions facing them this year, and they are excited about getting graduate school behind them and getting on with life.

            Rachel has had the most eventful year of any of us, I suppose. She got her bedroom remodeled, graduated from High School, went to Europe for nine weeks, (lived to tell the tale) and then went off to college. We feel like we have hardly seen enough of her since that June day when she, Deborah and Holly took off for Europe, but it has been exciting to hear the adventures. I’ve done my share of enjoying beauty, being scared to death, reveling in the joy, and weeping in the heartache. Adjusting to college has not been an easy thing for her, but she has made some steadfast friends, and she finished the semester with grades that will transfer (her biggest concern) and is even now, on her way home for Christmas break. She plans to return to Rosedale Bible College after the New Year and is considering her “life plan” for the fall of 2010.

            As mentioned earlier, I had my left knee replaced three weeks ago. I started having problems early in the year, they did an arthroscopy that wasn’t helpful at all, and finally replaced it on Nov. 30th. Things have gone far better than I expected, but that doesn’t mean it has been easy. I am now three weeks post op, and am able to walk without cane or walker, but I do still have pretty serious pain at times. Rehab is going well, and that pleases me quite muchly. I actually have the second knee scheduled for replacement on March 11, but am just a little uncertain as to what I am going to do. My right knee is structurally in far worse condition than the left, but it isn’t as painful as the left. Go figure. I don’t know why, but once again, I’m surely grateful that it isn’t!

            Daniel’s year has been an extremely challenging one on almost every hand. First, his wife has hardly been herself the entire year, and then he dealt with various things of the offspringin’s, (job losses, finding apartments, worrying about the world travelers) and (most of all) his parents’ declining health and the living situation that was no longer safe for either of them. He and his siblings worked very hard at finding solutions that would be satisfactory to Ralph and Sue (as well as their children). Many, many prayers, lots of trips to Ohio, and never ending phone calls resulted in there finally being an opening in a nursing home in Columbus where they could both go. The family got together for a week in November and got the house all cleaned out and ready for finalizing the sale. Sue’s niece, Jamie Beachy bought the house and that greatly simplified things.    Daniel continues to juggle his many jobs – poultry farmer, state plumbing inspector, deacon at Laws Mennonite church, husband, daddy, and (since April 24) GRANDPA. It’s quite obvious that he enjoys this newest role immensely. In September we added a sun room to the side of our house, and his Christmas Village is set up there and is one of the best ever. He has been a great encouragement to me through this year that has seemed never ending.

            We’ve been so blessed this year, (our grandbaby being such an incredible blessing) but it has been one of heartache and trial, too. My initial knee injury was in January, so we’ve been dealing with that all year. In March, my Daddy’s oldest sister, Ruth Bontrager, passed away after being in poor health for a long time. My Daddy’s twin brother, Luke Yoder, succumbed to Lou Gehrig’s disease in April. In May, my brother, Nelson, fell from the roof of a two story house and broke his neck and his back in several places. In July, Dawn Yoder, (wife of my cousin, Jon Yoder) was struck by lightning and died of her injuries. There have been so many places for us to see God’s hand in our lives as the happenings of this year have been so evident of the fragility of life as we know it.

            We give praise that Nelson is recovering so well. He is actually back at work and has no significant handicaps from his ordeal. And I have a new knee to replace the injured one and that makes me happy. As for the other losses, there is no “fix” for this –except for a faith that will not let go, and the promise of Heaven, where we shall, through the Gift God gave us that long ago night in Bethlehem, be with our loved ones again, never to part. What a glorious reunion that will be!!!


Merry Christmas to you and yours!

Daniel, Mary Ann & Family




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