I come in from the kitchen. Clean dishes all around, but not put away. I’m concerned about the corn, 140 quarts in 170 varied containers, trying to freeze in various freezers. Mostly in ours. Certain Man went down earlier this evening and redistributed the various bags and Ziploc© screwtop freezer containers to maximize the cooling process. When I went to fetch Friend Emma’s corn, her packages were icing over, so it should be okay. I just always remember the year the corn soured before it froze.
Today was the third day of corn for Shady Acres. 700 ears last Tuesday with some of the Bible Study Gals. 1,500 ears on Saturday with Sister Sarah’s family — and they actually did most of the work, and then 1,500 today — some for our household, some for Sister Alma’s household, some for Sweet Mama, some for Friend Emma, some for Alma’s Son, David’s wife, Roxie. Things have gone exceptionally well, especially these last two big days.
I have to laugh sometimes at the way Certain Man and I have gone about this Anniversary thing. I honestly can’t remember the last time he bought a card for our anniversary. But he never forgets it, and he always is certain to want to celebrate it some way. We dream dreams of taking the transcontinental railway across Canada for our fortieth, coming up in two years. We’ve had high plans at other times, too, but something has always gotten in the way. Three years ago, at our 35th, we had planned to do something BIG, but both of our sons got married that summer, and we built a pavilion instead. Somehow, it seemed like the pavilion would be more useful to the world in general than us running off on some big and expensive trip. For our twenty-fifth, we went back to our honeymoon cabin. That would have been romantic enough, I guess, but we took all five kids along, as well as a young family friend. Our family had a wonderful time, but it wasn’t romantic. Oh, and that same year, Certain Man decided that we could do a little private celebrating by going to an MDS meeting that was being held in Calgary, Alberta, CANADA. That would have suited me fine except for a few things. One being that it was being held in FEBRUARY. The other was that we had to FLY to get there. At that point it had probably been almost 20 years since I had flown anywhere, and I wasn’t inclined to start again. But I realized that Daniel was going to go, and if I wanted to be with him, I would need to fly. And so I pleaded for grace to see me through, and bought a heavy, long, woolen black coat and went to Calgary. Alberta. CANADA.
If there is one thing that I have learned about Our Father, it is that He cares so much about the things that are important to us. And behold, he caused a Chinook to blow through out the land of Calgary, Alberta, CANADA, the entire time that we were there, and it was a wonderful, awesome, unforgettable time. It was warmer there than it was back in Milford, DE. I had often heard of “Big Sky” country, but had never really considered what that meant. It was absolutely unbelievable. I will never, ever, ever take the term “Big Sky” for granted again. The sky is just so, well, BIG!
This year for our anniversary, we planned to take a trip overnight, just to get away for a little. We had a hard time deciding where we wanted to go. There was a lot of “Where do you want to go?” “I don’t know. Where do you want to go?” “I don’t care! Just choose a place and we’ll go.” “But don’t you have any idea where you want to go?” “Just getting away is enough, so you say where and we’ll go!” sort of business, and finally I mentioned that it would be fun to go to Longwood Gardens to see the light display, and that seemed acceptable to Certain Man and so we decided that we would maybe head north.
Then we had the corn day of 700 ears of corn with several of the Bible Study Gals, and it brought into mind what my sister-in-law, Rachel, had told me about a small machine shop up in Ephrata, PA, that had invented a corn silking machine. She and her extended family had purchased one and they had found it to be exceedingly useful in doing lots and lots of sweet corn. So whilst I recuperated from the day’s labors on Tuesday night, I said to Certain Man, “How about if we run up to Ephrata on our little trip and see if we could purchase one of those corn silking machines.
And Certain Man, remembering that his sister had praised the merits of said machine to the skies, said, “I would be game for that. LET’S!” I had the telephone number and so I gave them a call and they allowed as they did have some on hand, but he took my name and phone number, just in case, and I said that we hoped to be there on Friday morning.
Friday morning, we came into Lancaster County and began our search for the company, and we went around and around, down this lane and that lane and eventually came to a gravel road and there was a sign out at the blacktop road that pointed us back the lane to the business that we were looking for. We got there around noon and many of the workers were breaking for lunch. A pleasant faced young man came up to us and greeted us and said, “Are you here to buy something, or what?”
“Yes, we are,” I said, “we came to see about purchasing a corn silking machine.”
The fellow looked troubled and said, “What kind are you looking for?” He reached behind him and came up with a bottle brush looking kind of mechanism and laid it on the table. “Is this the one you are looking for?”
“No,” I said, “we came for one of the large ones.”
“I was afraid of that,” he said ruefully, “because I’m sold out.”
I couldn’t believe my ears, “I called earlier this week,” I said, feeling the panic rise within me, “and whomever I talked to said that you had quite a few left.”
“Did you talk to someone?” he queried. “Is there any chance that your name got put on one, because we have one of the stainless steel models, and one of the regular models as well, but both of them have names on them.”
“I don’t know if he put my name on them or not,” I said, “but he did ask me for my name and phone number.”
The young man typed a few punches onto his desktop. “What is your name?” He asked.
“Yutzy–?” I said, hopefully, watching his face for the slightest glimmer of hope.
“Daniel?” he asks, peering over the top of the desktop into my anxious face.
“That’s IT!” I say, a little louder than is necessary.
“Well,” he says, smiling a little, “It looks like we have one for you. The regular kind. Is that what you wanted?”
“It is what I asked for,” I said, “but my husband said that he thought it would be worth the extra $50.00 just to have a machine that didn’t rust.”
“I’m sorry,” he said, “but I only have one of each left and they are both spoken for, so I guess you’ll just have to stick with the green one.”
I was so glad to have the machine that I probably would have taken it in pink (though it is doubtful that Certain Man would have wanted that kind of corn silker).
Certain Man paid for the machine, and someone brought us a heavy, sturdy box and loaded it into the back of our van for us. And we left for home. We stopped in King of Prussia on the way home for a delightful time with Youngest Son and his gal, then came on home. Certain Man lugged the 70 pound box into the middle of the kitchen and we took off the box.
It was gorgeous. Shiny, new, really, really heavy duty — and STAINLESS STEEL.
I looked at Certain Man. “Now what?” I asked miserably. We had 1,500 ears on schedule for the next day, and we really, really did not want to hand silk all that corn when we had this newfangled contraption sitting in our kitchen. We were willing to pay the extra $50.00 to keep it, but what about the family that had wanted this model and had to do with the other. I picked up the phone and called them. No answer. I left a detailed message, and went to bed. I decided that we were just going to use this wondrous machine and if someone wanted to fuss, they could just fuss. After all, it wasn’t our mistake.
The machine is a wonderful, wonderful labor saving device. It gets almost all the silk off, to the tune of 18 ears of corn a MINUTE. And the thing I like best about it is that it is intriguing to the male species. We have never had the guys silk corn before. But this is so wondrously mechanical that they actually enjoy it. And we broke it in but good on Saturday. 1,500 ears of sweet corn from unhusked to in the freezer and everything cleaned up in six and a half hours.
I am so grateful for this “anniversary gift” that has recently landed at Shady Acres. It’s so typical of our anniversary “presents” over the years. Sometimes people will ask me if it is something that bothers me — Don’t I wish for this or that — a cruise, a trip to Europe, a big party, etc., etc., etc..
To be perfectly honest — NO! It feels to me like this is just another definition of the team that is Certain Man and Certain Man’s Wife. Don’t get me wrong, this team isn’t perfect. It has been through some tough times — the enemy of our souls is also the enemy of marriage and all that’s good. But when we step back and look at things and realize how much of what we want from life and what we want to give back to life is similar, it is encouraging and strengthening and so, so sweet.
And even though this corn silker belongs to more than just the two of us it still will always remind me of our 2011 Anniversary.
And it will remind me of the STORM.
But that is another story, for another time and another place.
But if you’ve read this one, and stuck with me until now, you’ll want to read that one, too.