Monthly Archives: April 2013

It’s been a good day at Shady Acres.  The taxes, though late, are finally done and to the accountant.  

It rained most of the day.  Tonight, I wanted to go out and see if there was any asparagus for the taking.  The row was so weedy.  I decided that it would be good therapy for me to try to at least get the weeds away from the few brave shoots of asparagus.

I don’t think that weeds and grass would really stop asparagus from growing, though.  I remember seeing it grow wild along the ditch banks of Delaware when I was a little girl.  If you got to the right place, you could harvest enough for supper along the road.  But I was having difficulty finding mine among the weeds, and Certain Man, usually the best weeder ever, just isn’t up to it.  Yet.

The cows, in the field beside the garden, caught sight of me weeding away, and trekked over to see what was going on.

They happily chomped on the chickweed I threw over the fence, and fought over the lonely thistle that I found growing, green and still tender.  Then suddenly,:

“Mo-o-o-o-o-o!   Mo-o-o-o-o–o-o!!!”  There was a great commotion from the six steers in the pasture.  I couldn’t figure out what was going on, until I looked across the yard towards the chicken house lane, and here came Friend Gary in his old blue truck.  

It doesn’t hold much for looks for me, but the cows sure thought it was beautiful.  It meant supper was coming!  They abandoned me and the tender chickweed, and headed for the barn for supper.  Gary has been filling in with the chores at Shady Acres the last few weeks.  My heart goes out to him.  His back hurts, his legs hurt, he doesn’t know if he can hardly make it.  But the chickens go out tomorrow, and then he shall have a rest.  And we wouldn’t have been able to make it without his good help.  I am so grateful for good friends.

I picked all the asparagus that I could see.  Literally.  And then cut a bowl of lettuce.  

Our first.  It is sweet and crunchy and good.  Part of the crunch is the sand that seems to have invaded everything after the inch and a half of rain we’ve had over the last few days, but the lettuce is a whole lot better than last year’s bitter batch!

 The spinach is doing well, too, as are the potatoes and peas

And even onions.  

Daniel is embarrassed at how weedy his garden is, but is gratified to see how well things are growing.

Besides, he has offers for help for the weeding that would have materialized tonight if it hadn’t been for the rain.  It will be okay.

Another thing that has brightened his day is that he has had several inquiries about “Them Thar Tomato Thingies” and his idea is being utilized in several gardens around the country.  How famous is that?  I am so proud of my man.  He has been doing so well, working so hard at Rehab, being cheerful and optimistic and upbeat.  He even preached on Sunday — one of his best sermons ever, if I do say so myself.  Full of vision and hope and specifics.  I am so glad that this surgery is behind him.  After the way he put it off for so long, I am truly waiting for the day when he admits, “I don’t know why I waited so long . . .”

And that is the news from our little corner of the world.  

My heart gives grateful praise.

 

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Quanson/Kwanson Cherry Tree

Just discovered that the Quanson/Kwansan Cherry tree pictures that I took earlier couldn’t be prettier.

 

The tree is loaded with blossoms:

 

Certain Man made a trip to the upper deck in the afternoon yesterday
And I followed with my camera:

This is the Cherry, growing up over the railings of the upper deck.

 

And then there is the little Amish Buggy Bird House,
Made by Certain Man’s Uncle Lewis Kauffman, of Missouri.

It hangs in the lower branches of the tree.
We’ve been hoping for a Wrenter, but so far, no takers!

 

And this is the peaceful, shaded and beautiful yard
beneath the tree.  I could spend many a happy hour here:

 

When the Cherry is blooming and the grass is growing,
I know that spring is truly here.

If I had any doubts, a short interlude at my back deck door
with the birds singing a thousand morning songs
quickly reminds me.

My heart gives grateful praise!

 

 

 

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A mixed bag of Thursday ponderings

It’s been a long week at the piece of land we call Shady Acres.  Daniel has continued to do very well, with lots of people in and out to either visit or check on and assist his progress.  Daniel’s wife has had a week of unrelenting “backwards-going” things, and some of the little things make me laugh because there is nothing else to do.  Like being almost late for a dentist appointment, and having an SUV pull onto my lane from the side of the road, acting like he never saw me at all, causing me to have to brake so that I didn’t hit him, and then going 48 mph all the way from Milford to Greenwood and Route 13.  Or picking up an order at McDonalds and having the gal at the window say, “Sorry.  There is no ice.  As in we don’t have any.  At all.”  or the pharmacist saying about a prescription for Daniel’s Pain meds, “I’m sorry.  I don’t have it.  I will have to call the doctor and see if I can get a different strength, but I don’t know if I can get it today.”  When Daniel was OUT.  (Those were the small things.)

One of the biggest things has been this numb face of mine.  I finally called my good doctor and asked to come back in.  The result is another two weeks of serious meds, and an appointment next week with a neurologist.  Dr. Wilson has pretty much decided that it isn’t internal shingles (relieved).  He doesn’t think it is a brain tumor (comforting).  And he seems confident that it isn’t Bell’s Palsy.  He seems to think it is a deep seated, chronic sinus infection that has affected a nerve. I don’t have a strong opinion about it, but it seems like it is somehow connected with the sinus cavity or something dental.  I’m getting tired of it, I do know that.  Because it was noted that it could have something to do with stress, I’ve been mentally calling upon myself to smile whenever I find it troublesome, or to sing lots of songs when the smile just doesn’t cut it.

Maybe it is the songs I’ve chosen to sing.  Maybe it is just the mood I’m in.  Maybe it is all the funerals in our lives recently, but I am so incredibly homesick for the people I love who have gone home to Heaven.  It seems like forever since I’ve seen my Daddy’s face and heard his voice, felt his hug.  I have a dear uncle who has been scanning old pictures onto our Wert family google group, and my Daddy and Sweet Mama are on so many of them.  I search that face of my Daddy to see the man that I remember, and it seems almost as if it is a sweet, sweet dream that he was here, living and breathing, loving us, praying for us, doing all he could to encourage and help us.  I can sometimes forget that if he had lived, he wouldn’t be young and vibrant, and that the memories we have are better than they would have been if he had lingered and suffered.  

When I let myself dwell on the “If only’s” it feels to me that I am somehow grasping for an eternity here instead of remembering that “here, we have no abiding city.”  I don’t ever want to let go of a conscious awareness of the “forever part” of who I am, and the life hereafter.  But sometimes, in the rush and bustle of the day and the acute missing of those voices and faces so familiar, they feel so gone.  So forever gone.  I know they are in Heaven.  I’ve never been more confident of that than I am today, but where is Heaven?  I’m trusting Jesus to take me there, but if it is a real place, with real people, then somewhere, in this galaxy or the one next over, there is a place, a real place and they are there.  How does this translate into hope?  I am glad for them — there, together, and forever with the Lord, but I also want this to translate into something real for me, here, left behind, and yet to make that journey.  

This is a good day to remember something that came over our Wert Family google group in early April.

That journey.  At the passing of my Uncle Harold a few weeks back, there was something shared on our Wert family google group that gave me cause to consider.

My Sweet Mama’s youngest borther, Uncle Lloyd posted:

Our cousin Nelson Wert, the retired Veterinarian who sold his Montana ranch and built a new home near Raystown Lake, wrote about death and his near death experience as a result of the cousins discussion of Harold’s passing. 

Nelson wrote:

–(This was in response to a former letter) I just had to say “Amen” to your last sentence concerning facing our own mortality (“Let us encounter it with courage, grace , hope and trust”), but may I take the liberty of adding one more word…and JOY! and that word comes solely from my near death experience which I shared with some of you. The approach to Heaven is such a warm wonderful JOYOUS experience that every ounce of energy of your soul strains to run, to push, to struggle to get in as quickly as possible. The JOY I experienced was indescribable, but an arm around my chest held me from going futher, and a voice simply said, “Look, But it is not yet your time. There is work for you to do.” I guess there was work for an old rancher to do because it was after that experience that I felt called to start Trailhead Church. But that experience changed me dramatically in how I will face my mortality and also the passing of dear friends and family members. When I see the passing of friends, I envision the JOY they experience as they approach that wonderful indescribable scene. Yes, I mourn, but I probably view the passing of friends in a manner that may be difficult for those who could not see or share my experience. To all who love the Lord, you have no idea of the JOY you shall experience. You won’t even think about lying on your back, rubbing your stomach, and singing the Doxology! Didn’t mean for this to be a “sermon” of any kind, just have to share that the journey of our loved ones will be of indescribable JOY. Do you hear them singing now? Love you all, Nelson (Wert)

Isn’t that some perspective? 

Lord Jesus, grant that I would remember the JOY.  May I believe that it is a good time to remember eternity and the fleeting nature of our earthly disappointments, concerns and anxieties.  It will be worth it.  Forever with you.  That is worth everything.  May I not forget.  May I not forget.  May I NEVER forget.

 

 

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Today, another friend went home to Heaven.

Marilyn Showalter,

I know that this is Glory for you and that you are safely home.

But the people who love you are bereft.

And the rest of this old world,

Though some may not consciously note your absence

Is so very much the poorer.

 

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Mama said there would be days like Saturday . . .

The weekend at Shady Acres has held so many happy moments.  The table is down now, and the chairs are back to where they belong.  I took every chance I got to grab a wink of sleep this weekend, and we made it through!  What a blessing our adult children are to Certain Man and me.

And now, for a story from the weekend.

On Saturday, I realized that I needed to pick up a prescription for Certain Man and then grab some lemons for lemonade.  It was the middle of the afternoon, and people were pretty much scattered, doing what they wanted to do.  We had company coming for supper at 6:30, and I realized very late that I also needed to order the refills for Our Girl Audrey and Blind Linda so that I could pick them up by 3:00 when the trusty Pill Box Pharmacy closed.  I called the six scripts in, speaking to the pharmacist himself, just to be clear on what was expected, and then flew about the kitchen, loading the dishwasher, ordering the usual Saturday lunch for the ladies since the rest of the family had brunch and were not expecting me to provide it.

I procured the lunch, quickly fed the ladies, and then saw, to my dismay, that Certain Man was traversing around the deck and front lawn with his walker.  At my gentle remonstrance, he said that he was just fine, in fact did better when he could do something.  Since it looked like he was going to work on some issues with his one bird feeder, and I was seriously running out of time, I decided to leave him to his folly and grabbed the stuff I needed and headed out to my trusty mini van.

Certain Man had bought a lovely new wagon for his beloved granddaughter for her fourth birthday, and it had been greatly exclaimed over and brought into the house (even though it was too large an outdoor toy for indoor use!) and then it had been returned to the garage where it had been lodged in the rainstorm that passed through the night before.  Before I left to pick up the ladies’ lunches, I had carefully taken the wagon and parked it out in the pavilion so that no one would run over it.  When I came back home from that, I had carefully closed the garage door, as is Certain Man’s expressed desire for all persons to do every single time.  This is because the barn cats like to come inside when the door is up to “mark territory” causing no end of loud protests, not only from Certain Man, but also all the inhabitants of the house.  When a male feline decides that the garage is included in his domain, it is not a welcoming aura that rises up to greet arriving family and friends.  Therefore, I truly make it a practice to close the door. 

With everything going on, the time had been slipping away, and it was almost 2:30 when I finally was in our mini-van, ready to go.  I pushed the button to open the garage door, fastened the seat belt and started the engine, turned on the headlights, adjusted the seat and began easing the van out of the garage.

CRUNCH!!!   Rumble, rumble!!!  I stopped immediately, but something continued to rumble a bit.  I eased forward and leaped out of the driver’s seat, certain that someone had decided to ride the wagon during my short venture inside.  I was positive that I would see Love Bug’s beautiful new wagon, crumpled upon the driveway directly behind the garage door.

There was nothing there.  At all!

I knew that I had hit something.  I couldn’t figure out.  I peered about, puzzled, even tried to see if something was under the van.  Wait!  What was wrong with my garage door?  It was hanging at a very strange angle.  Oh, no!  I must have caught the garage door with the luggage carrier on top of the mini-van.  My heart sank as I saw that it looked pretty out of commission.  It was up, though, so I backed the van out of the garage and tried to close it.  It went about a foot, caught on something, ground away and jiggled and shook, so I quickly stopped it, and put it back up.  Then tried again, just to make sure that it hadn’t fixed itself.  It hadn’t.

For crying out loud.  I was late, my garage door was broken, my husband was gallivanting around the front yard with his walker and I was so irritated with myself.  I HAD to go get the meds, but I also had to tell Certain Man why the garage door wouldn’t go down.  And then he was going to try to fix it.  I know this man.  I was sure he was going to try to fix it.  And I should help him.  But I was late.  I looked at that miserable old garage door and I felt like my spirit was wailing.  But I had to tell him.

I stopped the car. I climbed out, and went back into the garage, up the ramp, through the entryway and out the back door to the side deck.  I saw Certain Man working on his bird feeder.

“Uh, Sweetheart, I kinda broke the garage door.”

“You did what?”

“The garage door.  I kinda backed into it.  It seems like it’s been going up slower and slower, and I guess I just didn’t think and backed out before it was all the way up.”

Now that sounds really lame when I read it, but the truth is, the garage door HAS been going up slower and slower for some reason.  Usually I remember, and give it some time, but I just didn’t think this time.  

Certain Man didn’t shout or anything.  He got that grin on his face that he gets sometimes when his wife does something really stupid. He took his walker around the end of the deck that is towards the road, and came through the sun room, out the other side, and then into the entryway, out into the garage, and down the ramp.  Grinning the whole time.

I went out and got back into my van.  I shut the door, but I rolled down the window.

“Sweetheart,” I said, and I heard the pleading in my voice.  “I really need to go, but do you want me to do something?”

He stood under the door and looked it up and down, then said, “Yeah, just try to put it down.”

So I pushed the button and it went about a foot, caught on something, ground away and jiggled and shook, and he waved his hand in my direction that meant “stop it” so I stopped it, and then put it back up.  “Do it again,” he said, so I did, and he grabbed ahold of the one side and pulled it down past where it was catching.  When it was about half way down he waved his hand under the descending door to indicate that I was to stop it again, and when I did, he leaned his weight upon it and gave it a mighty shove.  I was almost frantic, because I was sure all that jarring about couldn’t be good for his poor knee, but he did it another time or two and then waved under the door again that I was to put it back up.  So I did, and went right up almost as good as new.

“Put it down again,” he ordered.  So I put it down again, and there was a few more banging noises where he put some convincing pressure upon something, and then said, “Try it again.”

And this time it went up, pretty as you please, and then down again, pretty as you please.  He grinned at me through the windows in the door and made motions that made me know that I was to get on my way.

And so I did.  Flew into the pharmacy with his prescription, went down to Pill Box, where my prescriptions weren’t ready and they offered to deliver them, then scrambled over to Wal-Mart to get the lemons I needed, stopped at Wal-Greens for Certain Man’s now finished prescription, and then went hurriedly back to Shawnee Road, where my garage door opened smoothly up to receive me safely home less than an hour after I had left.

And I got ready for supper guests with lots of good help from my family, and we had a lovely evening together.

And believe me, when I went to bed last night, I slept the slumber of the very, very tired.  But even that is a blessing, I’ve discovered.  It is far better than restless insomnia.  

And that’s the news from Shady Acres, where the quietness tonight feels peaceful, yes, but it is not without a sad missing of the many feet that have pounded through this house the last four days.  

My heart gives grateful praise for the beloved family that God has given Certain man and me.  How very blessed we are!

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Our whole family  — as in every. single. one. of. us.  
Is home for the weekend.  Because of legal ramifications
there are lots of pictures that I cannot post.
Pictures that would melt your heart, and make you laugh.
Pictures that make a familiar burning behind my eyes.
Our family has been enjoying three little guys
from the bottom to the top of our brimming hearts.

Certain Man,  
whose faithful friend, Gary, took yesterday off,
was blessed by the offers of
Beloved Son in Law and Youngest Son
to do the evening “Chicken Run.”

Aren’t they the handsomest pair you’ve ever seen?
Their wives thought so, too!  (NOT!!!!)

They went out and together made short work
of picking up the dead and combining the results for composting.

 

Lem carries a dead chicken bucket to the composter

 

And Jesse fetched the tractor and loader
to top off one of the composter bins.
Another job, well done.
(I don’t think either of them is hankering
to give up their jobs for farming in Slower, Lower DE!)

Lem insists that this is what
he and Jessica
would look like if they had stayed home to farm:

Yes, well . . .
(I honestly never thought that was a possibility!)

Charis is enjoying cousins and fun times.
(Sometimes we can’t go straight to “enjoy”.)
We decided to celebrate her birthday as a Yutzy clan last night.

What fun!
Our love bug is growing up.

 

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The lawn needed mowing at Shady Acres.  Certain Man had been thinking that maybe he could do it, but of course, that wasn’t happening as long as CMW was standing guard.  So a young friend, Dwight, came to mow for him.  Certain Man ordered his chariot (the golf cart) brought, and he rode upon it with a chauffeur’s assistant (that would be CMW) to the inner sanctum of his shop and got the mowing job started.  

Then he wanted to ride about his kingdom to peer with watchful eye upon the various thing that could (and sometimes DO) go wrong.

AHA!!!

An electric fence was messed up.     Whether a calf or a steer or a deer plummeted through it, they couldn’t tell.  But something had to be done, of course because the electric wasn’t getting through. The half dozen steers just might escape.

So the two entrepreneurs went over to the shed and turned off the electric.  They got three tools that Certain Man deemed necessary to fix the fence from the seat of the golf cart.  Yep, he was going to fix it.

They went out, through the gate to the corner of the pasture, and he did his thing, and fixed that fence “temporarily” but pretty good, considering the state of the man’s health, and then went back out and closed the gate, and put the tools away properly and got themselves safely back into the house.

“Oh, Hon!” said Certain Man, from the advantage of the kitchen.  “We forgot to plug the fencer back in!”

“No problem,” said CMW, “I’ll just run out there quickly and plug it back in.”

“That’s probably a good idea,” said CM.  “It’s probably okay, to be honest with you, but it would be better to get it plugged back in.”

So CMW hopped onto the chariot and headed back out to the shed where the fencer is located and plugged it in.  It began clicking away like it was supposed to.  And CMW checked to see if she could see the light blinking on the panel that said, “fence working.”  Certain Man had told her that it was too bright to see it as a rule, but she thought maybe she could see it if she got in close to it and cupped her hand around it.  

Which she proceeded to  do.

Alas and alack.  Will she NEVER think???  Just about the time she ascertained that the fence light was indeed, blinking, her nose came into contact with the red post that was directly below that little light.  

Zap!  A sudden tingling made her jerk back with purpose.  Ouch!  That really smarted!  That fencer was really working!  At least at the source!

CMW, feeling chastised, backed away, got back on the chariot and made her way back to the house.  Reported to Certain Man that the fencer was working.

Nursed her pride, but hoped that maybe a good shock to that face would help heal whatever it is that has made it so numb these past few weeks.  No scientific data on that one.  Yet. Perhaps CMW could be part of a control group on such things. 

And that is the news from Shady Acres, where Certain Man’s first physical therapy session is history, and the physical therapist voiced great delight in the degree of bending (already at 106!!!  I worked for five weeks to get that!) and the progress that has been made.  Where CMW is tuckered out from trying to keep CM safe, and all the children are planning to be here this weekend.  (Yep, even Youngest Daughter is coming, after all!)

The house at Shady Acres holds people with grateful hearts!

 

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