Nine years ago . . .

Yoder Breakfast

On Wednesday mornings, various of the males of the Yoder family get together for breakfast.  Some time ago, our cousin, Joe Bontrager and his fair wife, Gloria, hatched a plan to have us all come to Uncle Eli’s house in celebration of the 88th birthday of both Aunt Ruth (July 16th) and Uncle Eli (July 20th) on the Wednesday that fell between those two days.  Another milestone celebrated in April was their 65th wedding anniversary.

Breakfast --   Mom and Uncle Eli's best

Uncle Eli and Aunt Ruth at the breakfast table, talking to my sweet Mama.

 Breakfast --  Chris, Esther and Ilva

I don’t remember what was funny, but here the second and third generations enjoy a chuckle. (Or is it third and fourth?  Someone help me here!)
Christina Bontrager, Esther Leese, Ilva Hertzler

 Breakfast --  gloria, frieda, chris
For all I know, this could have been the same chuckle, because this was the other side of the table.
Gloria Bontrager, Frieda Yoder, Christina Bontrager

 Breakfast --  Joan
I hate it that Joan had her eyes closed on this picture because she looked so GOOD this morning.
(Oh, well, she still looks good, even with her eyes closed!)
You can just see Esther over there to the left, and Gloria sneaked in here beside her daughter, Sherrie, and then, of course, it’s Joan Mills

 Breakfast --  Joe, Dave, Aunt Dottie
In Uncle Eli’s sunny dining room, left to right was Dave Hertzler in the blue shirt.  Next is Joe Bontrager (Celebrating his birthday, too. 60 years!  I don’t see how anyone who looks so young could be sixty!  It must be Gloria’s good care.) There is an empty chair there beside Aunt Dottie.  Uncle John had just gone into the kitchen to pass on greetings from Uncle David to those congregating there.  And at the end is Aunt Dottie.

 Breakfast --  Kathy, Clint and Mom
Ken’s youthful wife, Kathy, sitting beside my brother, Clint.  Mama was getting ready to leave to go to our house to do CORN (of all things!) so she was saying her goodbyes.  I understand that Clint’s behavior went slightly downhill after she left.  Maybe she should have stayed and kept an eye on him.

Breakfast --  table talk
It is my understanding that that misbehavior was egged on by the young man on your right, Ken Yoder, hisself.  Yes, sir!  He is talking to Uncle Daniel, very sedately and calmly.  But don’t let that fool you. We of the family all know that genial, engaging exterior is but temporary.  But what would we do without Ken???  Smile less, I am sure, but maybe worry less, too.  Beside Uncle Daniel is Uncle Jesse and then Aunt Gladys.

Breakfast --  lucy, joan, ilva
One last picture of the kitchen gals.  I am including this one because I believe it is the only one that captured Lucy.  She looked great, too.  So perky and trim.  Here the cousins, Ilva, Joan and Lucy enjoy the “after breakfast” conversation.  It was a sweet time, and we missed those who couldn’t be there.  Maybe next time???
(I surely hope so!)

        And then it was time to get home and get on that last day of corn.  But the good time gave me energy and the memories made my heart light as I went back home to the job that was waiting.  I am so thankful for my aunts and uncles and cousins and the in laws that have come into our family.  I am thankful for the fourth generation of young people that are coming on, many of them committed Christians, and concerned about living the life of the Lord Jesus to the world around us.
I confess that I missed my Daddy very much that morning.  He loved getting people together for Wednesday morning breakfasts, and he reveled in being in the presence of his brothers and sisters and nephews and nieces.  I came down the road to Shady Acres and cried some tears for what was missing there that day.   But while that almost kept me away, I am glad that I went.  The memories of him are sweet, and being with our family brings them back with new clarity.  And that is a good gift.  Thank-you, my family.

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