Tag Archives: Certain Man

Das Alte Seese Grumvalda (That old sweet potato)

Middle Daughter brought home a couple of sweet potatoes last Thanksgiving or Christmas.  I let them lie on my kitchen cupboard for a very long time.  Months, in fact.  Several times I asked her what she was planning for them, but the answers were vague — something about sweet potato fries.  And mumblings about looking up a special recipe.  Certain Man said that she didn’t have to worry about him taking them when she wasn’t looking.  He was convinced that he didn’t like sweet potatoes.


So the months went by.  (Yes, MONTHS)  And then the largest of the sweet potatoes showed signs of life.  Little sprouts started to appear and it shriveled up and looked pitiful.  One day, when one of my outside planters was looking rather bare, I gathered it up, dug a quick hole in the planter and put it in.  Didn’t ask, didn’t tell until some time later when a gorgeous vine had started to spring forth.  There was more relief than anything else on the part of Middle Daughter.  She was tired of looking at them, and tired of me asking her to do something with them.


For several months, I’ve watched and watered and fertilized and envisioned what might be going on in that big brown planter.  I planted some mums in there to give some color and they are blooming for the second time.  Several times I asked people if they thought it might be producing a crop of sweet potatoes down there.  I was especially interested because we have discovered that Certain Man is not as adverse to them as he thought he was.  I kept waiting and waiting and over the last week, the vine looked like it was wilting.  I was so excited.  I was thinking there could be so many sweet potatoes in there that there wasn’t hardly enough room for them all.  I was sure they would be a few in there as big as my hand, and they would be smooth and sweet and wonderful.


Tonight was the night that Middle Daughter left for her next big adventure.  As she was pulling out of the driveway (on her way to Youngest Son’s house, then to the airport, then to Miami where she meets her Aunt Lena, then on to Buenos Aires , then on to ANTARCTICA!!!)  she paused when she saw that I was beginning to dig into the brown planter.


“Oh, Mom,” she said, “I was hoping that you would dig that up I want to see!”
I pulled up the plant.  Nothing on the end of it that was remarkable.


“There’s nothing there,” intoned Certain Man, also watching with great interest.


“I’m pretty sure there is,” I insisted, and began to dig deep into the soft dirt.  Sure enough, I came up with one that was about a quarter of the size I was hoping for.  I dug deeper and deeper, came up with a few more puny ones and that was it.



I don’t expect that they will make much of anything too pretentious for a company dinner.  I think they will taste good, but there just isn’t enough of them.


Next year, I just might see if Certain Man will plant a few in the garden.  If we could do this good by accident, just think what we might do on purpose.


And that is the news from Shady Acres where Middle Daughter has gone off on her excursion without doing our Thankful Wall, where Certain Man is working on it while we speak, and this Delaware Grammy is so grateful for the blessings of this time and this place.


My heart gives grateful praise.


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. . . and the sand keeps sliding through the hour glass

We came home last night to the farmhouse at Shady Acres after being gone for about 33 hours.  We crammed a lot of living in those hours, and had a wonderful time tromping through Lancaster, taking in MOSES! at Sight and Sound, visiting some of our favorite shops, and just enjoying some time away.  The only money we spent for food was for tips, as we had gift cards for everything else.  Motel 6 was extremely clean and comfy and we couldn’t have found nicer accommodations for $67.00.  I had such a happy time with that man that I love most.  The colors were beautiful in Lancaster.  When we were traveling up on Monday, it was raining.  I told Daniel that if we had some sun Tuesday, we would see some pretty spectacular trees.  I was right!


When we came home, it seemed like things had fared pretty well while we were gone.  Laundry was caught up, the kitchen was straightened, my ladies were fed and contented.  But then it was mentioned that our trusty Miele dishwasher was not working, and that the dryer had taken three hours to dry the last towel load.  H-m-m-m-m-m. I need to see about finding myself a repair man, I guess. Oh, and my experienced eyes warned me that Blind Linda didn’t seem to be doing so well.

The illness and the coming Homegoing of my sister in law, Frieda, seem to be ever with me.  Sometimes it almost seems wrong to have happy days and laugh.  But then I remember that she doesn’t want us to be gloomy and it doesn’t help her any for us to mope about.  So I shed my tears and I grieve and pray, but I’ve also had to laugh, had to eagerly anticipate upcoming events, and have kept these hands mostly busy.

The seats we had for the Moses! presentation were up in the upper level.  By the time I had climbed the several flights of stairs, I was wishing that I had taken the elevator.  When we found our seats, there was a rather portly couple on the end by the aisle.  For some reason, they thought it best to stay were they were and just compact themselves together as best they could to let us pass.  This left a narrow ledge for me to manuever my rather portly body past them to my seat.   There was no hand rail, the backs of the next row of seats was somewhere down close to my ankles.

I’m more than a little bit afraid of heights.  I can have a sturdy wall that is up to my waist between me and the Royal Gorge and still have to stand back a few feet to be comfortable.  No leaning on the guard rails for me!  I get this strange sensation in the back of my legs and it feels like the abyss is pulling me to itself with hungry tentacles.  For years I wouldn’t fly because of how terrified I was about getting my feet off the ground, but there came a day when I realized that my fear of flying was affecting my relationship with my husband and I decided that I would fly with him, even if it killed me.  (Which I was pretty certain it would!)  There was much prayer, much shutting of the eyes and just not looking, much faking of enthusiasm when a Certain Man who was in the window seat (always in the window seat!) would exclaim, “Look, Hon!  See how clear it is!  You can see clear down to the ground!  Right there is the Mississippi River, and if you look close, you can see the big gateway arch in St. Lewie.”  Oh, how my stomach would lurch as I dutifully leaned over him and tried to see.  But I’ve done it often enough now that the terror has been replaced by a general dislike, and is at least manageable.  But I digress.  I only went on that rabbit trail to explain how terrified I am of heights, and believe me, the upper deck of the Sight and Sound Auditorium is definitely “heights.”

So, I looked at those seats, five in, and breathed a quick prayer, scrunched myself together and scooted past the couple who were exclaiming things like, “Do you have enough room???  Can you make it???”  while occupying their space, but pulling their ample stomachs in and leaning back.  I wanted to say, “No, I don’t have enough space, but if I could just hang on to your shirt/blouse while I pass by, I could maybe walk across Niagara Falls on this three inch board!”  But I desisted.   Once past them, I could reach my hand out to the backs of the empty seats and steady myself and, more importantly, lean in the direction of not cascading down the interminable mountain of seats in front of me.

Whew!  Settled at last.  With 20 minutes to spare.  I wondered what I was ever going to do if I needed to use the restroom during the presentation.  Age and Lasix and four babies that averaged close to ten pounds apiece make this a consideration of import.  So I prayed that I could safely sit until intermission and immersed myself into the production.  And all was well.  At intermission the couple stood up and stepped out and there was no danger.  They repeated the favor at the end of the intermission and I gratefully returned to my seat.  The production of Moses! was well done end engaging,  and Certain Man and I enjoyed a wonderful time together.

We came home through the deepening Autumn afternoon, noted the clouds that were spotting across the western sky and wondered at the coming storm.  We came into light and home and warmth and family and a beloved Love Bug at the top of the ramp to welcome us.  This morning, the storm has still not broken, and I put on the CD of “Songs my Father Taught Me” by the West Coast Mennonite Chamber Choir.  The  kitchen window was cracked open a few inches and I played the song, “No more fear of Dying” twice as I thought about Frieda and her unchanged, eager anticipation of Heaven. She sleeps, talks with her family, sleeps some more.  My heart faltered as I considered the sadness of these waiting days.  Then I heard a wren, outside the window, singing her heart out along with the music that was swirling out into the morning mist.  I thought about Frieda, like a wren, living the praise in the face of dying, yes, but also in the light of Eternity.  The wren’s cheerful song  lifted my heart and made me think about things other than the broken dishwasher, delinquent dryer and even the fever that Blind Linda developed in the morning hours.

Heaven. It’s on my mind.  And thanks to the events of this last week, it isn’t a “heavy” even though parting is a sorrow.  Listen here and be blessed.  My heart gives grateful praise.



Jesus has arisen, joy and hope are given
Those who call upon His Name.
He shall be exalted through the endless ages;
Name above all other Names.

No more fear of dying – no more need to doubt.
Every one shall answer, every knee shall bow.

Jesus has ascended,
Not like He descended – in a low and humble way.
He has been victorious, lifted up and glorious
Now He holds His rightful place.

Jesus is returning, joy and hope are burning
In the true believers heart.
King of all creation, come with celebration,
May we never more depart!

No more fear of dying – no more need to doubt.
Every one shall answer, every knee shall bow.

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And then it was October . . .

The days are classic, the nights are splendid, the trees are turning and the garden is almost done.  Certain Man carried the first bag of pellets into our house yesterday morning and started a fire in the pellet stove.  Twenty-four hours later, it has burned itself out and that is okay for now.  It will feel good again tonight, though.

“We need to get that shelf cleared off at the top of the ramp,” he said yesterday.  I interpreted that to mean, “YOU need to get that shelf cleared off,” though he didn’t say that, and may have not even meant it.  He might have just been thinking out loud.

The shelf at the top of the ramp.  H-m-m-m-m-m.  I guess it could use some clearing off.  At least if we are going to put pellets there anytime soon.  He built it so we could store pellets at an easily accessible place, but in the summer, when the shelf is so empty and inviting, a whole lot of things get put there:  Extra bird suet and seed blocks, plant fertilizer, an amish made wren house in need of repair, insect spray, an extension cord, garden trowels, an oil bottle, a mysterious large yellow liquid fertilizer container that says “Raph” on the side and is some sort of orangish yellow liquid that I have no idea what it is — and the box where I keep old newspapers in an orderly fashion.

“In case someone might need them,” I tell Certain Man when he looks askance at my stack.  Well, you never know!  Someone just might need them!  (By the way, if anyone does, I have two boxes of flat, neatly stacked newspapers that I will give away free if “someone needs them for something!”)  🙂



Oh, yes!  It was quite a mess!


He looked doubtful when I said that I could maybe get to it, and then he went off to work, and in my more energetic moments, I pondered about adding it to my day.  I decided that I could handle it.  So, I got busy and decided to clean it all off. And I kept after it — doing bits and pieces now and then, in between loads of laundry, going to the wash line, taking Our Girl Audrey for blood work, sorting through tomatoes and making supper.  It wasn’t really all that huge a job, but I had to find places for stuff, recycle some stuff and decide what fell into which category.

But I got it done.  Right after the last load in the dryer sounded its final ding!, I finished the last little bit.  And now, it looks like this–!


Although he hasn’t acknowledged the transformation, I’m sure he has noted it.  And Certain Man can bring in those bags of pellets and stack them up whenever he gets the notion.  We can light that old pellet stove any time the temperature drops down, and it will be so cozy and good.

My heart gives grateful praise.

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