Sunday, April 27, 2014



Monday, April 14, 2014 about mid afternoon the Sky's started spitting snow and just kept it up. By dark the trees were holding limbs of snow, the lawns had snow in their hair and on the north side of  houses and other structures where shade kept the ground from thawing the snowflakes just kept laying out there grinning at any passers by.   Today is Wednesday, April 16.  The sun is out and shinning bright, but the wind is chill.

Our brother Paul left yesterday with wife, Cindy and son, Stanley, for their by annual oversight of the Mission in Honduras.  They certainly will need our prayers.

Tonight at the Red Brick Church will be the closing night of this years Awana program.  I think the average attendance of children has been about 115 through the twenty-six weeks.  There must be between 35 and 50 adult and teen workers faithfully giving their time every week to assist in this very valuable investment in young lives.  It is an awesome, well run program.  They have collected financial support for missionaries in Africa, during the year.  Our kids have enjoyed camaraderie in learning about missions, the experience of car building for the Pine Wood Derby and the scripture memory classes have been well worth it to us.  There were a few Wednesday nights during winter when the meetings were canceled.

Speaking of winter cold and snow, reminds of several in the past.  In the 1940's in southwest Oklahoma we had a snow that filled the roads and covered the fences.  When the snow froze cattle could walk right on over the fence and not know they had achieved such a feat.  That might have been the time we were snowed in for three weeks.  When milk, eggs, and cream must be sold and groceries bought and brought home with the proceeds the men of our neighborhood  brought their stuff to our place.  Daddy had our Ferguson tractor gassed up and hitched to the sled.   All home produce was tied down.  They started to drive out of our yard, but the front wheels of the tractor couldn't break through the frozen snow.  One of the men who carried a lot of weight climbed onto the tractor hood and the wheels broke through.  All were bundled for the eight miles ride to town.  It was dark by the time they returned.

We moved to an old farm house in the middle of a 160 acre farm off Penn Corner Road in November 1976.  Our mail came out of Oregon, Ogle County in north central, Illinois.  We were ten miles southwest of town, school, Church and work.  The phone would have come from Dixon to the south and all our phone calls would have been long distance into Oregon.  So we didn't have a phone.  I was working in a new subdivision building houses.  Early in December a deep snow storm shut down a lot of outdoor employment.  We lived there for five years, until our high school children needed to be nearer town, because of their after school activities and work.  The worst snows and low temperatures came in those first three winters:  1976-77, 1977-78 and 1978-79.  The longest we were snowed in was six days.  When the plows opened the roads, we followed  them out.  The snow drift on our road was about 15 feet high, up to the phone lines.  

Those were good years, difficult in many ways but meaningful, joyful and filled with lots of fun and laughter.  We raised chickens, turkeys, ducks, rabbits and goats.  After our boys properly, or improperly, trained the little bandy rooster to chase them.  The more they chased him the more he chased them.  Finally he was mean and made sneak attacks every chance he got.   The land lords didn't want dogs on the farm.  "They might chase away the deer."  Nathaniel raised a family of cats.  Jeremy hatched a clutch of duck in a cardboard box with a light bulb.  The girls helped in the garden canning produce and helping with the wash.  When the spring chickens were ready to butcher, it was a family affair.  Mr. and Mrs. Thompson came with their long years of experience of picking off feathers, butchering chickens and canning them in the pressure cooker. 

The first year Paul, an older farmer friend brought two trailer loads of corn cobs to burn in the fire place.  There were plenty of dead, fallen trees for the boys and me  to cut for the winters wood supply
in the nest years.  The years keep coming and we keep watching the beauty and shoveling piles and piles of snow.   A life of simplicity is a life of joy.