Taking the roads less traveled

Yes, I know there is a worldwide pandemic going on.

Gloria gets cheesy

When I was a young girl, something I especially enjoyed was the challenge of seeing how many gallons of milk I could turn into cheese, yogurt, or cream pies. Anna Belle was our old faithful Jersey that dad would milk each morning and evening. We would get anywhere from three to four gallons a day. I always kept an eye open for new recipes and ways to use up extra milk. Making butter wasn’t my favorite job ever, yet the satisfaction of fresh creamy butter is etched permanently in my mind. We would have a container in the freezer where we’d dump in the cream each time we skimmed off a gallon of milk until we had enough to make a large batch butter. I would then thaw it to room temperature and take it out to the shop where dad would set up his drill press for me to make butter the easy way. His large drill press would whip the cream and produce butter much more quickly then I could ever shake it in jars.

The backbone of our services

By Brian W. Green

Media lies vs. reality — our community cares

It is easy to look at the past six months and see only hardship throughout our nation. But, if you look a bit closer, it is not hard to see the solidarity that our community has shown.

Battle of wits with the birds

Thank goodness John James Audubon isn’t alive to witness this. The birds he admired and memorialized in prints have pitted their wills against mine. It’s still too close to call.

The Yoders make waves

The 100-day countdown unwound at last. You may remember the 100-link children’s paper chain we made earlier this summer. After the chains were made, the children removed a link a day and when we reached the end a fun activity was planned for the whole family. They chose a pontoon ride scheduled for June 30th. But guess what? Baby Joshua arrived the night before. Naturally, it was postponed, but yesterday it finally happened, and now even Baby Joshua went along.

Jim McGuire: Cherish this ‘between-time’

Months and seasons, like almost everything from moles to mountains, exist within an allotted span of time. Only 10 more days remain for 2020’s version of September. Moreover, two days from now, following the invisible passing equinox, summer will officially give way to autumn.

Stuff yourself with stuffed french toast

If life gives lemons, make lemonade. How often have I made that statement? Sometimes it’s through tears that I set my face towards the sun once more and keep on going. Other times there’s just spilled milk, a lack of sleep, or sick little ones that remind me that life isn’t about choosing what I want. Why, if life would be solely dependent on circumstances, life wouldn’t be worth its ride. Certainly, if it wouldn’t be for the Mender we would all be torn apart. I cherish the song, “You can fly with mended wings.” We all have mended wings, right? If we’d never heal from our difficulties and disappointments, we’d never get anywhere in life. Perhaps where I tend to get tested the most is holding my newborn, knowing that life will one day bring rough times and harsh disappointments in one way or another. Yes, I’m Mama, yet there is not a thing I can do to make life easy as pie for our little ones. My mind flips to my own dear mother. As much as she would’ve loved to fix all my troubles as a young girl when I was struggling with my health or the times I watched my beloved stillborn sisters being lowered into a grave, there was no way she could just make everything okay. How I thank God for those times now. Yes, I’m so glad there was no way she could make my life smooth sailing, why if she could have, my faith wouldn’t have been strengthened in the only One who is now able to take me through the trying times we face in an adult world loaded with responsibilities amid all the turbulence in the world.

More new car (mis)adventures

It was not my fault I got a new car. The old one was perfectly good and with, 200,000 miles, it was just getting broken in. Then my right shoulder, to use the precise medical term, went wackadoodle. It all happened relatively quickly. When I consulted my friendly neighborhood orthopod, he took an X-ray, studied it for the briefest of moments, and shook his head. Having had a lifetime of interactions with orthopedic surgeons, I can tell you that when they look at your x-ray and shake their heads, it is not a good sign — it is not a good sign at all. Brace yourself for an array of new scars and long stints in physical therapy. I think his exact words were, “You have the shoulder of a ninety-year-old who has been sledge-hammering concrete since puberty.” The expert opinion was that I needed a new shoulder. Since I could not comb my hair or raise my arm or reach into my back pocket with my right hand, I tended to agree with him. His advice was to go get one, so I did. It is an excellent shoulder. In the interest of not disobeying my surgeon and physical therapist, though, I did have to get that new car. Out with the manual transmission, in with the automatic. You already know all of this so I’ll get right to why I’m bringing it up again.

Cherishing moments with family

We are down to the last days of Mary’s stay. Oh, how we will all miss her once she’s gone back home to Ohio! After two months of having Mary here, we can’t imagine life without her. We didn’t realize that Rayni took us seriously when we talked about how we’ll have to adopt Mary until we overheard her talking with Grandpa (Mary’s dad) on the phone. My ears perked when I heard her explain to Grandpa, “We are going to adopt Mary.”