My Adoptive Brotherhood

Invariably, at least once per trip, I’m asked the question: “Tell me about your family.” And I’m sure by now my travel companions have memorized my answer.. “I am the oldest of four girls. My dad thinks he’s henpecked, but in reality, he’s rather spoiled..” And the conversation goes from there. Sometimes this fact is met with sympathy.. “No brothers? Oh wow, you poor thing..” I laugh. I love my sisters. And obviously Our Creator thought that we needed a set of skills that having a brother would’ve hampered.. So here we are.

As I think back over the past, it strikes me that all though I’m from an all girl family, God has filled my life with lots of brotherly influence. The list goes on and on. Guys that come into our place, into our house and family, sit at the table, establish their “favorite meal”; and into our hearts… There are two sides to this arrangement. Its only temporary, which means it does not include near the relationship effort that blood relatives provide.. And it’s temporary, meaning that they come and then they leave…

While there are a number of people who would merit being mentioned here, I’m only going to give a shout out to two of them..

Ben showed up in ’01 on a silo crew and has been a sporadic member of the family ever since. Somehow he has the ability to be everyone’s best friend… He was the master of rapid trips to Reddish Knob to watch the sunrise, the biggest pool deck ever, super water battles… Random souvenirs from his travels all over the world, and great memories from times we accompanied him (I still want to get in on a Haiti trip) .. To mention a few.. I’m so happy for you and sweet Annie…

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And Craig- who’s impending departure inspired this post… Thinking of you brings nostalgic memories of campfires, guitars, (I’m still curious if that kids round you taught us is “Tiny Tom Tinker got burned by a clinker..” I maintain that he getting burned by a cinder, would be a lot more likely..) And of course, You and poetry… Craig ate many an early breakfast here, as he travelled home from catching chickens for Shenandoah Valley Organic Chicken, and over breakfast hour, he and Mother would discuss poems.. Good times.. Snowy Sundays and Taboo.. Following the silent figure thru the pitch black corn maze… Sitting around the kitchen table listening to duck hunting tales, etc, etc.. You have a splendid sense of humor, I’m going to miss that…

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Craig has a favorite meal that he requested occasionally… Hot Tamales Go to Church (recipe included- the flavor in this dish is positively fantastic- my taste buds do the happy dance..) And Graham Cracker Fluff, which I will never again be able to mindlessly eat, after Craig introduced it as “flying through a cloud, with your mouth open..” How exotic is that.. 🙂 Anyhow He considers it one of his life ambitions to make this meal famous. So I thought maybe I could at least do my part in spreading the word.. Seriously- the Tamale dish is worth the trying.. 🙂

Thanks for being part of the gang… My life is so much richer because of you.. Blessings to you, Kendra

Hot Tamales Go to Church


Meat Mixture:


1 onion

1  green pepper

1 Tablespoon butter

2 lbs hamburger


1 can of tomatoes, drained

2-3 teaspoons chili powder

2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/2 cup black olives

Cornmeal mixture:


1 cup cold water

1 cup cornmeal

Then Add:

3 cups boiling water

1 teaspoon salt

Place cornmeal mixture on bottom of greased 9×13. Add meat mixture

Bake at 350 for 45 minutes

Bonus Pic:


We enjoyed spending a little bit of time with the Deiffenbacker family… Wyatt, Wynton, and I got a tour of Clover Hill Fire and Rescue courtesy of Emily.. And I got an education on how heavy firefighter gear is.. My neck was sore for the rest of the day thanks to that heavy duty helmet.. 🙂

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We hiked the Rhododendron Trail in Hone Quarry this week and enjoyed the laurel.. The Rhododendron is still a little ways off.. But what an incredibly fantastic hike.. (Highly recommended to the locals 😉 ) The trail goes back and forth over a stream, and the Rhododendron create an arch over the path.. I felt a little like Alice and Wonderland..This was a truly enchanted forest… But harsh reality, they say the snake population is bad this year. Several of my prepared Aunts and Uncles brought snake sticks.. And Uncle Fred brought a pistol, so we were ready.. And then to top the evening off, during the refreshment time at the the end of the hike, after darkness had fallen, whippoorwills serenaded us from overhead… Em’s been playing me a song that applies here.. Someone reflecting on years past… Beautiful summertime.. #scottymcreery

“Now the years have blown by me like the wind through the pines
But the song of the south is ever sweet as homemade wine
Oh, how I miss those mountains when the laurels are in bloom
And the southern stars are dancin’ ’round the North Carolina moon..”

These are really good days.


Julia, Kalila, and Adrian enjoying the evening at Craig’s Farewell Extravagonza

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