I want to remember this summer. The choking dust, the sparse rain, the onion cornfields, the desperation in every farmers heart as another window of opportunity closes with a maximum of 3 drops of rain.
I want to remember this summer of realizing again how good God is and how perfect His timing is and how generous His provisions are.
I can’t wait to look back and remember this summer and to reference it knowing that God is able.
May our eyes be open to see His goodness even in the dry times.
My 10 year old friend has the art of hospitality down pat.
My weekend trip to Lancaster did my heart good… pretty much cuteness overload
Things over at Ben’s Glen Oaks Farm are literally the berries right now.
Ben is in the process of remodeling his chicken houses and he made the casual comment “I forgot to tell you-Clarence was working on the fans and he said he’s never seen so many blackberries.”
Immediately my ears perked up. What the Rohrer boys didn’t know is that I come from a long line of gatherers. Some very special summer memories were made climbing into the homemade 3 point hitch cart on my Pappy’s little Massey and heading to the back 40. He’d tie a bucket with baler twine around his waist and pick with both hands. Short snippets of song would interrupt the noises of the forest. He was in his element.
I’m guessing he was reliving memories as he picked. His mom was the queen of fruit pies. Hired girls remembered making 30+ pies a week to feed that hungry Rhodes pack. Apparently Pappy learned his berry picking skills from His dad. 200 quart of canned huckleberries from one season. 😅
My moms blackberry memories were fairly detailed. A neighbor bought a new piece of ground and the family took a tractor and wagon to gather piles of berries. “It wasn’t really fun and I don’t remember thinking the blackberries were all that delicious, but I for sure remember it.”
Today I missed Pappy’s song as I picked my way across Ben’s farm.
But the life lessons of the wild berries struck me again:
1. There’s gonna be some thorns, some rotten (berries) and some bugs along the way. Expect it, don’t let it stop you.
2. Ignore the naysayers. Boone (Ben’s yellow lab) sat in the shade and barked his disapproval at my trespassing. But that didn’t steal my joy.
3. Dress for the occasion . There are times that long sleeves and barn boots are the most appropriate style. Light summer wear has its place too-but not in the berry patch.
4. Get sweeter with age. If you ever have a chance to compare a ripe black berry with one that’s not as advanced-you for sure understand.
This mornings jaunt of rambling around the blackberry patch did my heart good. I caught myself singing the same happy tune that my Pappy Reuben sang.
What a beautiful (and delicious) gift God has given us.
Come see me if you’re hungry for blackberry cobbler 🤩
What do you know about your family from 200 years ago?
I’ve been on a search recently and I’ll tell you what I’ve found.
Isreal Rohrer was born in PA in 1820. He got married to Anna and became a miller by trade. Even though they had 14 children, they only saw a 6 of them reach adulthood. Interestingly enough 3 of their children died because one son visited Lancaster City when it was under quarantine for spinal meningitis, and brought the dreaded disease home.
The part about my great-great-great Grandad’s story that I was familiar with was the fact that he contracted a bunch of wheat at a high price and after the market crashed- took the loss in an honorable way, lost his business and moved to VA.
The Rohrer History confirmed this and also added the fact that Great Granddad x 3 Rohrer built a lime kiln on the bank of the Dry River and brought the tired soil around to the productive river ground that we all admire today. Apparently he brought this practice to the Valley and we’ve been spreading lime ever since.
His church efforts were another noteworthy attribute, enough so that it made the history books. “He was cautious about change and raised concern about trends in the church…”
Meanwhile also in Lancaster County, Micheal Horst was born (1824). His family moved to Maryland and he married Annie. They had 8 children- 5 of which survived to adulthood.
My Great Granddad x 3 Horst was a farmer by trade and was ordained a minister at 34 and then a bishop. According to the “Mennonites of the Washington County, MD and Franklin County, PA Conference” book, he was a moving speaker inclined to older customs.
He bought a second farm when an economic slump hit. Thus resulting in financial failure. Because of this, several churches rejected his leadership. His wife died and he moved to Kansas “to get his troubles off his mind”.
Amazingly his story changes because a fellow minister donated $1000 and started a 19th century “Go Fund Me”. Adam Baer worked tirelessly to restore confidence in my Great-great-great Grandad.
He returned from the west, remarried and took back the office of bishop.
He was shaving before a church meeting when he mentioned feeling sick and a few moments later, he had passed away. (Thank you history book for recording such detail 😂)
My parents purchased a farm this spring. The best way to fall in love with a farm is pick rocks on it. (I can’t believe I just said that) The farm was an orchard until a decade or so ago and someone spent hours and days turning it into beautiful crop land- so the rock picking was not very intense. But we came across an old graveyard and gave ourselves a break to get a better idea of who had loved this ground previously.
Immediately the time capsule stuck out to me. And per usual I had about 40 questions. The main one being “how would one expect his descendants to know to return to this spot in 200 years?” (I’ll be instructing the nephews to tell their grandchildren’s children about this) “What sort of thing will people find interesting about me in 200 years?” This began my quest to understand them better. And in turn to figure out a few things about my own people.
I will give the Baughman family credit- they are very organized with their history. I’ve enjoyed learning about the family who loved this land before us (Find that here) I find it noteworthy that like my grandfathers- Henry Jr was forced to sell the property. Apparently Dad had given 2 of the sons the land, but they were required to pay their siblings £300. Henry had to sell his portion of the inheritance to come up with the funds.
Life, Death, Love, Financial Stresses… Isn’t it crazy how it’s all a part of the human experience? It was for them. It is for us. And it will be for future generations as long as the world stands.
But through it all-for the Rohrer’s, the Horst’s, and the Baughman’s. God is good and He provides a way, every.single.time.
May those who come behind us, find us faithful.
200 years from now, it won’t matter that the Rhododendron bloomed this week. But wow I sure enjoyed an early morning hike with some of my favorites ❤️
Nothing calls for a swim party like a week of 90° F with no rain and lots of blue sky.
Nothing calls for a swim party to be on pins and needles like a red head daredevil who walks of the edge of the pool with full confidence that someone is gonna be paying attention and catching him.
But nothing beats that big grin that follows a tremendous splash from said twin entering the water.
“Yay for summer!” I said and I think Uriah agrees with me.
The twins turned 18 months and in effort to dig them out from under the celebrations of Christmas-Mama threw them a “half birthday party”. Who doesn’t need an excuse to eat cake and homemade black raspberry ice cream in June? Yay for summer!
Wheat harvest went past in a blur. Father thinks we set a new record. But the rain held off until we were seeding the last field and we are excited to focus on other things.
Such a gorgeous time of year. Need I say it again? Yay for summer
I’ve been on the road some this last month which feels really, really good. We took a ferry to Put-in-Bay, OH and enjoyed a day there.
Ohio is beautiful this time of year… yay for my favorite season.
I enjoyed the Clinic for Special Children Benefit Auction in Shippensburg. The steam engine cranking out steamed shrimp is always a favorite. Also I was reminded on this trip that AC is very necessary this time of year. Thankful to back in business again with a cool van. But still-Yay for summer.
God is good. He is faithful in every season. I’m so grateful for the way I can see His Hand providing this year. Praise Him.
Yay for summer!
Did you actually think I could go an entire post without talking about Pondside Paradise? 😂 Apparently we hosted an artist at our Airbnb. Totally amazed by the detail in this sketch.
And because I feel the need to say it once more: Yay for summer!