A Visit From Dave

July 8200708_FriskiesOur son Dave came over last night as he does on most Tuesdays, and brought two big containers of delicious homemade potatoes and roast that his wife Darlene had made for us. We both had some for supper – mine was hot while Chris ate hers cold. He also brought bananas, orange juice, and cheese, as well as a very large bag of Friskies cat food. That should last Cat for a long time, even if it’s the only food she will eat!

We talked for awhile after he got there, then went out to the garden to finish getting the ground ready for the calico lima beans. I had used a pitchfork to dig the trench, but the ground had many large lumps in it that needed to be cleared. I have a large box with a wire mesh at the bottom. So we took the dirt I had dug out of the trench and shoveled it into the box. That filtered it quite nicely.

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Calico limas

Dave then emptied the “good” dirt back into the trench, smoothed it out with a rake, and it was then ready for planting the lima beans. There was a lot of work involved and it would have taken me days more to do it, so I’m glad we got it done. Dave got rather dirty doing all the shoveling; we may have lost quite a bit of our top soil that went home on his shirt and pants!

Today I got out the seeds and planted them one by one in the row. After adding water, I can now just stand back and wait a few days! I have always liked calico limas, as much for how they look as for how they taste.

Chris wants us to get to work on some old hay bales and put them down as mulch. So that may be our next job.

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Chris-n-Dale

Recently Dave took some pictures of us to send in for our church photo directory. Here’s our most recent picture!

We hope you are staying cool, our thermometer that sits out in the sun went over the 110-degree mark yesterday, so it’s rather warm here! – DALE

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32 Days on Board

200616_AfricanCrescent

African Crescent

June 15 – It was 68 years ago that I reached Cape Town, South Africa, after being aboard the African Crescent out of New York for 32 days. At last I was in Africa, something I had dreamed about for a long time. I wondered what the next few years will bring to me, never dreaming that I would meet my future husband and be married in three years!

That first morning about 9 am, once packing was done, I went out on deck to see the sight so many people have described — Table Mountain. A mist or cloud or cloud combination often settles on top, and it wasn’t hard to see why people here call it the “tablecloth.”

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Table Mountain

I used the binoculars up on the bridge and long before we docked, I could pick out the cable car that runs to the top of the mountain, and the light stucco houses with brilliant red tile roofs, nested together against the side of the hill. Cape Town is a beautiful city to see from the harbor, with the sparkling green-blue water lapping at its front door.

While we lay at anchor waiting to get into the harbor, the immigration officer and health inspector came aboard. Dressed in their dark-blue uniforms with gold braid and white caps, the officers of the Crescent seemed quite different from the men who wore only khaki on the long trip across the Atlantic.

As we came into the dock we began to guess which of the people gathered there would be there to pick me up. I had told the other passengers that some of our church people would be there to meet me, but I didn’t know their names or what they looked like. Several people were pointed out, but I said, “No, they’re not the ones.” Finally I saw a man and his wife and two children, so I connected them as a family, standing off at one side but glancing at me from time to time. “Now they’re the ones,” I said. “They look just like church people!” And so they were.

After my baggage had been cleared through customs and I was allowed to leave the ship, I found that they were Pastor and Mrs. George Adams from the Southern Rhodesia Mission Field with their two children, Bryant and Judy. Pastor Adams, the president of the field, and his wife are graduates of Atlantic Union College, as I was, so we had something in common right off the bat.

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Cape Town Streets

Pastor Webster of the South African Division staff had appeared by this time, and drove me to the division office in Claremont several miles out of Cape Town proper.

How I dodged every time I saw a car coming toward me on the wrong side of the street! I wanted to take the wheel several times when Pastor Webster just wouldn’t drive on the “right side” of the road, but persisted in staying on the left! And that’s how I at last ended up on the African continent, all ready to begin a new chapter in my teaching career. – CHRIS

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A Snowy, Blowy Memory

May 25 – Here’s a memory from the late fall of 1956…

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1956 Thanksgiving Storm

As the train rattled along towards Erie, my husband Dale stared gloomily out the window. “I’ve never seen so much snow in my life!” he muttered. “Those drift must be 10 feet high, and listen to the wind. A real blizzard…”

“Don’t worry, we’ll soon be home, and Frank will be at the station to meet us no matter how much snow there is!”

Three days before, Dale and I had landed in New York, on our way home from Rhodesia where I had served as a missionary teacher. He had grown up in Africa where his parents had been missionaries for 25 years.

The train slowly pulled into Union Station. Snow was everywhere, both coming down and pushed into huge piles. Outside, I found a different world. Because of the high winds and blowing snow, I could see nothing I recognized. No traffic, no people – except for my brother! There he was, bundle up in a heavy coat, stocking cap, and scarf hat covering his face.

Giving me a bear hug, he said, “Hi, Sis! You didn’t think I’d make it, did you?” Oh yes, I did. Faithful Frank; he had always been there when I needed him.

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Pa sitting outside the Zimmerman Road house

After meeting his new brother-in-law, Frank led the way to his car sitting in the middle of what should have been 14th Street, but was now a snowfield. With the luggage loaded and the windshield cleared, the car moved very slowly onto State Street. We slid, we inched our way, we used the shovel many times as we got stuck. We passed not a single car or bus, but two hours later we were on the porch of my parent’s Zimmerman Road home.

Inside, the stove was giving off the red glow I remembered. Mom and Pop, with smiles on their faces, but tears in their eyes, hugged me and hugged their son-in-law whom they had never met, welcoming us home. After five years of trying to celebrate the best of American holidays in a British country, it was good to be home once more. I was more than thankful for my family, and especially for Frank who had made sure we actually got there! – CHRIS

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May I Conduct You?

May 11 – This blog will be short, but I was reminded the other day of a humorous incident from my early twenties and I thought I’d share it with you.

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Adventist Youth Conference

Back in 1947, I was chosen, along with three other college kids, to meet in San Francisco for a World Youth Conference. My brother was not the happiest young man in the world when he agreed to drive me to Buffalo NY, about 90 miles from our home in Erie, especially when the train would pull into Buffalo at 1:02 am and depart for San Francisco at 2:02 am!

On the trip back to Erie from the conference, I had a chance to talk to the conductor and as I have always believed in “nothing ventured, nothing gained,” I got up the courage to explain my problem. That train did not stop in Erie, so I would end up back in Buffalo where my brother would have to meet me!

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Erie Railroad

I was amazed when the friendly conductor came up with a plan. “Tell you what,” he said. “When we come to the Cleveland area, get all of your things packed up in such a way that you can handle them, and I’ll very briefly stop the train, and let you out near your home. I know that area well, so it won’t be a problem. You’ll just have to be quick. I’ll jump off with that heavy suitcase, and you hop off with the rest.” And he did exactly that!

Back in the train, the conductor waved till I couldn’t see him or the train in the distance. So many people would like to help others if they only knew of the problem. So be one of those people! – CHRIS

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Some School Memories

April 30 – Cherished memories! About 6 zillion or so, but I will just mention two.

Way back when I was teaching in first grade, a cute little freckle-faced, red-haired girl, Jessica, came bounding into the classroom with joy and happiness. She had been looking forward to this day “forever, and I didn’t think it would ever happen,” she said with a big grin. That was a really great year for her, as she wasn’t just the head of the class, but she fit in very well with all of the other kids. She was my right-hand woman and caught on so quickly to the new words and problems, etc. that she had time to help the other kids.

151014_JessieFII will never forget the day the class pictures were taken, and the individual pictures that later went to the kids. Shyly, Jessica came up to me after school, handed me one of her pictures, and then disappeared to catch the bus.

Turning over the picture, I saw the following in her handwriting: To my favorite teacher, the best one I have ever had!” And I added a little post script after I read those words: not only the best one, maybe, but there wasn’t much choice because I am the only one, period, that you have ever had!

Today Jessica is married, with a son in the service in Cameroon, her daughter was recently married, and Jessica has a very important job with the Erie Insurance Exchange. I am very glad that she writes faithfully because it’s always good to know how “my kids” are doing.

200430_InternetCellAs far as changes occurring in schools are concerned, I would say that the Internet, the cell phones, the media, and all of the various items that bring up so much information so quickly have changed our system so it’s hard to remember what happened in the classrooms and library, etc. over time. A number of years ago when some of the middle school kids were working on their various reports in the computer room, I often suggested that they could get some good books from the library and write up a really good report. Their answers were always the same. “I can do it all a lot faster on the computer and there’s so much information out there!”

I still made the same suggestions from year to year. However, not any longer. Now I am the one who finds info on the computer and use Google regularly. Yes indeed, there are many ways of learning! – CHRIS

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A Short Update

180604_PriceChopperApril 19 – No real point in discussing all that is going around these days so I decided to post a short blog just to show how life is full of good from all kinds of people right here in our stores, our doctors’ offices, in grocery stores, and eating places, showing that wherever they are or how they do their work, they are still just like us in so many ways.

As the days go by, we need to remember that no matter how others treat people, good or bad, we can show those same folks that there are lots of others who do care. And as I look back upon it, I think the Spirit of God has a lot to do with how we treat others.

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Wound Care Center

I especially think of this because of all the kind doctors and nurses at the Advanced Wound Care Center that have been taking care of my leg over the past month. They have all been so friendly and helpful; I want to give them all hugs but I know I can’t right now. I’ve told them more than once I am going to come back after this is all over and THEN give them all a big hug of thank-you!

Looking back in my journal, I am reminded of what I wrote right after I first hurt my leg:

“My leg, well both legs, are really painful. Just try to keep going, but there’s no position that feels as it usually does. I am signed up to go to the doctor that I saw before a long time ago. Finally climbed into bed and stayed for an hour plus. Cat sat right beside me as she doesn’t usually do that. I had so many bashed up places, especially along my right leg, that I just continue on! Had to get up a number of times that night and work on the pain in my right leg. Went back several times as I needed to stay quietly and get a few bits of sleep.”

But what a difference since then, I can assure you of that! And hopefully all will be well by the end of April. – CHRIS

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A Short Break

April 5 – This blogpost is not from Chris or Dale, but from their son-and-editor, Dave. I’m sure you’ve noticed the lack of posts from this account over the past couple of weeks! Well don’t worry, my folks are still doing fine, although with a few hiccups along the way.

20200331_135350The main issue is that Chris has been fighting a very nasty wound infection in her right leg. We took her to the doctor several weeks ago, and she has been visiting a Wound Care clinic each week since.

As you can guess, this has been a definite physical effort for recovery. However, Dale has been carefully handling the daily bandaging and cleaning of the wound, and we have seen amazing results, especially last week. Even the doctor was surprised at how well the wound was healing up.

At any rate, Chris and Dale have both been taking it at a much more relaxed pace since early March, are getting lots more sleep, and with the COVID virus, been staying at home instead of doing their regular town day and helping with Harvesters.

20200324_150712I have doing my best to keep them supplied with the groceries they need, and checking with them on a daily basis to see how everyone is doing. So have no fear, I am sure that by the end of the month Chris will be back to blogging once again.

Until then, carry on, friends! I’m a lucky guy to still have my parents around; even if they are in their 90s they keep on keepin’ on. – Dave

 

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Politics and Groceries

200312 Food prep

Busy in the kitchen

March 12 – Hi, remember me? Among other things, I have been so busy here and there that I haven’t had much time for blog writing. I can hardly imagine that I wrote so many blogs during the first two months of this year; I can’t even remember what they were about until I read some of the earlier ones and say, “Oh, did I really send them over to David-our-editor to see if he wanted to make some changes?

So for this week, we haven’t had to get up early as we have been doing for the last month. I have kept pretty busy listening to the words of so many of the presidential candidates who think the land might fall apart if it weren’t for them. Once the whole group started in the hearings and primaries, we have been subjected to claims from both sides of the aisle, and usually they seem to use any little bit of misunderstanding they can fit in to the problem.

200312 Fruit plate

Love that fresh fruit!

But should we get lost in the scuffle? Hopefully not as we would like to see our elected government officials standing strong. One of the reasons to have a strong government with everyone doing his best is that it shows the world that all is well in our dear country. Even if at times things may not be looking all that good.

Anyway, we did a little shopping today as it was town day, getting some nice fresh fruits and vegetables. Being vegetarians, we don’t eat the way many others do! We didn’t out many hugs today though! Also stopped at several other places for various reasons, and then headed home. – CHRIS

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Recent Doings

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Bed looks good in the morning!

February 26 – Sure wished I could stay in bed for a long time the other day, but no chance with Harvesters being on the schedule. We left early to get to the church by nine. Quite a good crowd from the church and other interested people. Dale stayed in the truck most of the time. It was pretty cold, but we got used to it.

I gave out the carrots, pretty sad bunch, bent and crooked. We got a ton of oranges and a lot of potatoes. The gang sent over a big cake, very well done, but Dale said we should give it away, so Faye ended up with it. Watermelon and huge purple onions. The truck was full but didn’t have as much as we usually do. We went on home about noon.

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Never know what will be at Harvesters

Nice to see the pastor, and a big number of the folks I always take notice of. Spent a long time trying to figure out what to do with the food. Huge red delicious apples and juicy onions. Spent a lot of time cleaning the stuff and then a couple hours cleaning up the storage place in the kitchen cupboard. Never finished. How could I? To bed late, of course!

Got up early the next day to go to town. Didn’t buy much but saw several of our good friends. Pat hasn’t come back yet. When Dale was turning towards the food store, his foot slipped and left me scared to death and then some; I couldn’t even talk for awhile. Off to Price Chopper, didn’t see Mike or Karen but did get to talk with Robbie, Cheryl and Zach plus two ladies at the counter who probably wondered what we were up to!

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Tape cases to put away

After sorting the food for Faye (she felt so bad because she had forgotten we’d be there.) we went home and after lunch worked on the apples and oranges. In the evening I worked on the more putting-away stuff, trying to do a lot. I was so tired I fell asleep on the chair while watching the news. Woke up about midnight!

That didn’t stop me on Friday as I still got up early so I could do the washing (4 loads) and more work on the shelves. Sure was surprised to find all of the stuff we have there, and put it together. Tons of photo albums and post cards. Still work to go, but all of the stuff is out of sight and at leat I know where it is! – CHRIS

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Clean Up, Throw Out?

200218_SleepyCatFebruary 18 – As usual lately I enjoyed a lengthy stay in bed just because it feels good to relax, go back to sleep, and listen to the cat breathing quite loudly trying to keep up with me!

Did I say keep up? Not only does she keep up, but when she gets behind just a little bit she actually jumps ahead and makes sure that she wins the race. Just so she can start eating, but also to show me that she enjoys being on the front line.

200218_BasementBoxesWe worked at some of the piles of various kinds of storage boxes that needed to be cleaned out. Guess what? Treasures suddenly appeared when I took off some of the books that had kept their places for a long time up in the attic. Other old books threatened to make a stop for me as I paged through and read bits and pieces of them. So, I didn’t take time to think about the long-ago writers right then. I will have to just make time to do the things that need being done.

Later I went back down to clean up more stuff in the basement. First, I cleaned off a big table, big enough to hold three paintings, all done by Dale’s folks. I also found more interesting books, including several groups of beautifully written numbers with small problems and the work done right beside the original numbers. One interesting item or rather two of them, were delightful since I enjoy stamps. There were a couple of them in the puzzle.

200218_BasementThingsThen came the jigsaw puzzle of the 50 States of the Union. A little story on that one. Yesterday when I was moving the puzzle, I saw that 4 or 5 pieces at the edge had broken up and I couldn’t find one that was missing. That was sad as I really have enjoyed the bits and pieces of history lying right in front of me.

Lying in bed this morning and planning my day, I thought of that missing piece. A short little prayer went up to the Lord, but I didn’t give it more thought until I was working on that puzzle this afternoon. Amazing, but when I was putting the other pieces in place, I really did find the last one, As I fit it in its place, Dale called out to me, “Did you find that last piece, the one that you lost?” I was so pleased that God had been with me once again, and wanted to say so!

Later on this evening Dale came down the stairs to see if he could help. Of course, I never turn down anybody who wants to help! The last big job to get our attention was the one to put together all the varieties of juices I had canned along the way. Mostly tomato juice, grape juice, corn, and pears. And that, my friends was enough for one day! – Chris

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