Corn Harvest

Monday, November 23

DSC_5109It was about mid-morning when I heard the rumble of large equipment in the field next to us – looked outside and grabbed my camera.

DSC_5111I took all these pictures from our front door, the patio, or one of our windows.

DSC_5113From beginning to end, it took two hours.

DSC_5114I love living in the country – on the land where my grandfather, father, and siblings and I grew up.








DSC_5129I walked this road to school (it was a dirt road back then) – first to a one-room schoolhouse (now a family dwelling next door to us) – then beyond it to get the bus when the schools consolidated.

I was in 4th grade when I rode my first school bus.

DSC_5132This field has seen a variety of crops during my almost 72 years: alfalfa, corn, tomatoes, and I think I remember when it was surrounded by fence and used for grazing for the dairy herd my dad raised.

My brothers may remember other crops.

DSC_5135There’s a funny story about a time Grandpa was husking corn in this field – a bit closer to the farm. He knew when the mailman would go by, so stored some already-husked-corn nearby and pretended to be husking and throwing corn very fast when the mailman went by. Soon the neighbors heard about how quickly Milt Hershey husked corn. 🙂

DSC_5137Another funny thing happened in this field – I think the summer after my step-mother married my Dad. She wanted to be helpful so drove the pickup truck or a tractor (I forget which) to this field to help Daddy pick up corn that had been missed by the corn-picker.

When she got here, Daddy asked her if she knew she was pulling the elevator behind her. She did not. 🙂 We still love to tease her about that now and then. It makes us smile because it was a neat demonstration of her love for our dad.

DSC_5139Another time a man ran through this field when trying to get away from the law.


DSC_5142I sure do treasure this land where the corn grew and matured this summer.

Monday’s Birds

Monday, November 23

DSC_5098It was a busy morning, but when I looked outside our kitchen window at 9:30, and the lighting was right, I stopped to take a few pictures of this finch couple.

DSC_5101They are the most common of birds at our feeders, but I still find them so pretty and interesting.





DSC_5108Then, just as I was about ready to get back to work, a cardinal pointed out to me that the bird bath needed to be cleaned.

The Pursuit of Perfection

Sunday, November 22 – 2:00 PM Performance

DSC_4896I learned about this play by “Born To Be Different Productions” because our niece Chelsey was Backstage/Stage Manager Assistant. I went with my sister, Nancy, and our sister-in-law Anne. (Cerwin and my sister’s husband were hunting in West Virginia.)

I will tell the story as I remember it. Those who know or remember the storyline better than I do may correct any of my statements with a message on my Facebook page –

The actors and actresses are all school students. The bios in the program describe them as being in grades from 2 to 11.

The play was set in France during the 1890s with Winifred Banister caring only about her family’s image – especially for her 50th birthday party.

DSC_4898The play opened with Mrs. Banister, a widowed mother, planning her birthday party.

DSC_4900The youngest daughter was not impressed with her mother’s plans, especially when she learned that the entire family would not be invited – because they were not “perfect” according to the mother.

DSC_4901With a bit of “friendly” persuasion she convinced her mother to change her mind.

DSC_4903Mrs. Banister dictated more invitations to her maid.

DSC_4904Discussing the party with some of her wealthy friends.

DSC_4908The son reading his invitation. He determined that he would not attend, because his life was not perfect. He didn’t want his mother to know that he had spent all his money on his wife’s deteriorating health before she died. Not only had he spent all his money, he was in great debt.

DSC_4909His young daughter walked into the room, and asked what he was reading.

DSC_4911As little girls can do, she helped her daddy change his mind because it had been a long time since she had seen her cousins and grandmother.

DSC_4918When the next daughter received her invitation. She determined that their family would not go to the party because her mother did not approve of their three adopted children.

DSC_4914Her husband and daughters.

DSC_4917Discussing going to grandma’s birthday party.

DSC_4920Their son

DSC_4922They also decided to attend, and reminded their children to be on their best behavior.

DSC_4925This part was quite funny as the “spinster” daughter thought an unwanted suitor was at the door and kept screaming at the door – asking him to leave. It turned out to be this young man – someone she did not know.

After lots of apologies, she convinced him to go along to her mother’s party so her mother would think she had a boyfriend.

DSC_4927The son and his daughter were the first to arrive at the party.

DSC_4929Then the spinster daughter and her “boyfriend.”

DSC_4930He played his part incredibly well, and was quite funny – especially when there were family arguments. He could often be heard to comment, “This is awkward.”

DSC_4932Then the family with adopted children arrived.

DSC_4935They were not always on their best behavior. 🙂

DSC_4937This highly upset their grandma.

DSC_4940The widowed son meeting his sister’s “boyfriend”, and asking about his occupation.

DSC_4939He said that he managed some properties and lived near the marquis.

DSC_4945The youngest daughter was often in trouble and tried to convince the maid to go with her to the party so her mother thought she had a friend.

DSC_4947The party






DSC_4954Mrs. Banister began working on a plan for her wealthy friend’s daughter (left) to marry her widowed son.


DSC_4963The mothers discussing their plan for the arranged marriage for their daughter and son.



DSC_4969Mrs. Banister’s son was not receptive to the idea.

DSC_4970A bit of persuasion changed his mind – and he remembered how much he needed the daughter’s money.


DSC_4973The party continued.

DSC_4979Then the transformed maid entered the room – getting the undivided attention of the widowed son who was now engaged to the rich girl.

DSC_4976Singing a song to each other. (This was a musical.)




DSC_4994Discussing the upcoming wedding and proper behavior.





DSC_5004A sister and brother discussion about the wedding and the difficulty of choosing love over money.

DSC_5006The spinster daughter and her “boyfriend.”

DSC_5010She thought she was beginning to like him, but did not like what he was saying.


DSC_5008She was so upset that she asked him to leave and offered to pay him for pretending to be her boyfriend.

DSC_5012Then he told her that he didn’t want her money and that he did not manage land for the marquis, but that he was the marquis.

DSC_5017His next move was to propose to her.


DSC_5020Brothers-in-law discussing the arranged marriage that would bring wealth into the family.

DSC_5023Telling his sister that he cannot go through with the wedding because he was in love with the pretty stranger.

DSC_5028Discussing his change of mind with his daughter – who did not like the rich woman.

DSC_5029Telling his “almost bride” that he cannot go through with the wedding.


DSC_5033Her bridesmaid did not react well.

DSC_5037Ashton (this actress) is the daughter of friends from our church, Gary and Joanna, who were sitting in back of us to my right. I wish I could have captured a picture of her parent’s smiles when they watched her on stage.

DSC_5035The almost bride (Karissa – also the daughter of friends from church – Kevin and Jeanette) was also distraught at the news.


DSC_5041The next part of the drama happened when the almost groom discovered that the woman with whom he had fallen in love was actually his mother’s maid – and as poor as him.



DSC_5057Like often happens in plays – everything ended well – especially when the marquis learned about his future brother-in-law’s financial situation and paid his debt.

DSC_5058The finale was a mixture of words and songs that challenged us to follow God’s plan for our lives and remove the “perfect” masks in order to impress our friends.










DSC_5078It was a fabulous, God-honoring play!

DSC_5081Their pursuit of perfection was perfect.

DSC_5088Backstage directors. I only know the two on the right: Chelsey (our niece) and Sophia (far right) daughter of friends from church – Jerry and Jen.

DSC_5089The two on the left are Ashton and Karissa. I told you about them earlier.

DSC_5090Ashton was the almost bride’s attendant and Karissa was the almost bride.

Great job everyone.

Nicole Yutzy (Director/Producer), I wish I could have found you afterwards to congratulate you. Keep up the good work.

I hope it suits me to go to next year’s production – Choosing Avalon.

What I See Outside Our Windows

Saturday, November 21

This is what I see (1)This is what I see outside our guest room window when I am walking on our treadmill in the early morning – about 6:30 AM.

This is what I see (3)

This is what I see (4)

This is what I see (5)

This is what I see (6)

This is what I see (7)It’s fun to see the winter birds come to our feeders and watch them outside the window at our kitchen sink.

This is what I see (8)If I look beyond the feeders, this is what I see in the western sky – between 4:00 and 4:30 PM.

This is what I see (9)

This is what I see (10)It’s like seeing a new painting each evening.

This is what I see (12)

This is what I see (14)

This is what I see (15)

This is what I see (15a)

This is what I see (16)I love being able to see the sky around us – especially at sunrise and sunset.