Traveling to Maine

Friday, May 5

We left early – as usual – to make the nine-and-a half to ten hour trip to Maine. It seems that we have been traveling in rain a lot the past few weeks. I took this picture at 5:30, and we had already been on the road about twenty minutes.

This picture was taken about the same time – with the focus on the road instead of the window.

Fifteen minutes later we were watching a beautiful sunrise as we traveled east on I-78.

We traveled in heavy traffic about 7:30, but were able to keep moving at a good speed.

Cerwin took the route by the Tappan Zee Bridge (over the Hudson River) because he wanted to see the progress on the new bridge. They got a lot of work done since we were last over it in early January.

We crossed the bridge into Maine just after 1:00 PM.

It looked like springtime when we arrived at Mark and Diane’s house at 3:30 PM.

They are about two or three weeks behind us, so it felt like we were seeing early springtime all over again.

It was a beautiful afternoon, so I asked Diane if she wanted to go with me on a walk. We stopped to look at the swampy area between their house and the Catholic church.

She began checking for tadpoles that she thought should be swimming in the water.

She said the green “mass” is frog eggs. She thinks these are the tree frogs they hear at night. (We heard them that night. They are quite loud.)

As our eyes adjusted to the water, we began seeing tadpoles.

Then we continued our walk around the church.

This is a nice walk because the long entrance and exit roads to and from the church are behind Mark and Diane’s house – meaning there is no traffic. Unless you happen to be walking about the time of a service.

You can enter the church driveway beside the Myers’ drive way and return by going only a short distance on the road by their house.

Flowers next to the church

We came back to the house through the back yard and garden area. Their rhubarb will soon be ready to cut.

They garden with raised boxes.

Strawberries are coming through the ground.

Lydia and Hannah came for supper – and brought dessert.

Their delicious dessert. If I remember correctly is was a cheese cake with caramel topping.


We had a great evening catching up on their lives and making plans for the next morning when Lydia would graduate from college.

We Can Always Depend on Our Children to Pray for Us!

I loved the quick responses when I sent out a quick prayer request to our children last night when Cerwin discovered that he was missing a hearing aid:

“Aww. Will do.”

“Oh, dear! Praying that he finds it.”

“Oh, crap!”

“Oh no, sending prayers.”

Cerwin was concerned that he had trouble understanding a question I asked and reached up to his right ear to make sure the hearing aid was in correctly. That is when he discovered it was missing. 

He quickly searched around the la-zee-boy where he was sitting. Then, because he had been cleaning the lawnmower after supper, he supposed it was in that area. We could not find it. 

I helped a bit, then went to bed. 

He came and told me that he will look more in the morning, then came to the living room to watch a hunting program. When he picked up his laptop and opened it to do some research, he found the hearing aid laying on the computer keys.

He quickly came to the bedroom with his praise report.

I’m not sure which prayer request got to the Lord, but we are thankful he found it. 🙂 

It would be fun to know how it got on the laptop keys. It was probably loosened when he worked on the lawnmower and fell out when he prepared to move the laptop from his lap to the table. He always closes the laptop before putting on the light stand beside him.

We will never know, but praise the Lord that it was not buried in lawnmower grass.

Ladies Luncheon

Tuesday, May 2

Velma, Chris, Deb, Diane, Chris, Abby and Anthony

Since Mark and Diane were here for a week – and there was no day when it suited everyone to get together for Cerwin’s birthday, we decided to do a ladies luncheon at Lititz Family Cupboard. They make specialty iced teas. On this day it was strawberry mango and coconut peach. I was delighted with the taste of the coconut peach.

This was actually the first picture – while the other ladies were talking to a friend who came to our table and I waited for everyone to be ready for a group photograph.

What fun to have other ladies come to our table – who heard that Doris was here with her girls. 🙂

We chose a variety of lunch items – taco salad (above), soups and sandwiches.

Anthony enjoyed the ice cream cone that came with his meal.

Anthony with Great-Great-Grandma Hershey

Kristen came from work so had a stethoscope with her. Anthony wasn’t sure about it so she showed him how to listen to his heart.

That made him smile.

Oh, what a fun lunch.

Cerwin’s Birthday Party #1

Sunday, April 30

Actually, this first picture is from Saturday night after supper when Hezekiah, Jesse, Diane, and Jared played Qwirkle.

I accidentally saved it in Sunday’s file. 🙂

We had Sunday lunch after church with those who were in the house – or arrived about lunch time. Clockwise: Jesse, Deb, Jared, Ian, Heze, Mark, Diane, Josiah, and Cerwin.

During the afternoon we had a great time playing a kind of progressive Scum. There were two tables of five. After each game determined a king and queen, the king and queen exchanged tables.

Cerwin must be Scum, because he is dealing cards. 🙂

Look who is dealing the cards now.

Look at Mark’s face.

At times we laughed until our bellies hurt.

Jared was telling us silly jokes.

Oh, dear, I’m dealing again.

After Jere and Kristen got back from Washington DC – where they went for the weekend to celebrate her birthday – we moved the tables so we could have six at each table.

Cerwin made hamburgers and hot dogs for those who were able to come to this birthday party.

I love the cakes at Lititz Family Cupboard “Cake & Cup”. I told them that Cerwin enjoyed hunting. They made a target on top and camouflage on the side.

His birthday was a week earlier, but we waited until Mark and Diane were here.

Heze and Grandpa share a love of bluegrass. Since Heze now lives near Nashville, he went to the Ryman to buy Cerwin a coffee cup.

As you can see, he received some other goodies.

Jere set off a firework before he and his family headed for home.

Anthony received this big truck from Uncle Hezekiah and used it to help grandma clear the tables.

A few of the guys decided to play Ticket to Ride (Rails & Sails).

Heze, Josiah, Mark and Nathaniel.

A game of Qwirkle was being played at the other end of the set of tables.

Cerwin, Abby, and Diane

It was an incredibly fun day.

I love having family under our roof.

Pizza & a Movie

Saturday, April 22

We enjoyed a delightful evening with Jere and Kristen’s family – to celebrate Cerwin’s birthday.

First they took us to Pizza Hut for supper.

Then we went to Penn Cinema to see Born in China.

From the Internet: Born In China” follows the adventures of three animal families the majestic panda, the savvy golden monkey and the elusive snow leopard. Featuring stunning imagery, the film navigates the vast terrain from the frigid mountains to the heart of the bamboo forest on the wings of a red-crowned crane, showcasing remarkably intimate family moments captured on film for the first time ever.

We arrived early and relaxed before others arrived.

This room got quite full by the time the movie began.

It was amazing to watch the lives of these animals through out the four seasons of a year on a big screen.

I kept thinking, “How did they get that picture?”

The scenery was breath-taking.

At the end they showed many of the photographers and some cute candid shots.

Thanks, Jere and Kristen, for the delightful evening.

That is a movie worth seeing.

Easter Dinner at Jere & Kristen’s

Sunday Afternoon, April 16

Checking out the pretty spring flowers in the garage where we had lunch.

If I remember correctly, Jesse chose this one.

I later learned that this hyacinth was for us.

While we waited for others to arrive, Jere and Kristen wanted an updated family picture.

As they walked back to the house, I said, “Stop. I think this would make a great picture.”

I love it.

The table was set for twelve. Most of our family have Easter plans or don’t live in the area, so Jere and Kristen (who love to prepare meals) invite those who don’t have plans.

We have a large family dinner at our house at the end of May when the weather is warmer – my siblings and their families.

A place setting.

Sparkling grape juice

Lighting candles

Rolls – made by our niece Amy

The ham

Ham, green beans, crockpot  mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes – and cup cakes for dessert.

I also ordered these from Amy.

Around the table – clockwise: Cerwin, Jared, Jesse, Deb, Jana, Josh, Josiah, Roy, Ian, Kristen, and Jere.

Ian demonstrated the instrument he designed with PVC pipe for a school project.

A few more photo shoots.

Before we went home, we learned that this was a gift for us from Jere and Kristen.

 This was a gift from Roy and Deb.

An interesting colored rose

It was a delicious, delightful, colorful Easter afternoon.

Getting My Affogato Fix

Thursday Evening, April 13

My affogato and Cerwin’s ice cream at Fox Meadows Creamery

We sat at a table for two and enjoyed the farm scenery – the farm that produces the milk for the ice cream products.

We were surprised to look up and see Jeff (oldest son) and Chris walk in the door. What fun to go to a table for four and catch up a bit on their family.

I love when that happens. 🙂

Writing on the Wall

Wednesday, April 5

Our niece, Karen, texted me saying that she would like me to come to the farm and take a picture of some writing on the wall.

Karen, her husband and son bought the Hershey Homestead (house and farm) from my brothers and are redoing the middle section of the house. They plan to move there in the near future. (I took this picture in 2012. The old tree is no longer standing.)

The sandstone part of the house, on the left, was built between 1819 and 1821 – according to writing on the basement and attic walls. We knew the middle section was built in the early 1900s. This writing in the plaster probably identifies it as 1904. The newest section (on the right) was built in 1997 when my brother Dale and his wife Dot lived there.

They uncovered the writing in the plaster after removing the tobacco lath and horse hair plaster when preparing to insulate the outside walls.

This part was built when my great grandparents lived here. My grandpa was born in June 1895 – and would have been almost nine years old in May 1904 when the writing was put in the plaster.

While standing in this room that was stripped bare, I tried to imagine the excitement of a nine-year-old boy running through the new part of the house, examining the freshly plastered walls.

I don’t have any pictures of Grandpa when he was nine. Only this one when he was three or four and lived in the sandstone part of the house.

The next one I have was when he was a teenager. By then the frame part of the house was probably nine or ten years old.

Now back to the writing in the plaster. A. B. Young – May 3, 1904.

Who could that be?

Our son Jeff thought he might have been a fork maker. Jeff enjoys antique sales and said there was a Young who made wooden forks.

I called my friend Doug Shaw who lives near us (Penryn) and makes wooden forks. Doug said, “No, that was M. B. Young.” He suggested that I call Manheim Historical Society.

I got the answering machine, but told them about the writing in the plaster.

Two days later, someone called me saying, “I think we found your man. We found the obituary of Amaziah Benton Young in the Manheim Sentinel, August 18, 1932. He was a cigar maker and plasterer.”


It appears that we have deciphered the writing on the wall and found the plaster of the house in 1904.

I found that to be very interesting.

Pro Dad with Jere & Jesse

Early Morning, March 22 at Doe Run Elementary School

Jesse, Jere, and Cerwin

From Pro Dad’s website:

Pro Dad is on a mission to help you love and lead your family well.

We are a group of people passionately committed to bringing intentional focus to fathers around the world. Our message will inspire you to embrace who you are, give you tenderness of heart, and boldness of character as a dad and husband. We are consistently here for you to provide guidance and practical tips in raising your kids in a life giving way.

An Evening With Anthony

Tuesday, March 21

Our granddaughter had a book/Bible study and Nathaniel was working, so we were blessed to have an evening with Anthony.

He likes to have his picture taken.

He and great-grandpa were building a barn for the animals.

“I want to see that one grandma.”

He likes to see himself in my camera.

Re-arranging the barn a bit

Hauling animals to the barn

I spent some time on the floor too – working as a railroad dock worker while Anthony delivered goods to the other end of the kitchen.


One year ago he cried when Abby left. This time he cried when he had to go home.

He wanted to sleep here. 🙂

If felt good that he has gotten comfortable with us.