Look back at life
Supper dishes are washed, and most of the family is relaxing and getting showered before bedtime. Hamburger potato casserole was on the menu for tonight.
As I sit here in my recliner writing, my mind goes back to 16 years ago when I first started penning my first column. Mother had just died unexpectedly while attending a few book signings in Missouri. She was 66. Life changed so much for our family on that day.
I was nervous when I wrote that first column. I was 31 years old and my husband, Joe, and I had six children. Joseph was our baby, only three months old. Loretta was 2, Benjamin 3, Verena 4. Susan was 6 and in kindergarten. Elizabeth was 8 and in second grade.
By now, 16 years later, there have been so many changes!
Rereading my earlier columns brings back memories of those years when our children were so young. In one column, I wrote that I had water heating on the stove to wash the laundry. Now I have hot running water, powered by solar, and I can put the hose right into my Maytag washing machine. Now that my washing machine is powered by the solar panels on our pole barn, there is no more carrying water to get that job done.
I also wrote about my sisters coming to help in preparations for upcoming church services. It said sister Emma cleaned all three of my kerosene stoves and we cleaned all the kerosene lights. Now I have a propane gas stove and propane and battery lights.
It was hard to go on, with both my parents gone from us so suddenly. Dad had passed away a little over two years before Mother. At the time, it seemed almost impossible for life to go on without them.
Remembering my mother’s words — things she always said — helped me a lot. She always said, “God makes no mistakes.” So why would we want to question His ways?
I also wrote in one of my first columns that I was trying to get the buggy blankets dried, as we had been caught in a rain. Yes, we had open buggies in those days, and those winter rides could get pretty cold! In rainy weather we had umbrellas to keep us dry as much as possible.
We now have covered buggies and heaters to install in the cold winter months.
As 2002 ended and we started the new year 2003, we faced another year of changes. Our home place was sold, as were all our parents’ belongings. Life went on, but there was always someone missing from our lives.
As we entered the year 2004, we started thinking we need a change. So after much thought and many prayers, we packed our