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Smooth Sale-ing? the Sad and the Glad

The website Letgo.com boosts: “Make money selling what you don’t need and find great deals nearby.” The service provides an outlet for getting rid of old appliances, furniture and cars. What this service doesn’t refer to is the emotional toll of letting go of family...

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3 Women and a Dumpster

The three women are my sisters and I. The dumpster deposited for three weeks at my Aunt Ruthie’s house on Anchor Road was 30 feet long. Or should I say “is”? Weeks ago, a husky guy with an extra-long tow truck carted off the mammoth container filled to the brim, but...

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Moments of Extreme Emotion 365th Post Mark

  I have arrived at blog post number 365. Unbelievable! At least for me. It has taken me more than 4 years to accomplish what Julie Powell did in one year. Yes, in 365 days, Julie cooked and baked her way through Julia Child’s enormous cookbook of 524 recipes and...

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A Breather, Chuckles from Cliff

"What are these?" I queried, opening a photo sleeve in Cliff's art studio. "Oh, my word!" I announced to no one in particular as I fingered the first picture. Then I laughed, paging through all the photos, fondly called Clifftoons my husband created in the 1980s for...

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Fleet Feet, Bossler Mennonites on the Move

For nearly four months now, we have been clearing out the house our Aunt Ruthie shared with Grandma Longenecker. My sisters and brother have been doing the bulk of the work so far. But in April help came from some members of Bossler Mennonite Church. Their assistance...

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Grandma was a Preacher

My Grandma Fannie never graced a pulpit wearing clerical robes. She did not have a theology degree either. Certainly, no one ever addressed her as a Reverend. Yet one spring day in 1951 Fannie Martin Longenecker preached to the residents at Orville Mennonite Home. Her...

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Secrets and Sass from Fannie Martin’s Scrapbook

Crimson Album, a Golden Treasure Underneath a stack of stuff in one of the bedrooms my sisters and I sorted through, a red album appeared. It was really not very crimson, but more magenta in hue. To whom did it belong? What was inside? Behold! A scrapbook album my...

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Easter 2017 with a Nod to the Kind and Civil

Easter Greetings: The Sacred, the Secular, and the Natural Many other postcards have been posted on this website since my sisters and I have been sorting through the house Aunt Ruthie shared with my Grandma Fannie. You can visit them here and here. This season I share...

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Caption Needed: Vintage Postcard

This postcard was sent to Miss Fannie Martin (my Grandma Longenecker) from Mount Joy, Pennsylvania. The postmark, dated October 15, 1909, is intact but the stamp has been cut out, deleting some of the text that would illuminate the meaning of the scene. Your mission,...

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Hilda’s Maine Send-off

A True Story Hilda lived in Pennsylvania. She had lots of friends in her hometown. Then she moved to Maine. When she left she took with her something special.   This post will tell you what and how and why. Hilda Zeager loved Lancaster County farmland where she...

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Finding Balance in a World Turned Upside Down

Balance is a good thing unless you are sitting on a see-saw and want to get off!   Vernal Equinox On Monday, March 20, both day and night were about the same length around the globe. People in the northern hemisphere experienced the spring equinox. Those in the...

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How to Make an American Quilt: Love in a Circle

How to Make an American Quilt, the Movie Women stitch quilt as a wedding gift for girl Girl doesn’t know whether she wants to get married. Women in quilting circle tell stories about life and love that fit the quilt's theme Where Love Resides Wrapped in a quilt, girl...

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Mennonite Meets Mr. Right

Her Story The title for Rhoda Janzen’s latest memoir, Mennonite Meets Mr. Right, could be recast as Egg-Head Mennonite Intellectual Meets Pentecostal Hunk Mitch. I succumbed easily to her comic style, which engaged me while reading her first memoir, Mennonite in a...

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Moments of Discovery: What’s In Your Closet?

It’s a safe bet that I’d find clothes in your closet, boots, maybe a tennis racket. But I don’t think I’d find an otter hat, a movie camera, a stack of paintings or a ruffle iron. Sorting through ninety years of accumulation, my sisters and I have found all that ~ and...

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Aunt Ruthie: Diary of a Long Goodbye

Five journals, spiral-bound, sit in my writing studio. Their pages, bowed from cargo storage on flights from Florida to Pennsylvania, contain snatches of conversation from the last nine years of Aunt Ruthie’s life. Since 2008, she has had to cope with a pacemaker...

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The Weight of Love – Heavy or Light?

Love Locks Their love, they thought, was an iron-clad statement, fixed to the grill work of Pont des Arts bridge in Paris. Etched with their initials, couples professed undying love as they tossed the key to their lovelock into the Seine. City workers in 2015 with a...

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The Lion and the Mouse Write a Mission Statement

The Lion and the Mouse Once upon a time a mischievous mouse scampered across the outstretched paw of a sleeping lion, awakening him from his nap. The king of beasts clapped his paw upon the pitiful creature that squealed: “ Please don’t kill me! The day may come when...

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