Memoir Progress: Peaks and Valleys

Writing a book is a long, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven by some demon one can neither resist nor understand.                 ~ George Orwell Orwell is right about the...

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Aunt Ruthie’s Diary and My Birthday

I don’t remember my first birthday. Can anyone recall that far back in time? But I do remember the highchair because all four of us children used it. And I remember the backyard at my parents’ house, the clothesline, and of course the outhouse, in later years guarded...

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Jenna A Thirteenth Birthday

Jenna is our only grand daughter. This July she turns thirteen. She is still very girly, but she is growing up fast and now prefers a more sophisticated look.   Once upon a time, this little girl was a three-year-old princess. She woke up in the morning, got out of...

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Come to Bible School Every Evening of the Week

Come to Bible School, come to Bible school, every evening of the week, come to Bible school . . . Always be on time, always be on time . . . Watermelon, Hires homemade root beer floats, and swimming in a farm pond with mud on the bottom, squishy between our toes –...

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Memoir Moment with Mom in the Tobacco Field

This is a photograph of my mother, Ruth Longenecker, in the tobacco field located in our family’s acreage in Bainbridge, Pennsylvania seven miles from our home. Until the photo was restored, I did not realize the presence of a figure in middle distance, who I’m...

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Morning Ablution, What’s Your Routine?

Here’s the true secret of life: We mostly do everything over and over. In the morning, we let the dogs out, make coffee, read the paper, help whoever is around get ready for the day. We do our work. In the afternoon, if we have left, we come home, put down our keys...

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Brother Mark: His Life in Pictures

At Mark's funeral, a church friend recalled his wisdom. The friend, who admitted to have complained about something trivial at the time, heard Mark say, "Oh, it's not so bad. We're just passing through this life!" My brother passed through this life and left his mark....

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My Dad Farmed with Mules: Father’s Day 2018

My dad was a workhorse. He plowed with mules in the 1930s in our field in Bainbridge     Later I stood beside him on a mechanical “beast” here in the same field cultivating the soil with a Massey-Harris tractor soon to plant tomatoes.     Poet Marge Piercy expresses...

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Aunt Ruthie’s Diary and 12 Gallons of Ice Cream

Once upon a time a five-year-old girl went to Cherryl Hill, a one-room school  with a big bell on the rooftop . . . Early in the morning  she rode over hill and dale In the back seat of the brown Terraplane Hudson with her teacher-aunt at the wheel . . . She wasn't...

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Rich Memories of Mother and Brother 2018

I am blessed because I had a Mother who . . .    Read to me In appreciation, I once gave this book as a Mother's Day present to my mother. It came back to me when we sorted through her books and papers in 2014.   A well-worn book Mother read to her children     Sang...

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Our Unexpected Journey with Brother Mark

The Scenario Begins “Hi, Marian, this is Kenny, do you know where your brother Mark is?” Our cousin Kenny, who lives in an apartment close by Mark’s in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania had called me in Florida late Sunday morning. “No, I guess he’s in church. He always...

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Pausing

Because of the unexpected needs of a family member, I will set aside regular weekly posts for awhile. Also, I may not be responding to your blogs as often. Sometime this month I will post a Mother's Day tribute. You are welcome to contact me via a private message....

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Shakespeare, Vets, and a Newborn

Like the magnolias, petunias and daisies that bloom in Florida this time of year Shakespeare’s birthday pops up in my head, an annual occurrence, probably a carryover from teaching Macbeth, Hamlet, and King Lear. Like rosemary for remembrance, the date April 23 never...

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A Memoir Moment from the Strawberry Patch

Soon! Strawberries may not be ripe in your part of the world—yet! But they will come soon, Maybe in May or June.   Sam Gamgee, Frodo Baggins’ sidekick, remembers the taste of strawberries: Do you remember the Shire, Mr. Frodo? It’ll be spring soon. And the orchards...

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Wordless Wednesday, April 2018

        Can you identify the season? Or the decade? What is the mother saying? What is her daughter thinking? Do you have family photos with 3-4 generations? If so, what was the setting (time or place) for the picture?...

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Secrets from Grandma Longenecker’s Diary

Last year when we were sorting through piles of paper in Grandma and Aunt Ruthie’s attic, I found this: just one leaf from a tablet my Grandma Longenecker began as a diary. She may have intended to add more.     Grandma’s Diary: the unedited transcription: Wed., Apr...

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An Easter Meditation with Jonah and Carl Sandburg

  A prophet and a poet deliver an Easter message for 2018.   This message is for you if you have ever felt depressed ecstatic or any emotion in between.   Story of Jonah Traditionally, the story of Jonah begins with the prophet trying to escape his divine mission to...

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