Monday, April 25, 2011

More Memories of Dad

Yesterday some digital memorabilia pertaining to Dad was distributed to family members including some older photos. It brought back many good memories. So I thought I would share a small portion of them here.

One of a very few pictures of my Dad as a child

My Dad and Mom were married in 1954 in a double wedding.
Dad and Mom are respectively second and third from the viewer's left.

My Dad and Mom with their first three toddlers

A family picture with all the children; I am the one in the red suit coat.

Here Dad is operating a tractor-powered saw to cut firewood for the wood stove. The chicken house that held 6,000 chickens in cages is in the background. Directly in front of the chicken house was an orchard containing sour cherry, sweet cherry, apple, peach, and apricot fruit trees.

Dad and Mom making apple cider

Dad butchering a chicken while one of us finishes a late supper after work

Dad enjoyed hiking with us kids

Dad reading bedtime stories

Monday, April 18, 2011

A Walk Through Lenape Park

This past Thursday my wife and I took a walk in Lenape Park near Perkasie, Bucks County, PA. It was a delightfully warm mostly sunny day. Below are a few sights from that walk. It was peaceful and renewing to my soul. In one picture, you will see a creek; it is the East Branch of the Perkiomen Creek.

And the last picture below was a drawing by a sixth grader
in a Sunday School class at our church. We had filled in as
substitute teachers and this was her gift to us. I love it.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Signs of Spring

This past Thursday I went for a walk around my home town enjoying the many sights of Spring. Here are some of the highlights from that walk.

Along the hedgerow where we live

This tree is the first one to bloom every Spring.

There's something special about this clump of daffodils.

I love the blue of these blossoms.

A beautiful row of forsythias along an old barn

Even a few tulips blooming already

One of my favorite spring wildflowers

Monday, April 4, 2011

Reflections Past and Present

My thoughts have been somewhat in a jumble not totally sure where I want to go with this post. Perhaps it's in part because of a number of events - my dad passing away on March 6, my last uncle on my dad's side passing away on March 27, and several other acquaintances experiencing similar losses in the past month along with important decisions needing to be made yet not hurried. But I'm going to start by sharing an aerial photo of my dad's farm from the early 1960s. It brings back many childhood memories for me.

In this picture to the far left are five chicken coups in a row that were used to house chickens before my time. Next to them are two red buildings side by side. The one closest to the driveway was used to raise chicks for laying hens. I'm not sure what the red building furthermost from the drive was used for. The next red building along the driveway was a combination equipment and corn shed. Then of course comes the large red barn which during my life time was used to house farm equipment, straw, chickens, and sometimes a few other livestock as hobbies by us children. Beyond that was another corn crib and a gray colored chicken house that can't be seen in this picture. The red shed between the barn and the house was mostly a storage shed and at times a garage. It also contained an outhouse where Dad recalls old Sears catalogs were used. As for the farm land Dad grew mostly corn and wheat though he occasionally also farmed oats and barley. Of course, we also had a very large farm patch in which we grew most of the vegetables we ate. Dad also grew lots of fruit trees and harvested some raspberries and blackberries that grew wild in hedge rows and woods.

A beautiful sign of Spring
Bright spots in the midst of lostness

Lastly, but not least, I want to highlight a book that I just recently read. Especially in light of the experiences I and my family have had recently, it is an encouragement to push on and to remember that we'll all be reunited again some day in the future. As I'm writing this I'm thinking of the song "I'm so glad I'm a part of the family of God." So while I'm experience some feelings of lostness right now, I'm ultimately a part of a much larger family that I'll experience in  a much greater way when I get to Heaven. And that larger family will include my more immediate family that I'm missing now.

And if you have 15 minutes this is worth watching.
Eric Whitacre is a talented composer and director.