“Mom, you need to write a column about this!” Julia quipped as she scattered another handful of straw over her grandparents’ newly seeded lawn.
Daniel’s liking for putting in new yards was planted into all of us. No, I’m not running the skid steer to getting everything ready as he used to, but as I grabbed another handful of straw and spread it over the yard, the ache in my heart was soothed a tad. “Do you remember when we helped with Brother Javin’s yard?” I asked Julia. Much had transpired since that day five years ago. Now, little Joshua was even helping as he scooped straw by the handful and dumped it off. The smile lighting his entire face spoke of the importance he felt.
My mind skipped ahead to next summer as I pictured the children playing in the large yard surrounding the new gray/ tan house with charcoal siding. Lush green grass is a blessing, especially after trying to keep little boys out of mud.
This was the week of Grandpa Yoder’s moving to their new house. Moving entails many tasks. Besides those last closet shelves to install and sinks to set up, there are all sorts of things to be hauled into the new house and a spot to be found for every bit of it. Aunt Mary was a huge blessing in managing the organization aspect and unpacking; Uncle Joseph helped with moving their belongings, putting in the new yard, and doing fix-it jobs.
Even the flu bugs showed up to help. Oh my, it made memories, just not the kind we would have chosen!
On Saturday afternoon, I told the children we’d head home and have supper; then when everyone has had their showers, we’ll come back to sit down and see Grandpas in their new house.
A couple of hours later, we were at the entrance, getting ready to go, “You may wear your good stocking caps, boys, since you just washed your hair,” I instructed the boys.
The short walk over the field and through the narrow strip of woods was soon bridged, and we were knocking at the door. “Come on in!” came the cheery greeting. The children quickly hung their clothes along the long row of hooks that had been put up for the grandchildren. I smiled. This was happening for real!
We have enjoyed having them in the neighborhood since their move from Ohio a little over a year and a half ago, and now they are in their new house at last. The house was designed with the thought of hosting family and friends. Behind the attached garage is an extra bathroom and bedroom to host their out of state family. The living room has ample space to accommodate a sizeable group of people. Grandma’s can room located under the back porch is accessible from the living room and also serves as good place to store potatoes, apples, and the likes. The shelves are already lined with canned goods she so readily shares with dinner guests.
After all the hard work, things are actually coming together. Candles flickered, curtains graced the windows; yes, it was inviting, and already, it felt like home. The children eagerly played in the toy corner behind the couches in the living room while I visited the kitchen. Soon, Grandpa was dishing fruit slush into mugs for everyone. The children all stood around the new island and together enjoyed a refreshing treat. I knew how much Daniel would be pleased to see his children living next door to his parents. What a privilege to have their support even after he’s gone to heaven.
Winding up with a recipe, Aunt Mary suggested I share the sweet and sour green bean recipe with you. The flavor is an authentic twist, blending a tangy, sweet combination. Try it for your Thanksgiving table, and remember to thank the One who is worthy to be thanked!
SWEET AND SOUR GREEN BEANS
1 quart green beans
3 slices bacon, fried
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup vinegar
1 egg, well-beaten
Heat the beans. Fry the bacon, drain, crumble, and set aside. In a saucepan, mix together sugar, vinegar, and eggs. Bring to a boil. Drain water off beans then and add sauce and bacon. Stir and serve.
Gloria Yoder is an Amish mom, writer, and homemaker in rural Illinois. The Yoders travel primarily by horse-drawn buggy and live next to the settlement’s one-room school-house. Readers can write to Gloria at 10510 E. 350th Ave., Flat Rock, IL 62427.