Enjoying peaceful Danville

Our time in Ohio is passing on wings. How can days melt so swiftly?

When I first started thinking of coming to Ohio for a couple of weeks it was with the thought of spending ample time with Daniel’s grandparents, Tobe and Mary, both in their 90s. Daniel had a close connection with his grandparents and instilled in all of us how precious they really are.

As a teenager, Daniel would go fetch Grandpas’ horse on Sunday mornings, harness, and hitch up, then take them to church. At church he would put the horse in the barn so Grandpa would be free. This was in the years that Grandpa would have been well able to do it himself, it was just something Daniel could do for him.

When Daniel and I began courting, Grandpa kindly shared Daniel as he would take me to church instead. A year later Daniel told his grandparents that he is getting married and moving to Illinois. It was no simple change. Not only did they miss Daniel, he missed them as well. After we were married they gifted Daniel with a wheelbarrow (which I still use) as a thank you for the years of taking them to church. How thoughtful!

We enjoyed visiting them whenever we went to Ohio. Daniel would tell me, “There is so much we can learn from them; they are older and have so much experience in life.”

One of the last times Daniel chatted with his dear grandparents he said, “I am almost jealous of you; if I were your age, I know I wouldn’t have that long to wait to go to heaven!”

Little did we know that in less than a year he would be the one with Jesus, knowing the rest of us will soon be coming to join him in heaven’s glory-land.

Now packing to leave for Ohio, there was something in me that kept thinking of Tobe Dawdys, as we call them. A couple hours before we left for Ohio, Daniel’s mother informed us that her mother (Daniel’s grandma), fell and broke her leg. How we hurt for her. That evening when we came to Ohio she was at the hospital where she stayed for the next four days where they did surgery and put in plates and screws.

I was eager to see her come home. I am not Daniel, yet it felt like something I could do for him to spend time with her. The first time I saw her lying there in her hospital bed in the living room, my heart melted.

In our simple minds, you’d think that this dear sweet lady would not have deserved this. Her attitude was challenging. Her hands motioned with her words, “Everything happens for a reason- everything.” It was obvious that she had her focus on her God, not her problems. Later she shared how she enjoys talking to God when she cannot sleep.

Since she is not up and about like she used to be, I get to help sometimes. One day this week I took Austin and Hosanna with me. After the lunch dishes were done Grandpa said he thinks we need to go plant sweet potatoes. Soon it was Grandpa, Miriam, and I working in the garden, now talking about precious times. I smiled to myself. I will probably never again have this opportunity to plant a garden with this avid garener with decades of experience. No one minded that he did not have the strength he did in years gone by. He walked along side me as I tilled back and forth the length of the garden. Austin was our errand boy and fetched needed items. Hosanna would periodically go in the house and check on Grandma. When we wrapped up our project there was a row of a dozen sweet potatoes planted on a canvas to keep the weeds down and a fence placed around them to keep the rabbits out.

Grandma has made hundreds or thousands of crinkled molasses cookies.

Molasses Crinkle Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting

3/4 cup butter

1 cup brown sugar

1 egg

1/4 cup sorghum

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons baking soda dissolved in 1 /4 cup milk

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

2 1/4 cups flour

Cream cheese frosting

8 ounces of cream cheese, softened

1 stick butter, melted

1 teaspoon vanilla

3 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Several drops red food coloring (optional)

Cream together butter and sugar.

Add egg and sorghum.

Blend together well.

Add dry ingredients.

Mix well.

Put half cup white sugar in a bowl and roll cookies in sugar (rolling in sugar is optional, I don’t just to cut down on sugar intake).

Place on greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 for 10 – 12 minutes.

Don’t overbake.

After cooled, mx together cream cheese frosting ingredients and spread onto the cookies.

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