“Julia! Austin! Wake up, we’re ready to leave for Ohio! Remember, we’re going to Grandpa’s today!” I told my sleeping darlings.
Shrieks of delight sounded as they jumped out of bed. The van driver we had scheduled to pick us up early in the morning soon arrived. Two excited children were delighted to nestle into their car seats and head for Ohio.
By 1:30 p.m., we were all grateful to arrive safely at Grandpa’s house, where we received warm welcome hugs as we always do. Best of all was watching Julia hug her little cousins that she had been eager to see once more.
That evening, most of us went fishing in a pond at Daniel’s brother, Tobias’s. Two-year-old Austin was quite concerned that he get a turn fishing. I cast out my line, then told him he could hold it for me.
“I’m going to catch a big buck!” he informed me. Dear little fellow is perhaps hearing too many stories about deer? Soon he was informing me that he can’t reel in his line anymore.
“Austin, you’ve got a fish!” I told him. Excitedly the two of us cranked it in together. And, no, it wasn’t a big buck; instead it was a too-little-to-keep bass.
Dusk was gathering by the time we headed home with a dozen bass to butcher. You now how it goes: unfortunately the butchering part isn’t usually as fun as the catching part.
The following day proved to be quite interesting. We attended a Hostetler family reunion which included Daniel’s mother’s family. With her being born into a family of 10 children, it certainly was a large group of people. Dawdy’s (as we call grandma and grandpa) have 80 grandchildren and 81 great-grandchildren. And, yes, most of their descendants were at the reunion. What really amazed me is how many little children were present, 81 children under age 11!
Prior to the reunion, I had met most of Daniel’s cousins but, of course, couldn’t remember all their names. The day was packed with visiting and rekindling friendships. Lunch consisted of an Amish meal of mashed potatoes, sausage gravy, mixed vegetables, tossed salad and strawberry delights. A special thanks to those in Danville, Ohio, who planned and prepared this meal to feed all 180 of us!
The afternoon passed swiftly as Dawdy shared stories of long-ago days. It’s hard for us to imagine what things were like 50 to 75 years ago. What it would be like to only be paid $1.25 an hour.
The Hostetler family also enjoys singing, so an hour was spent singing from the Christian hymnal, concluding with Grandma’s favorite song: “Love Will Bring Us All Together By and By.”
A simple ice cream supper of hot ham and cheese sandwiches, noodles, ice cream cones and cake was served at 6:15. Afterwards was introduction time, which was quite interesting for me. The Hostetler siblings stood with their partners, children and grandchildren. Doing that definitely helped me remember who belongs to which family.
Included in this letter is my strawberry delight recipe like we had at the reunion. Any type of filling may be used instead of strawberry, or for a different twist, try chocolate or lemon pudding.
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
8 ounces whipped topping
1 1/2 quarts strawberry pie filling of your choice.
Lemon or chocolate pudding may be used instead of pie filling if desired.
Mix crumbs, brown sugar, and butter and then press into a 9-inch by 9-inch pan. Mix cream cheese and powdered sugar, fold in whipped topping and then carefully spread over crumbs. Spread pie filling over cream cheese mixture. Chill. Serves 10-15 people