Companionship is no respecter of age or culture. We are happier when we have companionship, whether it is working together or socializing.  Painting, building barns, sewing, quilting, or eating goes better when we are with someone. Many animals also enjoy being together.


Since we don’t paint the town we decided to paint the windows

Amish School IMG_4886

Happiness is making it fit.


Grouping together makes even the blues happy.


Sunday evening socializing


Catching the socializing fever.


If they can go to the neighbors why can’t we?


It’s fun to go with Dad!


Getting the work done together.


The blues have it over the browns, eleven to two.

The Evening Before Tomorrow

It was the evening before tomorrow and peace ruled the countryside


Pants were hung securely from the clothes line.


A few people were winter minded in the heat of the day.


A buggy stood resting on its shafts under the shade  of the old maple tree.


A young man painted his field with golden sheaves of grain.


The girls cheerfully stacked the grain into shocks.


Empty milk cans stood as sentinels of the past, reminding me of the days of hay loaders, pitchforks, bells on cows, and castor oil.


A school house guarded an old pump.


Children, dreaming about hard candy, joyfully drove to grandma’s house.


Young and old celebrated a wedding.


A lady drove out of a tunnel of shadows and into the evening sun on her way home.


A little fellow was exploring his small world of grass and mama.


It was fitting that this field was almost done since the evening was getting late. We were almost home as well, but not quite . . .


. . . since this tourist had to stop and try his hand at making a shock of grain.


The finished product, though a reasonable look alike, is far from a work of art.


I hope that your trip was a good one. Follow me home and I’ll give you a glass of fresh garden tea.


If you like this why don’t you hit the like button. Don’t be shy. It sure would be nice to see who you are. Come back and visit when you can. We’ll try to have the dishes done so we can sit some.

The Cat’s Meow

The short ride the other morning was the ride that relaxes, the rain that refreshes, the cat’s meow.IMG_2494

The joy of little things barely visible is worth the ride.IMG_2453

Showing his beauty or meaning business?IMG_0025

Hard work makes a beautiful landscape.IMG_2468

Heading to Charm, the little village with a big attitude.IMG_0083

Pony power. Twenty miles to a gallon of oats.IMG_2460

The pause that refreshes.IMG_2253

The quack that quiets.IMG_5723

What the Woodpecker Says

A few years ago I built a peanut feeder. It was mainly built by trial and error. I am still changing the design. I closed the hole on the side. The only way the birds can get peanuts is from the bottom. I thought that having the access hole on the bottom would deter the sparrows and other undesirables. Alas, it was not to be.

The blue jays learned to fly to a shrub about twelve feet away and use it as an airstrip. They take off and fly to the hole and quickly grab a peanut before they lose altitude. The Grackles stab into the hole and poke at the peanuts. They quickly drop to the ground and grab the peanuts before other birds can eat it. The sparrows, oh, those sparrows. Never mind, let’s not think about sparrows.

This blue jay has pretty much learned the ropes.


A Red-bellied Woodpecker enjoys his meal.


Most of the woodpeckers that feed at the feeder are red headed woodpeckers. One morning a red headed woodpecker was sitting on top of the feeder making a huge fuss. Finally my wife asked if the feeder was empty. I knew it was, but I was out of peanuts at the time. The woodpecker continued fussing. The next morning he sat on the feeder again and continued scolding me for my carelessness. Finally I bought peanuts and filled the feeder. All was well. The woodpecker was happy.

About a week later one morning I was sitting by a window in the sunroom when I heard what sounded like a jackhammer on the roof. I ignored the sound, but every so often the jackhammer pummeled the roof. Finally after a really loud drumming right above me I looked up. There was the woodpecker hanging from the gutter glaring at me. When I looked up he flew off. I knew that the feeder was empty again. That was weird. How did he know to come to me to have the feeder filled!



Pete and John believed that they should make as many pallets as possible. They weren’t sure why except that they were told to do so. Making pallets was not an art in itself, but making them efficiently was. The nailers, as they were called, wore nail aprons. A small rake-like instrument was available to rake the nails out of the box and into the nail apron.

Two men worked together, one on each side of the table made especially for the purpose. Both men grabbed the necessary wood needed to make a pallet, and laid them in place. A jig had been made to hold the wood in place so it would not move.

With one hand the men would reach into their respective nail bags and get enough nails for one pallet. With the other hand, they pulled the nails away from each other. The nails that came away were the ones with the heads forward. That was done as often as necessary so all the nails had the heads in the same direction. This process only took a few seconds. One nail was quickly rolled forward to the thumb and forefinger. The nail was positioned. The hammer tapped the nail hard enough to stick. The finger was quickly withdrawn, and with one loud crack the hammer came down and drove the nail completely into the wood.

The whole process was done without thinking. It was as automatic as eating. Pull out nails, strip them into the hand with the heads all pointed in the same direction, place the nail, set it with one crack of the hammer, and with another crack the nail was in. Roll the next nail forward, pound in the nail. Continue until the pallet was made. One man would grab the finished pallet and stack it while the other man grabbed more wood. The process was repeated until it was time to go home.

As you can imagine the whole mind-numbing process could become quite boring. One day Pete and John were nailing and visiting. All this nailing and visiting did not leave much room for concentrating on what they were doing. Boredom settled in. Repetition breeds boredom, and boredom produces negligence.

Just for something else to do to combat the boring task, Pete held a nail in place for John to plant with one swing of the hammer. John knew that Pete would pull his hand away if he swung the hammer. It did not even enter his mind that he would not do so. Pete knew that John would not hit the nail even though he had his hammer raised. It did not even enter his mind that he would. The stand-off lasted about three seconds. John raised the hammer and sent it toward the nail with lightning speed knowing Pete would pull his fingers away. Pete continued holding the nail knowing that John would stop short of the nail.

John swung and Pete held the nail. Before anyone could say ouch, John hit the nail. Pete’s thumb and forefinger was reduced to a flattened piece of flesh. Blood splattered in every direction. The boredom was over.

The Intruder

We were young and newly married. Everything was flippant and fun. Life was swathed in bright colors and tied with a red bow.

We lived in a tiny house, cozy and quaint. Four rooms were downstairs and one room upstairs. It wasn’t far from the back of the house to the front. The house was entered through the side by way of a tiny enclosed nook or from the back where a nice porch shaded by a lush maple tree provided leisurely sitting in summer. A porch swing swung on chains at one end of the porch.

The bedroom had two windows. One granted a nice view of the back porch and the stately tree. The porch swing hung right outside the window. The bed was against the wall opposite the window. Propped up by pillows one could look out at the porch and the grand maple tree. During the night the porch was very, very dark. The maple tree brushed the house as if attempting an entrance.

One night my wife and I were slumbering away the cares of life only a few feet from that big window when I awoke to a noise I could not identify. I strained to hear what had awakened me with no success. For a long time I listened, but all I heard were little things that creep in the night and the tree caressing the house. Finally I fell asleep.

Several nights later I awoke from a deep sleep with a start. Something was not right. I could feel it. It felt like one feels when someone is watching you. My tense body willed to hear something. Something had definitely interrupted my slumber, but I heard nothing except my own breathing and the tree lightly brushing the house. Then, just as I was falling back to sleep I heard it again. Someone was at the window!

My hair stood on end as I listened to the sound of scratching. Someone was trying to open the window. A moment later everything grew silent again, except for the wind whispering secrets to the maple tree. A few minutes later I heard the sound again.

Quietly, I whispered to my wife that someone was at the window. She was startled, but I laid a hand on her arm urging her to be quiet. Suddenly someone pushed against the window!

I eased out of bed fumbling for a flashlight. In the bravest voice I could muster, I quietly said to my wife, “I am not putting up with this. I am going to see who it is.”

My wife followed. If someone was going to get me, he had to get her as well. I think it had something to do with, “For better, for worse in sickness and in health . . .”

Tiptoeing to the living room, I slowly unlocked the door and quietly pushed it open. Cautiously stepping outside, I shone the flashlight from one end of the porch to the other. The light revealed only the swing hanging on its chains. Nothing else was on that porch. Whoever it was had fled.

We slowly turned and went back inside, leaving the porch swing in the dark and the tree sighing in the breeze.

About a week later my parents visited. We had a great time catching up on family things, but then they went home leaving us alone in our little house with a big back porch, and a big window, and a porch swing hanging on its chains.

After my parents left I went to the bedroom. My wife was in the kitchen. As I passed the window I heard a faint shuffling noise. I froze. The dark porch monster was back, and he was trying to get in! I instinctively went out to the kitchen and told my wife that I had heard the noise again. Grabbing a flashlight, we went to the back door (it was that for better, for worse thing again).

I wrenched the door open and stepped out onto the dark mysterious porch. The hair on my arms and the back of my neck stood straight out as needles on a pin cushion. I swept the porch from one side to the other with my flashlight.

Then I saw him! The intruder was sitting on the swing! He glared at me with cold, intent eyes. I froze. Time stood still as we stared at each other for a few hair-raising seconds.

Neither of us spoke. My mind raced as I stared into those emotionless eyes.

Suddenly the intruder took off over the railing! He flew off the porch like a, well, like the screech owl he was!

My wife and I laughed nervously and returned to the house. At last our minds were at rest knowing what had been disquieting our peace.

As if saluting our right to know what had been playing with our minds, the porch swing swung ever so lightly in the inky darkness. The wind whispered to the tree, and the tree gently caressed the house. The screech owl scratched his beak.

Hogged In The Night

All day I labored, building a fence that no pig, big or little, could jump over, crawl under, or push through. Having that task finished, I proceeded to build a fence to pasture the horse. Alas, the task was longer than the day. I neglected to plant the last post. The hole was dug, but night had come and the hole must wait to be filled until morning.

Though the hour was late, I decided to still wean the piglets. I removed the sow and closed her up in her new home, confident that my hard work held the Farm Journal seal of approval. Scarcely was I finished when a soft rain began to fall. Throughout the evening the rain fell, watering the spring soil.

The children were taken to their beds and tucked in with a cheery good night and a kiss. My wife and I tucked ourselves into bed. We had said our prayers, thanking God for a successful and safe day. I stretched out on my soft mattress content that the day had gone well. I needed a good rest. I sighed and drifted to sleep, slumbering the sleep of a man at peace with himself.

Only minutes into my deep sleep something probed at my subconscious mind. It teased and begged until I finally came to a lazy kind of consciousness. I listened for a few half-hearted seconds but heard nothing. I fell into a subconscious state again. I awoke again. Something was stirring outside the bedroom window. I could not identify the sound. I listened intently. There it was again! It sounded like heavy breathing. Though I didn’t know what it was, I knew I didn’t like it.

I grabbed a flashlight and slipped across the room to the window and listened. When the heavy breathing started up again, I turned the flashlight on and shone it right into the face of the big sow. It was the same one that that was supposed to be in her escape-proof pen! My heart sank and the blood pressure rose.

I dressed in a hurry. I did not need a pig to ruin my yard. I became a little angry. Being angry does not bode well when herding pigs. I started wrong. As I quickly learned, starting wrong does not produce good results. Pigs are notorious for knowing what you want and then doing the exact opposite. I quickly opened the gate to the sow’s pen. Next I went behind the house and herded her toward the pen. She pretended to like the idea.

She looked at the gate and went around it. I quickly went around the other way. She went past the gate. I reversed direction. She went past it again. My blood pressure rose. She smiled. I kicked, and missed. She bolted. I ran like a nut trying to catch the bolt. She took off for the house at a pace meant to intimidate me. It did. As she went around the back of the house, I cunningly went around the front. We met eyeball to eyeball on the far side of where I wanted her. It dawned on me that she was having the time of her life.

She turned and took off for the barn—just for fun. I took off after her dead serious. About the time I had lofty hopes of catching her, my legs sank into the earth. About the time my feet hit the bottom of the hole, I remembered that I was going to plant a post into this hole! Water seeped into my shoe and dampened my desire to raise pigs. For a moment I stood myself in a corner of the round hole scolding myself for not setting the post. Wearily I pulled myself out of the hole, admitting defeat.

Walking slowly to the barn, water sloshing in my shoe, I opened the gate. With a twinkle in her eyes the sow walked through the door to her squealing pigs. I closed the door after her and trudged to the house with bowed head. After washing up I sneaked under the covers, having no desire to explain things to my wife. For a long time I lay sleepless. Every time I tried counting sheep, they turned into smiling sows!

A Monument of Past Craftsmanship


Like a faithful worker, this building has been taken for granted. I want to plead with the owner to not tear it down. We are too hasty in tearing down old buildings.

No new building can ever take the place of an old landmark. We should have more dignity than to neglect old landmarks. In two days this building could be brought to its former dignity. I fear though that the owner would rather neglect it and spend borrowed money to build something new.

Old buildings are a little like grandparents. They speak of past experiences that are valuable for the future. We cannot afford to sever ourselves from the past. Respect the old. It is the building block of progress.

May this building stand as a monument of past workmanship, not present carelessness. Isn’t it gorgeous?