The Weaver’s Shuttle

Our Ragtag Daily Prompt this morning is DOORMAT. Well, there is snow on ours again this morning, and on our steps, and the lawn. Just a dusting, with light flakes still coming down.

When I got up just after 5pm and looked out on another white morning, a type of depression started to cloud my mind. You may have heard me say we’ll welcome any moisture here, however it comes, but I’ve had quite enough of snow for now. I contemplated crawling back into bed and pulling the covers over my head. However, that wouldn’t change the scene out my window so, rather than wimp out, I made myself a cup of coffee and faced this day. The temp at 6:30 is 1 C, so the snow won’t stay for long.

Shuttle of the Weaver

We had a dear friend, Nora Weaver, who passed away four months ago. Nora was no doormat. Though she had rheumatic fever as a child and was left with a damaged heart, she was an inspiration to all with her zest for life. Nora married Adam Weaver, they had five sons, and she carried on in her quiet way at their home in southern Pennsylvania. She loved homemaking, her family, church family, and gardening. Nora was known for her love of flowers. In her later years her weak heart gave her serious woes so she needed several major heart surgeries, plus she fought several bouts with cancer — the last one took her life. I trust she is at peace now in a much better place.

Her husband decided to fill some of his quiet hours at home by starting a blog. He needed to take several years off to care for Nora, but now he’s back to driving a motor coach for the Old Order people there in PA, so he’s calling his blog THE SHUTTLE OF THE WEAVER. Yesterday he writes about taking a group of Old Order Amish school children to the Ephrata Cloister. You can read his post here.

Like me, Adam was born in 1953. However, we came from totally different worlds. Adam and Nora grew up Old Order Mennonite — the “horse & buggy people” — whereas I grew up a city girl, living with my aunt & uncle in Saskatoon. My five siblings lived with my parents near Melfort, SK, two hours away. None of us had nothing to do with church. So it’s amazing in a way that, as adults, Adam & Nora, Bob & I, have joined the same Mennonite church and became good friends.

The weather’s still damp and chilly and the sky is slate gray, but reading a few of Adam’s blog posts has cheered me up. Now I’ll see how other bloggers have responded to this prompt, then get on with my day. 🙂

Capricious Climate

The Ragtag Daily Prompt this morning is SECURITY

The calendar may say Spring starts March 21st, but here in the northern clime we have no security in that. Today is gray, gray, and a frigid blast from the northwest is driving small snowflakes past our window, sometimes lots, sometimes less. My phone tells me it’s -9 C at 11 am. So not spring!

As I looked out this morning I thought of a poem I read in an old IDEALS magazine. Apart from the autumn sky it fits well. This poem, full of personification — at least I think that’s what it’s called — was written by Oliver Herford. (See bio below.) It was included in a poetry book titled An American Anthology, 1787-1899:

BELATED VIOLET

Very dark the autumn sky,
Dark the clouds that hurried by;
Very rough the autumn breeze
Shouting rudely to the trees.
Listening, frightened, pale, and cold,
Through the withered leaves and mould
Peered a violet all in dread—
“Where, oh, where is spring?” she said.
Sighed the trees, “Poor little thing!
She may call in vain for spring.”
And the grasses whispered low,
“We must never let her know.”
“What's this whispering?” roared the breeze;
“Hush! a violet,” sobbed the trees,
“Thinks it 's spring,—poor child, we fear
She will die if she should hear!”
Softly stole the wind away,
Tenderly he murmured, “Stay!”
To a late thrush on the wing,
“Stay with her one day and sing!”
Sang the thrush so sweet and clear
That the sun came out to hear,
And, in answer to her song,
Beamed on Violet all day long;
And the last leaves here and there
Fluttered with a spring-like air.
Then the violet raised her head,—
“Spring has come at last!” she said.
Happy dreams had Violet
All that night—but happier yet,
When the dawn came dark with snow,
Violet never woke to know.

And here’s one I think we can all identify with:

To Music
Here's to Music,
Joy of joys!
One man's music's
Another man's noise.

This bio comes from publicdomainpoetry.com

Oliver Herford, 1863-1935, was a British born American writer, artist and illustrator who has been called “The American Oscar Wilde”. As a frequent contributor to The Mentor, Life, and Ladies’ Home Journal, he sometimes signed his artwork as “O Herford”. In 1906 he wrote and illustrated the “Little Book of Bores”. He also wrote short poems like “The Chimpanzee” and “The Hen”, as well as writing and illustrating “The Rubaiyat of a Persian Kitten” (1904), “Cynic’s Calendar” (1917) and “Excuse It Please” (1930). His sister Beatrice Herford was also a humorist.

Snowy Morning

The Ragtag Daily Prompt for today is FLAKE. I don’t know if Heather thought of this prompt word as she looked out the window this morning, but FLAKES there are.

Here a flake, there a flake, a few more just beyond
I sigh as more and more flakes swirl through the air
all day, settling on the lawn, garden, flowerbeds.
coming in from the north, fixing to stay awhile.
At sunset a shadow on the western horizon,
turned in the night to these snow-laden clouds,
slipping across our sunny yesterday
and we feel the force of winter’s return.
Who wouldn’t grieve seeing last week’s +16
plunge to -1 C – with an icy breeze behind it?
And this cold front plans to settle in
"at least a week," says the weatherman.
Of course we sigh for the sunshine,
or wish rather a hearty April shower rather
than this terrible wrong of cold and snow
harassing the budding flowers!
Image by pasja 1000 — Pixabay

Nature Note:
My husband and I drove north to our nearest small town this morning, and en route passed a field with several small puddles. Clustered in and around these icy puddles, and spread out on a little rise beside, we saw at least a thousand snow + blue geese, one large “salt + pepper” flock pausing in its journey to the north. Quite a sight!

Snowbirds

snowbirds
come here to bask
only -30

Actually, it’s -32 C (-25 F) as I write this at 6am. The poor snowbirds will be shivering even if it is warmer here than in the northern lands they came from. They are such cute little birds. The flocks of mostly white, brown-dabbed snow buntings add a nice touch to our winter scene.

Actually -30 isn’t unbearable in itself, but if you add even the slightest breeze, the cold becomes unbearable. According to Environment Canada Saskatoon, the wind is 12 kmph (7 mph), which drops the wind chill factor to -42″C, so they’ve issued an “EXTREME COLD WARNING.” That kind of cold usually closes the schools — which in turn will likely cancel our church ladies’ Sewing day as moms stay home with children.

And, once in a lifetime…

on a Tuesday
I get to practice my 2's
writing today

Family Then & Now

It’s a lovely sunny day today; the temp started at -16 this morning and has climbed to -11 C. Which doesn’t sound awfully warm, but the sun is condensing our banks of snow and putting a hard crust on the surface. Forecast for tomorrow is +1 C; Monday -10. Exactly the kind of up-and-down temps we’ve been having so far this year.

I talked to my sister Wilma last night; still no definite plans for our sister Donna’s burial and the family get together for a Celebration of Life. A lot depends on what sentence the judge will hand out to her youngest son when his court case comes up in a few weeks. The other boys definitely want to wait until he can be there. They’ve no idea what he’s charged with, so are quite much in the dark as to how long he’ll be in custody.

Because a few people in my family have expressed interest in our history, I’ve been posting on the Vance-Turner Connect blog again. Starting out with some of the aspects — and trials — of doing family research. Like the duplication of names. On my latest post I used the heading, Joseph the son of Joseph the son of Joseph. That’s exactly how it was: the oldest children were named after the grandparents, then the uncles & aunts. Then to sort them all out…

It’s a good thing, yet a danger, that subscribers to a genealogy program like Ancestry or MyHeritage can access other genealogists’ family trees and borrow research. I’ve learned that you MUST be very careful to double check before you import data or you can get really mixed up. Birth & baptism registrations, marriage certificates, census records, all help a lot re: whose child is this.

Some researcher has listed an Alexander in our family tree, as the youngest brother of our gr-gr-grandfather, but the birth registration says his father was Robert, not David. I discovered yesterday that someone lists gr-gr-grandfather as Joseph Collville Vance — someone he never was — and go from there to add descendants our gr-gr-grand never had. Grafting their branch onto the wrong tree, you might say. Now a few others have copied that researcher’s error, skewing all their data as well.

For me, following all these lines is like doing a jigsaw puzzles, and I enjoy putting them together. I cooked supper at the Senior’s home last night and one couple were working on a 1000-piece puzzle — a painting of the Last Supper. They were having a hard time getting it together. I have younger eyes, also a very keen sense of color and can detect slight differences between two shades of, say, sky blue, gray or creamy marble, so I helped them and we got quite a bit put together before I left.

Well, enough rambling. I’m doing a bit bunch of laundry today and best get back to it. 🙂