September 2007

It only takes a moment to take a cinder girl out of a hovel. Just a moment – and LOVE. (more…)



Well, time marches on, and life is full of surprises. It’s now nineteen-fifty eight; ten years after we got to Missouri; and we are about to receive our biggest surprise of the decade. Pike County is about to issue us a notice of eviction. (more…)


What happens now? Where do we go from here? What is the proper thing to do for people who look very Amish, and yet aren’t? Where will we worship this Sunday? So many questions: So many new ideas: So many things to learn and consider. (more…)

The Chainsaw Story – Concluded


Just around the corner, southeast of our place, we had some non-Amish neighbors. An older couple; Earnest and Bertha Goodman: They were living on some kind of retirement income and Earnest would sometimes supplement their resources by coming around and saying “Hey Jakie, what can I do for you?” Dad would give him a little bit to help around the place and Earnest could go to town, take in a picture show, and buy a little “chewin tobakker.” (more…)

I recently received an e-mail with an attachment warning me about the latest suspect in identifying the “man of sin.” (more…)



Having already mentioned the chainsaw story, the story of my past would not be complete without relating it here also.  It seems incredible to me how fast a “Land of Promise” can turn into a land of bitterness, pain and disillusionment. (more…)



The first three and a half years of my schooling were spent at an Amish school. Both of the schools I attended were more than three miles from where I lived. (more…)



Isolation and cheap land were both abundant in Pike County Missouri when the Amish established yet another community there in the late forties. We were among the first to arrive and were joined at approximately the same time by Mom’s brother Moses Schrock, Dad’s sister Anna Hochstetler, Dad’s cousin Fannie B. Borntreger, along with their families, and quite a few others of our relatives and acquaintances. (more…)



In nineteen-fourteen some Amish from Kalona, Iowa founded a new community one hundred miles north of there in Buchanan County. The original Amish settlers drove their cattle there on foot. Soon many others would join them. They came from all over. Many came by “immigrant car” on the railroad, to places like Hazelton, Fairbank, and a ghost town of sorts once known as Bryantsburg. (more…)


Several years ago I started assembling a book of family history for the benefit of my children. Starting today, I intend to serialize some of it here for your enjoyment. The first section follows. (more…)

Last year my church asked me to put together small group study material based on the words of Jesus from the book of Matthew. For reasons beyond my control the course was interrupted and the lessons were never completed. It has been my ongoing desire to finish my part of the project and, if sufficient interest warrants it, perhaps some day publish it. The lessons were called “Red Letters from Mathew.” If the readers of this blog indicate interest in having a Bible study of this nature, I will attempt to finish the course and make it available here. Part of the introduction follows. (more…)

My son-in-law, Kevin introduced me to the movie, “Who Killed the Electric Car” And got me plum off on some tangent. (more…)



My Mama is a singer. I consider her a big singer. No; she is not the kind of singer that has achieved acclaim from the singing world. Her name has never been on a theatre marquee. She has never been to a recording studio or cut a long play album. In fact; I don’t suppose she knows, or cares very much about such things. The reason I consider my Mama a big singer is because she sings; and because my Mama has always got a song. (more…)