The Hole in One Dream, or a day on the golf course for a cause

It was a great day for a golf game, not to hot, not to cold, not to sunny and just a little windy. I was not there to play golf, rarely have I ever had a golf club in my hand.  I was there as a volunteer for the Adams Rescue Mission. The place in Adams County that houses the homeless, gives jobs to the jobless and helps men and women realize the value of their lives and directs them to their purpose. The place was the beautifully landscaped Mountain View Golf Course.


A tournament is about sponsors and players.  We had many wonderful sponsors and 8 registered teams.  We had lunch, snacks and dinner.  We had volunteers, golf carts and prizes. At 1:00 all was ready for the tee off.


As a first time volunteer for this event I noticed no glitches, mostly due the efforts of this gal who worked out all the bugs last year at the first tournament.  This was the second Steve Shoemaker memorial golf tournament.  Steve lived and worked at the mission for many years.  He did an excellent job of restoring furniture that was donated to the thrift store at the mission.  After Steve’s handiwork the pieces brought steady income to the mission, and all who came in contact with him knew he was dedicated to the work of the mission and loved his job.


Of course everyone knows the most fun thing on a golf course are the carts.  After the signs were placed, the snack bags distributed, the registration complete and lunch was ready to go, Bruce, the mission director offered to take me on a tour of the course. He said “Let’s take a green one.”   So off we go in our ‘not one of a kind’ green golf cart.


First impression??  Wow!!! This place is breath taking! Who can concentrate on hitting a ball surrounded by all this beauty.


It’s big too,  no wonder it takes all day to get around the course.  Half way around for us, Bruce turned over the driver’s seat to me.  Great thing about golf carts?? It takes about 30 seconds to master the driving part.


Ah ha, could this be why it’s called “Mountain View?”

The thrill for every golfer is the big prize for the hole in one drive.   This hole in one challenge was a 160 yard drive with plenty of sandpits surrounding it.

Ron, another volunteer and I went to check out the prize and the scope out the lay of the land. There she is, A BRAND NEW KIA.  While we were walking around having a good look at the drive, a gentleman stepped up to the tee and took a crazy straight shot, sending the ball  right over the fairway, landing on the green. The ball stopped about a foot short of that looming hole in one.  One more well placed hit and he was in.  I was excited, thinking he was so close to winning that car, then we learned it didn’t really matter. He was not part of our tournament.


We congratulated him on a great shot. He was pleased that he wasn’t a part of the tournament and happy that he did so well.


This was about as close as anyone else got, after coming out of the sandpit.


At the end of a good day, the golfers lined up for supper, and Jamie, another hard working mission employee, handed out the prizes.


And the KIA dealer got his car back.  Maybe next year guys. (oh, we did have one female playing)

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We do thank Battlefield KIA dealership, all the other sponsors and  the Mountain View Golf Club for a good day and the help they gave to the mission.


If you are interested in a good golf game, this beautiful course is located just west of Gettysburg on Route 116. It could be your happy place.


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What to do on a hot day in September? Show up!

It was hot!! Above 95 degrees most of the day. That did not stop over 35 volunteers from coming for at least part of the day to build a fence to make a safe place to play for kids at the SCCAP facilities in town. The South Central Community Action Programs of Gettysburg had a need.  Thrivent members and friends answered that need by showing up with some sweat equity and built that fence. It was all organized by the Thrivent Community – Southern Commonwealth.  Volunteers started to arrive about 9 AM.


Shade tents were set up and plenty of ice and water were on hand.


Men were digging post holes and carrying fencing.  At first there were a lot of guys who were getting organized and doing a good job figuring out how to go about the process of getting the fence up.  It was getting hotter faster and progress seemed slow.  Then out of the blue a stranger to most of the volunteers appeared on the scene and calmly announced that he has been in this business for 18 years. Suddenly we could see the light at the end of this hot tunnel!  The fence began to take shape in a hurry.


The men worked together so well with the help of this professional.  When asked how we were blessed with his presence he replied, “I saw it in the newspaper and thought I could help.”  Help he did, and everyone appreciated his expertise so much as we watched this miracle take shape.



Meanwhile back in the shaded area, others were busy assembling play ground fixtures.  Some of them came together quite simply, others felt like a frustrating Christmas Eve dilemma.




As soon as the toys came “off the press” so to speak, they were put to good use.  Gina, on the left, a Thrivent representative and Tanya on the right, representing SCCAP, share a mutual admiration hug, as they both worked very hard to see this day to its completion.

“The pig” rolled in just after 11.  He was well done.

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This is what is known as a “Pennsylvania Pig Roast”  as opposed to the “Hawaiian Luau.”  One of the kids standing by when the hood was open said quite flatly, “Who killed the pig?”  Adding emphatically, “I don’t eat pig!”  After a second thought she said, “Oh except for bacon and ham.”  When the piles of meat ended up on the platter, she ate “pig” as well.

As lunch time drew near the end of the job seemed closer and even the kids joined in to help with the work load.

20160910_120820              20160910_110514 Others were having fun, and the men, kept digging post holes.20160910_104813


Soon enough the fence was completed and the pictures proved a job well done. The end product did seem a miracle given the heat of the day and the surprise show up from an unexpected angel.


I love it when a plan comes together and how just “showing up” for a community project can bless so many people.




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“Walk back in time”

History is a favorite of mine, so whenever I get a chance to “walk back in time” I am inclined to take it.  This summer my friend took me to Renfrew Museum and Park located east of  Waynesboro, PA right along route 16.  The name Renfrew came to the park from a tragic story of American History.  The Renfrew family lived on the land now known as the park until their two daughters were were killed by Indian Warriors in 1764.  Later the land was owned by the Daniel Royer family who built an operated a tannery, a gristmill and a lime kiln, soon developing a self sustaining farmstead.  The mill was built by the Antietam Creek.  Today that same creek offers this quaint bridge and cool, clear flowing water.



Years later Royer constructed the present stone house, that is now the museum, moving his large family from their 23 by 23 square foot log cabin.


Two centuries later 107 acres of the land was donated to the town of Waynsboro through the generosity of two sisters who were the last owners. Rather than naming it for themselves, they wanted to honor the first two sisters who lost their lives on the land.  Therefore the name Renfrew Park.

A look into the museum house along with an informed guide is truly a step back in time, and gives much insight to 19th century Pennsylvania German farm life.  As I stepped into the old kitchen, the first thing I noticed was the shiny copper kettle sitting by an ancient looking fireplace which was of course, the center of the meal preparations in that day.


Our family owns a copper kettle much like this one, that is dated to pre civil war days, was given to my grandparents and handed down through the family.  It is carefully cleaned and stored each year after we cook about 82 quarts of  apple butter in it for several hours in October.  This has been a long standing family tradition.


The china, silver and pottery displayed throughout the house marks the beauty of that century.

The style of the German house also reminded me of the old Pennsylvania farm house where I lived in Lebanon County. That house was laid out in much the same fashion.  There was a hallway and a staircase separating the main portion of the house with two rooms on the other side.  The bathroom was located in the same place and was an entire room as large as the other rooms, probably bathroom fixtures were put into a former bedroom after indoor facilities came into play.


The bedrooms included different styles of beds and chamber pots.  I thought this one was innovative.



This old bicycle has an interesting story. One of the donating sisters, who lived next door at the time, recalls taking rides with the farm owners on this bike.  She remembered sitting on a seat of some sort attached to the handle bars. As she rode, thinking of the kindness of her neighbor and the beauty surrounding her, she dreamed of living on the farm one day.  A dream which eventually came true.  The seat was found years later in the barn.


The lovely barn setting today houses space for local artists, and souvenirs, including a set of 3 books written in “Little House on the Prairie” style, telling the stories of the people who have loved this land for centuries.

Several displays of old pottery and the famous Bell pottery are also displayed here.


Check out the Renfrew museum website at  The photography and videos are well done and gives you a great perspective of this day in the park, walking through history.

A completely separate entity of Renfrew  is the very fascinating Renfrew Institute for Cultural and Environmental Studies.  This portion of Renfrew brings over 8,000 students a year to the park to learn past cultures of daily living. My friend Pam, pictured below on a brochure, dresses in a Pennsylvania German costume made from linen.  Among other things she teaches students how to make linen from the flax plant.


They do everything from breaking up the tall stalk to remove the outer shell, to weaving the finished threads on a loom.  They also plant and harvest a PA German Four Square Garden which is divided into 4 sections with a representation of God in the center and the outer sections representing parts of creation.  The produce is donated to a local food bank.  All of this educates children in living history and helps them understand how and from where our products like food and clothing come from. Please check out their website   for fun information.  Offering programs like “Once upon a farm”  the “grass to milk” process and the significance of the “Four Square Garden,” gives participants the opportunity to touch history.   They can see the reality of the hard work and perseverance for survival our ancestors experienced.  Can you guess what “Raising Clothing” is, and what about “Growing Clothing?”  I love the titles for these programs.

The serenity and beauty of Refrew can help us see with grateful eyes how far we have come, and to what heights of ease we have aspired.   It is good to recall the work ethic and values these hardships afforded, may we never lose them completely.

I hope you enjoyed this overview of Renfrew and I really would recommend a visit to this lovely park.  I am told the house is decorated beautifully for Christmas.  Make plans to visit it or the websites soon.



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One Day In Maine——–And the next day—

For this short get away in early August, we had one day to explore and take a look at the grand coast line harbors of this beautiful state. I must say we made the most of it, and I will give you a glimpse of what we saw. As we approached Belfast, the location of our hotel, I snapped this picture from the window of the van as we were moving along at 40 mph. We were anxious to arrive after our 12 hour drive from Pennsylvania.


This was evening and after a good nights sleep, we were up and ready to see what else Maine had to offer for the rest of the day.  We were not disappointed.

First stop, Mt. Battie.  A long up hill walk, or (we chose option B) a short drive to the top gave us lots of picturesque views.  Here is a look at the same harbor from a way different angel. It was an overcast day,


But we took the moment to enjoy being with each other and relax, surrounded by beauty.


Next stop, the summer cottage of our friends, and a chance to pick up a few more people before heading out to lunch


at Owls Head General Store.


After eating we were enjoying this walk, not too long, not to steep.


Our reward was to climb the stairs to this lovely old lighthouse.


I love sailboat views.


Then on to the delights of Camden.


It was fun watching my grandson, play with the camera and the ducks.


We finished out that day with a delightful meal at the Waterfront Restaurant enjoying a variety of scrumptious sea food.  While in Maine, I ate seafood in various types and amounts that included, haddock, shrimp, tuna, crab, clams, muscles and of course lobster.  I also ingested enough butter to slide off a mountain. All in all the day was a joy to spend with family and friends that were soon to become family.



And the next day———She married him


That’s why we were in Maine for one short weekend with two long drives.




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A different side of me

Short blog today on what I did last evening.  For several years now our friend Allen has invited us to go with him to attend an organ recital at an old mansion like house in Mt Gretna.  We were fortunate enough to be able to attend what will be the last recital in this house.  It is an amazing experience as the living room is filled with chairs and the couches are rearranged so to squeeze in 50 or more people.  I was fortunate enough to land a second row seat and have a short video (posted on my face book page) of the amazing music coming from this even more amazing instrument and extremely talented young man.


Ryan has studied the organ since the age of six. He continues his studies of organ performance at Indiana University, and what an impressive performance he gave last evening.  Two of my favorites were the beginning and ending Johann Sebastian Bach renditions of Prelude in E Major “St. Anne”  and Fugue in E Major “St. Anne.  Each having some notes from “Oh God our Help in Ages Past” and a tribute to these recitals that have been going on for 20 years.


My absolute favorite was a piece by Marcel Dupre, “”Cortege et Litanie – Op.19, No. 2”  This music had a single note melody and crashed into multiple notes which in a round and round manner ended in an fantastic array of incredible music.


Mantle piece on large fireplace.


Food delights await a happy crowd of people.


And that is the cultured side of me, you may not have known existed.

Have a delightful summer.

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Eating our way through the Eastern Shore

The Eastern Shore. Here in Pennsylvania we await your early strawberries, and corn and particularly your melons!  We stop at the roadside stands to carry away your produce as we drive home from the beach.  Last week we spent three lovely days on the Eastern Shore as guests of SAT – 7.  We do volunteer work for this company who produces TV shows for Christians in the Mid East and North Africa.  We were treated like heads of state, like some one really important, like family.  It was a great three days.   My first big treat was lunch at the Tide Water in Easton.


While my husband was fishing and eating meat salad (what we call pork and pickle) and crackers, I was breaking into the largest crab cake I have ever seen. I had to ask, “where’s the filling?”  Because there was none!  It was all crab and it was delicious! I ate three quarters of it before I remembered to take a picture. My plate is the one on the bottom of the photo.  Oh Yea!!


It was server on a roll with lettuce and tomato.  I just made a sandwich out of them and ate the crab cake as is.

Then desert:  Smith Island cake, can you believe this cake, a lot of people around here know about it, but this is my first.  After that crab cake, we split the cake three ways.  This is the lemon variety, so light and yummy.


Another day another restaurant, this is the Town Dock at Saint Michael’s with waterfront outdoor seating. I boxed half of my sandwich to share with Dick later.  Enjoyed lunch with these two lovely gals on a beautiful warm day.


The horse’s name is Peter the Apostle and he is a story all his own.

Next is an evening picking hard shell crabs, I mean who wouldn’t want to.  We love picking crabs, these were the large variety and very full of meat.  We enjoyed them at The Suicide Bridge restaurant in Hurlock.  I looked up the history of the place and sure enough it is a place where several people have come over the years to jump off the bridge. The local people have always referred to it as suicide bridge.


The setting of the place is so beautiful, I can’t imagine having that purpose in mind when coming here.


The crabs are the real draw today, and they are worth the drive to this place in the country side.


On the way back to Easton, we watched deer grazing in the fields and saw that if we hurried we could catch a sunset on a dock in the little town of Choptank. We made it.


Not all the eating took place in the restaurants, in the office we were treated to a marvelous hot crab dip and Ruth shared the recipe.  Serve it with crackers or bread chunks.  I could have made my whole lunch on the dip. Thankfully I didn’t, but I had my share.


Hot Crab Dip

oven at 375    bake 25 – 30 minutes

1  8 oz block cream cheese (softened)

2-3 Tbs butter

1-2 Tbs heavy cream

1 Tbs old bay seasoning

1 tsp lemon juice

salt and pepper

1/2 lb Crab meat

top with cheddar cheese and paprika

optional additions: parsley, red pepper, Green onion

Hope you have a very crabby summer.














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Delightful Days of June

Sometimes I think that June is my favorite month of the year.  That thought usually comes around the middle of June when I start thinking of all the good things that are going on in the warm weather and the beautiful green world around me.  I am thinking of fresh asparagus in the garden, fresh mint in my tea and fresh food from the CSA we belong to.  Each week we pick up a box containing all kinds of garden eating and I try to figure out how I can use all of it while planning meals.  I am learning.

June first has been a special day for me for 48 years as it is our wedding anniversary.  This year we celebrated it by attending our youngest grandchild’s high school graduation. It was a beautiful warm, but not hot evening. The class of Three hundred took a long time to get through,  but the good thing was they had an excellent speaker. We happen to have known the speaker for some time.  He was introduced with a long list of accomplishments and titles, during his welcoming applause, I leaned over and whispered to Dick “we call him Todd.”


It was her night and we were so proud of her.  She is a beautiful gal inside and out.


This is our son and his daughter, a precious moment caught on my camera.


I think this is a great new tradition, at least it is the first time I have seen them decorated the caps.  Dick says he remembers being told that if they did anything to the caps they would not walk the stage.  Her cap is very nice as she is very artistic.


So the next special day in June was when I got to sit on the town square in front of a very popular store to tell people about my book.  I did a lot of talking before I did any selling, but in the last hour – –

I sold books.



Then there are those special evenings in June when you get to share a time with friends, watch people, kick back and listen to some good music. Delightful!


We had just had dinner, but the snacks were plentiful and lasted long into the night.


The views at Hauser Winery are always spectacular, no matter what the season, but when you can sit outside in the warm weather, watch the sun set and the moon rise, sing along with the band and laugh with friends, that has got to be the best of seasons in the wonderful month of June.


To be sure you can’t even pretend to talk about June if you don’t mention strawberry’s. They are beautiful, delicious and sweet and taste so good in a strawberry – rhubarb pie.  It’s so good I forgot to get the picture before the first two pieces were gone.  Here is my favorite recipe for this great pie. It is so easy and comes from a very old “Better Homes and Gardens” cookbook.


1 1/2 (scant) cups sugar

1/4 cup flour +1 TBS cornstarch

1/4 tsp salt  1/4 tsp nutmeg

2 cups strawberries

2 cups cut up rhubarb  OR you can do 3 cups rhubarb and 1 cup strawberries  which ever flavor you want to dominate

Pastry for 2 crust 9-inch pie

1 TBS butter

Combine sugar, flour, cornstarch,salt and nutmeg.  Add fruit, mix lightly let stand for 20 minutes.

Spray bottom of pie plate with butter spray.

Spoon mixture into pastry lined pie plate, dot with butter, add top crust, seal and moisten.  Bake at 375 degrees about 40 to 45 minutes.  Serve slightly warm.


Enjoy and have a delightful rest of June!!




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Island in the sun

Sunshine is our cry here in Pennsylvania in the middle of May. Please could we have more sunshine.  In two weeks the backyard pools should be opening up. Are you crazy? It is 57 degrees outside.  Yes, it’s a good time to head south to North Carolina and that is what we did.  Our island in the sun is Emerald Isle just off the coast and in the 2nd week of May there was sunshine a plenty with temperatures in the low to mid 80’s.

Here I am, all decked out in my beach cover up gear to go to the pool.  Pool temp 82 degrees. Outside temp 85.  Perfect.  (Taking a picture in a mirror proved easier, and a bit more flattering  than the tried and failed selfie.)20160509_125956

Later, a walk to the beach is a pleasant jaunt through your own private, shadowy jungle.


Some were able to get into the ocean.  I preferred to catch some rays, read a book, watch the waves,


and the sandpipers.


My husband enjoyed getting into a little fishing.  Little is the key word here as all he caught were throwbacks.

Fishing was good, catching not so much.


Roses are blooming in front of the beach house.


Walks through the area reveal all kinds of surprises, like birds singing in the tree tops, and


and purple clam shells, all in a pile.


The marina is only half full in the first half of May.  That is why it is so quiet around here.


Another day, another walk.  Over bridges and 20160511_121820

And through the marshy swamps, that looked like we were deep into the Louisiana bayou.


All paths lead to the beautiful ocean.


Sunsets for yet another day on the Island in the sun.




Who can guess what we saw swimming in the water below us.


To the first person who correctly identifies the swimming object in the water, in a response to this blog, I will send a free email version of my book

A Wish Called Wanda.





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Washington Crossing Historical Park

An excerpt from the tourist flier shares a desperate call for help from General Washington.

25th Decem’r 1776 6 0’clock PM – McKonkey’s Ferry

Dear Sir

Notwithstanding the discouraging Accounts I have received from Col:Reed of what might be expected from the Operations below, I am determined, as the night is favourable, to cross the River, & make the attack upon Trenton in the Morning.  If you can do nothing real, at least create as great a diversion as possible.

I am Sir your most obt Servant,

Geo Washington                (copied from flier)


Turns out they did nothing.

It wasn’t Christmas day, nor was there ice, snow and wind, rather a beautiful warm spring day that during an outing in and around Philadelphia we happened on the historic town of Washington Crossing, PA.


According to tradition this is where Washington and his aides ate their dinner prior to the crossing of the Delaware River on Christmas Day during the Revolutionary War of 1776.  Additions were made to the inn in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century by the Taylor family.  This building continued to serve as an inn for decades.


We entered the historic park visitor center to find this statue of George Washington looking over the site very near to where the crossing took place.  Today it offers this beautiful view of the River.


Strolling down the park avenue, we got this reflective view of ourselves and the river.


Next the 20th century structure that houses the Durham boat replicas.  Originally used to haul iron ore, the Durham boats were the sturdy craft used by Washington and his men for the crossing.


Today these boats are a key component of the annual reenactment of the crossing on Christmas Day.

The Taylorsville store was owned and operated by Mahlon K. Taylor around 1817 and also functioned as the Post Office. The town, which is now known as Washington Crossing, was then Taylorsville.



In the museum I found this sign which described the person of General George Washington.


Completing this blog is the beautiful Thompson – Neely stone house, an example of the eighteenth century architecture located along Pidcock Creek.  It was used to aid and care for convalescing soldiers healing from wounds or suffering from diseases and camp illnesses during the winter of 1776-1777.


Here is another little note from the tour booklet:

“Fully expecting to be supported by two divisions south of Trenton, Washington assembled his troops near McConkey’s Ferry in preparation for the crossing. By 6 PM, 2,400 troops began crossing the ice-choked river.  The operation was slow and difficult due to the condition of the river. An abrupt change in the weather forced the men to fight their way through sleet and a blinding snow storm.  These obstacles proved to be too much for the supporting divisions led by Colonel Cadwalader and General Ewing. Ultimately, their attempts to cross at southern points along the Delaware River failed.

Against all odds, Washington and his men successfully completed the crossing and marched into Trenton on the morning of December 26, 1776, achieving a resounding victory over the Hessians. By moving ahead with his bold and daring plan, General Washington reignited the cause of freedom and gave new life to the American Revolution.”

In case you are wondering, as I was, the Hessians were a group of German mercenary soldiers who were celebrating the Christmas holiday and in no way prepared for an early morning attack.

I recently finished a school year of teaching world history to senior high students from a home school co-op group.  So this find was more than enjoyable to me.  I hope you found it interesting, and if you are ever in the area, I believe  a visit is very much worth your time.


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Aloha Oe

One year ago today my friends Dee and Lisa and I were flying, with the greatest of ease, to Honolulu, Hawaii. I thought I would post my last thoughts of that special place to commemorate the memory.  This will be random pictures that hopefully I’ve not posted before.  I hope you enjoy this final look at the place I called home so long ago.


Things you may see as you walk through Waikiki.


Surfer wanna bees


King Kamehameha welcomes you, as you stroll downtown.


Punch bowl Lady guarding the fallen.


Random street beauty.


Random beauty from the highway.


So my last thoughts are:  I WANNA GO AGAIN!!!!

ALOHA OE from me and Queen Liliuokalani.




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