Friday, February 28, 2014

Our Field Trip

 --by Krysta Harshbarger

It was a clear winter night.  The stars sparkled in the sky. 
Our car was bumping down a dirt road.  Mom and I were going
to a hog barn to help Dad unload equipment.  This was a barn that
Mom knew well because the boys used to do chores there.  Little did
we know that something unexpected and hilarious would happen soon.

As we bumped down the road, Mom watched for the ninety degree corner
coming up.  I had no clue that there was such a corner until we missed it. 
We both gasped as our car flew off the road into a field. 
The corner was there, but we missed it.
Mom and I laughed breathlessly as we crunched over the snowy field. 
We drove a little way and then turned around and went back. 
Thankfully, it was a field lane and not a ditch we drove into.
I am grateful for the funny moments that God gives us. 
They help keep life not so serious.  God knows the perfect
time and way to show His love to us. 
It was a good day.
This is the second time I've missed that corner. 
(The first time was due to no brakes.
I told that story September 17, 2009) 
I'm the one who kept telling Krysta to slow down at corners this past summer . . .
and gasped when it seemed to me we were going too fast for the turn.
-- what can I say? 
All's well that end's well.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Rainbow at the end of the tunnel

We have had a few adventures in the past three weeks or so.
(Besides tearing the room apart from stem to stern . . .)
A couple field trips and journeys to the past.
There will be a guest writer to tell you all about it very soon -
one of the field trips, that is.
One Saturday a few years ago we were doing a deep cleaning.
This poem was written by Krysta (age 9) in the middle of the jumble.
I found it again in the disorderly confusion of the current project.  With her
permission it is printed here with original spelling and punctuation. =)  
Rainy Saturday,
Gloomy gloom evrywher,
Cleaning, sweeping, sowing a dress.
Chewing down pankaces.
Boys go to town
Run out of gas.
The minutes fly past.
Out gos this
Out gos that.
Washing the sealing
and the flours.
Scrubbing up things
spick and span and clean
and we all started to feel mean.
A box for books
a bag for cloths. (clothes)
and a shelf being cleaned off.
As I look around the room
not much I see but gloom
Things piled on the bed
  on the desk
I hope there will be 
a rainbow soon.  
to:  dad
from  Krysta   age 9
Fast fwd to 2014
This school year I found some poetry books that were compiled
by Caroline Kennedy.  Poems to Memorize or something like that . . .
She shared some memories of her mom.  When her family asked her
what she wanted for birthdays, holidays, etc. Jackie asked for a poem. 
Caroline remembers many last minutes before the *big day* pouring
over poetry books trying to find just the right one, then copying
it in her best handwriting to give to  her mother. 
Jackie kept these treasures in a scrapbook.
Arrrgh!  why didn't I think of that years ago? 
I mentioned it in passing to my family and this is the result.
. . . . again printed with permission from Krysta.  
February 9, 2014
Dear Mom,
You wanted a poem,
From me to you.
But should I through books roam,
And find one that is true?
Instead I will write one,
I thought you would like that as well.
This should be fun,
But not much is ringing a bell.
There is one thing I want to say,
To you, my dear Mother.
I love you each and every day,
You are a jewel like no other.
I guess I am done now,
Though the poem, lame may be.
It finishes with a bow,
Or perhaps a curtsy.
~ Krysta Harshbarger

Monday, February 24, 2014


A gentle reminder from my sis-in-law . . .
"Where is the little shack in the boondocks?
It's been a few days since we heard from you."
To bring you up to date might take awhile so
pull up a chair and get comfortable. 
I had a birthday February 9th.  Ellis asked me,
"What do you want to do?
    Go to the science museum? 
           see what's on at the omni theater?
What about IKEA?  We can eat some of those Swedish meatballs?"
It was a snowy day with flakes the size of those paper snowflakes 
we used to make in grade school.  We hung them up everywhere to
help us remember  *it is wintertime!*
A day at home sounded better to me than anything else. 
"And what about that project we keep talking about?"
Renovating our bedroom . . .
It's been on the back burner for a few months.
Krysta and I started packing boxes of books and carting them out last fall.
We found out we are easily side tracked and that's all the farther  it  went.
Besides - we couldn't move that heavy furniture all by ourselves.
Here is a time line of this all consuming task that took over our lives.
Saturday -- emptied the room
Sunday -- rest and relaxation
Monday -- Ellis tore the ceiling out
Tuesday -- Hauled the boards home (car siding) 
-- parked pick-up outside bedroom
-- handed the boards in through the window one. at. a. time.
-- Ellis started putting the boards up one. at. a. time.
Wednesday -- continued putting up boards using bar clamps and other tools
to persuade them to go where they were supposed to go.
I was called on to help now and then.
I scrammed out of there when a bar clamp fell on my head,
"scrambling my brains just a wee bit" (a quote from my niece.) 
Thursday -- finished the tongue and groove car siding on the ceiling
- put foam board on the north wall
heard from our niece that company was coming our way.
We arranged to use a house next door for the company to stay in since
our house is topsy - turvy at this point in time.
Friday -- one of the nicest mid-term programs Maranatha chorus has given
at the First United Methodist Church in Austin MN.
Saturday -- Ellis took some needed rest from stress. 
He went to an auction sale.  =)
Jorgan came home from Maranatha Bible School. 
He took one look down the hall toward his bedroom and said,
"No, no! Oh no!"  We showed him to his new, temporary
bedroom -- Jeremy's old bedroom in the basement. 
He didn't even unpack . . .
just rounded up his equipment and went snow boarding.  =)
Ellis put up the wainscoting and wall board on the north wall.
Sunday --  rest and relaxation
Company came for supper.  We borrowed the house next door again
and had a wonderful time.
Monday -- SNOW  no school!  We were snowed in.  The four wheel drive
got stuck in our lane.  We escaped and drove to the neighbors where we
made breakfast for our company.  Ellis got the tractor going.
Two lanes got plowed.
Our company decided to risk bad roads
and hazardous weather
and make a break for home. 
After work we picked up a new box spring
 and mattress we found on Craig's List.  With much maneuvering
and squeaks and groans we took the old box spring and mattress out
and brought the new one in. 
For now they take up the floor space in our living room until
we are done with this project.
Ellis, Krysta and I put a coat of primer on three walls of the bedroom.
Tuesday -- supper with Evan in Blooming Prairie  
knitting class
Wednesday --  dinner out in Rochester
Thursday --  would you believe it? 
We have another snow day with no school. 
We woke up to the splash of rain on the roof. 
The roads were icy.  The snow didn't start until about 1:30 P.M. 
This storm is bringing a lot of snow
and blizzard winds with gusts up to 50 mph.
We painted three walls and prayed that our
electricity would stay on so we could heat the house.
These days when I wake up and look around my
kitchen/dining/living room/bedroom
I think about my grandma. 
She wrote this in a writing class she took.  --
            Pioneering in Minnesota
We built a small house, sixteen feet by sixteen feet. 
We used cull rough lumber and put tar paper outside and inside.
The total cost for two windows, nails, and tar paper was $18.70.
'A tarpaper shack!' you say.  "Hey, that was a castle, that was home!"
It had a  small wood cookstove, a little wood heating stove, 
wooden orange crates for cupboards, nail kegs with a board nailed
over one end for chairs, an old small table, a crib and a bed. 
Curtains?  Yes, from the printed sacks of course. 
We were cozy, we were home!
I look around this airy room and know there is insulation in the walls,
wiring for electricity, pipes to bring water in and pipes to carry water out. 
There is a propane furnace in the basement to warm the house,
an electric range in the kitchen to cook our food. 
Looking all around I know it is cozy,
it is a castle - we are home!