Hard Work and Moving On

Last Saturday was the day. The day all the hard work came together and actually happened. The day that was a turning point for the Eash family. The day that was filled with probably some of the most mixed emotions ever.

It was the day when history as we’ve known it, and ‘the way it’s always been’ ended. It was the day that new beginnings began. It was a day filled with excitement and uncertainty. A day that, when it was all over, a sigh of relief could be heard throughout the small town of Martinsburg.

It was a day full of memories. Memories of Grandpa and Grandma and the life they had created for their family. It was a day of recollecting. Recollecting on days gone past. Days of cleaning flower-beds, crashing the golf-cart into stuff, playing with Grandma’s many dolls, and the many meals and gatherings we’ve had together on the farm.

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It was a day we could feel the support and love through the community. A day that made us (or maybe it was just me) realize we had NO IDEA how many people would show up for the turning of a new era. It was a day of catching up with family and friends. In my mind’s view, I can still see Grandpa and how tickled pink he would’ve been to see all his friends show up for this. I can see how he would’ve been proudly showing off his tractors and toys for all to see. They really were his pride and joy, and there was not much he liked better than spending a day in the field sitting proudly on his ‘green machines.’ And I can see Grandma making sure everyone has enough food and is satisfied, making sure every detail goes exactly as she planned, while we just smile and wonder if she’ll ever calm down. 🙂

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It was a day filled with pride. Pride to be a part of this family. Pride to be able to carry on the legacy that Grandpa and Grandma Eash started. Pride to be able to have an ‘Eash Family Farm’ shirt in our possession. Yes, you can label us as ‘one of those’, but until you’ve been in that situation yourself, don’t judge! 🙂

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It was also a day that was exhausting!! I wonder how many grown-ups wished they could take a nap in the middle of it all! 🙂

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It was a day of laughter, stress, inward tears, and the over-powering sense of reality. For so long, this day was talked about and planned. Now, it’s finally happening!!

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Cousin time… How many more can the golf cart hold? 🙂

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All-in-all, it was a day to remember. Not only the day itself, but the memories that came flooding back as we reminisced throughout the whole ordeal. Cleaning out the house, the shops, the barns, made for lots of good stories, I’m sure.

To all you siblings….Make your mom and dad proud. Continue the legacy they started so long ago. The Eash’s are known for their hard-working and ‘go-get-em’ attitude. Keep it alive. Don’t let this turning of a page in your book be the last of the ‘Eash Family Chronicles’.  Continue it well with your children and grandchildren. Keep Christ first and live to make them proud!

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Your hard work paid off! Great job, you all!

*All photos (except the last one, I’m not sure where/who it came from) used with permission and credited to TyNicolePhotography. Head on over to her blog  and check out her work!

Memories of my Grandma

Emma Eash, you were known and loved by many. People knew you as a mom, Grandma, sister, friend, mother-in-law, aunt, neighbor and great-grandma. You left us a little suddenly, and yet, we’re glad you didn’t have to fight long. And so, although we sorrow over our loss, we’re sorrowing for us, not for you…and through our sorrow, we remember….

We remember how you loved to talk on the phone. Whenever you were curious about something in the family or anywhere else, you’d pick up the phone, dial the number (mostly always by memory), and just simply ask or tell us some news you thought we’d like to know.

We remember how you loved visitors, especially after Grandpa died and you were all alone. Visitors made your day, whether they were young, old, middle-aged, or just the daily stop of the mailman or Schwans man. You especially loved when the new great-grandbabies would get brought over to visit.

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We remember how you loved to spoil your grandchildren. As granddaughters, we were lucky, because you never out-grew your love for dolls, and we had quite the luxury of options to play with at ‘grandma’s house.’ We were the recipients of things given by you for our own dolls as well.

We remember how one Christmas, you made each of the grandchildren a comforter of their very own, knotted, serged around the edges, and ready to keep us warm each winter.

We remember how you loved to be in the kitchen making things. Your love for cooking, and all the recipes you shared with others will be missed. The week before you passed on, you made your last noodles for the family. At a family gathering, it was just a given that ‘grandma’s noodles’ would be there, and we loved that about you.

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We also remember that another understood thing for family gatherings was ice cream. You never got the Eash’s together without having ice cream. And stocked in your garage freezer was a stash of Schwans’ ice cream treats. We wondered how you would ever eat them all.

We remember your sense of humor. Although it was a little more hidden than Grandpa’s, it was still there. We remember how one time we told you we got our sense of humor from you and Grandpa, and you replied, “No, you didn’t. We still have ours!”

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We remember how on Facebook we as your family had your ongoing support in everything. We would post something, and sure enough, soon you had ‘liked’ or ‘shared’ it, or commented on it.

We remember your love of family. Christmas, Thanksgiving Day, birthdays…You wanted to have the family home, and it was meaningful to you to plan these get-togethers so that all the family would come home again.

We remember how you loved to make things with your hands. When you couldn’t get around very well, you started sewing pot-holders, or crocheting doilies to help while the time away. Many of us were blessed with a pot-holder or doily or something to remember you by.

We remember your love of games. The Florida game and golf were 2 of your favorites, and when you played, you were good at what you did because your determination to win brought out your competitive edge. This determination and stubbornness is what brought you through the hard times in your life.

We remember you were a giver. Many of the ladies in church were recipients of a bag of candy, a set of pot-holders, some other small gift, or just a birthday card in the mailbox. We also remember every year on our birthdays, we’d get a birthday card from you.

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This picture is a favorite of mine..

We remember how you loved to garden. And even though it was heartbreaking to you when you couldn’t do a big garden, you had raised beds made for you, so you could still raise your tomatoes, onions, and sweet corn.

We remember how you were a political grandma. When you told us once that you were up late watching the presidential debate, our jaws invisibly dropped, and we were just a little surprised. (if not a little horrified)

We remember you loved to give advice. Although it was not always asked for, it was often something we could take to heart, and at the very least, it gave us something to think about.

We remember how your house was always open. No matter what, we could always stop by, and you would be welcoming. We remember when we’d sit to talk with you, you’d often tell interesting stories….whether something you read on the internet, something you saw on Facebook, or some old story that you were reminiscing about. You knew your stuff, and loved to share it with others.

Grandma, I don’t think I ever got a picture taken with you, and if I did, I don’t remember where it would be. I do remember the times I sat to visit with you, sitting in the office, just chatting about whatever…those times are precious to me now. I also remember the last night I saw you, I held your hand in the hospital, gently rubbing the wrinkled skin that had worked and labored so hard all these years. I didn’t know what to say or how my heart should be responding to this. I leaned down and said, “I love you.” You didn’t hear my emotional whisper, so I said it louder…You then replied, “I love you too.” I remember also as we left for the evening, not knowing it would be our last time seeing you, we went in your room to tell you good-bye for the evening… you raised your hand in a farewell wave. I wonder if you knew? We didn’t, but we thank God for all the years we did have with you.

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Grandma, we love you lots, and we’re going to miss you lots. We cherish your legacy of following Christ…. You are no longer here, but your legacy will live on in and through us.

**Thank-you all for your prayers and support these last few days. It seriously means so much! It’s only been 4 days and yet it seems like longer. The phone rings and in my mind I think, “It’s Grandma,” until my mind remembers…Dad is late coming home and I think, “Oh, he must have stopped to visit Grandma”, and then my mind remembers. That empty house will never be the same. Keep our family in your prayers…Sometimes we (or rather I) feel ok, and other times, the grief hits in waves.

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Of Turkey and French Fries

This Thanksgiving was different. I really didn’t feel like celebrating…or being thankful for that matter. For the past several months, I’ve been writing down 3 (or more) things that I was thankful for that day, and I’m telling you, some days it’s just not easy! Sure, I can be original and put down family, friends, food, water, shelter, etc., but I wanted to be creative and try to go beyond the normal, and find out what God specifically blessed ME with that day.

Anyway, random little bunny trail there (and by the way, this a late blog post, so if it seems like I’m rambling or things don’t make sense, I probably am, and they probably don’t 🙂 ) So back on track now, this Thanksgiving was different, and I didn’t feel in the mood because the plans we had made were shattered. We planned to have a small family gathering here Thanksgiving Day, and while that meant cleaning up the house (a chore that is definitely not my favorite), I was getting excited about seeing and having family over. Then, life happened and the main person fixing the food and getting things ready, got a shoulder injury and the plans were cancelled. (understandably so, and it was in the best interest of all involved, I’m sure. Just a little disappointing)

Then, we got the news that my nephew and niece were being transferred to Children’s Hospital because they were maxed out at the local hospital. The morning was spent lazily at home, and then in the afternoon we went to take some supplies and visit with them a little. Seeing my little nephew lying there in a crib, surrounded by crib walls, sedated by drugs so the oxygen mask they put on him would stay there, and he would stay settled, was not something I would wish on anyone! Hearing his cries and whimpers as the nurses did their thing, and knowing that he doesn’t understand what is going on, just tore at my heart. Not being able to hold him or comfort him or see him give us his silly, ornery faces….Why?? On Thanksgiving Day?? (side note: He is doing amazingly better now, and was grinning, eating, and drinking…Such great news!!)

We got home from the hospital, and on the way, we stopped to pick up fries (our substitute since we didn’t have mashed potatoes. A substitute that is better, in my opinion 🙂 ) We got home, heated up some leftover smoked turkey, and baked the fries, and that was our Thanksgiving dinner.

I’m not saying this for pity. I’m saying this to remind us all, that we have so much to be thankful for. As I examined my attitude about the whole day, I realized my attitude that day was NOT on gratitude, but on how ‘pitied’ we should be. I knew it was wrong, and it was hard to change my viewpoint, but yes, I still did find 3 things to write down that night. While these are not what I wrote down, the more I thought about it, the more things came to mind!

*Cancelled plans=lazy day

*sick nephew and away from family=we at least still have each other to spend time with another day

*no time to make mashed potatoes=fries, a better way to prepare potatoes, in my opinion 🙂

*questions about when dad planted trees=good old reminiscing and laughter through some old diaries of dad’s

*drizzling rain, dreary day=thankful I have a warm house!

So yes, Thanksgiving Day with turkey and fries. It can happen. Days and plans don’t always go like we expect them to, and it’s not always easy to find what to be thankful for, or to choose to be thankful. Will you take the challenge with me to find the abnormal, the unnoticed things and thank God for them?

Five Things I Can’t Live Without

Yes, I love to write. But at times, my mind is so full of thoughts, wonderings, and imaginings, that it can’t calm down enough to think about what to put in my next post. I took to Pinterest for inspiration. 🙂 This post will be just for fun, and I’ll see if I can come up with 5 and only 5, excluding family and friends and of course all the basics!

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1. I start with this one because it is truly the most important. Without it, I would not be where I am today. This is the basic “parent’s manual” my parents used and it is universal for all ages of life. This is the “manual” that will help from every problem from hating your brother, to struggling with obeying and respecting your elders. Yes, it is the Bible. The Word of God. This I could not live without.

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Seriously, we need to have an updated family picture..but don’t we look so good!!??

2. Next I would say my family. (I know, I know, I said not family, but seriously, I need to mention them!) These are the ones that will be there through thick and thin. The ones who know what gets your gander up (they sure do their share of it too! 🙂 ) These are the ones who always do their best to protect you. (especially one girl among 4 brothers. That’s my favorite part about my family set-up. I always have great protectors wherever I go. I mean just look at those guys! I can always feel the “guard” tone they set when we go out and do something, and I love it!) Ok, enough about that. Family is great! The teaching you receive from the family setting is one you don’t want to live without!

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3. My pepsi water bottle. Yes, I know you’re wondering what is truly in there, but I promise…It is water. Two of those per day, and I’ve got my water intake in! This jug goes everywhere with me. I’m thinking of doing something crafty with it, so the Pepsi is not deceiving….BUT, I don’t know yet.

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Yes, they’re dirty..I’m telling you, I wear flip-flops almost everywhere!!

 

4. (Wow, #4 already!! But I have so many more things!!) Flip-flops. Yes, you read that correctly. I’m the one who brings flip-flops out as soon as the thermometer shows 40* (or maybe a few degrees colder, much to mom’s dismay) Every spring, mom and I have this argument…I think I’m old enough to decide whether to wear flip-flops or not, but she’s determined not to let me until there’s no snow on the ground. (outrageous, I know!!)  I’m also the one who will wear a pair of socks with flip-flops, and suffer toe wedgies simply because shoes and I just DO NOT WORK!!!

5. My car. (No picture of this..You’ll just have to imagine 🙂 !) Without that, I’d be stuck at home. Or stuck running everywhere I go. (that actually might not be a bad thing) 🙂 Or I’d have to depend on someone else to take me places. (my independent self would buck against that yoke) Let’s just say the freedom I have by having my car is just better for all involved!

And so, we’re at the close of this post. Hopefully you had as much fun reading as I did writing! There are so many more things I am thankful for, but this was just a slightly humorous side to getting to know me better. “Friends” almost made it on the list, but me, being the introverted soul that I am, decided they’ll get honorable mention in the last paragraph. 😀  Hope you enjoyed this!!

A Tribute To Grandpa

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Dear Grandpa,

How can it be 4 years already? In some ways it seems like just yesterday we were lined up watching the casket go down. In some ways it seems that it’s been so long the memories are fading. I hope you’re having an amazing time up there. I hope that each day as you spend time with Jesus, and the other ones we’ve lost, that you have joy. Because we have bittersweet joy…we know that you are there, praising Jesus as only Mahlon can. That is what brings us joy—because we know your spirit lives on—your spirit was full of life, and we know it is even more so in heaven. The bittersweet comes from the hole you left here.

I remember so many things about you, and it seems like they’re all just swirling in my head as I sit here thinking. I remember especially your love of John Deere. Anything John Deere you loved, and often when we’d come over during the winter, there you were….sitting at the table doing a John Deere puzzle. Your house shelves were filled with your precious tractors, and they were collectibles, not to be played with. 🙂 I didn’t have the privilege to work with you on the farm, but I know you loved what you did on those tractors. The morning you left us (if my memory serves me correctly) my last vision of you was on a tractor, happily waving to me as I passed you on my way to school.

I also have fond memories of your love of sweets. Grandma tried to tell you not to eat so much but you still snuck it in when you thought she wasn’t looking. I remember lemon drops at “Grandpa’s house” and I wonder if it was as much you as it was Grandma.

I remember how you drove your ‘red truck’. And even now, I can still see you—both hands on the wheel, squinting because of the sun, fully concentrated on what you were doing. I want you to know I drive “your truck” sometimes. I love it, and I wonder if it’s maybe because it holds memories of you.

I think of how many times we walked in, and there you were, conked out, sleeping…or so we thought. But there was a phone propped up by your ear, listening to your favorite news channel—The amish chatline. So many things you found out, that you told dad came through there, and you loved listening in on it as often as you could.

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This was a time at a school thing when there must have been no more chairs to sit on anymore??, so Grandpa plopped himself down on Tim’s lap 🙂

I remember your sense of humor. I remember your mischievous side. I remember you had a good attitude on life. It seemed nothing would bring your spirits down. I remember you almost always had a half smile coming from the corner of your mouth.

I remember how even though as you got older, and things weren’t easy for you, you didn’t like to sit around. You tried to keep up with dad on footers as long as you could, until it just got to be too much. Then you stayed home and drove tractors in the field, or puttered around in the shop. As long as you were doing something, you were happy!

I remember you had the light of Jesus shining from you. I believe everyone who met you walked away feeling they had a friend in you. I believe they could see Jesus living in you. I believe everyone who met you was blessed from knowing you………..I know I was.

I remember that when your hearing started failing you, it didn’t seem to bother you. You turned your good ear toward whoever was speaking, and if you still didn’t hear it all, you put on a small smile to make them think you understood. I’m glad that in heaven you can hear EVERYTHING that’s going on!

I remember that we didn’t expect you to go like this. Your high blood pressure was a concern to Drs. and they worried about a stroke because of it. We never planned to let you go….especially without good-byes. It doesn’t seem fair. It doesn’t seem fair that you didn’t see many of your grandchildren married. It doesn’t seem fair that you didn’t get to watch many of your sons become grandpas themselves. It doesn’t seem fair that you didn’t get to see your first great-grandson that would carry on the Eash name. It doesn’t seem fair that you left us doing something you did every day.

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I wish you could be here to see your sons interact with their grandsons………..I think it would make you proud!

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We’re trying to spread along the love of John Deere to this little guy

But I remember also, how you hated holding still. (Anyone who knows me will tell you I’m just like you in that) Had you had a long hospital stay, you would’ve been itching to get out of there. Perhaps you would have even pushed yourself too far. I know this was God’s plan, even though it still hurts. It hurts especially now…during holidays. When the family gets together, there’s a hole. A grandpa sized hole. It doesn’t seem right for you not to be there. We miss you, and there are lumps in our throats as we think of you. We wonder how Christmas is spent up there, and wonder if it’s any different that any other day. We think it’s not fair you get to spend time in the presence of the One, when we give presents in honor of the One born so long ago.

So, Grandpa, as the holidays pass once again, we miss you some more. We realize time passes, and hearts heal. We realize that our hearts and family will never be whole again. We won’t be whole until we are all face to face with Jesus. I remember how this was a prayer of yours. So know as you are praising our Saviour this Christmas season, know we miss you. Know we love you. Know that you will always be in our hearts. And know that through all of this, we believe God is good. We remember God is faithful and will take us through it, because He brought us to it.

WE LOVE YOU,

all your grandchildren,

your wife, children,

and friends

What is an Aunt?

An aunt is one who teaches you little things….

like how to open and close a screen door

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she teaches you that the fine mist from a spray bottle feels pretty good!

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And then she takes advantage of your wet hair to do this…..

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*Hmmm, I wonder why he always tried to pull out what I put in?? He truly wasn’t very pleased*

She is a protector of all things evil (even if it’s just a black dog only 3 times as big as you)

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She’s the one who willingly gives you a huge sticky popsicle, just cause you’re not her kid 😉

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Even when he begins to bang it on the high chair....nope, she lets him keep it!

Even when he begins to bang it on the high chair….nope, she lets him keep it!

DSCF0102And she also licks a sticky hand that’s offered her…

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She is the one who pulls the little one around on the wagon for 15-30 minutes because she knows he’s picky in how he sleeps.

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And yes, she feels proud when he finally succumbs to the tiredness 🙂

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She *SOMETIMES* tells him ‘no’, but laughs when he gives her this face 🙂

DSCF0398She thinks that he’s the coolest ever, because, DUH, he is!!

Most of all, she loves him alot!! Because she can spoil him, because he’s a part of her family.

P.S. I’m loving this job as an auntie 🙂


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