Morrisons Cove Herald - Putting cows on the front page since 1885.

By Roseann Zimmerman

Old Order Mennonite Memoirs


It was a new thing for me to wear ear plugs. I looked in astonishment at my lawn mower. The 6 horsepower Kawasaki engine under the green paint seemed to turn into a purring kitten. The traffic on Piney Creek Road was soundless. The black exhaust coming from the muffler of my husband's tractor indicated noisy power for grinding corn but I wasn't hearing it. Instead of these jarring sounds I heard the breezes and my own voice practicing my memory work, singing my songs. My hours of lawn mowing turned into a short, enjoyable time.

Doing familiar things in a new way happened more than once last week.

Spending time with my daughter in her garden was a familiar thing, but it was still new for this year with Kameron, age 15 months, and Trevor, age 3, as our little "helpers." Gathering with four grandchildren and their mother around the picnic table to chop up fresh rhubarb stems before putting them into boxes was new. Biking home quickly to put supper on my own table was familiar but it was new to arrive home just before hail began to bounce and clatter around. Although it was mostly harmless on our farm, others in the Cove were not so fortunate. Little balls of ice driven by wind really do hurt young green plants. The continuing battle between winter and spring left some sad casualties.

It is a familiar thing to clean house for my Dad since Mom is gone, but it was new to do it with my sister and her daughter. The woodland birds were singing about the lovely day and again I asked about that one song. When my sister looked it up in one of Dad's many bird books, we learned that the red-eyed vireo is a singer without much to sing about because she often unwittingly raises a cowbird youngster instead of her own. Sally Sly is too lazy to build her own nest or raise her own babies so she simply lays her eggs into the nest of others. Bird songs are familiar yet always new.

We three toured Dad's big garden and brought out armloads of broccoli and cauliflower, lettuce and radishes. Gardens are familiar but new every year.

Attending church on a Thursday, to hear the story of Ascension is familiar, yet it was new to hear it from our young minister, ordained only a year ago.

Seeing ripe strawberries begging me to pick them is familiar but trying to put netting over the tempting sight is new. Although I might get tangled and tripped by the netting as I pick red fruit, at least they aren't pecked by hungry robbers called robins.

Cleaning up my patio is familiar (and endless), but I was pleased to be done on Saturday evening but suddenly the wind came crashing from no where out of a calm, dark atmosphere. It pushed and heaved at our old tree but it stood firm. That is, except multiple twigs to clutter up the patio and tiny brown evergreen seeds to cover the bricks like so many itty-bitty wood pellets. I'll clean up the patio later and be thankful that the tree stayed put; that we didn't need to run generators for power as some folks had to do in the Cove.

Worshiping in the house of the Lord with gladness was familiar to us, as was serving three guests at our table at noon, but the poor man's steak recipe was new.

Attending a wedding for a niece or nephew is familiar for my husband and me, yet it's a new experience for each invitation. This time it was for my brother Marcus and Lorraine Zimmerman's son Trevor to Kirsten Laird, daughter of James and Angelika Laird. Among the flowers and sunbeams, a buggy ride away, the vows were made on Sunday evening even as a faint rumble of thunder reminded us of our tempestuous spring. June is a familiar month but new for this year, in fact, poets call it rare. The flowers on our tables were pink and white roses and peonies with green foliage, familiar blossoms but beautifully new for the season.


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