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

By Roseann Zimmerman

Old Order Mennonite Memoir


October 17, 2019

"Are you about finished with your fall housecleaning?" my sister-in-law asked me. I was sitting in a circle with five of my sisters-in-law on Sunday afternoon because my husband and I were invited to come meet his out-of-county, older brother and his wife. They said they came to the Cove to celebrate their 53rd anniversary, to check out old-time places and visit friends and family. "A Summons" Georgia Adams calls it. "I'm called by the flaming forest to walk these October days, down old, familiar footpaths, among its leafy maze."

Besides housecleaning for a conversation subject, we talked about the frost that settled white on lawns and nipped tender leaves. There was the houseplant topic and their differences, yet all had the same need: to bring them in from their summer homes. We talked about taking cuttings but no one mentioned picking lima beans or of cleaning away spent tomato plants. No one spoke of cutting peppermint tea to make concentrate for the freezer.

From the men's conversation to our side, I heard about a neighbor's tire that blew on the road beside our farm. I heard again about this same neighbor's generous act of repairing the wagon tongue of our gravity bin for picking corn, free of charge.

Many of the names of people discussed by my in-laws, I often don't know, but when they spoke of Noah Lamar Zimmerman, I knew him as Noah and Ella Zimmerman's youngest son who lived in Montana with his wife, Karen (daughter of Noah Zeiset) and four children. Since his death last week, of massive bleeding in the brain, their extended families are making coach arrangements to attend his funeral.

And when I write the names of the youth who were baptized in the name of Jesus, at Martinsburg church on Saturday, it doesn't really mean that I know them personally, but I do believe I could tell who they are, or at least who their parents are. Sometimes I know the grandparents better.

There were four sons: Timothy Martin (Clair), Joseph Aaron Martin (Marcus), Randall Weaver (Timothy) and Matthew Martin, (Mervin)

There were nine daughters: Regina Martin (David), Kaitlyn Garman (Ferlin), Marcella Nolt (Warren), Luanna Martin (Clair), Marcille Martin (Marcus), Danielle Martin (Aaron), Sylvia Martin (Seranus), Ada Mae Zimmerman (Ivan) and Kayla Zimmerman (Mark).

After their baptism during Preparatory services, they shared with communion for the first time on Sunday. We attended regular services at Piney Creek church. I was at my sink at noon when granddaughter Bella came walking into my kitchen ahead of her parents. The look on her face said, "I know this place." And when I knelt to welcome her, she walked right into my arms for the first time.

After dishes and stuff, I got the idea to carry her next door where we were going to meet my in-laws. She wasn't too sure about all those unfamiliar great-aunts and great-uncles, but she did like the little squeak toy. Too soon, her mama came to claim her again.

Grandchildren time is always too short. At my daughter's house, her children and I picked lima beans and sat in the sun to shell them as we chatted. The little chat with Baby Kari was one-sided but with the same love. The only story I read was to Trevor, age 3, before I tucked him into bed for an afternoon nap. The sunshine on that Thursday was also appreciated by the Aaron Fox family who were having a wedding for their second daughter.

Sunshine on Sunday afternoon coaxed some hikers to the autumn woods. When I was milking cows that evening, Chloe Pup stayed close to me lest she miss my Sunday evening stroll. She cocked her head and listened intently when I went into the house. When she saw me coming, she did her wild circles before we walked into autumn. Albert Camus calls it a second spring where the leaves imitate the flowers.

"There is serene and settled majesty to woodland scenery that enters into the soul and delights and elevates it and fills it with noble inclinations."

~Washington Irving


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