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

By Roseann Zimmerman

Old Order Mennonite Memoirs


November 27, 2019

As we approach our shortest day, we seem to have a lot of night. Darkness greets us in the morning and beats us to our beds. In November's nights are sounds of rustling leaves, dry and frozen, scampering as on tiny feet on my brick patio floor, rushing eagerly to some leeward corner.

In the darkness, Chloe barks frantically till her sleepy master comes to investigate and to reassure her that a gray fox on the picnic table won't harm her because it is dead. In a November night, coyote yelps carry on winds of dormancy.

Unseen in the darkness, raindrops patter gently on the manure-splattered fields. They contrive with the winds to bring down the last clinging leaves but they cannot keep the new couple from taking their first walk along Auction Road at the Saturday evening singing.

Our windows in the cow stable are black blocks in the wall, but during evening chores, colorful streams of sunset glory pierce the darkness. In the morning I cannot see beyond my reflection in the kitchen window until eastern glows of red break the gloom of a November night.

The staccato sound of hoof beats on the road, ring in the night but the songs lingering on our lips for our friends are warmed by lamplight glow.

But for all the darkness of November, daylight reigns. In it my husband gathered the last corn fodder bales of the year and I mowed the last lawn. I even did the last tomatoes that waited patiently in my freezer. As I cranked the victorio strainer, it seemed strange without ferns and flowers around me, only little piles of leaves, one conifer and some ivy vines. But the sun shone. In the sunshine my husband split and stacked wood. In the sunshine our son-in-law bagged another bear.

It was on Saturday afternoon when my husband came to fetch me away from my sewing machine to show me the quilt batting clouds. Rain drops, bare trees and snowflakes mixed with freezing temps to create a morning show of beauty on mountain heights on Sunday as we traveled to Piney Creek church.

In November's daylight we shook hands with visitors from New Enterprise who worshiped with us before they traveled to a sister's home to see the new baby girl, who is also a first granddaughter.

November's daylight hours also included a birthday party for Grandson Gerome. His two grandmothers, an aunt and three cousins traveled to his school to share in the celebration. Now that the second of our "triplet grandsons" has reached age 7, Tyson waits anxiously to catch up.

While life was celebrated for Gerome with songs and sweets, November also became the month for an earthly life to end. Beside the still waters of the Woodbury Dam, in the home of our friends, Nelson and Mabel Nolt, her father, Menno Nolt, age 79, went to meet his Maker. His soul left behind the "robe of flesh," which was taken to Lancaster County. Some folks of the area went to his viewing and funeral in the land of his birth and now his burial.

In November, Thanksgiving begs for a menu to be shared. And I agree with G. K. Chesterton who writes: "I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder."


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