By Roseann Zimmerman

Old Order Mennonite Memoirs


April 30, 2020

In the battle between winter and summer, I am most encouraged by the songs of our feathered friends. It did not matter if the temperatures again felt like 32 degrees, the chirping sparrow would not be silenced. His spirited songs called forth those of my own, to praise our Maker.

It did not matter if the skies were again overcast, hiding our life-giving sun, the song sparrow paid no heed. His songs inspired me to bear patiently the chills that plagued me.

Like summer, were the excited warbles of the purple martins beside a Fair Valley garden. They fluttered in and out of their gourd homes as I worked with my daughter and grandchildren to put row cover over the newly-planted asters. Snow flurries whirled around us as we struggled against the cold wind in our jump start on summer bouquets.

That tiny, hurried time was the only one I had with any of our grandchildren last week. Also included with the impromptu trip were the 20 pint jars I filled for their family. It was my pleasure last week to use the dry beans my daughter gave me for this recipe:

Canned Pinto Beans With Spices

3/4 cup dry pinto beans, washed

1 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon oregano

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/8 teaspoon salt

Put 3/4 cup washed beans in a pint jar. Add the amount of each of the remaining ingredients to each pint jar. Fill each jar to the neck with hot water, before sealing with lid and ring. Pressure can for 75 minutes at 10 pounds pressure. These beans are real time-savers and can be used for all recipes calling for canned beans.

Even as my husband kept on feeding our old faithful wood stove last week, there were happy slots of outdoor times for me. The strong winds threatened me, however, as I planted potatoes. But encouraged by the sun, I chose to never mind it and planted more onions, lettuce and cabbage.

Sandwiched in between rainy days, Saturday's sun was pleasant. I was so pleased to be able to mow all our lawn with my trusty John Deere pair of mowers and even move on to trimming around trees and flowerbeds.

Like songs from birds and colors from tulips, even in this cold April with unusual circumstances, love blooms. Sermons and publications were on the phone. Three more couples plan to be married in springtime weddings, Lord willing.

Thomas Newswanger, son of Vera and the late Ernest Newswanger, comes from Kutztown to claim his bride, Erla Newswanger, the daughter of Rueben and Martha Newswanger of Clover Creek Road.

Merle Reiff, son of Nelson and Linda Reiff, is from New Enterprise and his bride-to-be is from Roaring Spring. Rosemary is the daughter of Clair and Mabel Ebersole.

Marcus Zimmerman, son of Marvin and Anna Mary Zimmerman, is from New Enterprise and will travel one more time to Frosty Hollow Road. His bride will be Katrina Horst, daughter of Marvin and Lydia Horst.


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