Prairie View

Sunday, February 22, 2015


We've had only one decent snow this winter, of 4-6 inches, maybe, if I'm remembering right.  Mind you, that snow might not have merited a mention if it had fallen on Iowa, Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maryland, New York, or Maine--all places that have had some epic snow events this winter.  Nor have we had major icing events.  It's all OK, except we're really needing moisture, and our desperation is making us less choosy than we might be otherwise.  We did have a nice rain about two weeks ago.


The annual liverwurst and fried mush dinner event that serves also as a fundraiser for Mennonite Friendship Communities (MFC) happens next Friday, Feb. 27 at Journey @ Yoder.  


Willis Nisly preached his final sermon today at Arlington.  He has cancer, and a recent exam found that it now has spread throughout most of his body.  He is still working part time, as I understand it, although he has lots of pain.  

His wife, Becky, was hospitalized recently and was dismissed to recover at MFC.   She may have returned home now.  


An Anabaptist Financial seminar was held yesterday at Journey @ Yoder.  I know very little about it except that my dad said that my brother Myron was scheduled to speak, among many others, I presume.  


Our family has put a few new plans in place for Dad since Mom died.  Instead of taking turns to take in the evening meal as we had been doing for some time, we're having Dad eat the evening meal in our homes.  Both Linda and Dad are in one of our homes at noon on Sundays.


This morning at 9:00 I got a phone call asking if I would teach our Sunday School class today.  I did it, with help from the class members.  The regular teacher realized last night that she was coming down with the flu and it didn't suit the appointed substitute.  

We started the Sunday School year with a number of ladies 80 and older, including my mother.  Today only one of them was there, and two younger ladies, Elizabeth H. and Rachel Yutzy were also absent.  I'm afraid Anne got lost on the way to class and ended up in another class, and Lizzie N. probably stayed home because she does not venture out if it snows, Judy M. has not been present for quite some time, ever since her last hospitalization.  Barbara Y. was the only oldster there, along with two of her daughters.  One of them is returning to her work in China tomorrow.  Barbara is in her nineties.  


We cleaned the church yesterday.  After I got home I realized that we had left two ostrich feather dusters there.  This morning they were hanging in the janitor's room.  I still wonder where we left them and who found them.  I know we didn't put them away.  A bit of negligence on our part, I'm sorry to say.


Center now has a permanently installed screen on which projected images can be viewed without moving furniture or setting up a projector in the center aisle.  A projector nestles near a beam in the peak of the ceiling.  


Tristan and Carson spent most of the day here on Saturday, after Shane's family and ours worked together to do church cleaning.  Tristan is quite articulate.  Sample:  "I got a magazine in the mail and now I have two."  When I questioned him a little more, I learned that he was referring to the magazine I had subscribed to as part of his Christmas gift.  It's a children's magazine from National Geographic.  I had wanted to get Big Backyard like our boys used to get, but it's  not available anymore.

Carson says a lot of words, including a very clear "bot-tle."  The boys are three and one, with October and August birthdays, respectively.  


Rachel Y. tells us that she is scheduled to speak to a women's group in Ireland in May.  It sounds like about two weeks worth of classes packed into a long weekend of sessions.  


Brad N., one of the Cedar Crest ministers, preached at Center today.  He has aunts and uncles and cousins in our church.  At Cedar Crest, four of the ministers (Lee N., Donald M., James S., and Brad N.) are either grandsons of the late Ed and Lizzie Nisly or married a grandaughter.  The remaining ministers are over 70 and some are retired.  


Arlen Mast was ordained as bishop at the Arlington church recently.  His grandfather, John Mast, was the local Amish bishop for many years, and his father, Edward Mast, was ordained as bishop when John retired.  His great grandfather Noah Mast was also a minister, and his great great grandfather, Daniel E. Mast, was the Dawdy Mosht of ancestral fame in this community.  He too was a minister, a deacon first, I believe.  I know it takes more than a pedigree like this to fill the office of bishop faithfully, but fortunately Arlen's qualifications go beyond this impressive pedigree.   

One slight oddity in this row of Mast ministers is that Edward Mast actually married into this family, and is not a descendant of Daniel, Noah, and John.  He married John's daughter Wilma and moved here from Ohio where he grew up,  Edward and Wilma are Arlen's parents. 


Hiromi embarked yesterday on a cake-making project, and we have been enjoying the results.  In typical male-brain, science-project style, he prepared by assembling rice powder from three different locations:  Japan, Korea, and Thailand.  He made one small cake with rice powder from each country.

Japan was the first choice, of course, because he was trying to recreate a cake that is a specialty from Kagoshima, the southern island in Japan where his parents originated.  The problem was that he wasn't sure he could buy it in Wichita, and he was right.  He had ordered it shipped in from Denver.  He needed a white mountain yam also, however, so he went to Wichita to buy that at Thai Bhin. This is a giant carrot-shaped root, almost two feet long and slightly flattened along the long dimension.  It cost $18.00, which prompted Hiromi to declare that he won't be making this cake very often.  While shopping at various Asian markets in Wichita, he spied the other rice flours, and bought them too because they were a lot cheaper than the Japanese rice flour.  We couldn't tell much difference, so from now on the cheaper stuff will do.  

The cake is made by beating egg whites and adding sugar.  Then grated yam, which has a very slimy texture when grated raw, is mixed with water and added.  Last of all the  rice flour is mixed in.  Then it's placed in a small heat-proof container and steamed over boiling water.  

The resulting cake is very moist, pleasantly mild-flavored, and snowy white.  

Hiromi's sister and her husband came over this afternoon for cake, and we had a nice visit over cake and green tea and coffee--the preferred drinks divided along ethnic lines today--two and two.


Japanese has a maxim that is roughly translated "There is no delicious food among regional favorites."  I think it sounds a little disrespectful and depressing, but I suppose it's saying that just because it's common and well-liked in one place doesn't mean that everyone will like it.  It makes allowance for what might be enjoyed mainly because it's one of the comfort foods of one's homeland. 

Liverwurst and fried mush?  I'm very fond of it, maybe for the above reason, but I don't suppose everyone is.


I'm glad Hiromi wasn't working at Wal-Mart yesterday when an argument broke out in the parking lot between a woman and three other people--two men and a woman.  When the three got into a vehicle and left, the woman followed and shot repeatedly at the first vehicle.  The chase ended when the first vehicle crashed into a business building.  The shooter fled, and later turned herself in.  She was charged with attempted second degree murder and is currently cooling her heels in the county jail.


My local birding nephews, Joseph, Bryant, and Andrew have started a blog on which they post pictures and short accounts of birding adventures.  They've been emailing me and their Uncle Bill pictures regularly over the past few years, ever since both Lowell's family and Myron's got a good bird photographing camera, and now others can start keeping track of what's going on also.  Check it out here.  Gulls are the latest feature--yes, seagulls, right here in middle America.


LaVerne and Rebecca had both a new granddaughter and a new grandson born within the past month.  Floyd and Dorcas received a newborn daughter for adoption, Kyra Jubilee, their first child.  Craig and Rachel had a boy born to them, Enzo Shaviv.  He is their fourth child, second son.  

For Floyd and Dorcas, it's been an intense year so far.  The first adoption plan fell through, and then a second opportunity materialized abruptly.  Last week Dorcas' father died.


My co-teacher Norma spent a short weekend in Ohio.  I hope all goes well on the return trip.  

Wesley, our principal, had a round of illness beginning last Thursday a week ago.  He returned this past Tuesday.  

No one came to school on Monday.  With Glenda still sick at the grade school, and Sheila stuck on a return trip from elsewhere, and with some students also sick, the powers that be wisely canceled school.  We had a bit of snow too--not enough to call off school, but it was a bit slick on some of the roads.  I think everyone loved the bonus time off.  


The Shepherd's Institute was held at the Arlington church last week.  I made it there only one evening, and met two blog-readers afterward, Mary Sue Zehr and Linford Berry.  As always, meeting "unknown friends" like this was a pleasure.  


Predicted overnight low temperature here is five degrees.  Or, as we're fond of saying, "It's going down into the digitals!"


  • wife was talking recently about how it's actually somewhat scary to think about going shopping in our hometown, given that it seems like the odds of getting caught in a shootout have gone up substantially in the last few years. I'm doubtful that this event will do much to alleviate those concerns.

    By Anonymous EldestSon, at 2/23/2015  

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