Well here it is another year almost over. It's been an eventful year for Becky and me. I turned 60 in January, retired from Penn State at the end of March, and became granddad Sept. 24th. (Becky became grandma also). Talk about feeling old all at once. During Memorial Day weekend David and Meagan visited and gave us the news that they were going to have a baby. The due date was Oct. 9th so they had everything planned and scheduled. Only problem was Lily Ann had her own schedule. On Sept 23rd David called and said he was at the hospital (York, PA). Becky and I were still busy farming and going to market, but how often does your first grandchild arrive? So we left that evening and drove to York, arriving at the hospital about 11PM. After locating David and Meagan's parents in the delivery room we waited...................... until 5:30AM. David woke us from an uncomfortable sleep on an uncomfortable couch in the waiting room and took us back to see the most beautiful baby in all the world.
(All you grandparents understand how that is.) That is our news for the year. Everything else pales in comparison. Becky has been back to visit 5 times and I was along on 4 of those trips, and we going again right after Christmas!!
OK other news:
Katie is doing well and enjoys her job on the faculty at the Geneva College library. She is renting the little red house on the farm from us now that Becky and I have finally moved on up to the 'Big House'.
After moving into the farm house we used our economic stimulus check, and a whole lot more, to boost the local economy. In March we replaced 17 double-hung windows. In July we had the stone foundations of the house and barn cleaned, pointed and sealed. Finally in September we had the downstairs bathroom remodeled. The house needs more work but there's always next year.
In November, we took a road trip through Mercer, Crawford and Erie Counties. The first day was gray and rainy. We had lunch at the Log Cabin on Route 19, just north of Zelienople. Next stop was the Mercer Courthouse, one of those old buildings that towers over the rest of the town. Becky spotted a shrub in the landscaping with huge, colorful leaves that she wanted to plant at the farmhouse. On the road again to the Meadville markethouse. We purchased a postcard of the building from a vendor. Turned out she had designed the landscaping around the Mercer courthouse and the shrub is an oakleaf hydrangea! The destination of the trip was the Riverside Inn (www.theriversideinn.com) in Cambridge Springs, an old resort from the days of mineral springs and the wealth of oil. It is a wonderful place to relax...no TV or phones in rooms... Victorian furniture and accents...several victrolas and pump organs, etc...lots of books to read...a huge table for puzzles. We attended a dinner theater and just relaxed. Also drove a portion of Route 6 from Edinboro to Corry. Snow began to fall on our first evening and by Monday morning the whole area was coated with about 5 inches of wet lake-effect snow. We were in a winter wonderland. (We did purchase an oakleaf hydrangea and it is planted on the northeast corner of the farmhouse.)
We had a really good year on the farm and at market and are making plans for 2009. Becky claims she likes having me around all the time and I don't miss going to work everyday at all (farming is still fun not work yet, at least most of the time).
Well I hope everyone reading this is happy and healthy. We wish you a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Remember all of God's blessings this holiday season and throughout 2009.
Phil & Becky
PS: This blog was started by Katie in 2007 as a farm journal and way of keeping family, friends, and customers informed of happenings on the farm. This year she made a couple of old techni-phobes (Becky and I) take it over. Thus 2008 entries are fewer and poorer quality. Please look back over the past entries and comment if you like... or e-mail us:
firstname.lastname@example.org - Becky
email@example.com - Phil