My Amish Home: Bittersweet times on a lovely spring morning

"A scorner loveth not one that reproveth him: neither will he go unto the wise. A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken. The heart of him that hath understanding seeketh knowledge: but the mouth of fools feedeth on foolishness." Proverbs 15: 12-14

This morning is absolutely so beautiful! I really hate to be stuck behind my desk. I could go for this weather for a long time. And yet, I realize we have to have the other kind, the kind that is not so pleasant.

Today is my mom's birthday. Happy birthday, Mom! She is 85 years young (or old). Is the glass half full or half empty?

Heavy on my mind today is the situation at the Milton Otto home. Edna Fern, Milton's wife, had been battling cancer for six years, and May 2 was the planned wedding day for their daughter, Clara.

Last week, Edna started losing grip on the battle, and she passed away May 1. It is a sad time for the family; our hearts go out to them. But at least we can lift them up in prayer.

What a beautiful time of the year. I liked the quote the editor of our weekly Amish newspaper had. He wrote that the best thing about spring is that it comes just when it is most needed. For me, that is so true.

For some reason, this spring I was thinking the flowering crab trees get flowers before the leaves come.

Vine Street in Arthur has some flowering crabs along the sides at the south end. I noticed the leaves coming, and I was like, "Did I miss something, or are they just not going to bloom?"

I go this route at least five days a week. And now they are in full bloom. They are so full, they almost drip. It is an awesome sight.

It is always so interesting to watch things wake up after a winter's sleep. I'm a little skeptical about our dogwood tree. I've seen one in town in full bloom, but ours seems to have a hard time waking up.

Our dandelions sure didn't. We have a bumper crop! I sprayed some of them Monday afternoon. Tuesday when I went out to mow, I realized, technically, I shouldn't mow until Thursday. Mentally, I reviewed my schedule and realized if I don't mow then, I won't get to it until the next week. By then I may have to have a bush hog.

Of course, our front and back yards still look pathetic. The grass in the ditch is nicer than what's in the yard.

I'm hoping the rain will hold off for a few more days. The garden is almost dry enough to work in.

At this time of the year, it's fun to work in the garden. Well, mostly, I enjoy it all the time, but somehow, when the weeds seem to get the upper hand or it gets really dry, then it's not so enjoyable.

This past Sunday we went to church at our neighbor/nephew, Joe Otto. We went with Rachel and Lloyd Yoder and family. It was not our district, so it was a real treat to go to church. Quite a few of the Otto siblings were there, since brother John and Irene (Joe's parents) also live there. In the afternoon, we Otto siblings went across the drive to John's house for coffee, popcorn and fellowship. Sis Martha and Andy Mast of Salem, Mo., were also there. The siblings who couldn't attend church came in the afternoon.

And being "oldies," we always seem to have aches and pains. This time, some had ingrown toenails to discuss. Wow! We always have such interesting topics!

I thought this closing was kind of fitting after a Sunday afternoon spent with the Otto siblings.

In closing: Conversation is a vocal competition during which the person who is catching his breath is called the listener.

It's grilling time! Try this recipe:

Grilled Maple Chipotle Pork Chops

1/2 cup barbecue sauce

1/2 cup maple syrup

2 tablespoons minced canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce

6 (1-1/2-inch thick) bone-in pork loin chops( about 4 1/2 pounds)

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

Preheat grill to 350-400 degrees (medium-high) heat. Whisk together first three ingredients; reserve half. Sprinkle pork chops with salt and pepper.

Grill pork, covered with grill lid, nine minutes on each side or until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest portion registers 155 degrees, basting with remaining half of barbecue sauce mixture during last five minutes of grilling.

Remove from grill, and drizzle with reserved barbecue sauce mixture.

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