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When I was a boy, my brother and I spent many summer mornings hoeing in my grandfather’s half acre garden.  We’d each get paid a quarter and split a bottle of Pepsi.  Those mornings began my relationship with tomatoes.  Fresh sliced tomatoes were served almost every meal they were in season, and my mother and grandmother canned lots of tomatoes each year.

Julie and I planted a garden the first year we were married, and tomatoes were a primary crop from the beginning.  A year later, spring of 1976, I was working for a wholesale tree farm and...

My motto, to keep from becoming overwhelmed has been "step by step". When I look back, I see the steps taken vs all the steps yet to take.

I bought a house and moved in June. Instead of taking my vacation to the beach, my niece revoked the invitation – due to COVID. (Her son had received a liver transplant when 3, now 12). This relieved my need to make a decision, able now to spend that week moving and getting a little bit settled.

After cleaning out the multitude of mint plants and digging out brush and trees, the...

It is just a box full of stuff, right?  Maybe, maybe not.

I often worry that I am missing something. Not that I have misplaced something, but that I am not seeing or understanding something important. As a young adult I worried about the biblical references of following false prophets. How do you know who is ok? I worried about being caught up as a follower of someone I shouldn’t follow. Over the years, the parables about vines, trees and fruits began to make sense. It takes years to see if fruit trees or vines produce “good” fruit. It takes...

My Dad, who is 95, went into an assisted living/retirement facility in March, the same week the governor shutdown all visitation in and out of assisted living facilities. It was a prudent and necessary action, but it’s been very hard on Dad and our family as a whole. The first few months, no in-person contact was allowed at all. We’ve talked on the phone, zoomed on the computer, exchanged emails, but the lack of physical contact has been painful, particularly for Dad. Starting in June, short (half hour) socially distanced visits could be scheduled once a...

Picking up with the discovery that I had a Great Uncle named John Lesh and a picture from Dresden, Ohio, I searched Census records and found that John and his wife, Tillie, had lived in Lorain, Ohio their entire lives.  My Mom’s youngest sister, Rosemary, who was about 10 at the time, went on a trip with them in 1951.  One photo is in front of the large Longaberger basket in the park in Dresden along with an older woman.  When I asked Aunt Rosemary about a trip that she may have taken with my parents, she said that they had gone to Ohio to visit one of my Dad’s relatives...

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