Sunday, November 15, 2015

Almost Heaven

As promised, here's the rest of our visit to my home state. There's a path through the woods from my parents' house to my brother's farm. I love the tree shadows.
My brother and sister-in-law's farm from a different angle.
My other brother, who is a surveyor, bought an apple orchard from an elderly man a few years ago. I don't know that an old apple orchard is a very lucrative affair, but he's sure having fun with it, and my two farmer brothers spent hours talking apples. The business name is Ott's Orchard. He sent home a quart of their apple butter with me -- yummy!!
He brought three large boxes of fresh apples for us family members to share. He has Jonagolds:

And Golden Delicious:

I've probably mentioned before my sister-in-law who makes such amazing things -- jewelry, candles, beauty products. Her goods are carried at Tamarack. Her candles are particularly stunning. Look at this pecan pie. It's a giant candle! Even the little pecans are made in wax molds. And it smells as incredible as it looks. It's a full-sized pie.
We all gathered at the farm for a big dinner on Thursday night. Marshall (the apple farmer) and his family had already left for their home, but most of the rest of us were there. They still have fresh greens growing.
My lovely parents were game for a photo. Daddy is 87, and Mother is 81.
We served from the kitchen island because there were about 17 of us, I think.
It wasn't until I looked at my plate that I realized my sister-in-law Anne had truly put on a feast for us, after she taught school, commuting 45 minutes each way, and took a son to his orthodontic appointment. These are busy people, in addition to the farming they do.
Supper: asparagus, garden green beans, baked garden corn, salad, grilled chicken, stuffing, roasted potatoes.
Also available: grilled pork loin, mushrooms, and my mother's yeast crescent rolls. And for dessert we could choose from angel food cake, pumpkin pie, apple pie, and two kinds of ice cream. It's a wonder we didn't have a few explosions in the dining room!
We also celebrated birthdays for these two lanky young men, both turning 16. Nathan (left) already had his birthday. Justice's birthday was on that day! Here, Nathan sings to his cousin while the candles flame away.
I caught them as they blew together.
Nathan's cake was such a conflagration that the candles re-engaged. Here, he tries to beat them into submission, while his dear mother stays his hand. Justice is laughing.

I confess -- there were so many tall, lanky teenage boys hanging around during our visit that occasionally I forgot which one went with which brother. They've all grown up so very fast! I had the joy of spending a few hours with my niece Mercy, who is also interested in handwork and crocheting. I taught her a little bit of what I've learned, amazed at her concentration, persistence, and talent. All the children are handsome, lively, and gifted in some way or another. Some have academic gifts, some have interpersonal skills, and some are quite artistic. It's a delight to see how God grows each one.
Sandra, a blogger friend, mentioned her pride in her West Virginia heritage. I understand. It is a very beautiful state, often overlooked and even ridiculed. But West Virginians are tough, hardy, no-nonsense people used to pulling a hard-scrabble life from rocky hillsides in bitter weather. I don't live there any more, but I'm so glad I have family who do!


  1. Your tree shadow pic captures for me the perfect fall day. And the apple pictures make me want to get an apple from the garage to eat right now!

  2. What a wonderful family and gathering.

    Thanks for sharing ~ FlowerLady

  3. I loved the path through the woods that connects your parents and your brother. That is a wonderful thing. What a great big family! Thanks for sharing!

  4. You are lucky. You have the young genes in your family. Both your parents could easily be 15 years younger.

  5. As you know I live only a few miles from WV and am able to enjoy the beauty. You are so right about the people.
    Enjoyed seeing more of your family pictures. : )

  6. Almost heaven indeed. Love, love, love their house. Say, you're parents only have one daughter. Shouldn't they adopt me, don't you think? We'd make perfect sisters. :) Btw, had thought you were from Mississippi for some reason.


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