Chapter 7:  OUR GOLDEN ANNIVERSARY

 

 

1983

 

         Morris and I decided to do something different this winter. In the "Messenger" we read that Paul Claypool at Sebring, Florida had efficiency apartments for rent. We called him. He had one left. We said we would take it and sent a $200 check, promising to pay the $50 when we got there. On January 25, we left home. We stopped at Galen and Thelma's home for over night. The next day we were anxious to get to Sebring to see where we were going to live for the next month. It was a kitchenette at 636 Pine Ave. We liked it very much. It was very modest but comfortable and the location was wonderful. Just across the street was the Church of the Brethren.  The Palms Retirement Complex, owned by the Church of the Brethren was three blocks away. Stores were close by, too, although we often drove to a big shopping center to buy our needs. Morris bought tickets for our M.C. alumni banquet being held in the church that same evening. President Helman spoke. We met many long time friends and felt right at home. Our friends who lived in the Palms Condominium tried to get us to buy one apartment for sale. The price was $27,300 and $200 a month upkeep. We did not buy. Our main interest is at Freeport and Racine!

         The Ladies Aid of the Sebring Church of the Brethren was very active. They met every week for all day with an attendance around thirty-five. They made quilts and had an active relief program besides helping different local projects. On February 4, Galen and Thelma invited us to attend an Illinois picnic at Port Charlotte Mobile Home Court. There were 218 attending, mostly from Sterling, Dixon and Polo area where I used to live. I saw at least eight friends that I had not seen for years.

         Back in Sebring we were busy every day. We were invited to go along to pick oranges and grapefruit. We had invitations for breakfasts and for picnics and for hikes. Evenings we visited in each other's homes, playing "500"or just recalling former times. When we were at home we had friends into our little apartment too. Morris found a buddy who liked to play checkers and pool. When he did that I took time to read or sew on some quilt blocks I had brought along. It was a wonderful vacation and the weather was great. I sprained my ankle, which slowed me down for a couple days. We took another couple with us when we visited Epcot. It was much like the Worlds Fair. We visited the Bok Tower and Cypress Gardens, too. It was interesting seeing these beautiful spots through the eyes of our friends who were seeing these for the first time.

         We left Sebring February 26, and visited Galen and Thelma for two days. We got home March 2. The first news we heard was that Dr. Kortemeier had just died in Florida, and his funeral was the next day. We went to the funeral home. I felt real sad. He had done so much for me in helping me to keep my sight and cheering me when I was discouraged. He must have thought Dr. Alberts was capable or he would not have taken him in as an associate. So I try to have faith in Dr. Alberts too.

         Douglas had all our sheep sheared when we got home. Morris was happy about that. People still came to look at the home place but none to buy.

         Del Luchi, a member of our church and an optician who knew a lot about colored glass, made a beautiful colored glass round window for the gable above the pulpit in our church. Douglas helped install it on Friday before Easter. It adds much to our worship services, especially on that first Easter Sunday. People see it from the road and remark about how beautiful it is.

         Vera and Charles took a trip to the Holy Land and Egypt in April with Rev. Robert Knechel as their tour guide.

         The government made the telephone company split up because it was too big a monopoly. Each customer had to buy his own phone. Our bills are higher and our service is less. It was much better the way it had been.

         April 22, our choir had a retreat over night at camp Emmaus to use the new retreat lodge and spend time together. The spring flowers were just beginning to bloom, which made our hike more interesting.

         Douglas started to build a small barn, 16' x 24', behind his house. It was for storage. His dad helped him all he could.

         May 29, Rev. Carl Myers from Elgin preached on Sunday morning. In the afternoon he held a dedication service for the new home of our Pastor Paul and Virginia. It was a meaningful service.

         June 4 was a day I had looked forward to because it was the 55th anniversary of the graduation of our High School class of 1928. The reunion was held in the Country Club House near Rock Falls. We had 32 members of the original 92 there. Messages were read from others who were not able to make it. Cousins Lloyd and Ruth came from Texas.

         June 5th was Steven's High School Graduation. He was on the Honor Roll out of 524 in his class. His robe had gold braid, which distinguished the honor students.

         We got home the next day just in time to get dinner for Lloyd and Ruth, and Kathy and Dan Hauger who are my niece and nephew. Kathy and Dan were going to LaVerne to see their parents, Ralph and Ann.

         June 7 was our 49th wedding anniversary. We celebrated it by going to the Pines Restaurant for lunch.

         1983 was a bad year for the U.S. around the world. In June, two newsmen were killed in Honduras. Most people were wishing that our country would get out of Central America. In August and September our country took more losses. Four of our soldiers were killed in Lebanon. They were part of a "Peace Keeping" force that Reagan had sent there. England, France and Italy had soldiers there, too, but they were not killed. September 1, Russia shot down a Korean commercial plane over the ocean, killing 269 people. Russia said it was over their territory, spying for U.S. There were questions raised about it that were never answered as far as the public in the U.S. could find out.

         October 25, in Beirut, the Arabs massacred 230 American boys at night with a truck full of bombs. Reagan took the blame but later tried to blame Congress for it when his "Peace Keeping" was impossible, and he had to bring the rest of our boys home. The Democrats were calling it a blunder of Reagan's and that he should let Lebanon settle its own problems. Our Congress in an election year was really getting stirred up. It seemed as if partly to take the pressure off of himself, Reagan sent soldiers into a little Island named Grenada. It is owned by England, who opposed this action very much. But Reagan said there were communists there. The Democrats and other countries said the U.S. had broken international law by invasion, especially since no newsmen or photographers were allowed for several days. A couple hundred Cubans were found there and sent back to Cuba but all of the communists or supplies, which were so loudly propagandized, never were found. Our country lost 225 soldiers and many injured.

         Until November 25, the U.S. representatives were meeting in Geneva with the Russians trying to come to an arms limitation treaty. But the effort on our part was so weak and our demands so impossible and works so threatening, that the Russian representatives walked out of the conference and no one knew if they would ever talk again on that problem. In December six more marines who had stayed on ship off the shore and flew spying flights over Lebanon and Syrian territory were killed when two planes were shot down and a pilot captured by Syria. Reagan was also directing help to San Salvador to help the government of that country kill its own people.

         Sally Ride was the first girl astronaut that the U.S. sent into space on the shuttle Challenger and landed in California on June 24th.

         When we were at the cabin in July we were out on the lake, and we saw two eaglets just learning to fly. Morris and I spent one afternoon at the Spooner Rodeo. It was very good and exciting. Kaufmans came again with their motor home and boat. Fishing was good.

         When we came home we learned there had been a big electric storm in this area. The electricity was off long enough to worry Besserts. They asked Douglas to bring in our generator to hook up so their freezer would not defrost.

         Morris and Douglas spent many days working at Camp Emmaus during the summer. In August, Galen and Thelma visited us for three days. My brother and wife, Ralph and Ann came for five days. They visited many friends and relatives in this area.

         After Dan and Lisa, our renters, went to the university, we rented the home to Ron and Debbie Arnold. If we sell within the year, they will have two months notice and get the last month rent-free.

Kathy Hauger Graduation Photo

         August 27, Kathy Hauger came from Bethany Biblical Seminary to preach to our congregation. We had a potluck dinner at church so she could have a chance to visit with friends she used to know as a child living here. Pastor Paul and Virginia were on vacation in New Zealand and Australia.

         September 15, we left to visit my cousins in Nebraska and the Millers in Denver. The Millers were selling their home and some furniture and moving to California. On our way home we went to Loveland and out to Sylvan Dale Ranch to see how things were there since the Big Thompson Flood. The manager remembered us, saying they would always be grateful to the volunteer disaster unit, which had helped them in their trouble.

         My cousin from Sterling, Helen Wade, had a cataract removed by Dr. Alberts. He removed it and put in a lens implant. The next day she went home from the hospital. What a difference from the surgery I had on both my eyes!

         We went to homecoming at M.C. taking our trailer. There was a hook up for it in a parking lot near the Cordier building. We spent time with Michele and her parents at the ball game and in the evening at the play. The next day we worshipped together at church. They went home then, and we left for Turkey Run Park and the Covered Bridge Festival. We liked to go back to this place because it was interesting and restful.

         Morris got a deer with the gun in November.

         Cousin Mildred Fosha died of cancer. She had suffered so much that her death was a blessing to her.

         On Christmas Day we missed Morrie and family. They were in Colorado skiing. It was the first Christmas in his life that Morrie had not been home during that time.

         We were glad on December 27 to accept an invitation from Vera and Charles to be with them and their family: Robert, Ruth Ann, Eric and Sonia.

 

 

1984

 

         January 16, 1984, I started this story of my life.

         We gave Douglas and family and Morrie and family a safe for Christmas. It was too large for Morrie to take in their car when they went home from here on Jan. 8th, so we took it to them later in January.

         When we paid our income taxes in February it came to more than $500 a month that we pay to our government.

         In March we bought a new 18.5-foot M.W. freezer for $469. We gave our old Coolerator to the Salvation Army. It was about 38 years old, and we thought we would be safer with a new one.

         Dr. Phillips removed a cyst from my scalp in March. It was benign. Morris also had a blood test concerning cancer. Doctor said it was fine. So we both felt much better.

Our 15-Acre Home Place, Donated to the Church of the Brethren Brotherhood Board

         On March 15, we sold the home place, buildings and 15 acres, to the Gary Kubly family. They gave $5,000 earnest money, leaving $90,000 yet to pay at 10%. We called Stewart Kaufman who is in charge of the Special Gifts Program of the Church of the Brethren. They were very pleased and agreed to carry on with the legal work. They would send us a paper to sign on which we would be agreeing to give up our life lease on the place.

         Douglas received the Governor's Outstanding Teacher's Award of $1,000. We are happy about that. He deserves it.

         Kathy Hauger preached on March 18.

         Morris and Douglas started working towards getting our belongings away from the home place and down to the lower, north barn and into Douglas' new barn. They started by taking the welder over to Douglas' place.

         April 10th, Morris planted 36 peach trees on the south side of our yard fence in the alfalfa field.

         I took my second driver's test in April and passed it. I was more nervous this time. I was not as well acquainted with our LTD as I had been with our old Matador.

         In April, Morris and Douglas helped break up the old steps at the front of our church. Using the jack-hammer hurt Douglas' back. Eventually he had to go to a chiropractor for many treatments. By fall he was better.

         We went to the cabin in May to open it. Fishing was good. I spent most of my time typing my "story."

         There was an important eclipse of the sun this year that would not happen again for a long time. We, along with many others, went to the observatory to see it. Douglas was in charge and did a good job showing it.

         Morris and I got new clothes for our Golden Wedding celebration. We were reluctant at first to have a public affair, but our children changed our minds. On June 2nd, in the evening, our whole family had reservations for a delicious supper at the Shannon Cafe. Michele drove her newly bought car, a Ford Fairmont. Morrie was trying out a new small Chrysler. Later he bought the Laser. After supper we went to Audrey and Douglas' home where we were presented with a three piece Samsonite luggage set, a guest book and picture album.

         Sunday, June 3rd, was a memorable day. All the children and grandchildren were in church. We ate dinner at Audrey's with Kentucky Fried Chicken, salad and dessert?using paper plates, etc. Then we hurried to church, getting there early so pictures could be taken. The Women's Fellowship served in the kitchen and our grandchildren took care of the guests. The girls served punch, coffee and cake. The cake was just beautiful?three pretty layers. Steven registered the guests. There were at least 110 guests who came to wish us well. It was a fun time. We thank our children gratefully for such a pleasant and perfectly planned occasion.

The Whole Family, Morrie's Family, Doug's Family, and Us

         At home we received telephone calls from Kate and Harold, Ralph and Ann, Hazel Lapp and Robert Johansen. We appreciated these calls. Minerva and Ivan Maier took us out for breakfast the next morning. We enjoyed that. Ray and Hazel Firebaugh from Owatonna had been at Web and Twila's for a couple nights. They came out to our home Monday p.m. and stayed over night. It was good to get more visiting done with them. At the reception we could not visit very long with any one person in particular. The boys took many good pictures of the celebration.

         Margaret and Kenneth Myers wanted to do something special for us, so they invited us to go with them for breakfast at the Pines Restaurant. They chose June 7th because that was our actual wedding day. The breakfast was delicious, and we enjoyed the excursion afterwards through Sterling and Rock Falls.

         That evening Morris had a surprise party for me. He invited Johansen's and McCulloch's. It happened that our neighbors, Lyle and Ethel May Leverton, came because they had not been able to attend the reception on Sunday. So we had another enjoyable time, the eight of us playing Uno land visiting. Later we had ice cream and cake.

         We received many congratulation cards and some presents, though the latter was a surprise. In our public invitation we had said that gifts should be omitted. We were glad for and appreciated all these well wishes.

Feeding Morris Cake, The Maiers and The Grandchildren

         The middle of June, Morris and Douglas took the sign with our name on it down from on the barn at the home place where it had been for years. The boys painted it and lettered it when they were quite young. This sign is now on our north barn on the North Harlem Center Road.

         On June 21, we loaded our trailer and went to Annual Conference at Carbondale, IL. We found a place to camp in Crab Orchard Lake Campground. We also reserved a spot for Elmer and Thelma Kaufman who came next evening in their motor home. We had to pay $54 to register at Annual Conference. That seemed like a lot. It was because of using the campus facilities. Paul Fike was the Moderator. We enjoyed Conference as usual, but camping next to Kaufman's made it even more enjoyable.

         On July 4th we had a fine time at a picnic in the yard of Vera and Charles. His brother and daughter were there from Denmark.

         We sold our lambs in July for $1,128. We raised 31 this year.

The most important event was the celebration of our 50th wedding anniversary given to us by our children and grandchildren. The good time lasted all year by remembering all that took place and fixing up our Golden anniversary book and hearing from distant friends and relation who could not attend the celebration on June 3rd.

         When the pictures that the boys took were finished we enjoyed the occasion all over again by looking at the slides and prints. Then, we added them to our anniversary book and the autobiography, which I had to complete later in the year.

Vera & Charles Johansen, Art & Doris Hauger, and Web, Twila, Zandra and Sy

         For years, the barn at the home place had a sign on the front of it with FIREBAUGH printed on it in white on a red board. The boys had given it to us for Christmas one year when they were quite young. On June 13th Douglas and his father took it off the barn at the home place and put it on the North barn on our 80-acre farm where Douglas and family and Morris and I live on North Harlem Center Road.

         We felt pretty good most of the time and often enjoyed playing 500 or Rook with our friends. Every month for six months, starting in October, we enjoyed going to the Travel and Adventure Movie Series put on by the Rotary Club. We also enjoyed going to some of the Community Concerts.

         In the fall we went to California and Arizona to visit friends and a couple National Parks.

         Morris got 3 deer during the hunting season that year.

         Kathy Hauger visited us a couple times, bringing her friend, David Leiter, to meet us. By Christmas, they were engaged.

         We went to Elery Shank's on Christmas morning for breakfast. It's a custom of theirs to invite friends for breakfast on that day. More than one hundred come. Elery and Ruth are well known in the Polo community because of their Auction Service.

 

 

1985

 

         On New Years Day it has become a custom of ours to go to Douglas and Audrey's home to watch the Rose Parade and games. Then the next day Michele left for college. That brought back memories of how it was when Morrie and Douglas always had to leave the day after New Years or sometimes on New Year's afternoon.

         During the year we learned to know better some new friends at church, Jim and Ethel Genandt. We learned again how to play "42"with dominoes. They liked to play "500," too. We had many good meals and good times together.

         When the weather was cold in the winter we enjoyed showing to friends our slide pictures of our trip to Arizona and California during fall of '84.

         I had trouble with sight in my right eye. I got new lenses, but that didn't help much. I had lost some sight in it. Dr. Alberts says there is pressure in it, so I must put drops in twice a day to prevent glaucoma.

         In January, Douglas sent in a resume, applying to be the first teacher in space. I thought it was very impressive. As it turned out I was glad he was not accepted, because the teacher who was accepted died in the explosion at time of lift off!

         During January, Morris and Douglas put new racks on the backs of the pews at church. The Men's Fellowship had made them.

         Thanks to Douglas who helped finish getting the pictures in my autobiography of the first 73 years of my life. My cousin Lloyd had finished his life story, too. He lives in Harlingen, Texas. We agreed to exchange our stories, so we could read the other's story. Lloyd is nine months older than I am. Our mothers were sisters, and our fathers were brothers. Before we were married we had been together in the same area all our life. So I was anxious to read his story, and he and Ruth wanted to read mine. They have been married a little longer than Morris and I have. I enjoyed reading his story even though there were some sad spots in it.

         Morris had been saving his deer hides hoping to turn them in for a coat. In March we took several deer hides to Berlin, Wisconsin. He received $48 for them. He ordered a deer-skin jacket from them for $115.

         On March 11, the Russian President died. Mikhail Gorbachev was chosen in his place. We are hoping he will be more sensible about war and the U.S. as enemy. It seems so foolish to keep on spending all the millions of dollars on military armaments, which is wasteful and robs our citizens of help in health and housing benefits. Many people of the world are hoping that a younger man now head of Russia will be more understanding.

         Greg Miller rented our corn ground.

         Douglas was in charge of Manchester College Day at church. He asked me to speak on the subject "Then and Now" for a few minutes. I was glad to tell of my time there. Many said they were glad to hear it.

         Kathy Hauger and David Leiter, students at Bethany Seminary, came out for Easter. We had a very enjoyable time with them and Douglas' family in our home. Michele was home from College and played the organ for sunrise service at church.

         Our church was cooperating with other churches of our vicinity to carry meals-on-wheels. Morris and I still carried meals as one team. Two others of our church also helped. We furnished two teams for carrying meals until 1988. By that time we asked to be relieved as a regular team. Later it became necessary to ask the one in charge of delivering meals to allow us to furnish only one team, which is the way it is in 1989.

         During 1985, I still belonged to the Freeport Women's Club. Marion Byram, our neighbor west of us, always took me. They generally had good programs.

         Douglas took me along regularly on Thursday evenings to choir practice. Iris Sweet was our director. She surely had a lot of patience to put up with and lead our bunch of singers. Most of us were amateurs.

         Since we sold our home place in 1984, we had no sheep to keep down the grass in our woods north of our home at Breezewood. Darrel Miller said they often had a couple sheep that were a nuisance among the others, because they had no lambs and did not need much attention. So he was glad to put at least three of them in our little wooded area. This practice has kept up for five years, just during the summer months.

         Grace Thoren land we kept in touch with each other. She was a widow and so were her sisters, Gladys Bliss and Tressis Andrews. Elva Reigle, our neighbor when I lived there in Durand and taught school, also kept in touch with Grace's help. Grace would invite these friends when we went to visit.

         In May of 1985, Morris and I went to Manchester College to attend a program at which Douglas was honored for what he had done for M.C. in encouraging students to attend that college and for other social work he had done. At that same time we also helped move Michele out of her room so it could be redecorated during the summer.

         Each summer our three families took turns going to the cabin north of Spooner, Wisconsin. We all appreciated it for the rest and reading we could do there without interruption or feeling guilty for neglecting some work.

         On May 30, 1985, Eric Johansen, Vera and Charles' Grandson and son of Robert and Ruth Ann, had a terrible accident. He was in a car with others going to a youth meeting. He was in a coma for months. Prayers were offered for his healing by friends and relatives all over the country. Now, four years later, after a miracle healing, he is in College at M.C. carrying a partial load of study. He has had to re-learn everything because of the head block he had from the accident. He is Dena's age.

         We had bees yet in 1985. We always were glad to have a variety of bread spread. But our bees left us a couple years later. We haven't been successful yet in finding a swarm to hive.

         Lona Kinney and I went to women's camp at Camp Emmaus this year. It's a good chance to get acquainted with the women of our district. I enjoyed the first day, but the next evening it rained and continued until noon next day. Camp dismissed at 12:20.

         Dena had been doing very well in High School debate. She went to Kansas University for two weeks extra schooling in debate this year. We sold our 14-foot trailer to a family in Polo for $1,055. We decided to either use motels when we would travel or take tours in which we would pay at the beginning of the trip. There is less responsibility that way and more fun.

         Our Church wanted to buy a heifer for the Heifer Project International. Morris was asked to find one that would meet all of the requirements. He found one from Glen Meier, a farmer east of Freeport. Then our church decided to buy two for $1,700. They were loaded early the morning of August 2, 1985. About every year since, heifers have been purchased from Glen Meier for Heifer Project International by the Churches of the Brethren in this District.

         Ralph and Ann visited us in September on their way to attend Kathy and David's wedding, which was September 7, 1985. Douglas and Audrey went with us to the wedding. On the way we stopped at Minerva and Ivan's home in Lombard. The wedding was held in Bethany Chapel.

         Dena played for our choir during 1985 and 1986, also. She did very well and was always dependable, just as Michele during the last two years she was in Freeport.

         One of the most serious things that happened in our family in 1985, that I know of, was a car accident that Audrey and Dena had on their way to District Meeting where she, Audrey, was to be our delegate. It happened on South Freeport Road at Rt. 64. Audrey said her fastened seat belt saved her life. She was badly bruised, especially her head and face. Dena was hurt too, but not as badly. Luckily, our Pastor, Paul Haworth and Virginia were behind them and helped. Audrey's car was totaled.

Ardis & Gerry MacAdam

         This year Douglas arrowed a deer.

         We went to Texas in October to visit Ruth and Lloyd Hauger, my cousins. We also visited cousins Art and Harriet Newman, who live in the same court as Ruth and Lloyd do. On our way home we stopped to visit Phyllis Johansen near Osceola, Iowa. Paul was not home.

         There was a bad hijacking of a plane in Lebanon. One of our planes crashed in Greenland, killing 248 U.S. soldiers coming home for Christmas. It was an old plane, which should not have been used.

         At Christmas time, Ardis and Jerry MacAdam keep up a custom of the Firebaugh's getting together as a family. For years Kathryn Smith in California has sent a box of gifts to Ardis, which we open at that time. We really enjoy opening that box. Kate remembers each one. It is so thoughtful of her.

 

 

1986

 

President Reagan put Extreme Sanctions on Libya because of Kadafy's terrorism acts. He gave an angry news conference threatening military action. Many of the nations friendly to the U.S. were not talking friendly at the beginning of the year. Reagan froze Libya's assets in U.S.

         Dena received first place in single and first in team debate at a debate tournament early in January.

         I had been working on a Bow-Tie quilt for a long time. I finally got it done. I then started to put together the quilt of the States. I had finished embroidering them (the blocks) and had the yellow broadcloth shrunk and pressed.

         On January 28th, seven people died in the shuttle shot explosion two minutes after take-off. The schoolteacher, Christa McAuliffe, was one of them. There was much sorrow for the death of these astronauts and teacher around the world.

         The government of the Philippines was very corrupt under Ferdinand Marcos. The people were showing signs of revolt. The U.S. was worried that if Marcos had to give up, the "communists" would take over. In any small country that had a dictator, the U.S. backed him if he would act as the U.S. wanted him to do. We asked for the privilege of establishing army bases on their land, and in Central America, big corporations of fruit growers, coffee companies, etc., would take over land from the natives with the consent of the dictator who was well paid by the rich corporation head owner. When the people rebelled and ousted the dictator as they did in Nicaragua, our President said it was the communists who got control. Instead, it was the majority of the people who had been able to get back the land, which belonged to them and were trying to rule themselves. The U.S. for years tried to help dictators stay in power. But with the Philippines, finally Marcos was expelled, and a lady who everyone knew was not a communist, Corazon Aquino, took over. Still the U.S. sheltered him, Marcos, in Hawaii at the expense of U.S. taxpayers.

         Our doctor, Spencer Phillips, retired. We had to get our records from his office and turn them over to another doctor. We chose Dr. Workman, because several of our friends liked him. I hope we won't be sorry. Morris was taking a woodworking class again at the College and was working on his third Grandfather's clock.

         Steven was in the University at Madison. He was invited to become a Phi Beta Kappa member, which is quite an honor. Susan was also at the University. They had invited Morris and me to visit them sometime. They suggested April 26. That date was fine with us. They showed us all over the university and into the capitol building. After eating a Chinese meal with them, we had to go home. We surely enjoyed the day with them.

         We sold one of our lots at Chapel Hill Cemetery to Mr. Hendrickson. He also bought two lots for $180 each that had belonged to my parents. Ralph gave his consent to sell.

         In April, President Reagan bombed Kadafy of Libya. All Europe was against us for doing it except England and Israel. Mrs. Thatcher of England was not very popular for her attitude. More terrorism was threatened to the U.S.

Morris & Florence, 50 Years as Deacons

         On Sunday, April 27, Morris and I were honored at church for serving as Deacons for 50 years. We were given a corsage and boutonniere. All of those in the audience who had served with us during the 50 years were asked to stand. After the service Art Hauger took our picture. We are Deacons Emeritus now.

         After two year's work I finally finished the quilt of the States. I washed and ironed it and put it away for a gift to some one special.

         A bad nuclear accident happened in Russia. It was a meltdown of a reactor in Chernobyl. Truth gradually came out as to the terrible severity of it. Russia finally asked the U.S. for a doctor to help with bone marrow transplants. Many will die, and the area will be contaminated for years.

         We learned that Ralph's wife, Ann Hauger, was told she might have Parkinson's disease. Twila Firebaugh, Webster's wife, went to the hospital and learned she has cancer in her body?spine or pancreas?they're not sure.

         Morris and Douglas again this year worked many hours at Camp Emmaus getting it ready for camping season.

         On May 15th, while we were at the cabin in Wisconsin, Roger and Ethel McCulloch came in their camper coach. They brought Charles and Vera Johansen, too. Such a Big Surprise! They brought food, too! We had such a good time. They left on the 17th after a very happy time together.

         May 24th, 1986, Morris and I went to M.C. to attend an Alumni banquet. We stayed in Schwalm Hall. Sunday, May 25, was Michele's big day. She graduated from M.C. WITH DISTINCTION. She has a position with Price-Waterhouse in South Bend, Indiana. Later on Sunday, we visited Ruth and Charles Luther in the country, and Keith and Helen Ross at Timber Hills in North Manchester.

         May 31st, Charles and Vera took us to Astoria, IL, to help Lorell and Nelda Eikenberry celebrate their 45th Wedding Anniversary. They have a very nice place with beautiful flowers. We enjoyed seeing them again.

         On June 3rd, we went to Oak Brook Seminary for Kathy's graduation. We visited with Ralph and Ann and David. It was a nice ceremony. Kathy looked great. Later, Ralph and Ann came to our home for two days before going to Stevens Point to visit Ann's brother. When they came back they visited us for six more days. Ralph wanted to attend the Durand High School Alumni Banquet because his class was having a reunion. They visited friends in the Freeport area and attended our church on Sunday. Ann went along to Lena with our Women's Fellowship to a new restaurant there for our "Night Out" to eat. Before Ralph and Ann left for their home we took them to Sterling and Mt. Morris to visit friends and relatives. We surely enjoyed their visit with us.

         In July, we went to an Elder Hostel at Manchester College. We liked it very much. It was a new experience and a chance to make new friends. We became acquainted with Mrs. Elmer (Fern) Baldwin, Dr. Dwight Farringer, the physics teacher at M.C. and were taken to visit to visit Gene Stratton Porter's home and church, the Honeywell's home and other interesting places.

Michele, with Family, Graduating with Distinction

         On July 27th, at the Church of the Brethren in Freeport, Robert and Ruthann Johansen took charge of a Golden Wedding Anniversary in honor of their parents, Vera and Charles Johansen. We attended and enjoyed meeting their relatives. We had a big attendance at church that Sunday. Robert gave a fine speech in the evening honoring his parents.

         During August, Hazel and Truman Lapp from Glendale, Arizona, visited us. We had a surprise visit from Velma Brumbaugh of California. Her sister-in-law, Mary Kinsey, of Mt. Morris came with her. The next month, Morris's cousins from Minnesota, Merrill and Alice, Ray and Hazel Firebaugh, visited us for several days. We had a couple Firebaugh reunions while they were here.

         On October 2nd, Morris and I came home from a Munsen's Bus Tour of the Eastern States. It was too expensive for the good we got out of it.

         On October 4th, two big trucks came from Lanark to our North Barn where several men from our church helped Morris and Douglas load on 1000 bales of hay, which Morris and I were giving to a family in Alabama who have cattle suffering from the severe drought there. This family is a member of the Church of the Brethren there. On October 10th, Conrad Moorer called from Oneonta, AL, saying he got the hay and shared some with two of his neighbors. He thanked us gratefully.

         October 12th was ground breaking at Mt. Morris for the new 24-apartment building at Pinecrest Village ? a retirement complex. We were there and Morris helped to pull the plow.

         There was much unrest in the East between Iran, Iraq, Lebanon and Israel. Terrorists took another hostage, an American. Reagan criticized President Carter for not bringing home the hostages taken during his presidency, but the number of hostages during Reagan's Presidency is mounting, and he can't get them home either. Later, news broke that Reagan secretly, against U.S. law, sold war supplies to Iran with the money received to be used for Contra rebels in Nicaragua.

         Our family was all together here for Thanksgiving Day which was a real blessing, and we were thankful. For Christmas we were all at Audrey and Douglas's home for a delicious roast turkey dinner.

         In December, Morris and Charles Johansen helped the Mennonites cut up meat at Don Shumaker's place. This meat is canned and given to charity.

         In 1986, Woolworth's store went out of business in Freeport. I was sorry, because I had liked a lot of their products.

         The I.R.S. was asking questions about our gift of the Home Place to the Brotherhood Board. We called our headquarters at Elgin about the problem. In time the lawyer in Elgin satisfied their questions. In February 1987, the I.R.S. called saying our case was closed, and they were satisfied. We were happy to hear that. We had been praying about it.

 

 

1987

 

         In Audrey and Douglas's home on New Years Day we viewed the Rose Parade over their T.V.

         Twila was very sick, and Roger McCulloch was not feeling well. Mamie Morris died early in January in LaVerne, California. She was the wife of Dr. Morris, the head of the Science Department of M.C. while Morrie was in College. He was also Morrie's advisor. We had spent many pleasant times with Dr. and Mrs. Morris.

         Terry Waite, reporter for England investigating the hostage situation in Lebanon, was taken hostage.

         We tried to help Webster and Twila a little by taking a casserole or salad, etc., at least once a week to them. Their daughter, Janet, came from Seattle to help take care of Twila.

         February 8th, Clarence Bittner died. We had been neighbors and friends for many years.

         Our hostage situation got worse because of the illegal actions of President Reagan and the men in our government working for him trying to get our hostages back and helping the rebels of Nicaragua overthrow that government by selling arms to Iran again. Congress was very concerned and beginning to call it "the contra scam."

         The JETS OBSERVATORY on Stephenson Street Road was becoming more widely known all the time. Douglas was in charge of it from the beginning. The Jets Club owns and operates it. Quite often during the year, articles appear in the paper about it. Dena was President of the club in 1987.

         On March 9, we joined others in a "walk through" of the new 24-apartment building at Pinecrest Village, Mt. Morris, IL.

         The Freeport Church of the Brethren had promised to have the District Meeting in Freeport in September, so planning meetings started early. Morris was assigned as Head Usher.

         Morris was also voted to be our delegate to Annual Conference in Cincinnati in June, so we ordered our lodging and registration early?$125.

         On March 17th, at woodworking class, Morris cut his thumb and spent the night in the Hospital. I was glad to see him come home the next day. He had to go back to the doctor's office several times until it healed.

         Douglas had a lot of trouble with backache for a long time. Finally, he had X-rays and a CAT scan. The doctor still advised only pain pills. He continued to have severe pain. On April 20th, Douglas entered the hospital for a spinal block. It was also suggested to him that stretching himself by hanging and swinging sideways from a rod attached to the ceiling of his basement might help. It did, and he uses that method whenever his back hurts now.

         Morris applied to ASCS office to put our farm in Conservation Reserve Program for 10 years. He was accepted in that Government CRP program, and only the corn ground was not put in. We rent that out.

         When Morrie and family came to visit in April there was talk about Steven and his plans to walk the Pacific Crest Trail during the summer which would have him skipping the next year of school instead of going right on to graduate school. Needless to say, his family did not agree with him 100%.

         On May 3rd, Johansens and we went to West Branch Church where they were celebrating the 125th birthday of that congregation. It is a beautiful church. My mother went to that church until she left to go to college at Mt. Morris. It has been declared a Historical Monument.

Steve Graduating from UW-Madison, Phi Beta Kappa

         On May 17th, we attended Steven's graduation from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. There were 4000 graduates. It was hard to see who was Steven. Later we took pictures and had a picnic at Picnic Point.

         May 18th, Kathy brought Ann and Ralph to our place to visit. They were here to attend Kathy's ordination later.

         May 29th, Dena graduated from H.S. with High Honors. There were eight symbols before her name on the program. We had lunch first at Douglas and Audrey's home. Besserts were there, too. Then to the graduation program held outside. Dena was beautiful in white gown, gold medallion on a ribbon around her neck, and yellow tassel on her cap for High Honors. Later in June, Dena and her parents went to M.C. where she went through registration and whatever was necessary to enter college in the fall.

         Steven hiked the Pacific Crest Trail all summer. In June, Morris and Joyce made arrangements to meet him at Ralph and Ann's home in LaVerne, CA. Steven had hiked 500 miles by then. Morris and Joyce hiked with Steven for several days. There were bad forest fires in the West that year. On Steven's birthday, September 5th, we did not know where he was. Later we got word from him that he was all right.

         June 21st, we took our neighbors, Marion and Stanley, with us to Mt. Morris to observe the ribbon-cutting ceremony of the opening for use of the first 24-apartment building at Pinecrest Village.

         June 31st, we went to Cincinnati, Ohio, to attend Annual Conference. Pastor Paul and wife, Virginia Haworth, had an apartment on 3rd floor of Sawyer Hall of the university there, and we were on 2nd floor. We were glad that Paul drove us each day to the Conference Center, and we would pay the parking bill. We enjoyed the conference, meeting old friends, and being with Paul and Virginia.

Dena Graduating from H.S. with High Honors

         In July, we spent several hours listening to and watching the trial of Oliver North about aid to the Contras and arms for the hostages. It was disgusting to learn of the lies our own government officials told. They even broke the law of our nation.

         Our neighbors came to say good-bye. Lyle and Ethel Leverton said they were going to Honduras as missionaries of the Methodist Church. They had signed up for three years.

         July 20th Frances and Harold Miller came to visit us. Their stay was short, but we were glad that they had stopped.

         On August 13th, I went to Dr. Alberts, because I had funny vision in my left eye and many floaters. The doctor was concerned that my retina was bleeding, and he could not see where the blood was coming from. He made arrangements for me to go to the University Hospital at Madison the next day. Morris and I spent all day there. Three different people examined me?the resident doctor, the nurse and the specialist. Finally the specialist said there was no retina tear, only an oozing of blood, which would quit soon. He also said my age was partly responsible. Dr. Alberts thought a rise in blood pressure could be responsible, too.

         On August 19th, our Pastor Paul found out from a lawyer in Forreston who handled Mildred Fosha's estate, that in her will she left $84,376 to our church to be used for missions. We were very surprised and grateful. Mildred was my cousin who had been sick with cancer for a long time before she died. She was thankful to the Deacons of our church and to Pastor Paul who went to her when she called for anointing and had prayer for her and visited her in the hospital.

         In August, our church Choir got choir robes. The choir had always sat in the balcony to sing. We liked that very much. But since we had the robes our choir director, Iris Sweet, said we should sit in the front of the church and stand facing the audience when we sang. That did not please some of us, but the audience seemed to like it better.

         Most years, starting in August, we are generally overwhelmed with canning and freezing vegetables and fruit from our garden and fruit trees. This work lasts until late into September. Starting with yellow transparent apples, plums, tomatoes, muskmelon, peaches, cucumbers, grape juice, pole beans, pears, and watermelon. In the spring we freeze asparagus and snap beans. After it frosts we pick our fall and winter apples. We wrap them in paper and store them in boxes in the wellpit. We put butternut squash on the basement floor. Some times we fill our spare refrigerator in the basement with apples where they keep for months. It takes a lot of harvesting, freezing, and canning, but it is worth it to have this food on hand when it is needed.

         September 25, 26, and 27 were the days of District Meeting in Freeport. Our committees had it well arranged. Carl and Doreen Myers stayed with us. I sang in the choir. Morris had charge of all the ushering and taking of the offerings. The meetings were mostly all held in the Masonic Temple. Youth and Women's Fellowship meetings were held at our church. Shuttle buses took people from place to place.

         In October, we took a tour sponsored by the State Bank. We followed the Stage Coach Trail West. We toured Galena, ate at the Log Cabin, and visited Whistling Wings along the Mississippi River at Hanover. (It is a duck farm.) We saw the ski slope, and then on our way home we stopped at the cheese factory in Lena and bought some cheese.

         On October 9th, we left for Minnesota. We stopped at Ray and Hazel Firebaugh's in Owatonna for supper and the night. Morris was sick in bed all the next day. I spent the day visiting with Ray and Hazel. We had to call off our meeting with Bess Newman for that day. We all went to church the next morning, and then Morris and I went to West Concord and took Bess (Cousin Russell's wife) out for dinner. We left then for Monticello. There we got a room at the Quality Inn for the night. Next morning we visited Mary and Florence Elliott all a.m. They have both been married and widowed. They are friends from country grade school days. They directed us around to many old familiar places. We ate together and then left to visit two of Morris's cousins in Paynesville. We found Sharon Schmitt and her mother, Ardis Schultz, in a trailer park. We visited a couple of hours and ate a strawberry dessert with them and then went on to New Ulm, Minnesota, where we stayed at a motel for the night. We got home by four p.m. the next day.

         On October 14th, we got a call from Joyce that Steven was in Canada, through with his Pacific Crest Trail hike. We were very happy, hoping to see him soon. He wanted to go to Seattle before coming home. He got home by October 31st.

         Bob Knechel, promotion director of selling Pinecrest Village apartments, died in an accident October 14th. He was good at a very important assignment and will be hard to replace.

         We went to M.C. with Douglas and Audrey for a very important occasion on October 16th. The College was starting its Centennial Campaign. We had a good supper and heard good speakers and the outline of the campaign. We stayed overnight in Schwalm Hall. Next day, we attended dedication of the Peace Pole in front of the Library. In the p.m. we attended the football game with Aurora College. M.C. won 34 to 6. We met Dena's boyfriend and his parents. We left for home after Sunday services and lunch.

         October 23rd Morris and I helped Alice Bittner with her yard sale. She had sold her house in the country and bought one on McKinley and Stover Street. On Thanksgiving Day, Douglas and family and we went to Morrie and Joyce's for dinner. We saw their new Chrysler and Lake Harbor and Steve's pictures. We truly had a lot to be thankful for.

         For Christmas, our whole family was here together again. We exchanged gifts. They gave us a microwave oven.

         On December 27th, we went with Douglas's family to O'Neills for a chili supper. We always enjoy our visits with O'Neills.

         All during the past year, whenever Gerald MacAdam was feeling well enough, we played 500 with them. We enjoyed being with them.

 

 

1988

 

         We started the New Year, as was our custom?going to Audrey and Douglas's home for lunch and viewing the Rose Parade and part of the game. Then we came home to prepare for Roger and Ethel McCulloch coming over to play 500.

         A terrible tragedy happened the evening of January 9th. The McNutt twins had not been attending our church at this time but had been regular members for years. Someone set their house on fire after first killing them. After nearly two years, the crime has not been solved. That part of town is a problem to the police authorities. Pastor Paul had the funeral for them. They were buried in the family lot at Shannon. A memorial was established for the church to get a stone for their graves.

         Morrie finished his book on "Artificial Intelligence." It had taken quite a long time to write, because he was teaching at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside at Kenosha, too.

         The Johansens took us to the Court Street Methodist Church in Rockford to hear Dr. William Sloan Coffin speak. He is President of the Sane-Freeze Movement. He told the truth about the mistakes our U.S. Government makes and the need for world peace.

         A new Church of the Brethren was being built in Carol Stream, IL. They called for volunteers from our District to help. On Saturday, January 2, Morris and Douglas and eight others drove in to help nail up dry wall.

         Morris started at the woodworking class for Senior Citizens at the local college (Highland College) in Freeport. His class was for three hours one night a week for six weeks. We intended to make a walnut gate-leg table. He made it, and it is a beautiful piece of furniture. We hope to get a lot of use out of it.

         Susie left for France early in January for her junior year abroad. Her professor at Madison recommended her, and she was accepted at the University of France at Aix en Provence in the southern part of France. Ralph McFadden of Elgin was temporarily taking Bob Knechel's place at Pinecrest in promoting the sale of apartments in the new building.

         On February 17th, another hostage was taken in Lebanon. That made nine in all since Reagan became President. He presented a one trillion dollar budget to congress. On February 22nd, another U.S. man was kidnapped in Beirut.

         Gary Montel resigned as administrator of Pinecrest. That was a big blow to Pinecrest, especially since Bob Knechel had just died. Gary had been in charge for 14 years and had two children in M.C.. He took a position in the college at North Manchester.

         During spring vacation of '88 Morrie, Joyce and Steven went to France for two weeks. Steve stayed a week longer and rented a car for Susie and him to tour France, Germany and Switzerland some more. They found Germany very expensive, so they went back to Southern France and the Riviera.

         On Election Day in March, Morris started his duty as a judge of elections. At that time, all were women but him. Paul Simon won as our Senator in Washington.

         Twila, Webster's wife died March 28th at the hospital where she had been for several days because of intense pain. Her funeral was at the Lutheran Church.

         Stanley and Marion Byram took Morris and me to The Pines for breakfast April 6th to celebrate their 21st wedding anniversary.

         On April 20th, I passed my driver's test. My license is good until 1992! It was raining, and there was road construction on Route 26.

         We visited Joyce on her birthday, April 30th. Morrie gave us a copy of his book "Artificial Intelligence." It is very impressive.

         On May 1st, we went with Audrey and Douglas to the Mt. Morris Church of the Brethren to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Camp Emmaus. It was an impressive program with many of the original members of the camp board there. Carl Myers was in charge.

         On May 7th, 1988, our neighbors, Phil and Lyle Leverton lost their big barn, garages, tractors, gasoline tanks, and mostly everything, except the house and a small house trailer, in a big fire that burned a long time. We gave Phil a load of baled hay to help his cows until pastures got better. Lyle and Ethel were in Honduras as missionaries. They soon came home because Lyle was not feeling very good anyway. Shortly after they returned he went to the hospital for surgery. During the summer of 1989 a new barn and big garage were built. Lyle and Ethel bought another trailer home to live in. They put it where the other one had been, but they can never replace all the books that were burned. Lyle is the Pastor of the VanBrocklyn Methodist Church a couple of miles west of us.

Steven and Morris J working on Pier

         When we went to our cabin on May 11, we found the lake the lowest it has ever been. We priced new piers — $700 to $800. Steven bicycled up to visit us at the lake. We were very glad to see him. Morris and Steven went to Spooner to order lumber for the pier and a fishing license for Steven. They enjoyed fishing in the a.m. and in the p.m. they worked on the pier. Next day they put the pier in the lake. It surely looked nice. Steven left on the sixth day with us. He was going to a wedding of a friend of his. We surely missed him. I took several pictures of Steven and his Grandfather working on the pier. In the summer of '89 Morrie and Joyce came to the cabin and put a sealer on the pier to make it more waterproof and to make it look brighter, too.

         Our electric cook stove at the cabin had one dead burner. We had to go to Rice Lake in order to find a new one. While at the cabin we received a letter from Pastor Paul saying he was resigning to take effect in 1989.

         Frances Miller called saying Harold had died May 23rd. It was a heart attack at home in his garden. We were glad we had visited them when we did in '84. His body was cremated. On July 28th, Dean Clair and Morris buried Harold's ashes in an urn in a lot belonging to Frances's family in Yellow Creek Cemetery.

         In June we attended another Elder Hostel at M.C. We enjoyed Rev. Tim Rieman as the teacher in Bible Study and Dr. Fern Baldwin teaching about Indians of the area in early history. We gave M.C. $20,000 for a scholarship fund.

         Sunday, June 26, 1988, was a big day for us. John and Ada Gingrich from Pennsylvania met us at church before services. I had to sing in a ladies quartet for special music. We ate at the Golden Corral at noon. Then, the four of us went to East Jordan Church north of Sterling where the Fairview Country School was having a reunion. I stopped to attend while Morris took Gingrichs sightseeing to Mt. Morris. I had a good time, and pictures were taken. I taught there for two years, 1929?31. I was glad to see eleven of my former pupils. Only one other teacher came. About 15 minutes after the Gingrichs and we arrived home, Galen and Thelma Hauger from Florida came to visit. After lunch, Gingrichs went back to their trailer at a trailer park near Rockford.

Fairview School Reunion

         In June, Ralph and Ann moved into Hillcrest Homes in LaVerne, CA. We were glad to know they are there. They will not have all the work of keeping an individual home in repair.

         On July 2nd, we visited cousins Lloyd and Ruth Hauger at Charles Kreider's home. From there we went to the Rock River Country Club for the 60th reunion of our Sterling H.S. class of '28. There were 29 of our class there out of a class of 92. We had a good time. Hazel and Truman Lapp from Glendale, Arizona, were there, too.

         July 3rd, a U.S. ship in the Persian Gulf shot up an Iranian passenger airplane, killing 290 people. The U.S. was clearly at fault.

Grand Hotel porch on Macinac Island

         Starting July 12th, we took a 4-day tour, leaving from the Sr. Center in Freeport. We went north in Wisconsin to Oshkosh for noon lunch and stayed in Marquette, Michigan, the first night. We visited a Wild Life Refuge in No. Michigan and had a cruise through the Soo Canal. We stayed in a Holiday Hotel in Ontario, Canada, the 2nd night. We had a cruise through the Soo Canal next day and on to the ferry from Mackinac to Mackinac Island. Took a carriage ride around the city and had lunch in the Grand Hotel! We got to Traverse City for the night.

         Next day, we went to a music museum in a big barn. We saw all kinds of antique music makers. But a large, beautiful antique theater organ interested me most. On the way back to Traverse City for the night we stopped at a large cherry orchard where we were told to eat as many as we wanted. That was fun. Next day we arrived home at 8:10 p.m.

         In July, Douglas, Audrey and Michele took a three-week tour out through the Northwest. Dena worked at Camp Emmaus during the summer and came home weekends.

         Fires burned for months in the northwest U.S. during the summer. By September, the smoke from Yellowstone Park rose 20,000 feet above the Park. It made the sun hazy for miles.

         On September 11th, we attended the dedication of the new Christ Church. Men from our Freeport Church of the Brethren had spent many hours in volunteer work helping to build that Church of the Brethren.

         In September, Joyce finally went to the doctor to find out why she had been feeling as if she had the flu or arthritis, which had lasted too long. She was tested for Lyme disease and found she had a bad case of it. She started taking antibiotics right away. She was glad she had not waited any longer.

         On the 16th of September, Stanley Byram told me that he took Marion to the Madison Hospital and found she had cancer of the liver. In ten days she was worse, and her three daughters came to visit her. They stayed awhile and then left. Another neighbor and I took casseroles of food, etc., to her and tried to do whatever we could for her and Stanley. On December 9th Marion died. She had suffered severely. I surely miss her. She was a good neighbor. We had many enjoyable times together.

Antique Organ in Traverse City Music Barn

         Oliver Johnsen died October 26. He had been sick for a long time, too. Rev. Carl Myers came out from Elgin on a Saturday in September. On Sunday we listened to Rodney Caldwell preach. In the afternoon we voted on calling him to be our pastor. It was a unanimous vote to call him.

         Our area of the Brethren Churches put on a Fall Institute of Christian growth. We went to most of the meetings. At one in Franklin Grove, I met Alice Sheller. I had not seen her for years. Back in 1924?1932 we had lived in Sterling, and Alice, with her parents and brother, lived there, too. Her mother and my mother generally had charge of the music and programs that were given in the Church of the Brethren there. That was because our mothers knew music and were willing to do the work. I remembered Alice as an active little girl with red hair. We had a lot of catching up to do. She had been a secretary for quite a few years until she married Dale Wickert. They seemed to be very happy.

         Rodney Caldwell moved into our congregation November 3rd, just storing his things until Pastor Paul retired.

         November 8th, George Bush was elected as our President. We were sorry the Republicans won the Presidency, but we took heart that the Democrats had the majority in Congress. We hoped Congress would eventually get our Government back to being accountable for its expenses, etc. At this time we were terribly in debt, but it surely did not bother Reagan. He had spent more money in his eight years than all the other Presidents had spent since our government began! Much of the money went into the Pentagon for defense. Many people had the idea that Reagan was just looking for a chance to start a war. He kept calling Russia our enemy, but with Gorbachev the president of Russia, it seemed the attitude and feelings of Russia were to be friends!

         On Sunday, November 13th, our church had open house for Rev. Paul Haworth and Virginia. They were retiring, and Rev. Rodney Caldwell would be our Pastor. Haworth's had bought a home at Palms Estates, Lorida, Florida. They left for Florida on the 18th. Rodney planned to live in their home until he could find an apartment to suit him. On November 20th, Carl Myers came and licensed Rodney into the ministry of our Church of the Brethren.

         On Thanksgiving Day, our family, except Steven, was all together at Douglas and Audrey's home. We surely missed him. He called to Douglas's home while we were still at the table. We enjoyed talking with him. Morrie, Joyce, and Susan left for Racine yet that evening.

         A terrible earthquake happened in Armenia in mid December. The estimate was that 55,000 died. Many who survived were leaving Armenia, because the big cities were flattened.

         We decided to put our financial investments into a trust. So we asked Mark Frederick to do it. By January 4th of 1989 we had our trust all set up and legalized with Mark Frederick and the State Bank. Attorney Snow did the legal work for $500.

         Christmas Day, 1988, was very merry. Our family was all together here for dinner. Our children gave us a VCR,3 which is almost more than we know how to use. It still is rather intimidating for me. Then, we all went in to Ardis and Jerry's for the evening. The next day was very stormy. Morrie, Joyce, and children left for DesMoines on their way to the ski slopes in Colorado, but they got only as far as Iowa City and had to stop for the night because of the weather. Michele got to South Bend all right.

Dena, Audrey, Douglas and Michele
Susie, Morris, Joyce and Steven

         We were corresponding with Haworth's in Florida. We made inquiry as to the possibility of renting an apartment near the Church of the Brethren in Sebring, Florida. We found an apartment and rented it. We had sent a Christmas Greeting to the Conrad Moorer's in Alabama. On it we mentioned that we were going to Florida and might stop to see them if it would suit them. They are the family to whom we sent 1000 bales of hay in 1987. They wrote back saying they would be delighted to have us stop. Their home was right on our way to Florida.