My dear blog readers, I have not forgotten you. My life has been full to overflowing. Let me count the ways.

We’re going through lots of transitions at work as the church begins to gather in the sanctuary for worship. What makes that more difficult is that the senior pastor is on a three-month sabbatical, so decisions about protocols and how to open, but not too fast, have to be made by others in the church. There was a recent transition in the office in the position of Bookkeeper and Data Manager, so I also have a new colleague. Therefore, there are a lot of moving parts to my job at this time. I also put together a new directory recently. I’m glad to have that project behind me.

As we start getting glimpses of life on the other side of the pandemic, we are getting together with vaccinated friends over dinners. Oh, what a joy! If there is something I learned over the past year is that people need people. We were not made to be islands unto ourselves. Now it just feels so “normal” to have couples or families over for meals (and playing games), and yet I never, ever want to take such a thing for granted again. The pandemic has made me aware of the need to always be grateful for this joyful gift.

David has been doing lots of gardening. We have 14 different fresh herbs to choose from when we season our suppers. We’ve harvested asparagus, onions, shallots, sugar snap peas, lettuce, swiss chard, and a few tomatoes and green beans. We’re close to havesting cucumbers, peppers, and potatoes, with squash, cantaloupe, and Jerusalam artichokes well on their way. We’ve had several pickings of black raspberries, and the blueberries, elderberries, nanking cherries, and ground cherries are coming soon.

We have had the joy over the past months of adopting two grandchildren. We’ve gotten to know a young family in our community who were looking for “local grandparents” and we happened to be looking to “adopt” grandchildren. We have the joy of loving Emma and Peter and their three-year-old and their now nine-month-old. I want to get permission from the parents before I post photos of the children. Adopting them has been such a blessing. The three-year-old calls me “Nana-Loma” and he came up with a name for David all on his own: “Papa-David.”

And then there is my writing… all on the back burner right now. That is a story in itself, which I will write about in a later post.

I will sign off for this time, and I certainly hope to be back soon. As I leave you, I’ll give you a glimpse of our little corner of the world — this is part of our backyard right now, just after a refreshing rain.

Photo by Saloma Furlong
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21 thoughts on “Updates”

  1. Peggy Pitcher

    So, I am trying to catch up with you! I will go back and read what I have missed but for now… I LOVE the idea of being an adopted Grandparent! We are “aunt” and “uncle” to several and that is so much fun, but I love how little ones can come up with names for Grandparents!

    It was such a good feeling to remove the red and green paper on the ends of our church pews, marking where you should and shouldn’t sit… I started it and suddenly, I had two other ladies helping! We managed to safely fit everyone into our church sanctuary and overflow (that has glass windows looking into the sanctuary) previous to this, but we are encouraging those who have been in the overflow area to move into the sanctuary. The “overflow” has a very convenient area for moms and dads who might need to take their children out of the service, but not necessarily down to the nursery. We may keep some separate chairs off to one side for reluctant worshippers. We learned things as we entered this weird covid season and we are learning things as we leave! But you are absolutely right! We definitely are people who need people! We also need all those yummy things in your back yard! I have a small garden with vegetables and may start a small area for some herbs. I think the danger of frost has passed. HAHAHA!!

    1. Wow, that is a bold move to fit everyone into the sanctuary, since young children are not yet vaccinated. At our church everyone wears masks (except for babies), and we have a state-of-the-art air filtration system. Someone would have stopped you in our church, had you taken apart the protocols. I don’t know if that is good or bad, except that I’m hearing we do not yet have the pandemic behind us.

      The people we’ve been having over for dinner, games, etc. are fully vaccinated, which is why we dare to have them over, hug them, etc.

      This morning we heard a report about Southwest Missouri and the rise of cases there. I need to check in with my aunt and cousins who live in that area. The hospitals are as full now as they were in the midst of the pandemic. Apparently the DELTA variant has taken hold there.

      I wish you the best of luck with growing herbs and veggies. There is something so satisfying about going to your backyard to pick food for the dinner table. We had swiss chard last night, and we picked beans and the first cucumnbers. All yummy!

      It’s great to hear from you again, Peggy. Blessings to you and your family!

  2. “People need people” – that is so true, even for introverts like me, surprising to say. We are also starting to ease precautions and looking forward to meals out and the prospect of friends around for meals again.

    1. All in our own time… the easing of restrictions and getting together.

      I have been envious of introverts during this pandemic, but you are not the only introvert who has expressed a desire to connect with others again.

      Blessings on you and your family. How is that impressive work of art doing in your backyard?

  3. Hope you have a great summer with your new “grandchildren”. I have been busy in the garden. It has been hotter than normal here for this time of year in SW MO. The tomatoes are feeling the heat and starting to stress out. There just hasn’t been enough time to read e-mails. Time to go cut some mint and make some mint tea (my favorite)and continue cutting the grass. Take care.

    1. Kris, it’s wonderful to hear from you. I heard about the rise of Covid cases in your area. I hope you stay safe.

      Yum. You just made me want to go out and cut some mint to make mint tea to take to a cookout this evening. I’m also bringing a fresh peach/raspberry pie.

      You’re right, one doesn’t want to spend all one’s time in front of the computer on beautiful summer days… which is what we have right now.

      Have a wonderful holiday weekend!

  4. I just checked out your book “Bonnet Strings” from our church library, Lindale Mennonite. My father, Crist Miller, was born in Middlefield, OH, and when he and my mother left the Amish church their families completely shunned them. I know no one on my father’s side. I would love to meet you and see if we are kin in some way!

  5. My father, Crist Miller, was born in Middlefield, Ohio. He and my mother left the Amish in the 1050″s. Both of their families completely shunned them; I know no one on my father’s side of the family. I wonder if we are related? I live in Harrisonburg and would love to meet you!

  6. Hi Saloma, I’m afraid I’ve just ‘discovered’ you! I live in the Peak District, in the heart of England. This evening I sat down to watch a programme on the Amish. A culture and a people that always fascinated. It was called The Shunned. I thought you had a lovely way about you and was delighted you’ve written some books and have this blog. I’m going to have a good read with a cuppa. Rainy and cool here. Take care, my lovely. Sallyx

    1. Sally, it’s great to “meet” you. Glad to know those films are still being shown. There is another one I was in called “The Amish” also an American Experience production.

      It is hot and muggy here. Rainy and cool would be welcome.

      I hope you come back for more visits.

  7. pamela lakits

    Dear Saloma, How wonderful to see you on here once again. I often check your blog to see if you have written, but the last week and a half have been busy and so I missed this one. I keep putting my email address into your subscribe area but for some reason I still don’t get your notification’s. But no problem I just check on my own. What a beautiful view you have. I am completely jealous! Gardens look great. There is nothing better then fresh veggies, herbs and fruit. I used to have a garden but as I have mentioned before the deer population is out of control and so I now have pot gardens. Well that doesn’t sound right does it! Ha! I mean I grow things in containers now. We are getting back to a semi normal state at my church. It is so good to worship together and have Bible study together. So now you are grandparents! How wonderful! I love being “Pam-ma” to our seven grands. Some call Paul Pops and some “adopted” grands (young people, like yours looking to us as grandparents)call him Papa-Paul. You sound happy Saloma. Its one of the best things to see since this awful pandemic,people together again and happy. God is good.

    1. I wonder if there is something wrong with the notifications list on my blog. I’ll have my site manager take a look at that. It could also be that they end up in your spam folder.

      Thank you for stopping by. It is always a wonderful thing to hear from you. Yes, I know what it’s like to have your crops eaten by the wildlife. We had that problem in Mass. Wonderfully rich soil, but man, could those woodchucks, rabbits, and deer eat a lot of plants!

      We’re still being cautious in our church by wearing masks. We probably will continue that until the children are eligible to be vaccinated. But getting together with others is such a pleasure… oh my! We had our little family over last night, and what fun we had! The Sunshine Babe, as I call the younger one was in his best form last night… smiles and giggles galore!

      Love hearing about your grandchildren, Pamela. “Pam-ma” very nice. “Papa Paul” has another sound to it.

      Many blessings to you and your family!

  8. Denise Ann Shea

    How nice to see you here again! The company I consult for just allowed people back into the office, unmasked as long as one is vaccinated. I started back last week with a co-worker. Still plenty of parking! And quiet. Ir has been so rainy and dreary around here it was nice have a change of scenery. I am also taking advantage of the first non-rainy day in a long time by having lunch outisde with the gardening ladies. I have a herb garden on my deck and the herbs have been very happy with the rain but they also need some sun! It sounds as if you have a very bountiful garden with many types of canning possibilities for the fall.

  9. Hi Saloma hope you are doing good!
    I would love to read your new book- so am in wait of it- I loved both of your books and those are specially as those have your signature on.

  10. Hi Saloma! I just finished your book Bonnet Strings and really enjoyed it. I have been fascinated with the Amish life for some time now. I live in an area in Iowa that I have Amish living about less than 10 miles from me in one direction. And a Mennonite community about the same distance in another direction.

    I have been several times to the little store that the Amish has near me. They have it in a building right outside their home. The last time I was there was before the Pandemic started. I could go on and on about how I felt driving my car into their drive while their buggy’s were sitting there. Or the young 15 year old girl who lived there that walked out barefoot from the house to help me in their store. Such a totally different life they live but yet I respect their choice for those who live that life.

    Reading your book though really opened my eyes to some of the issues within that lifestyle. Thank you for using the gifts that God has given you to share with us your story and journey. I am so thankful to have found this blog through your book. Now I have to go back and read it all. Be blessed and I will be back!

    1. Welcome, Jolene! Sorry for the late reply… I just discovered several comments I’d missed earlier.

      Thank you for your comments about my story. I’m glad you enjoyed them, and I hope you’ll enjoy the chapters I’ll be posting here on my blog each week, starting next October 24.

      Blessings to you, and thank you for dropping by.

  11. An early good morning to you, Saloma. Earlier this month I bought your two published books. A daughter is reading “Bonnet Strings.” I just finished “Why I Left the Amish” and found what you had to endure as a child and young woman disturbing but not surprising. I applaud your courage and inner strength in the face of the abuse and neglect you suffered. I wandered onto your blog by chance, when I was researching info for my own upcoming novel about a “family matter.” A grandfather was born Old Order Mennonite, which he and all his siblings except for one unmarried sister ultimately left. I am writing about that “family matter. I formerly taught English literature and writing and in my retirement years have self-published six novels related to “women’s issues.” While my royalties will never make me rich, I do have a small circle of devoted readers whom I treasure, and I do enjoy the entire writing and publication process. I am looking forward to reading your second book and also the third when it is published. Again, thanks for your honesty and bravery.

    1. Welcome Celia! I remember sending out the books to you a few weeks ago. I’m glad you’re enjoying them.

      It is great to hear from a fellow author. Your new project sounds fascinating. You are so right to treasure your devoted readers. What more can a writer wish for?

      I hope you’ll come back again. Have a wonderful week.

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