Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Missing Pennsylvania

The pictures are smaller that I would have liked. My wife and I always look forward to seeing the bear carving in the yard leaving Lancaster going in to Bird-In-Hand. It was carved out of the trunk of a tree and the big bear is holding a baby bear. Oddly enough he seems to look better each time we see him meaning the owners take very good care of him.

We could literally spend a day in the farmers market in Bird-In-Hand and it has just about anything a person could want from fresh veggies to fine crafted items.

We could never leave the area without stopping at Deaners Cafe for a turkey burger or the Intercourse Canning Co. for a case of their fine canned veggies and other tasty selections.

Wishing I was there right now instead of here where all thoughts are of acquiring "things" to give to folks that really didn't need them in the first place. I guess I just needed to vent a little as it is very hard for this old guy to get and keep the Christmas spirit amid so much stress and commercialization.

I have a friend, Kari, who just returned from ministering in Siberia to an orphanage. She arrived in NY and was hit with the feeling of disgust seeing everyone buying too much, eating too much while at the same time her children she left behind in Russia want for the basic necessities. I feel her pain. Hopefully she and I will make it through this season one more time. Pray for us.


  1. I agree with your observations about too much spending and too much consuming during the holidays. Spoiling children by showering them with gifts leads to an obscene spectacle. My mind is filled with disturbing images of children I have known who became so intoxicated by all of the Christmas presents under the tree that they were thrown into a frenzy, tearing at paper, looking at a toy or game for a second or two before tossing it aside and rushing on to the next. By the end of Christmas morning many items were already broken - crushed under foot...and many others were jammed into a closet and forgotten.

    All it would take to regain some sanity would be for everybody to agree to the exchange of one modest gift along with the priceless gifts of our time and our love.

    When I lived in York and Lancaster, PA I loved to visit the Amish countryside and visit the flea markets and specialty restaurants. Riding the Strasburg Railroad through the scenic farms and villages was the kind of simple pleasure you've been blogging about, Odie. Stop and smell the roses, people. It doesn't cost a cent!

  2. That Farmers'Market sounds really good,Odie. Just the sort of place I love to visit. You and Shady are right, it is almost obscene these days the amount of money that is spent over the next few weeks. It's the old story about buying a really expensive and the real small children are just as happy playing with the box! Perhaps that should tell us something. By the way, less of the "old guy"!! I think you and I are about the same age, so I don't want to hear talk like that"!! LOL!

  3. Forgot to say that my daughter (several years ago now) spent a year working in the Orphanges in Romania, and she too felt disgusted by all the commercialism when she came back home again.

  4. Looks like we're on a similar wave length today, Odie! :) As they say--the main thing is to keep the main thing, the main thing. And also, to be an example to others so they will want our peace, which means, it's also important not to allow our hearts to become critical of others, making us grumpy (I keep reminding myself!!). Blessings, Debra

  5. So true Odie. I was shocked this year that so many stores were open on Thanksgiving!! (to give people that head start on Black Friday) and I hate that term, "Black Friday"

    I wish we could just do no gifts too. I hate to say it, but especially parents. (us included) we don't need anything, we just like to celebrate. My parents, if they need something, they get it, same with Tom's parents. For Tom's parents, we are planning on giving a gift certificate for a restaurant and going down to the Twin Cities to take them there with all the kiddos. (they like "time" gifts, time with family)

    I heard of a tradition where a person gives their children 3 gifts, like Baby Jesus. One gift they need, one they want and one you want to give to them.

    Kind of simple.
    Kind of nice.

  6. My mother has started donating to Christian Children's Fund in people's names for Christmas. I think this is a wonderful tradition to start in a family. One year we gave a goat and some chickens to families. It felt so good to do that.

  7. Odie I don't think I know anybody who would disagree with you. It's totally gotten out of hand. One of the biggest peeves of mine is that someone feels obligated to give a gift when then find out someone got them one. Obviously, that someone wasn't important enough in the first place so to be that is pretencious(?) and fake. My brother lives in Reading! He retired there from NJ and loves it.

  8. Odie,
    I am originally from PA - thanks for the road trip and memories!

  9. I feel the same way. I don't want to buy 'stuff' just to be giving a gift. None of us need anything. A good meal together would be enough for me:)

    After moving twice in less than a year, the stuff is getting to be to much! I told my mom that I didn't need a thing for Christmas but she enjoys buying things for us. She is a giver but I can't get her to see that I don't need or want anything.

    I join you in the bah hum bug thing:(

  10. I'm struggling to find my footing in all the commercialism as well. For too many years it's been about presents and this year I want things to be different and it's tough.

    I'm also trying to find ways to teach the boys the TRUE reason we celebrate Christmas and I'm amazed at how much *I* don't even pay attention to why we really celebrate. It's made me sad.