Hello Family – Spring is Here

Spring – do I see tinges for green or is it only wishful thinking – I am so ready to see green! However I am seeing other signs of Spring. Mountains of stacked snow are diminishing to mere humps, the creek is running full and fast, children on bicycles, skate boards and scooters, young drivers in pick-ups roaring down the street spewing dust and gravel, big fluffy white clouds, strong winds are all things that lead me to believe we will have Spring; and besides that God promised seasons. I’m just waiting; albeit not so patiently, to see what the season will bring. Since we have had lots of moisture since last fall I see lush green and all other colors coming our way this summer.

The nasturtium seeds that made contact with warm, moist soil thought it must be time to sprout so they sent up shoots, sent down roots immediately and proceeded to sprawl over and out of their containers and bloomed. They just couldn’t wait until they would be planted into bigger pots in the greenhouse or outside, there fore they are going to struggle when they finally do get there.

I just finished a second book by Diane Chamberlain, “Her Mother’s Shadow”. A review reads, “A luminous story of mothers and daughters, family secrets and one woman’s struggle to find herself.” I could not decide if I should devour it all in one sitting or read a chapter at a time to prolong the pleasure.

Our file cabinet is slowly empting out as page after page goes through the shredder. Sometimes I get distracted, disillusioned and spend to much time reading and recalling old bills, last years actually, and shudder at how much cost have gone up over the years. My cookbook project has taken a back seat. I have a Betty Crocker cookbook that was given to me as a wedding shower gift. It is pretty tattered so I decided to do some repair, put on reinforcement rings but that caused so much bulk the binder rings cannot accommodate the now reinforced pages. So I decided to go a whole other route – put pages in plastic covers into a bigger binder but that sort of destroyed to original look – what to do? Any ideas?

Three weeks have passed since I began writing this note. Weather: I see no white patches looking across the valley onto the hillside, grass is beginning to green, Aspen trees are dropping their soft caterpillar looking catkins, causing havoc with allergy suffers; leaves will soon emerge. Window sill seedlings are much happier in their larger pots in the greenhouse. Sunday a local farmer, in spite of hot temperatures and wind, decided to create a small burn in his farm yard. At the end of the day over 100 hectares were burned. What was he thinking?

Note: J&M Oswald Reunion scheduled for July 20th and 21st in Beemer.

You are Precious – Thank-You for Loving Us! May God give you wisdom to recognize his presence in the stranger, the friend, the outcast.

Ray and Betty Good


This is taken from the book “The Family of Jacob and Margretha Oswald”  it was written by Bob Oswald.

My recollections of my youth and life at home consist almost entirely of pleasant memories.  I’m sure there were times or incidents in our family life that were not so pleasant, but fate seems to have a way of erasing such memories from our minds which helps us to dwell more on the many good times we enjoyed.

As is normal in a large family, there was the usual amount of little brother an sister squabbles.  As I recall, and am convinced to this day, not one of those squabbles, that took place in our family was my fault.  Fortunately those little spates faded as we grew older and we soon learned to put much more emphasis on our love for each other.

One of my most pleasant boyhood memories is mealtime around the family table.  True, the menu wasn’t always just what I would have preferred, but today, I would consider some of those items rare delicacies, such as jacket potatoes and cottage cheese, back bone and sauerkraut, pancakes and homemade liverwurst, bean soup made with hot milk and bread chunks, cornbread with sugar and hot milk and so on.

I remember those ice cold winter mornings when we would greet the day around a red hot fire in the old pot bellied heating stove..  I can remember backing into the stove one morning, but I’m still not convinced that someone didn’t give me a little boost.  Anyway I had to sit on a pillow for a few weeks.

Transportation in those days wasn’t the greatest.  I recall going to visit the neighbors or maybe our folks would take us to school on a bitter cold day.  Before we left, the folks would heat up a few bricks for us to keep our feet on to sort of help us keep warm.  Eventually, we graduated to a touring car with side curtains.  That was living.

One time we decided to take a trip to O’Neill.  We packed a lunch to take along and as I recall, we ate lunch on this side of Norfolk.  We finally reached our destination after being on the road all day.

Uncles, Aunts and cousins were very dear to us in those days (and still are for that matter) and we always looked forward to either having company or visiting relatives for Sunday dinner.  Equally pleasant were our many trips to Grandma’s house where there seemed to be an endless supply of cookies of all kinds.  Butchering day, an annual or maybe semiannual event was another occasion for relatives to get together.

It always seemed amusing to me that whenever Grandparents Erb would visit us, Grandpa had to ask us which family we belonged to.  Somehow that doesn’t seem funny anymore.

I can remember when Brother Art got caught in the tumbling rod of the elevator and broke his arm.  He could easily have been killed  Anyway, I felt so bad about it yet the next day that I went behind the kitchen stove and cried.  A year or so after that incident. Art and i got into Dad’s home brew one day when the folks were gone.  We thought we could sober up in our swimming hole in the plum creek but that only made matters worse.  It didn’t take Mom and Dad long to diagnose our problem when they got home.

Anther near tragedy was the day i walked out to the hayfield where Brother Harold was raking hay with a dump rake.  I guess I became tired and laid down on the hay and went to sleep.  When Harold came along with the rake fortunately the horses failed to step on me but when he tripped the rake to miss me, one of the tines caught my nose and almost tore a corner of it off.  Thank goodness the doctor was able to sew it back on.  I don’t recall which was the more painful.  that or backing into the red stove.

When we lived at Black Island, southwest of Wisner, the older of the family were going to school.  They had several miles to go and usually walked back and forth.  One afternoon while they were on the way home sister Bertha and I decided to go meet them while they were on the way home.  We took a short cut across the field while they stayed on the road and we missed them.resulting in our getting lost.  It was dark or nearly dark by the time the folks found us.  there were not many farm places in that area and much wooded land so our being lost caused much concern.

Other childhood memories include those of Maude and Prinz our favorite all around team of horses.  And there as Snip the pony who provided us with many hours of enjoyment.  There were many great moments in my young life that come to mind.  I list only a few highlights in the space allotted.

The Good Old Days?  You Bet! But are they really over?  Family life styles have changed much over the years but our love for other family members and our respect and admiration for each of our relatives I hope will never change.

My spouse, our children, our children-in-law and our grandchildren are providing us with much pride and enjoyment and I’m sure they will continue to do so throughout our remaining years.

So the Good Old Days are not really gone they are just a little different.  Even though life is a bit more complex and a little less carefree than it was during our youth, we need only to face each day with a positive attitude to assure ourselves many extremely pleasant days.

A local news program used to sign off with this message: “Have a Good Day, and pass it on”  I would like to borrow that phrase, change the wording a bit and conclude this article by saying: “You have a Great Family Heritage, Why not pass it on””

Check out the photo page

Hey Cousins,

Go to Http://www.oswaldreunion.com and check out the photo page.  If you click on the “All new comments” link, you will see some of the comments Betty has made on some of the photos.  Or just go here: https://oswaldreunion.com/photos/index.php/rss/feed/comment/newest

and you will see the same thing.  We need folks to comment on these pictures before we no longer can figure out who some of the people in them are.