Mothers Diary
When one leftover piece of fried chicken will make four large chicken sandwiches – that, my friends, is really a helping of chicken! And that is the kind of supper our Congregational Choir was treated to last Thursday night. We reveled in chicken and fluffy mashed potatoes, baked beans and salad and chocolate cake, all prepared by Martha at her café, and made possible by Mr. Harvey Allen, in appreciation of the choir. And we appreciate him, too.

There are all kinds of choir members, of course. There are the ones, like me, who come out on special occasions, or when especially urged. And then there are the faithful ones, in every church, who are in church singing on the Sunday after Easter and the Sunday after Christmas holidays. To those, I think should be paid the real tribute for they are the dependable ones – the true choir. And here’s a special mention for the choir leaders and organists, who must be there every Sunday, rain or shine – bless their hearts!

One fine advantage I find to singing in the choir is that I don't have to wear a hat to church!

Our Vacation Bible School flourishes – all except the teachers perhaps. The children are as lively as ever, but we are wearing out. I really have a good time once I get to church, but I find it very unexciting to arise on time, get breakfast, shove three excited children out in the rain and close the door on the breakfast dishes.
During the study sessions, if things get too dull, we can usually count on little John Hartig to provide excitement with a mighty vociferous yawn, that nearly blasts us out of our seats.
A succession of church members contribute a lunch of crackers or cookies, etc, and milk for the little folks every morning. And I am freshly amused each time that glass comes around, when my girls battle for the privilege of washing and wiping. From my own experience with little girls and dishes, I am sure that no such enthusiasm is displayed over the dishes at home.

From the time that the circus arrived in town, until it left, my three children were breathless with excitement and spent practically every waking moment with their noses at the fence, hazing at the baby calf, and the elephant, and the camel, "with two lunch boxes on top." They were at the evening performance in full force with Ruby in tow and enjoyed themselves tremendously. They rehashed the whole affair for me when they got home from the clown who sparked and smoked when he was hit in the rear, to the elephant that walked on his knees. In fact, Steve was still talking circus after twelve o'clock and I had begun to wish it had been possible for them to go in the afternoon instead!

At any rate, the circus was one of the biggest events in their lives to date. Steve's only regret being that they don't stay in Mr. Gerdes' pasture all the time.

It has come to a pretty pass when points have to be one of your worries when you have a fire. There was a pound of butter and a bottle of cream in the refrigerator in the Gayle Williams kitchen during the fire. Afterward (at some risk to life, limb, I should think) Mr. Williams got himself up to the window of the kitchen and after some difficulty because the door of the refrigerator was warped, managed to get it open. And got his cream and his 24 points of butter! He reports that the inside of the refrigerator was still cold, with traces of frost remaining on the ice cube trays.

Jo Macklin protests a serious omission in the local items. There is a new arrival at their house – a little white kitten, obtained from the Nelson farm. It is doing as well as can be expected considering the times it has been caught in slamming doors.

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Mothers Diary
Ruby instigated a new way to save butter the other morning, though she doesn't exactly recommend it. After sampling the toast she had all spread ready for breakfast, she hurriedly cornered me and asked, "What is that in the oiled paper in the ice box? I took a look and was immediately convulsed. "That's lard," I told her, "Not very good lard either."
But Ruby, loath to waste the stack of toast, resourcefully spread it all with jam and called the youngsters to breakfast. There were only two pieces of toast left afterwards and no complaints, either.
But Mother made her own toast and personally buttered it!

What happened at Macklins one evening wasn't quite so thrifty. We went down for chicken supper and I took date cake and whipping cream as my contribution. When I went to the icebox to get my cream to whip there was nothing on the shelf but a bottle half full of milk. After some loud discussion we discovered what had happened to it, so we had date cake without whipped cream. But we can still remember how especially rich and delicious the chicken gravy was!

Our daughter took her first music lesson from Miss Young last Thursday – quite an exciting adventure. And by Saturday, she was already giving command performances. When she believes herself to be unobserved she stands beside the piano bench bowing grandly right and left. "I will now play for you, 'The Robin,'" and with a mighty flourish seats herself at the piano and plays and sings "The Robin." When it is finished she bows some more acknowledging purely imaginary applause. "Now I will play, 'The Traffic Cop'," and renders this number with truly remarkable feeling. So far, this is her entire repertoire so after "The Traffic Cop" we hear "The Robin" again, but that is a minor matter and we don't dare complain, as we're not supposed to be listening anyway!

Which all reminds me of my early music lessons, way back when I was in the grades, and my very first piano recital after my 13th lesson – a phenomenon that was widely advertised by both my teacher and myself. Just why this was so remarkable, I don't know, but I can still recall the exclamations "Playing in a recital after only 13 lessons – imagine." I don't remember what my solo contribution was – but the duet I played with Opal, still stands out vividly in my mind. It was the "Minuet in G" and I played all the horrible runs at the top half of the piano while Opal was allowed to crash out all the beautiful chords. At the performance, I got tangled up in a particularly long run and Miss Hughes peremptorily stopped us and made us start all over – an ignominious occasion that took us a long while to live down. And Opal never forgave me, because she was a music student of much longer standing than I.
At a later recital, when I was a seasoned student, and had learned that the loud pedal and emotional interpretation covered a multitude of sins – including lack of practice – I played "Romance" by Rubenstein. My previous lesson had not inspired my teacher with confidence and she had a wary eye on me as I advanced to the piano when my turn came. I played it with tenderness and dispatch and was rewarded with tremendous applause. It did sound pretty good but a quick glance at my teacher's face let me know that she realized as well as I, how much accuracy had been sacrificed to blurred sentimentality.
Recital pieces were usually dropped after the performance – but "Romance" accompanied me to a few more lessons until I learned it thoroughly, so my teacher had her revenge.

The children are attending the Mennonite Bible School with great enthusiasm. I have been informed that children really learn a tremendous lot by being there. And I'm beginning to believe it. Our daughter is already warbling new songs, and I just overheard Steve musing to himself, "He leadth me beside the still waters and restores me to my soul." Free translation, I admit, but he has the idea.
He brought home Tuesday, a paper labeled "My thank you basket," wherein was stowed away cut outs of things he was thankful for – a weird and wonderful collection: a bunch of grapes, a mattress, a bouquet of roses and a pair of man's trousers. Well – after all he has a point there.

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