The Last Day and the Journey Home

On Monday we thought about Goshen. But, first I had to show Menno Haven to My Joy. This nursing home and  retirement center was conceived by two successful Mennonite businessmen who belonged to the Marion Church. Support of their church was essential, so they  took their ideas to the senior pastor of the church. He approved and they asked him to draft the first set of by-laws.

Father at Menno Haven

Father at Menno Haven

My father and mother moved into the first cottage at Menno Haven. He was the first volunteer chaplain. Many residents were not Mennonites. Father told me what a blessing it was to share in baptisms and communions led by clergymen of other denominations.


1904 Ford Model C; the Model T came a few years later.

1904 Ford Model C; the Model T came a few years later.

Next we went to Cornertown Road  to the birth place of my father. When he was nine years old he helped drive his father’s cattle through Chambersburg to the new home on Lehman Road. In 1904 cars were owned only by the very wealthy. Traffic was no problem.

Father’s birth place was about a mile from the birth place of my mother. They both died within two months of each other at Menno Haven which was within two miles of their birth places.


An old picture of the square

From father’s birth place we traveled for a short distance on the famous Lincoln Highway. We passed the Chambersburg Mennonite Church, Wilson College and Penn Hall. To my regret, we stopped short of continuing to the  Chambersburg Memorial Square where two famous roads intesect: Molly Pitcher Highway (Route 11) and Lincoln Highway (Route 30).

We turned toward Harrisburg to return the rented car and arrived as scheduled at the Amtrak station to learn of a three hour delay. At Pittsburg we learned about a seven hour delay.  Amtrak’s passenger trains are hampered by freight trains and track repairs. The rails are not owned by Amtrak.


My Joy in the Pittsburg depot

Train travelers appear to like the noise, sights, and smells of a train’s environment and are congenial and patient and we learned to be like them. They meet new people and chat with strangers. In the Pittsburg depot I met a man who works two days a week for Habitat for Humanity. The train finally came, and My Joy and I were struggling to get on when this “angel” from Habitat for Humanity appeared out of nowhere and helped us carry on and stow our luggage.



We arrived in Elkhart at the best time for Eldon to meet us. He took us to our separate homes.  My Joy and I agree that it was a wonderful time for being together from one Monday to the next Monday.



Last sight of the train in Elkhart

I told people we met along the way that Joyce and I are very close friends, not married, AND WE KNOW THE DIFFERENCE.

About Martin Lehman

I was born 92 years ago, the son of a Mennonite pastor and organic gardener in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. At age 10 I was baptized as a member of the Marion Mennonite Church. I own the "Old Fool" moniker because I want to walk the Jesus Way even though the world and much of the church takes me as a fool for doing so. In my life I have moved from being a young conservative to an elderly radical. I tell that story in My Faith Journey posted on my website.
This entry was posted in Family, Highlights, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to The Last Day and the Journey Home

  1. Sam Troyer says:

    Sounds like you had a wonderful relaxing trip and weren’t harried when there were delays. And this is so nice when you have a good friend like your Joy to share with.

  2. Freda Zehr says:

    Martin, just where is Menno Haven? I was raised about thirty miles above Harrisburg, pa, Had many friends and relatives living in and around Lancaster, but for some reason I can’t recall hearing of Menno Haven. Thanks, freda Zehr

  3. Menno Haven has a Chambersburg address and is a Mennonite sponsored service to the aging community, similar to Landis Homes and other Mennonite retirement communities

  4. Mary bew says:

    What a big deal to walk in the footsteps of your parents. I remember our family trip to do this in 2000 in northern NY. (This was not in Mennonite country.). Now Amish families are there , and needed.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.