Endless Chatter, Laughter, Generous Care

Rhoda's Baby Picture

Rhoda’s Baby Picture

On November 7, 1926, the pastor of the E. Vine St. Mennonite Church in Lancaster, Pa. opened the Sunday evening children’s meeting and then vanished.

The pastor was D. Stoner Krady. He had disappeared into the apartment where his family lived located behind and above the meeting room for the church. He reappeared at the close of the church service and announced that the Krady family had a newborn baby, a fourth daughter named Rhoda.

Rhoda was born, baptized and wed to me in that church. She lived a few years with me on Franklin County slate farm land west of the Conococheague Creek and then we went together to Florida where we lived for fifty-six years.  She mothered Rachel and Conrad.


Rhoda as a young woman

After those years we moved to Goshen to be with Rachel.  In winter we went to be with Conrad in Texas.  Rhoda is now a precious memory. I honor her as my beautiful Rose, Rhoda.

On November 7, 2015 Rhoda would have been my age, eighty nine.  On that day Rachel convened family members for a meal of Italian Spaghetti and rib sauce to enjoy a favorite food Rhoda often made for her family.You may be interested in the four generations who gathered round Rachel’s table:

  • Generation one:   My Joy and I are retired and in our eighties
  • Generation two:  My daughter Rachel and Eldon her spouse;  my son Conrad and Jill his spouse. (Jill is the daughter of My Joy.)
  • Generation three:  My grandson Dan and his wife Angela now in midlife.
  • Generation four:  Two teenage and one younger great grandchildren.
An Older Rhoda

An Older Rhoda

Obvious physical differences characterized the four generations.   I was more interested in the actions and sounds that moved up the generational ladder:  endless chatter, boisterous laughter, challenges to stern questions and instructions, generous serving, and quiet observations.

Afterwards I asked my son what his mother would have thought of the birthday evening in her honor.  He chuckled and opined that she would have turned off her hearing aids.

Chatter and laughter
instructions,  questions and care
so went the evening


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.
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2 Responses to Endless Chatter, Laughter, Generous Care

  1. Miriam Showalter says:

    Definitely a woman of honor, Rhoda. And her family honors her well.

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