85 N. Main St., Norwood, NY 13668
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Blog“Just Over the Hilltop”

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Hello from “just over the hilltop” in Norwood on this cold March day. We are and have been colder seasonally for several days and though I’m ready for warmth both of us have quarantined ourselves by getting sick, so actually, the outside weather is not bothering us. We are keeping ourselves warm on the inside, drinking plenty, and laughing at our lack of energy. We look so funny trying to motivate our bodies into action.

Dick made a sign of voluntary quarantine to hang on the kitchen door just in case we had someone come by to visit. They must have heard of our situation and stayed away. That allowed us to sleep and sleep and sleep. Anyway, it began last week when the inside temperature in the bookstore had dropped to 55 degrees during the wind storm and plunging temperatures. I had turned the heat down on the beautiful Saturday before and forgot to turn it back up when we closed that day. The poor little heater took all day to get the room up to 66 but dropped back to 58 Friday morning. But by Saturday morning it was 64 when we opened and hopefully will be still good tomorrow. In the meantime, I was chilled to the bone for the entire day and have been recovering since. Guess I won’t do that again.

Random thoughts

My friend, Sharon, stopped by the store on Friday to share the experiences of her trip to Israel. What a wonderful opportunity and time she had which reminded me of my mother’s trip there many years ago. Emotional and life changing in the way you view the events and places of scripture. She had brought Dick back a couple of stones from there. He’s thrilled.

they flew low and quickly across the main road toward the swamp

I saw two blue herons on my neighbor’s lawn the other morning but couldn’t get to the camera fast enough. They flew low and quickly across the main road toward the swamp. Hopefully they’ll return as it was a strange thing to watch them trying to move in the snow and I’d like a picture.

Dick finished the flooring job in Potsdam and installing a toilet. He had many aches and pains from that project and then getting sick has slowed his recovery.

I finally put away the Christmas dishes, have taken down a few window candles (the ones that the bulbs went out already), but some of the wreaths are still up. They will come down as soon as we are out and about again. Our family just had a couple of birthdays in February, one of them our older daughter Karen. In honor I made her favorite birthday cake earlier in the month and we enjoyed it very much. We won’t be seeing her until spring but we were thinking of her!


We recently heard of a young man that desires to propose to his girl but doesn’t have enough money for a ring. That made us think of our own story and proposal. As many of you know Dick proposes to me each year on the anniversary of the original proposal, but you may not know the story behind that proposal.

I was a single mom and was staying with my friend in southern Vermont, while trying to get on my feet. I had five children and our friends had five children. I was looking for a home for us and getting resettled and settled into a new life. I had met Dick, who was from southern New Hampshire, and we had begun a courtship of sorts over the telephone. It was expensive but was being built on communication and prayer. One weekend in December he came to Vermont to visit and see us in person again. While sitting on the couch in the old farmhouse and after all the children and family had gone to bed, he looked at me and said “Sharon, will you marry me?” I, of course, said “Yes, I will marry you.”

we loved them as a set and separately

He did not have an engagement ring. He couldn’t afford one at that time and certainly wasn’t thinking that God would bring an entire family into his life. He had resigned himself to being single. Good thing, because I have said before, I really don’t like surprises and I really don’t like gold jewelry (which he wouldn’t have known at that time in our relationship).

And so we went shopping together and found a beautiful engagement ring which had belonged to some special person and then found a lovely matching band belonging to yet another at one time. We both loved them as a set and separately. We put them on layaway and began to pay them off. We had high hopes of doing that before the wedding which was a year off, but due to life’s expected and unexpected expenses we still owed for the wedding rings.

the rings are the added sparkle, not the binding cord

The owner of the jewelry store was very gracious and when he heard the wedding day was approaching, he allowed us to take the rings for the ceremony and the honeymoon. We returned them as soon as we got home and finally claimed them for our own about two years later. You may wonder why it took so long. It wasn’t because of an outrageous price. It was instead because it was more important to us to get this new family off the ground financially than to have the rings on our hands. Taking on a wife is one thing. Taking on five children was another. We cherish our engagement of dates looking at the rings, slowly paying them off, and then having them become ours completely.

The rings didn’t change anything in our relationship because as I wrote earlier ours is built on communication and prayer. The rings are the added sparkle, not the binding cord. And that’s our story on engagement rings. Hopefully the joy and delight in shopping together can be better than a ring given by surprise. It will make for a good memory. And I’m into precious memories.

Have a blessed week, stay healthy, and enjoy someone’s birthday cake. Love, Sharon