I want to offer my appreciation for those who help by providing news to me for this column. This is the news of the community, and all are a part of it. I appreciate all the positive comments about how it is written. Each one is greatly appreciated.

If there are things you would like to read here, just let me know. I have truly enjoyed doing this since the beginning of 1994, with the unexpected passing of Howard Strawbridge, who was a long-time correspondent. Howard continued the writing that his mother, Isla Strawbridge, did for many years. Howard was a great writer and historian.

Winter has arrived with a vengeance in Erie County; and I am glad it is them who has set a national record with their more than 50 inches of snowfall. For those of us who are less than 60 inches tall, it is a frightening thought of being caught out there in that deep of snow.

Can you imagine opening your door and seeing that piled in front of the door? What a way to be recognized on national TV news.

Christmas

I pray all had a great Christmas weekend, with family and friends.

We had a good dinner with son and family, Eric and Kelly Abrams, and grandson, Dalton, in Grand Valley. We also had supper with daughter and son-in-law, Cindy and Scott Pettit.

Kelly’s brother, Terry Teasdale, and his son, Simon, were there from Pittsburgh, and we always enjoy seeing them. Simon is really growing up fast. It was 60 degrees in Pittsburgh when they left, Saturday, so they were surprised at how cold it was Christmas morning and all day.

Our son, Eric, was on call for REA Electric Co., from Youngsville, and was called out at 6 a.m., again after he had dinner, and also twice in the evening. Utility workers have to go when there is a problem, and they never know when the call might come and how long it will take to get it fixed. I think of the utility workers who are so busy when there is poor weather, such as in Erie, right now. We need to pray for our workers out there in bad weather.

Many traveled for the holiday, this year, and so many had a terrible time getting back home, with so many flights canceled, and the hazardous highway conditions. We don’t like to travel very far in bad weather; things change as you get older, and we are not as adventurous as when we were young. We have talked with many others who do not want to travel in bad weather.

January

The Plum Township Supervisors will hold their reorganizational meeting on Tuesday, at 6 p.m., at the Chapmanville VFD fire hall. The regular meeting will follow this meeting.

The Chapmanville VFD Board of Directors will hold their meeting at 7 p.m., with the regular meeting to follow at 7:30, at the fire hall.

The public is invited to attend these meetings to see what the township and fire departments are doing.

There will be no Diamond Womens Mission or Diamond Homemakers meetings until April of 2018.

Recipe

This recipe for “Family Favorite Casserole” is to be done in the crockpot. This time of year it seems that people are getting tired of eating rich foods and so many desserts, so this will be a change for the family.

The ingredients are: 1 ½ pounds ground beef, 1 onion (chopped), 1 ½ cups diced potatoes, 1 ½ cups sliced carrots, 1 ½ cups peas, 1 ½ cups macaroni (cooked), 10 ¾ ounce can cream of celery soup, ½ pound cheddar cheese (grated), 2 cups milk, and 1 ½ teaspoons salt.

Fry beef and onion in saucepan until brown; drain. Cook vegetables until just soft. Combine all ingredients in slow cooker. Cover. Cook on high for 2 hours or low 4 to 5 hours.

Variations: skip precooking the vegetables; add them raw to the slow cooker. Increase cooking time to 4 hours on high, or 8 to 10 hours on low. Add the macaroni and the milk during the last 15 minutes if cooking on high, or during the last 30 minutes on low.

This recipe came from the Fix-It and Forget-It cookbook, by Dawn J. Ranck and Phyllis Pellman Good and was submitted by Lizzie Weaver from Ephrata, Pa.

Birthdays

Happy birthday greetings are being sent to Chelsea Kennedy, Warren Proper, and Andy Abrams on Dec. 30, Jessie Hauptmann on the 31st, Tomann Chatley and Dale Spangler on Jan. 1, Charlie Womer, Randy McClintock, Tracey McClintock, and Idelle Burnett on the 2nd, Mike Hoepfl and Angel Franke on the 3rd, Karl Kolacek, Annu Millard, and Ann Beach on the 4th, and Jen Abrams, David Stocker, Bev Gates, and Marian Raber on the 5th. Hope you all have a great birthday!

Bible verse

“If any man serve me, him will my Father honor.” — John 12:26

A thought

“The more beauty we are able to see, the more beauty will seem to surround us.” — Thomas Kinkade

Church schedule

Diamond EUM Church         

Sunday school begins at 9:45 a.m., with worship service at 11, with Pastor Jerome Alsdorf

 Chapmanville Community Church

Sunday school, at 9:45 a.m., and worship at 10:45, with Pastor Glen Van Cise.

A Christian

chuckle

Get men in the choir: The top ten reasons why men need to join the choir:

1. Rehearsals are every Wednesday night. Which means that for those few hours you can significantly reduce your risk of getting tendinitis from nonstop clicking of a TV remote control or computer mouse.

2. Because you wear a choir robe, you are liberated from the less than manly task of coordinating your Sunday wardrobe.

3. From your special vantage point, looking over the entire congregation, you can play a little game of “Who’s Sleeping and Who’s Praying?”

4. On the other hand, sitting in view of a sanctuary full of people on a weekly basis makes it much less likely you yourself will give in to a chronic loss of sleep—although it’s been known to happen.

5. If you think your singing in the shower sounds good, wait until you’ve sung with us for a few weeks.

6. Singing in a choir is one of the few activities for men that doesn’t require electronic equipment or expensive power tools.

7. For the fitness buffs, singing in the choir is not only heart healthy, its soul healthy. There are no monthly membership fees, and it’s a lot easier on the knees than jogging.

8. If you think you’ve already done everything there is to do and these are no extreme challenges left, try staying on pitch with our tenors and basses.

9. Choir rehearsals last half as long as a professional football game, but it is at least twice as satisfying. No rehearsals on Monday night.

10. When people ask you whether you’ve been behaving yourself, you can say with utmost sincerity, “Hey, I’m a choir boy.”

Abrams can be reached by email, at abby@zoominternet.net, or by phone, at 827-2597.

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