“What’s the forecast for Wednesday?” We all had the same question. We were all hoping for a beautiful sunny day, perfect for our annual school picnic. It’s a day we all look forward to. In the forenoon, the school children, in our little country school, ranging from first through eighth grades present the program they had practiced the weeks before. After a tasty meal, anyone is welcome to join in some good games of softball.
So here we were with a rainy forecast for this very special day. Prayers were sent heavenward for a sunny day. Guess what happened, the evening before the entire weather system shifted, sending the rain back the direction it came from, resulting in a gorgeous day for ball, giving everyone a healthy pink color by the end of the day.
I felt inspired as I continued to listen to the songs and poems. Toward the end came the poem that really touched my heart. Tears welled up in my eyes as four of the upper grade girls stood to recite a poem written by one of my friends. The words deeply embedded within me, it expressed the cry of my heart.
“Yes Lord, I am willing to sacrifice my afternoon for these dear children you have entrusted to our care,” I prayed silently. I knew it was worth all the extra efforts of caring for foster children.
Soon the program was past and everyone joined in a closing song. Next came a hearty meal of haystacks and a smorgasbord of mouthwatering desserts, including some sugar free options which I was quite impressed with.
After the meal came the ball games. Our games are nothing professional at all. We simply play for the fun, not for competition. An example of that may be a little first grade girl who had the opportunity of running around the bases for one of the men who was up to bat but couldn’t run due to his backache.
Next the mothers played against the lower grade children. All at once it dawned on me that in a year from now Julia and I would be helping with this game. Now that really did make me feel like time really is moving faster than I can keep up with. Will I actually be a school mom that soon?
The afternoon passed swiftly. And yes I did get to watch quite a few games as it proved to be warm enough to take the children outside.
Julia, Austin, and Rayni’s highlight by far was the little train that had been rented to give the children rides throughout the day. A little tractor pulled seven cars made out of 50 gallon barrels. The barrels were placed on the side with holes cut out of the side that was turned up. Wheels and a hitch on each barrel and a seat on the inside for them to sit on completed the train, perfect for little passengers.
By mid afternoon ice cream cones and other snacks were served. Everyone could snack or play as they pleased. Perhaps you would enjoy one of my favorites on the snack table. The lower grade teacher, who is also our neighbor, is known to make these deliciously seasoned pretzels. Here is the recipe for you to try.
1 cup oil
3 tablespoons cheddar cheese powder
3 tablespoons sour cream and onion powder
1 pound pretzels (we prefer thin sticks)
Mix together oil and seasonings. Pour over pretzels; mix thoroughly. Bake at 250 for 30 minutes, stirring every 5-10 minutes. Let cool and enjoy.
Cheddar cheese powder and sour cream and onion powder can be purchased at bulk food stores. Also, the sour cream and onion powder can be replaced with ranch seasoning if desired.
Readers with culinary or cultural questions or stories can write Gloria directly at Gloria Yoder, 10568 E. 350th Ave., Flat Rock, IL 62427-2019. To see more on the Amish go to www.amish365.com.