Tag Archives: love

“Our family keeps growing, and with
each passing year, there is a garden.”

The 100-Year Garden

By Amy Gesenhues

My grandmother turned 101 years old on April 3. She has survived being born in 1917. World War II. Joe McCarthy. The Korean War. Vietnam. The Cuban Missile Crisis and the assassination of President Kennedy. She is a devout Catholic who survived a divorce in a deeply rooted Catholic community. She survived being a single, working mother of six kids during the 1970s. She also survived the death of her first son, and probably a million tiny heartbreaks I know nothing about.

Through all of these tragedies and losses and survivals, there has been a garden.

When my grandmother was young, her family’s main crop was strawberries. She talks about what it was like to grow the heart-shaped fruit in her 1997 autobiography, From My Window: “We planted them in the Spring and hoed and plowed them all that summer. Then the next Spring we picked them. They were a hard crop to grow and depend on, but they were what we planted, picked and sold to make most of the money we needed for the rest of the year.”

They also planted potatoes and cabbage and corn and tomatoes and beans. Pumpkins, cantaloupes, watermelons, and cucumbers.

“Our family keeps growing, and with each passing year, there is a garden.”

“Our family keeps growing, and with
each passing year, there is a garden.”

Grandma said the cucumbers were a good crop for them. “The growing season was so short and they could stand the dry summers of the Ohio Valley,” she wrote. “It only took them six weeks to grow, and we would pick them every other day for over a month.”

She said picking the cucumbers was a back-breaking job, and she is the toughest woman I know.

The garden I first remember is the one my grandmother and grandfather started at their house in the two, maybe three acres of land between their home and the creek at the bottom of Jenny Lane in Floyds Knobs. I don’t know what year the first garden was put there, but it continued to be planted well past their divorce and after the death of their son. He was only 26 when he drowned at Buffalo Trace Lake. His name was Norman. He was my dad.

Last year, on the 40th anniversary of his death, a cousin shared the following memory of him on my Facebook page: “I don’t have any really clear memories of your dad. There is one, though, when the family was planting the big garden in your Grandma’s yard. Everyone was kneeled down, carefully planting seeds at just the right distance apart. Except your dad. He had a handful of seeds – peas, I think – and he was hunched over, walking briskly, letting them roll out of his hand like hewas eating peanuts. Someone was grousing athim about not doing it right and then following his row, re-placing the seeds carefully, movingeach one an inch or so.”

My cousin said he remembers being off to the side, playing in the dirt when my dad came by with a grin and asked him, “My way is better, don’t you think?” I am grateful to have this memory. My dad sowing seeds in the garden. Doing things his way.

Grandma’s garden has since relocated to the other side of the property from where it once was. Instead of being in front of her house – which is now my uncle’s home – it is across the street, in front of the house where another one of my cousins lives. She has two toddlers.

Our family keeps growing, and with each passing year, there is a garden. In 2001, one of my cousins started a garden log to archive every crop our family plants, harvests and cans. It is a small spiral notebook with a green cover that up until last year, was kept on top of our grandmother’s refrigerator.

An entry dated July 1, 2004, reads: Canned 56 quarts of green beans. Vicki and Lucy picked one row for this canning.

The time it took to pick the beans is in parentheses, (2½ hours). The entry includes a bulleted list of everyone who helped stem and can the green beans: Grandma, Janice F., Doug, Jan, Joe. Beside Doug’s name, in parentheses, is a note that he only received partial credit because he arrived “very” late. Jan was noted as a late arrival too. Joe’s name included the following citation: Cut very little with lots of complaining. All of these details listed in parentheses beside their names.

An entry from August 13, 2013, says the corn didn’t come in that year. Instead, two bushels were bought from Ralph Fenwick. Parentheses ($35). After grandma deemed it fresh enough, Emily, Junnie, Vicki, JJ and Jan shucked and cleaned it, while Molly, Eileen and P3 (short for Paul the third) played in the basement. JJ wanted it noted that she pulled out a worm from an already boiled year of corn, and that she was there from the beginning. Parentheses (9:30am).

This small notebook is so much more than the food my family has harvested for the last almost 20 years. It’s a record of what we talk about when we’re sitting around our grandmother’s table, chucking corn, canning beans, eating. It’s a handwritten confessional, showing all the ways we care for and nurture each other. I think of these small moments, the quiet details within the parentheses, as clues to the ways we’ve repaired each of our family’s tiny heartbreaks – from my dad’s death to all sufferings that were left unsaid.

My grandmother had six children. Those six children had 16 children, and I am one of them.

I have two kids of my own now, and we all still eat food from her garden. When my son was three, still in a car seat riding home from Sunday dinner at Grandma’s house, he said her cream corn – made with the ears of corn cleaned and chucked from the garden – was magic. I can think of no better word to define it.

spin-a-round-sound-wedding-deejay-giveaway-sidebar-ad-rules-and-finalists

Spin-A-Round Sound Wedding Deejay Giveaway OFFICIAL RULES & Meet the Finalists!

THE SPIN-A-ROUND SOUND WEDDING DEEJAY GIVEAWAY OFFICIAL RULES & Meet the Finalists

Official Rules: PRINTABLE/PDF VERISON

Learn about the Finalists:  (Click on names to read their stories)

Option 1: Danielle Nicole Ramser & Nolan Edward Taylor | Engaged December 3, 2017

Option 2: Chelsea Hargis & Michael Heater | Engaged December 25, 2017

Option 3: Jasmine Mullins & Benjamin Preston | Engaged January 1, 2018

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN & ALL ENTRIES HAVE EQUAL CHANCE OF WINNING

How to Enter:  All entrants must be 18 years of age or older and be able to provide proof of an accepted engagement on or between the dates of Friday, November 17, 2017 through Monday, January 1, 2018. All entrants must submit their engagement details in writing along with the engagement date, full legal name(s), contact number, email address and city of residences of both of the engaged to todd@spinaroundsounddj.com. Employees, officers, directors of sponsor, parents, spouses, contractors, vendors and immediate family of Spin-A-Round Sound or Extol Magazine are not eligible to participate.

The wedding venue must be within 50 miles of New Albany, Indiana (anything over 50 miles, will require additional fees).  Venue must allow outside deejay services unless pre-approved by venue owner/manager. Additonally, the date of services rendered must be agreed upon by winning party and Spin-A-Round Sound.  Only one entry per email address will be considered. All entries become the exclusive property of Spin-A-Round and will not be returned.

The Prize: Grand Prize is full wedding night deejay package including four-hour reception or wedding/reception service, two deejays’, DMX controlled light show – which includes four DMX moving head lights, twelve par lights with two eight-feet truss stands, two four-feet truss stands and ten uplights – total package valued at $2,000. Winning party is not limited to the above package and could add additional items upon request for additional pricing. Additional items offered: more up lighting, staging, projector options or whatever is needed to make your dream wedding a reality. (Winner will have to complete a prize validation and will be responsible for any taxes that may result from winning.)

Effective Date of Entries: Deadlines for all entries starts 12 p.m. January 5, 2018, and ends 11:59 a.m. January 12, 2018; no exceptions.

Selection of Finalists: Members of Spin-A-Round Sound and Extol will select three (3) finalists who will then be announced, along with their story, and sent to public vote via www.Extolmag.com. Final selection of finalists will be made on or before January 14, 2018.

Notification of Finalists and Grand Prize Winner: The three (3) finalists will be contacted by Extol Magazine or by representatives of Spin-A-Round Sound and may be asked additional engagement details and/or to answer questions regarding their dream wedding.

A Grand Prize Winner will be selected through public voting* and a panel of professional judges. Voting begins at 12 p.m. January 15, 2018 and end at 11:59 p.m. January 19, 2018.  The Grand Prize Winner will be contacted by a representative of either Extol Magazine and/or Spin-A-Round Sound on or before January 20, 2018.

Other conditions:  All entrants, by submitting their entry, agree to participate, at no additional or out of pocket costs to Spin-A-Round Sound or Extol Magazine, in any and all public relations, social media, marketing or advertising of the DeeJay Giveaway. This may include the use of your name, your likeness or current photographs and descriptions of your Deejay Giveaway entry and any supplied engagement photos. These conditions also apply to the Finalists and Grand Prize Winner selected.

Names, addresses and email addresses that are gathered through this sweepstakes will not be used for solicitation or sold to a third party for solicitation or released to a third party for any purpose other than that of the giveaway itself.

Indemnification: Entrants, by submitting their entry, agree to release and hold Spin-A-Round Sound and Extol Magazine, its employees, directors, shareholders, representatives, advertising, promotion and fulfillment agencies harmless for any and all losses, damages, rights, claims and actions of any kind in connection with the Sweepstakes, including without limitation, personal injury, death and property damage and claims based on publicity rights, defamation or invasion of privacy.

* Public Voting limits votes to one vote per person (tracked by IP address). The highest public vote count counts only a percentage of the overall criteria by which a winner is ultimately selected, with professional judges having the final say. (Percentage of vote: Public Vote 49%, Extol Magazine 25.5%, & Spin-A-Round Sound 25.5% = 100% of final vote)

 

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Off the Page with Extol | Bliss Travel

  1.  complete happiness | enjoying eternal bliss in heaven | marital bliss | the sheer bliss of an afternoon at the spa

  2.   paradiseheaven

When your name is Mark Bliss, being a travel agent and calling your business Bliss Travel just makes sense. On this episode of Off the Page with Extol, we talk with Mark and ask the question: What can a travel agent do for you that you cannot do on your own?  We also speak with a fabulous couple that backs up what he says.

The Podcast Kidd’s honeymoon video:

 

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Wedding Woes

For better or worse, the big day doesn’t always go as planned. 

My husband and I got married in February. We thought it would be fun for the officiant to pull two small breath sprays from his jacket pocket right before we kissed. My now-husband was supposed to spray the breath spray in my mouth but ended up spraying it all over half of my face. At least I was minty fresh the rest of the evening. 

–Caroline Crowell


We had a February wedding and it snowed a few inches. It was beautiful outside the church and it made for some cool pictures. We had a fabulous reception that was lots of fun and went late. When one of our guests – who has an Ultra-Brite smile – was leaving, she slipped on the ice and knocked out her teeth, her very perfect teeth. 

–Johnny Harralson 


The night before our wedding, the priest called and said he could not marry us. My brother-in-law spent all night and the early morning looking for a priest. Until this day, I’m not 100 percent sure the priest he found was legit. 

¬–Jennifer Yennes-Vizhnay 


My husband and I got married twice. The first was a bedside ceremony at my dad’s bedside in Audubon Hospital (ahead of schedule) because things were looking pretty grim. Ten days later, he passed, and then 12 days later we went ahead with our scheduled ceremony. At one point during the ceremony – after I had walked down the aisle – the minister announced, “We are gathered here to witness the ceremony between…” and our two-year-old daughter, who was in the front row, started clapping loudly, and yelled out “Yay!” which had absolutely everyone laughing, including the minister. We got pictures of the exact moment and it’s one of our favorites. 

–Shawna Lynn Shepherd 


I must have had the wedding jitters. I almost passed out during picture taking and actually have a picture me sitting on my husband’s lap after they cold wash-clothed me looking quite pale during pictures. Then on to our reception in our local high school cafeteria (that was the reception place). I made it through all the motions of that. We finally left and stopped at his aunt’s home as planned to change clothing, and I got nauseated. Let’s just say my dress had to be bagged and left behind for his aunt to get to the cleaners. Then on to The Hyatt to clean up and allow me to sleep my wedding night off. Trust me, no alcohol was involved, just good old-fashioned jitters. Thank goodness God didn’t tap my husband on the shoulder during the ceremony and say, “Hey, I don’t think this is going to go as you thought!” A few years later, I was diagnosed with NF2 brain tumor and it has been an ongoing journey since. He’s still my rock after 37 years. 

–Cathy Guthrie 


My brother had a July wedding with an outdoor reception. Atlanta in July. His bride is an only child with no extended family. Ours was extensive and it seems all of them drove hundreds of miles to be there. The bride’s father had the belief that since we were all Baptists the open bar would not be a big expense. Accordingly, he selected the premium champagne but forgot to request water. When the caterers came asking for permission to crack multiple, additional cases of expensive champagne, he distractedly said, “OK.” Seniors, boomers, and tweens spent hours slaking their thirst with very good bubbly. The father-in- law dined out on the story of the Baptist Wedding until the day he passed. And that’s not even the biggest disaster of the day of my brother’s wedding. I’m sure you’ll do this again someday, so I’ll save the better stories. 

–Randy Smith

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The Big Day

Do’s and Don’ts for planning, hosting the perfect wedding

Planning the perfect wedding has become more difficult, as many of the traditions that were once considered must-dos have been replaced with nouveau ideas designed to make a couple ¬– and their wedding – stand out. We’ve put together some modern dos and don’ts. There are fewer faux pas today than ever before, but with proper planning, you can pull off the perfect event.

BY MANDY WOLF DETWILER

PUT A RING ON IT 

DO choose a ring you will love for the rest of your life. “I would try to block out any negative feedback you get from other people and listen to your own intuition,” says Jacquelyn Koerber, chief operating officer of Koerber’s Fine Jewelry. “I can’t tell you how many times I have a woman in our store that says she always wanted a certain style but got talked out of it because it might not have been the ‘in’ thing to do. This is your own very personal ring that you will wear every day for the rest of you life… make sure you absolutely love it.”

DON’T forget to consider a matching wedding band to make sure you like the finished look as a set. “If the engagement ring doesn’t have a matching component, ask to see what your options are for selecting a wedding band,” Koerber adds. “If you want something a little more unique, you could mix different textures, shapes or even metals with your engagement ring. For example, if you have a white gold engagement ring you could pair it with a rose gold wedding band.”

PICKING A DATE 

DO consider what time of year you prefer, says wedding planner Jamie Lott of Events4U. “More and more people are saying fall. They love the fall colors,” Lott says. “The last few years we’ve had a huge trend in mid-September through October. October has become the new June.”

DON’T wait. Venues fill up during busy months, but so do service providers like florists, cake decorators and even the wedding spots themselves. “You’re probably not going to get the venue you want unless you’re working a year ahead,” Lott says.

THE WEDDING PARTY 

DO pick your closest friends. Bridesmaids and groomsmen shell out hundreds of dollars to be a part of a single wedding, and the workload itself can cause hard feelings.

DON’T “feel obligated to put someone in your wedding that you’re not close to,” Lott adds. “So many brides have somebody that they’ve put in their wedding that they may not be very close to, but they felt obligated to because their aunt is going to be hurt if her daughter is not in the wedding. Your wedding day should be about the people you care about, and those are the people you want with you, especially the bridal party.

THE DRESS 

DO try on several, and don’t pick the first one you fall in love with. You can always go back to it. Make sure you consider the fit of your dress if you’re following an exercise plan and dieting.

DON’T ignore fittings. “When I plan a wedding for a bride, I attend at least two of her fittings because I want to make sure that dress fits correctly,” says Lott. “Bridal gowns tend to stretch a tiny bit once a bride has worn them for an hour or so. I like them to fit extra snug. I tease brides and say if they can’t breathe, we know it fits!”

THE PLACE 

DO chose a venue based on your budget and “know everything about that venue before you sign. Read that contract thoroughly,” Lott advises.

DON’T leave a lot of time between your ceremony and your reception. Though it’s your day, your guests are giving up time and money to celebrate. Make it easy on them.

INVITATIONS 

DO “remember you don’t have to break the bank to be satisfied with your (invitation) choice and do keep it simple,” says Nicole Parr, a graphic artist with Louisville-based Phoenix Business Systems Inc. “Your invitation is the first glimpse your guests will get of the look and feel of your wedding. An invitation is best when it reflects the mood and ambiance you hope to achieve on your special day.”

DON’T “be overwhelmed and distracted by the endless options of this saturated market,” she adds. “In the end, an invitation that represents the happy couple’s personal style will be a treasured keepsake for years to come.”

THE GUEST LIST 

DO choose your guest list based on families and friends from both sides.

DON’Tchoose a venue that is too small for your wedding. “That obviously includes your décor and any type of tables. Don’t assume that even the best planner can shove it all in there,” Lott says. “It won’t look right. Give yourself enough room to make it look nice.”

THE MUSIC 

DO use professional entertainment. “We’ve seen the DIY wedding reception with the iPod playlist go really bad,” said Brent Rogers, co-owner of Sounds Unlimited Productions. “When you handle it with a professional, what you’re going to get is someone who can read the crowd and understand if they’re responding to, say, old school hip-hop. They can also shift gears with that and bring in some disco or ’90s sing-along. Having a professional there who can read the crowd and rotate the danced floor is crucial for a successful event.

DON’T restrict yourself into one style or genre. “We had a bride several years ago who was a huge Elvis fan and her entire playslist was made up of Elvis songs and Elvis cover songs,” recounted Rogers.” I suggested to her maybe we should shake this up a bit, and she insisted elvis was her guy and this is what she wanted. … We went through the formalities and once the party started, we had 300 people in the room. About 15 minutes into the reception, we had a group pf bridesmaids come up and tell us how terrible we were and told us the bride was in the bathroom crying because no one was dancing. I replied, “Here’s the all-Elvis playlist and the bride told us to stick to it … but if you give me 15 minutes and let me play whatever I want, I will get the dance floor back, get the party started and of course play some Elvis. Lo and behold, that’s exactly what happened. Don’t tie the hand behind the professional’s back. We know what we’re doing and want to do this for you.”