Schmucker Gathering in Virginia

The journey to Virginia was fraught with unexpected hazards on the roadways but we made it safely. It had snowed in West Virginia and Virginia the day before and our path was still not completely clear the next day. The landscape was frozen in pure white and so lovely, although I do not seem to appreciate it as much if I have to drive!

I drove on roads that normally would have me trembling in my boots, but Dale coached me from the passenger seat and it boosted my confidence having him along. He was quite sick with a flu he had picked up the day before, else he would have been in the driver's seat.

These two (and their parents) are excited to finally go to Grandpa's house!

Dairy Queen blizzards are pretty much a given when this family travels!

We took Mom, Dad, and Leon out to breakfast the first morning. It was a fine start to the day! I think Mom is pointing out a picture on the wall!

The next order of business, of course, is to play a game. I have learned, since marrying into this Schmucker family, that games are an important part of reunions and everyday life! We taught Leon (Dale's brother) how to play Mexican Train with Dominoes. What a joy it is to spend time with these dear people.

Mom was busily preparing food, so she only popped over now and then to watch our progress.

More family members arrived as the morning passed into noonday. We had a late lunch together with all Dale's siblings plus many nieces and nephews. It was a wonderful time of reconnecting and story-telling.

If I have my facts straight, the last time Dale's brother and sisters were all together was about 4 years ago at Dad's in PA. 

Leon, Ruth, and Joan, the three youngest.

Tina's Christopher and our Julian, both firstborn, both on April 26, but about 11 years apart!

Tina is now a grandma! Little Connor is a darling cute baby!

If Dale is laying in the recliner covered up with a fluffy blanket, you know he has to be sick! It was an awful time to have fever, aches, and coughing, but he made the best of it, surfacing now and then to join in the conversation.

Washing up in Mom's kitchen. This may be a new house for Mom and Dad, but it still feels like their home with all the familiar furnishings in it.

Dale was not the only one sick. Poor Hannah was not feeling well, and there were a few others fighting the flu.

Connor and Robin spot each other and consider playing together!

Babies are great entertainment!

By now it's a rook game the guys have going...

...while the girls choose taboo!

"Stacie, we missed you!"

 "How many grandmothers does it take to feed the baby?" 
One feeds baby while the other wipes his mouth! Love it!

Mom and Dad live at the edge of town on a dead end street. Jacki, Jessica, and I went for a walk and found this lovely scene just beyond the end of the street. It was a gorgeous sunny day with a promise of spring! Banish the thought of all that snow we just drove through!

A few of us took a tour of Beth (Dale's niece) and Christopher's house. I've been wanting to see their darling old house since I first saw photos and finally had my chance. "Thank you, Beth!" I love it! 

This grand portico with 8 pillars is my favorite part of the house! Someday I want 7 pillars around my house. I don't know how, but I'm working on it! Isn't it beautiful...

We did a quick photo shoot of the immediate family. Alas, my photos are anything but clear. Still, I have the general idea captured on camera! God has been good to this family and we thank Him for his blessings and love.

Left to right...
Joan, Leon, Ruth, Tina, Dale, Mom (Kathryn) Dad (Raymond)

As we spent time together this weekend, he brought even more peace, healing, and joy into our hearts. It is a beautiful thing when God writes our story!

Even as we are in the midst of uncertainty and facing fears because of Dad's cancer returning, we know who our source of strength, grace, healing, and wisdom is, so we do not despair. We have seen miracles among us and trust Him with the future!