Memories of stays at the cabin


Gloria Yoder

The Amish Cook

We are packing up to leave.

Sister Mary has a little cabin on a hilltop tucked in among the pines. It is a perfect little get-away.

My earliest memory of the cabin was when I was 16 years old and my family visited Daniel’s family in Danville, Ohio. That trip happens to be the first time I learned who Daniel was. Oh my, I had no idea how many amazing things were still to be discovered about him in years to come! I couldn’t help but be impressed with this Godly young man but would not dare dream that he would one day ask me to establish a friendship with him and later to become his wife.

I smile as I think of that day. The cabin was in the final stages of being built and the pines had not been planted yet. On my short walk from the cabin to the van I grabbed a couple of wild flowers and pinned them on my seat belt. On the seven-hour trip home, the flowers brought back warm memories of a time spent with Mary and her family.

A couple of years later I was back in that same cabin, only this time it was with Daniel for a Sunday afternoon date. I marveled. Could this be for real? We had a blessed time together as we read a passage in the Bible, prayed, and chatted.

Several years passed, we were back in the cabin again, this time to be with Daniel’s brother and his young family who had moved into the cabin.

Ten years down the line of time, Daniel and I were back in the cabin once more. This time we went with our six precious children over our Christmas vacation while we visited Ohio family. The quiet corner was no longer occupied on a daily basis. It was back to being a guest cabin and get away.

It was one of those perfect white Christmases. Arriving at our destination, we rounded the corner on top of the long lane with pines on either side, there was the cabin, nestled among snow covered trees. It was a winter wonderland in reality. The cabin was warm and inviting as we unloaded our belongings and settled in for a couple of days. It was good for Daniel to be back on home stomping grounds, especially with all his memories of helping his dad, brothers, and sister on the family project of building the cabin and laying stone after stone for the fireplace in the living room.

No one would ever guess that years ago this exact location was a neighborhood dump. When it was purchased by the family it was completely junked out with piles of trash. The transformation in making something so beautiful out of what used to be nothing, but annoyance is motivating. What all will God be able to do with the areas in our lives which used to be filled with only irritations or things difficult to get rid of?

Things keep changing, Daniel passed on to glory, still the cabin is there waiting to welcome friends or family. This spring I just got this strong urge that we need to go to Ohio again and spend time with Daniel’s grandparents who are in their 90s, then of course see my grandma in Walnut Creek, and be with many other friends and family in Danville.

Thanks to Mary for getting everything ready in the cabin for us once more. We will miss Daniel on this special event, nonetheless, we praise God for this opportunity to be there and trust it will be well despite the empty spot.

The children are all excited about going back to the cabin again and plan to take their soft balls, gloves, and volleyball. Little Joshua takes his Daddy shirt with him whenever he travels. This black nightshirt was given to Daniel by his brother Tobias; Joshua now takes great comfort in it and wipes his tears with it.

We hope to keep our forenoons open for ample time together as a family, having practice sessions, singing, and so on. The afternoons and evenings will probably have more events such as visiting others or hopefully having friends at the cabin with us. My list of people I want to see keeps stretching longer, we’ll see if two weeks will get it or if we’ll need to stay longer. I’m not fond of the thought of not seeing our church family for so long, but then who can be two people at once?

Mary’s lattes, baked goods, and authentic dishes have a way of making all of us feel extra loved when we miss Daddy on our visits to Ohio. I’ll pass her Rhubarb bars on for you to try. She is the one who introduced it to me this spring.


1 cup butter

1 cup brown sugar

2 cups flour

2 cups quick oats

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda


4 eggs yolks

2 cups rhubarb

1 /2 cup brown sugar

2 tablespoons clear gel

1 /2 cup white sugar

2 cups sour cream

Boil filling for a couple minutes or until thickened. Pat 2 /3 of crumbs into the bottom of 9 X 13 inch pan. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and spread the filling over the baked crumbs. Then spread rest of the crumb topping on top and bake for an addition 20 minutes.

Gloria Yoder is an Amish mom, writer, and homemaker in rural Illinois. The Yoders travel primarily by horse-drawn buggy and live next to the settlement’s one-room school-house. Readers can write to Gloria at 10510 E. 350th Ave., Flat Rock, IL 62427.

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