Friday, March 2, 2012

Charming Edna

Charming Edna Mildred Trowbridge Overhiser

Tribute by Casco Township blueberry farmer George Fleming (retired Methodist Pastor)
In the early 1970's, my wife, Edna, and I made a trip to Florida and while on that trip we visited Edna Overhiser and Ethel Ransom who were then widow women wintering together in Florida.  EdnaO and Ethel were delighted to see us and made us feel very welcome.  It was truly a very beautiful thing to discover that these women, then widowed and alone and entitled to self-pity, could instead find strength and joy in sharing life with each other and allowing a life-long friendship to blossom further.

EdnaO was always a very warm and outgoing person.  When I was helping my father on the oil delivery truck as a young boy in the 1950s, dad and I always looked forward to making deliveries to Edna and Bill's house for Edna always greeted us so kindly when we came to her door.  Edna was delighted to have us and others visit her in Florida.  Whenever I returned back to a Casco function in the later years of Edna's life, she greeted me enthusiastically and made me feel very special, as I am sure she did for many others.

I believe Edna brought warmth to our entire Casco Church and community as she reached out and fostered friendship and good will among us.  A poet once said, "One friend can change the entire landscape."  Many of us can say, EdnaO was such a friend to us, a friend who blessed us and often renewed our perspective on life.  She was a very good neighbor and a great friend.  She truly enriched the life of our total community.

George, thank you very much.  Many of us feel the same way about Edan.  She was always cheerful and engaging in a playful way.  Our memories of Edna give us all a chuckle and a feeling of gratitude that she was with us.  Now I will list some events to highlight Edna's final years and the farm transition from generation 3 to farm generations 4 and 5:
  • 1964-5 Albert and June started purchasing the original farm and gave Bill and Edna a life lease on the house and Bill took the role of farm worker for Albert.  Bill enjoyed doing the spraying of the fruit trees.
  • 12-7-1969 Bill passed and Edna started her 22 years as a widow, mother, grandmother and friend to many.
  • In 1982, after College, Allan and Kim moved into a mobile home next to Edna's house and were always very attentive to Edna's needs. 
  • In 1984 Allan and Kim entered into a farm partnership with Albert and June and jointly operated the farm until Albert and June entered retirement mode.  Albert did continued to help on the farm as he was able.
  • At her 90th birthday party in 1985 Edna was starting to show her age.
  • 1989-90 Edna may have had a mini stoke and moved to Grand Haven to live with daughter Janet and Jack Brown.  While there she broke a hip and became wheel chair bound and moved to a nursing home and was the well known dispenser of good humor.  After passing 12/7/1991 she rejoined Bill.
  • In 1990 -91 Allan and Kim expanded and renovated Bill and Edna's house and then added five children to the house in 1996 and 98.   Our mother June passed in 1997 and Albert in 2008.
 At The Farm March 3, 2012 
The weather outside is not as frightful as farmers would like.  Time will tell what impact the warm winter will have on the fruit development this spring.  Prime blossom time at the farm should the last week of April and the first two weeks of May.  Trimming continues along with all the other winter chores.  

Allan was the guest speaker at the Marshall Area Garden Club on Feb 21 and did a fabulous job talking about "Growing Fruit Trees".  Some 60 to 70 people there learned about the difficulties of running a commercial fruit farm.  His trimming demonstration was very helpful to the hobby fruit growers.  The kids stay very busy with school and activities.  It is tournament time for Aaron's basketball team and Alex and Adam will be starting play in an 8th grade AAU league.  Kortny and Kelsy are finishing there basketball season.