Painting the Farm

I have a friend of my family who grew up in my home community in Pennsylvania. When my two brothers and I visited there a couple of years ago, we drove past the farm where her grandfather once lived, and was passed down through the generations. It was still in good condition, although the trees had grown quite large over time. The little white barn and tile silo were still there. On the hill above the farm, sat a little brethren church. Tombstones in the cemetery contained the names of many of her friends and family members. I took a few photos while we were there.

We had a few warmer days the past two weeks that allowed me to paint, so I decided to paint the farm picture and send it to her in Virginia. I had two good shots, one close and one far away. Not being able to decide which one to paint, I decided to paint them both at the same time. This was the first I tried painting two at once. They are on 11 x 14 canvas board. I hope she will enjoy them.

Family farm stories

left in memories long past

Silo stands empty

Painting the Debolt Farm – Dwight L. Roth

A Living History

This is not a painting

It is a living family history

Not just an abstract splash of color

But, a life’s journey

A story that began a lifetime ago

Moving 2500 miles to Alberta

Building a little house in the big woods

Raising his family near a Cree Indian village

By the shores of Calling Lake


This is a story of mid-life change

to the big city of Edmonton

Becoming a respiratory therapist

A new career of serving others

Retiring to a condo


Memory fading to dim

More than Mother can care for

Her brain tumor required attention

Care needed for both


End of like can be full of surprises

This is not a painting

It is our family’s story

Painting: Dwight L. Roth 1-2013

Today at d’Verse, Mish asked us to choose an object, that means something special to us, and write a poem beginning with the line… “This is not a _________” Eight years ago we flew to Edmonton, AB to make care arrangements for both of my wife’s parents. Her mother was diagnosed with a brain tumor and her father was suffering from Alzheimer’s. It was a traumatic time for all of us. When we finally returned home the end of January, I poured my emotions into this painting depicting their life in Alberta. To me, this is much more than a painting. It is a piece of family history!

Join us at: …click on Mr. Linkey and read more poems.


Grandpa and Grandma Roth Family 2 001 (2)

I found this old photo of my grandmother and her children. It was really worn and had some damage, but it still showed the personalities and character of each one. My father was the youngest and is on the far left in the picture. Sadly the oldest son was killed in a car wreck at the age of 21. A couple of years ago I did a painting of my father’s homeplace at the edge of Allensville, Pennsylvania, which you can see below. A number of improvements were made since the first photo was taken almost a hundred years ago.

Grandma Roth raising
four young children on their farm
A strong-willed woman
Providing for her family
Hardworking husband cared for

EER_0606 (2)

Painting: Dwight L. Roth


A Love Story

Hartzlerspicnic1944 Paul and Beatrice

She watched him tanned, tall, and lean
With bib overalls and a head of dark hair
Thinking how handsome he was
How strong and capable a man he had become
He was only sixteen //but gave the appearance of eighteen
His gait was long // intense // full of determination
She loved that about him // the boy/man from across the field
Smart and fun to be around // his smile was full of laughter.
There he was, driving his father’s four milk cows up her lane
To share pasture with twenty-five more
Self-conscious // she picked up her father’s tee shirt
Hanging it on the porch line strung between two posts
Glancing towards the lane she caught his attention
He waved and gave a hearty, “Hi Beatrice! How are you today!”
Tongue tied, she could only reply, “I’m fine!”
And then he was gone // on up the lane and over the hill
It was evident he was special // graduating from high school at sixteen
She // only fourteen // knew she was in love
She would wait for him and follow him to the ends of the earth…
And she did


My mom when she was in high school

In memory of my mother who lived across the field from my father when they were growing up in the early part of the last century.
Today, Bjorn asked us to look at different perspectives in poetry and write a poem that reflected that for d’Verse. I chose to write from my mother’s perspective when she and my father were both teenagers.
Join us at:

Photos: Audrey Hartzler’s family album

Lingering of the Day


The older I get the more I ponder the end of life as we know it. Questions arise regarding life after death. Some feel death is the final end.  Others believe there is an after life where the soul and spirit of a person returns to God, living on in a new state of being. We will all find out in time, one way or the other.

After attending the funeral of my wife’s uncle, we spent the day driving around the area where he lived and grew up. We had some great experiences seeing the old Snavely Mill where her Great Grandparents lived. Much to our surprise, the Mill pond yielded a Great White Egret.

As the day wound down we returned back to our Inn to retire. By this time, the sun was lingering in the west, creating the most beautiful sunset. It was as though heaven was celebrating the arrival of her uncle in living color. It was a fitting ending to our day.

Sun paints clouds in orange

lingering // revising blues

lullaby color


Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Our prompt today for d’Verse came from Victoria  She asked us to write a Haibun based on the Japanese word Chijitsu, meaning the lingering of the day.

Come join us at d’Verse : http//








Family History


As we were riding down the back roads of Lancaster County Pennsylvania, we found Snavely’s Mill where my wife’s father played eighty years ago, when he visited his grandparents at age eight or nine.



As you can see it is still operating and doing a booming business. Flour is trucked all over central Pennsylvania. My nephew works at a pretzel factory in Altoona that uses Sanvely’s flour.


I am guessing that the arch and keystone are where the water came under the road from the pond and ran the water wheel. Since the wheel is no longer used it has been closed up.

EER_0391 Across the road from the mill is the house where her great great grandparents lived. The original millstones are leaning against the side of the barn.


At one time the water from this pond flowed under the road and into the mill to run the wheel that turned the stones above.



Below the house is the millpond where the children would ride in a flat boat dingy in the summer when visiting their grandparents.


This is where I saw the Great White Haron flying across the mill pond.


Some folks were fishing in Hammer Creek next to  the mill.



The giant steel S hooks are connected to long rods that run under the each floor. They hold the walls in place and keep them from bulging outward.




The large house is now used for mill offices.


The original stone wall has settled, but remains in tact.


Looks like the old mail boxes are in need of repair.



This is the view of the mill from a distance. You can see the whole complex.


The mill is a huge complex behind the old stone structure, as you can see in the photo below. The parking lot with filled with grain trucks waiting to be loaded and sent out.


As we were leaving, one of the mill trucks came around the corner returning to the mill.


Photos: Dwight L. Roth







Death and Life


Mourning the loss of an uncle today

Everyone gathered to say goodbye

A sad occasion yet a celebration of life

Reviewing a life well lived and too soon gone

A reunion of sorts where the family gathers

Not only to say goodbye but to say hello

Many years of disconnect come together

Childhood cousins now grown break bread

Speak of their Uncle with stories to tell of their own

Following the funeral a long ride in the country

Enjoying corn fields and bubbling creeks

Looking for pieces of history finding some

At Great Grandpa’s millpond next to the Snavely Mill

A beautiful gift rises into the air


A great white heron with spreading wings

A reminder that along with history and reconnections

Life goes on

Life is beautiful

Life is still worth living


Photo: Dwight L. Roth