Taking Down Memories


Today I took the ornaments off of my Christmas tree, and packed them back in the box, to store until next year. I enjoyed looking again at each ornament, remembering that many of them came from my former elementary school students. Some I remembered; others had names on them. You may think an ornament is an insignificant gift, but mine have hung on my tree every year since 1970.

Gifts bring back mem’ries

Each one was a warm spot in my heart

Winter of my life



Photos: Dwight L. Roth

Black Raspberry Pie

Grandma's Black Raspberry Pie


My grandmother made the best pies. I loved going to her house each summer knowing that she would have fresh baked raspberry pies waiting in the fridge. This poem is for her.

Some folks like warm pie, but I prefer mine cold. My mom and grandma always made their pies from scratch. This means they  made their own crust by mixing up the flour and shortening, salt and water, and rolled it out with a rolling pin. They mixed fresh fruit with sugar and cornstarch and poured it into the pie crust. Most of the time they added a top crust, pinching the edges to hold them together to make a scalloped appearance.

My earliest recollection of real fruit pie

Is sitting at the kitchen table

In my Grandma Hartzler’s house

Watching her cut into a big fourteen inch Raspberry pie

 Thick and smooth with a dip of real whipped cream

Straining out all the seeds with a cheese cloth

Adding cornstarch to thicken the remaining juice

Flaky crust made with flour and lard

Real cream skimmed off the top of glass milk jugs

Raw milk straight from the cow

No pasteurization No homogenization

Cream floating to the top

It always brought a smile to her face and a sparkle to her eye

To watch her grandson eat her black raspberry pie

No need to wait till dinner

She knew I couldn’t wait

So from the fridge she took the pie

And put a big slice on my plate