By Paula Mitchell
Electricity certainly didn’t exist when the pioneers settled in this community. Candle making was certainly an important trade. Usually, the women made the candles. Making these candles for the dark nights was a yearly chore. It was an absolute necessity because they were a primary way to light a home.
To make a candle, the first thing to do was to craft the wick with thin pieces of cotton or linen, or bought candle wick, if it could be afforded. The homemade wicks were cotton spun on a spinning wheel.
The dipping process was next. Tallow or animal fat was heated and melted in a large kettle full of scalding water. Once this tallow was melted, it would be skimmed off and put in another pot for dipping.
The long wick would be tied to the end of a stick. Usually, several wicks would be tied to one stick so that dipping several candles could take place.
Once the wick was tied, the process of dipping the wick into the melted tallow would take place. The tallow had to be stirred regularly with a wooden spoon, taking about 25 dippings for a whole candle. The wick would be dipped into the burning animal fat several times. This dipping was done until the candle was the desired size.
Once the candle had hardened, the wick was trimmed and the candle was ready to be used. Because this was quite a process, folks would set aside an entire day for this annual chore. This type of candle, made from tallow, gave off an unpleasant odor.
The vast majority of candles were made from tallow, which was a hard and fatty animal substance. The best candles were made from half sheep and half beef tallow. This combination smelled the least and burned the best without sputtering.
Some folk made candles from beeswax. Sometimes folk used molds made out of tin or wood to make a more uniform looking candle. The heated tallow would be poured into the mold with the wick in place.
When the oil lamp came on the scene, folks continued to make candles simply because they found them to be beautiful. Perhaps there are some in the community who still have candle molds and candles made from them.
Life’s little instructions that will make one’s day brighter include the following;
- Let someone cut ahead of one in line.
- Be on time. Don’t make excuses.
- Do something nice and try not to get caught.
- Give clothes not worn to charity.
- Go an entire day without criticizing anyone.
Weather is always a steady topic of conversation. Early Sunday morning, the temperature reading in this neck of the woods was 8°. Snow flew around Friday, but by now most of it has disappeared. Fires are being stoked for warmth in homes.
This week’s clickety-clacks for the chin waggers are as follows:
- Hens turn their eggs many times a day while hatching them.
- A thunderstorm has 50 times more potential energy than an atomic bomb.
- In the United States alone, more than 7,000 varieties of apples have been recorded.
- Vatican City is the smallest country in the world. It occupies an area of only 0.17 square miles.
- Only 10% of the world’s population lives below the equator.
It is definitely better to sit by the fireside to hear the “Talk of the Grove”…especially these days.
Ben, Emma and Nathan Puffenbarger spent Sunday night with their grandparents, Robert and Nancy Hodges in Harrisonburg, Virginia.
Nathan Puffenbarger spent Saturday with Butch and Mary Puffenbarger. Nathan and Pappy have a farming battle going on between John Deere and Case International.
Helen and Rhonda Nash are proud to share the news that grandson/nephew, Jack Nash of Palmer, Alaska, was recently selected as the Gatorade Alaska Football Player of the Year. One high school player from every state is chosen for this prestigious award each year. From these honorees, the Gatorade National Football Player of the Year will be announced later this month.
Little Madelynn Jane Kontyko is the newest resident of Sugar Grove. She weighed in at 7 pounds, 13 ounces and measured 18-1/2 inches. She was born Dec. 17 to Matt and Shannon Kontyko, who reside in the former Elmer Snyder home. Maternal grandparents are Michelle and Tim Propst. Congratulations!
Marleta Wimer visited with her mother, Rosalee Grogg, who is recuperating from a recent fall. They were talking about persons having birthdays, and mentioned that Isaiah Snyder had his on the fifth, with Blakely Grogg having a birthday on the sixth.
Quotes for January are as follows:
“The new year stands before us, like a chapter in a book, waiting to be written.” — Melody Beattie
“Winter reminds us that everything needs some quiet time.” — Katrina Mayor
“What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.” — John Steinbeck
“When it snows, you have two choices: shovel or make snow angels.” — Unknown
“To appreciate the beauty of a snowflake, it is necessary to stand out in the cold.” — Aristotle
Waldo Spears wrote a poem called “The Clock of Life.”
The clock of life is wound but once,
And no man has the power
To tell just where the hands will stop
At late or early hour.
To lose one’s wealth is sad indeed
To lose one’s health is more;
To lose one’s soul is such a loss
As no man can restore.
The present only is our own,
To seek to do God’s will;
Tomorrow holds no promise, for
The clock may then be still.
Concerns for this week are many, and they are as follows: Roger and Joan Ashley, Mercedes Aumann, Vernon “Fuzzy” Baldwin, Nathan Beachler, Lynn Beatty, Jack Bennett, Jimmie Bennett, Bill Brackman, Jed Conrad, the Bob Dyer family, Jeff Evick, Ina Evick, Dan and Margaret Ferrell, Ron Gilkerson, Lola Graham, Rosalee Grogg, Marvin Hartman, Steve and Armanda Heavner, Gary and Jackie Hills, Virgil Homan, Jr., Charlee Marie Hoover, Keith Hoover, Myrtle Hoover, Debbie Horst, Doris Hull, Bob and Cynthia Hurry, Lisa Dawn Jamison, Alice Johnson, Kim Kline, Richard Judy, Melissa Lambert, Robert Lambert, Rex Landis, Angela Lung, Linda Malcolm, Betty Mallow, Roger and Skip Mallow, Naomi Michael, Gary Mitchell, Gloria Moats, Melvin Moats, Aaron Nelson, Ruth Nelson, Bennie Nesselrodt, Cheryl Paine, Sutton Parrack, Shirley Pratt, Kathy Propst, Sheldon Propst, Mary Puffenbarger, Verla Puffenbarger, Jason Rexrode, Jimmy Rexrode, the Johnny Rexrode family, Pam Rexrode, Glen and Jeannie Riggleman, Max Rodriguez, Donna Ruddle, Annie Simmons, Barbara Simmons, Barry and Phyllis Simmons, Davey Simmons, Erin Simmons, Eva Simmons, Tom Simmons, Robbie Sites, Ona Smith, Stanna Smith, Patricia Swecker, Rosa Tichenor, Ed Troutman, Sandra Vandevander, the Charles Lee Whetzel family, Ron White and Judy Williams.