My older sister Mary Ellen and I were so happy when the first niece arrived in our family. And that was Diane. She was the third child of my brother Paul who is almost eighteen years older than me. Diane was born on my brother Carl's second wedding anniversary.
In the old faded photo above Diane wanted to be photographed with her doll collection. In the photo below you see Diane with her husband Ron and my sister Mary Ellen and her husband Jerry. This photo was taken at a family reunion in Russia, Ohio at the Golden Lantern Restaurant which used to be the best place to eat in Russia, Ohio. Alas, the Golden Lantern fell on hard times after the millennium and was forced to close. I recently read in the Sidney Daily News that this restaurant has changed hands will now become a funeral home of all things.
Diane was a farmer's daughter and in 1978 she became a farmer's wife. When she married Ron. of Cassella, Ohio she moved into this old German brick farmhouse that you see in the photo below. It is a tradition of Ohio farmers of German descent that the family farm is always handed down to the oldest son in the family. Ron was the oldest son in his family so Diane and Ron spent the year before their wedding in August of 1978 renovating the downstairs of this home with new plumbing, wiring, and heating.
Over the years Diane and Ron renovated and added on to this historic Ohio home when they were not busy farming the land and caring for 80,000 laying hens and numerous pigs. This German farmhouse that was over 100 years old in 1978 is now over 130 years old.
And back in the 1870's this part of Ohio was so remote from other towns and people that this house was built with a "laying out room" for the dead. Diane and her husband have made this room the office for their family farm. For some crazy reason that is my very favorite room in Diane's house----if only walls could talk, what stories they could tell you.
But I can and will tell you this story about Diane when she was eleven years old and not interested in either chickens or pigs. She wanted a horse to ride. She knew her father wouldn't buy her a horse. She knew her grandfather Leo wouldn't buy her a horse. So she wrote a very persuasive letter to her Godfather, Harold in Denver---please, pretty please, buy me a horse. So Uncle Harold sent a check and my father went out and found this beautiful riding horse. The horse's name was Charmin like the bathroom tissue. Charmin or TP moved into the woods on the home place and became Diane's riding horse.
Happy birthday Diane. Stop gathering, processing and packing eggs today and take time to celebrate your birthday with your husband and three children. Maybe go for a horse ride. By the way as the photo below proves, you still look like you are in your twenties!
Blog Addition: Diane in her email told me that Charmin was a wonderful horse and all the grandkids would ride her until she got this contrary streak and wanted to throw you off her back by running like mad to the low tree branches in Dad's woods. So the grandkids had to learn to duck and dodge while riding this horse. That might be when she got demoted from being called Charmin to TP!