I was born in Oregon in 1946. My family moved to Virginia where I was in first and second grade, then grew up on a farm in Summit Mills, Pennsylvania, as a young Mennonite girl. I met my wonderful husband, Dave, at Salisbury Elk-Lick High School. Our families were both Mennonites and farmers, so we had a lot in common.
We’ve parented three children, had financial struggles and health issues together. On this battleground called Earth, we clung to our faith in God’s promises, knowing He is for us and against the enemy of our souls. We overcame through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior and are doing well today. Dave and I have four grandchildren ages twelve to seventeen, and attend Living Faith Church in Manassas, VA.
In 1992 I received a diploma for completing the Special Publishing Course from the Institute of Children’s Literature of Redding Ridge, Ct. In 2011, I joined the Northern Virginia Christian Writer’s Fellowship, and enjoy attending the four-day Greater Philadelphia Christian Writer’s Conference whenever I can. I have written Bible studies and led women’s Bible studies in my home for a number of years, and I do free-lance writing/editing. Writing poetry is a special creative outlet for me. My blog, Elaine’s Place, is found at //elaine-beachy.blogspot.com.
Stanley was such a fun-loving brother and childhood playmate for me; we are almost exactly one year apart in age. He’s the one standing next to me in this picture. With an adventurous and active imagination, he kept Mom and Dad on their toes. Stan always seemed to have a mischievous grin on his face and had to be “on the go” all day long. As we played together, we got very dirty. Some of the stories in Biff and Becka’s Springtime Escapades are based on actual childhood adventures with Stan.
Every evening at the “Petrie house,” as we called it, Mom had to check our heads for ticks and other critters because we played under the front porch in the dirt. This house was also the place where Stan and I played in the abandoned chicken house that gave him asthma. That story is in my book. There seemed to never be a dull moment with Stan around!
Mom read many Bible stories to us, and they seemed to provide ample fodder for Stan’s imagination. One day I found him in the yard with my favorite doll nailed to a small cross he had fashioned and planted in the front yard! The stuffing came out, and the doll was ruined. Another time, Mom found him with a shovel, and chunks of grass and dirt lay on a pile in the yard. When asked what he was doing, he boldly replied, “I’m digging a hole to hell!”
My clothes were made by my mother from printed feed sacks farmers had in those days, and I especially remember the lined coat and matching cap with little pink rosebuds and tiny green leaves. She cheerfully made do and worked with what she had. When we couldn’t afford to replace the worn linoleum in the kitchen, she painted it with gray porch paint and daubed brightly-colored left-over paint in red, yellow, and blue with a small wad of cloth. It was pretty!
Dad made our kitchen table, covered it with linoleum, and bought mixed chairs at auctions. One very special memory of my dad was that he made little chairs and a wide but low height table for us kids so we could do puzzles, color, and make crafts. I remember Mom gave us raw egg white residue in shells for glue.
I like this picture of myself as a child at five years of ate. Stan is on the tricycle and the taller boy is my uncle, Sam, my mom’s youngest brother who came with my grandparents for a visit. The baby in the stroller is my brother Sanford.
This photo shows us at the Will Overholt rental house near Kempsville, VA. This is the place where the pig bit Stan’s arm and I disobeyed Mom by wearing my Sunday dress. These stories are also in Biff and Becka’s Springtime Escapades.
My mom and dad are shown here with us children at the Will Overholt house on a Sunday after church. (We went to Kempsville Mennonite church at the time.) Stan was clearly not too happy about holding still for a picture. Mom and Dad had two more boys later on, so I grew up with four brothers: Stan, Sanford, Marlin, and George.