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Trinity United Church of Christ


by Theresa Dardanell

“No matter who you are or where you are on life’s journey, you are welcome here.” Pastor Sean DeLawder and the members of the Trinity United Church of Christ truly believe that message. It is demonstrated in their worship, fellowship, and outreach.

Everyone is welcome to attend the weekly 11:00 a.m. Sunday service, which includes the exchange of peace, prayers, readings, and Pastor Sean’s sermon.  Organist Lana Sorenson plays the magnificent Mohler pipe organ, while the congregation sings hymns of praise. Rocky Birely plays the flute during many of the Sunday services. Communion is on the first Sunday of the month. The very talented Trinity Bell Choir, led by Linda Franklin, performs several times a year. A special Veteran’s Day service is held every year and is open to all Veterans in the community. The event includes dinner, music, and a color guard, and it honors Veterans from all branches of service.

Caring for church members, along with friends, family, and those in the community, is an important part of the outreach.  Every day, several people on the Prayer Team offer up prayers for those on the prayer list who are dealing with a hardship, health concern, or other need. The “Random Acts of Kindness” program gives members the opportunity to do a good deed for a neighbor or friend. Among other activities, the Worship, Fellowship and Education Committee members assemble and deliver “Sunshine Boxes” to members who are shut-ins and unable to attend church services. This summer, committee members joined with Weller United Methodist Church for Vacation Bible School. Volunteers from both congregations helped with the education, crafts, and activities. Local teens were invited to “Fuse” meetings during the summer; the church provided the building for the group to use as a place for activities, socialization, music, games, and conversation, with adult supervision and mentorship. Outreach also includes donations to the Thurmont Food Bank, Thurmont Ministerium, Blessing in a Backpack, the school supply drive, and One Great Hour of Sharing.

The Trinity United Church of Christ kitchen is a very busy place. Kitchen managers Tootie Lenhart and Russ Delauter are joined daily by church and community members, friends, and family. Together, they bake pies, cakes, and dumplings, and they cook chili, soups, slippery pot pies, and country ham sandwiches.

Pastor Sean said, “We are blessed to have people outside of our church come and help.” Proceeds from the kitchen ministry support the church and provide funds for community outreach. Soups and chicken pies are delivered to members who are sick. Lunches are provided after funeral services. At least once a year, they partner with the Thurmont Lions Club in an all-you-can-eat fundraising breakfast for someone in the community who is in need of financial help due to illness or hardship. The two organizations volunteer their time and share the expenses so that all proceeds go to the family in need. Lenhart said, “We feel very good doing it.”

Colorfest weekend is one opportunity to enjoy the delicious soups, sandwiches, and desserts prepared by the kitchen staff. You can also order food for pickup before Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter. Red velvet, German chocolate, chocolate, coconut, and yellow cakes are available; peach, cherry, apple, blueberry, and homemade mince are several of the seventeen varieties of pies; six soups, including cream of crab, Maryland crab, and chicken corn, are available. For the complete list, you can call Lenhart at 301-271-2655.

Social events provide time for relaxation. In the spring, the ladies enjoy appetizers, sandwiches, soup, and dessert, served by the men during the Women’s Tea. On Father’s Day, homemade chocolate chip cookies are a special treat for dads. An annual picnic and dinners during the year provide time for fellowship.

The original Trinity Reformed Church was dedicated on June 13, 1880, and began its mission with fifty-two founding members.  Expansion began in 1901, and electricity was added in 1911. In 1957, the United Church of Christ was formed; Trinity Reformed became Trinity United Church of Christ. The church is located at 101 East Main Street in Thurmont. The website,, provides information about their mission and statement of faith. You can also listen to some of Pastor Sean’s sermons, view the latest newsletter, and see photos of previous events.

Pastor Sean DeLawder and members of the Thurmont Trinity United Church of Christ.

“A Resting Place”

by Anita DiGregory

We all have our heroes, our role models, those who inspire us, and those who we aspire to imitate. Ever since I was a little girl, I had a special love for Mary. As the Blessed Mother, she was my heavenly mother; I confided in her, telling her my scariest fears, hopes, and dreams.

As I have grown older, my love and admiration for her have only grown. I still confide in her, asking her to whisper my prayers to her Son. But now that I am a mother myself, she has become to me the Model of Motherhood. Think about it; she has experienced it all!

Newly pregnant, she traveled (probably on foot) to visit her cousin, Elizabeth, where she stayed to help care for her, support her, and eventually assist her in the care of her newborn baby. Later, when she was in her ninth month of pregnancy, she accompanied her husband, traveling far from home to a foreign land where her husband would have to beg for shelter. As if that was not enough, she then gave birth in a manger.  She swaddled her baby, loved Him, and protected Him. A brand new mother, Mary held her Son in her loving arms, and she became his resting place.

What a mom! But it does not stop there. She had to relocate to a new home with her family. She suffered terribly when her young child was lost and could not be found for days. She had compassion for a young bride and groom who ran out of wine at their wedding feast, and she interceded for them to her Son.

She must have suffered silently when her Son grew older and traveled far from home, spreading a message that often earned him many enemies. And, I imagine after long trips away, he would return to her and receive her motherly love and care, and even then, she would become his resting place. Eventually, Mary witnessed her Son being bullied and tortured mercilessly. Helplessly, she watched him suffer a long, agonizing death.  And after, they placed his lifeless body in her arms, where she again became his resting place.

These days, I find more and more that she is my resting place as well. She gets it; she’s been there.  And with her I can (almost) exhale.

Let’s face it: this motherhood thing is super hard. Logically, you would think it would get easier as they get older. Maybe in some respects it does. But honestly, for me, as my children have gotten older and their struggles and challenges have gotten tougher, this motherly load has gotten a lot heavier. My mother-in-law was visiting recently and randomly remarked of her own experience, “As a mother, you never stop worrying…no matter how old they get” (and her oldest is 57).

Don’t get me wrong; it isn’t all doom and gloom. There are MOMents of unimaginable joy, celebrating in their happiness, successes, and triumphs! Recently, I had the absolute blessing of becoming a grandmother for the first time! The delight of watching my baby become a father is indescribable, not to mention the joy of meeting, holding, and loving my new grandchild. She is the most beautiful blessing!

But before she was born, I witnessed her mom suffer tremendously for months with terrible “morning sickness” morning, noon, and middle of the night. As my daughter-in-law suffered a long, hard pregnancy, she provided for this beautiful baby a safe resting place. After days in labor, with hours of pushing, their precious baby arrived. And when she was born, the hospital staff (who were all amazing) laid that sweet little one on her mom, skin-to-skin, where this newborn found her safe resting place.

I guess that demonstrates the exhilarating, exhausting rollercoaster ride that is motherhood: the sadness and tears, the worries and anxiety, the utter joy and celebration. This is the undeniable part of being a mother: to be a mother is to be a cheerleader, intercessor, consoler, crier, worrier, celebrator, confident, and resting place. (This is why, even at my advanced age, I still feel better when talking with my mom!)

Personally, this rollercoaster ride has been quite intense these past few months, lots of changes. As I try to prepare physically and emotionally for another little one leaving the nest, I must say it has been rough.  Today, at Mass, she laid her head on my shoulder, just like she had done when she was little…and I soaked in the joy of that MOMent…and again being her resting place.

by Valerie Nusbaum

Randy has a nemesis. It’s the mailman. Oh, I know the correct term is “letter carrier,” but my hubby refers to the person who delivers our mail as “the mailman” when he isn’t referring to him as “@#*$%.” I don’t know our current letter carrier, and I can’t say for sure if it’s a man or a woman because I haven’t seen or met him/her. Our former letter carrier, Steve Geer, is a very nice man, but he retired a while back.

Our current letter carrier is likely a very nice person as well, but Randy swears that “the mailman” is playing games with him. You see, Randy’s job is to fetch the mail from the mailbox every day. He enjoys it, I think. I don’t mind doing it, and sometimes I do, but whenever I do walk down to our mailbox, our neighbor Steve Fulmer tells me that I’m going to get in trouble for taking away Randy’s job.

Mail delivery usually happens around 4:00 p.m. on our street, and Randy gets home from work around 4:30 p.m., so he picks up the mail on his way into the house.  Oftentimes, though, the mailbox is empty when Randy goes to it.  He comes in the front door and announces, “No mail,” and then we hear the mail truck rounding the corner. This has happened enough times that Randy is quite sure the mailman is hiding somewhere and watching for Randy to make his journey to the mailbox and come back empty-handed. Randy stands at our front window and hurls insults as the truck passes our house, and I swear that a time or two I’ve heard laughter coming from outside.

Now, our letter carrier absolutely can’t be blamed for this…but one day not too long ago, Randy went after the mail and came back looking shell-shocked. He said to me, “I’ve really seen it all now,” and he held up the day’s mail. Someone had sent us a banana. Seriously. It was a real banana with a postage sticker and a mailing label attached.  No return address. Who knew that fruit could be mailed that way?  The banana wasn’t in a box or an envelope, and I must say it was in pretty sad shape by the time we got it. We don’t know who sent it or what the significance is, but I’m sure that someone had a lot of fun dreaming it up. It cost $3.75 to ship a 25¢ banana. I made Randy peel it just to make sure that the sender hadn’t put something inside, but we didn’t find anything. The banana was postmarked “Frederick.”

About two weeks later, we came home and found a cardboard box on our porch. Again, the package was sent through the mail, and again, I don’t blame our mailman for it.  In fact, he or she had to get out of the truck to put the package on the porch, and I believe it was raining that day. We took the box inside and, after making sure it wasn’t ticking, we opened it. Our surname was misspelled and the package was sent from Middletown. Inside the box, we found a roll of toilet tissue wrapped in bubble wrap. Written on the tissue were the words “I hear you like pi,” and when Randy began unrolling the roll (because at this point, why wouldn’t you?), we found a large portion of the pi sequence written on the paper at intervals, such as 3. 1  4, etc. Was this connected to the banana? My guess is that the same person or persons sent both. How does pi relate to a banana? I have no idea.  I figure that there’s no connection, but the sender(s) got really tickled thinking about us trying to puzzle it out. Maybe we’ll receive a banana crème pie next. I really don’t know.

A while back, I told you about the beautiful flower pot that showed up on our porch. Well, around the same time as the pi/banana incidents, a cute metal turtle flower pick showed up in the flower pot.  A week or two after that, we came home and found a sweet little frog riding a snail in our flowerbed.  What lovely surprises those were, and they had nothing at all to do with our mail. Randy and I both want to send our warmest thanks to our mystery friend(s) for these thoughtful gifts. You’ve brightened our days and our home.

We haven’t received any new puzzling items in the mail, and those are mysteries we may never solve.  I’m sure the person(s) behind all of these things have had nearly as much fun with it as we have. I’m also sure that one day in the not too distant future, Randy will be lying in wait for our letter carrier, and I want to be there with a camera. It’s not so much that I want to record the moment of their meeting for posterity; it’s more that I may be able to use the photos and video in court at Randy’s trial.

“Late Blooming Native Wildflowers”

by Christine Maccabee

By now, you have likely seen the beautiful golden flowers of goldenrods along highways and back roads, and any other place they managed to escape the summer mowings. This is the beginning of the final amazing showing of wildflower blooms before colder weather comes in October.  Presently, the yellow flowers of the wild evening primerose are blooming and have been since July, serving pollinators very well. One place they are growing profusely are on both sides of the railroad tracks through Thurmont, but especially on the Boundary Avenue side. The beauty of this is that no one planted them there. They are happy volunteers!

All wild native plants are in a real sense, volunteers. As humans we often volunteer our time and talents for good causes, but so do wild plants and flowers. Spreading as they do by both seed and root, they feed precious pollinators their essential nectar and pollen. Therefore, I allow them to grow profusely on my eleven-plus acres and encourage others to do the same. In my gardens and fields, I have four species of goldenrods, ample evening primrose, lovely purple flowering teasel (which has bloomed out by now), four varieties of wild aster, yet to bloom, and many others. All of these can be very tall, especially this year with all the rain we have had.

These essential late-blooming, tall—sometimes gangly—plants are by far the most misunderstood wild natives, and yet, critically important elements in a healthy eco-system. Without their late season nectar and pollen, bees would perish during the winter, and what a sad world it would be without the wondrous buzzing of busy bees and the variety of colorful butterflies, and, yes, hummingbirds and moths as well.

You may have seen the pinkish purple flower clusters of Joe-Pye weed, which grow best in wet areas, even marshlands; however, many plants I’ve seen in the past have been mowed down along the sides of roads up here where I live. Folklore tells us that an Indian, Joe Pye, used this plant to cure fevers and aided early American colonists when treating an outbreak of Typhus. Many wild plants have such herbal remedy qualities if used properly, such as boneset, which happens to be blooming now. Early herbal doctors used it to help set bones, and it can be made in to a tea to treat colds, coughs, and constipation. Personally, I mostly admire these plants for their beauty and usefulness as food for our pollinators, though I have not yet tried them to cure fevers or set bones!

Soon to bloom on my property are the amazingly tall and graceful woodland sunflowers, though I have seen a smaller variety blooming already behind the guardrail off Rt. 550. Unlike the common striped sunflowers, which can win prizes for their size at county fairs (or our Community Show), these plants have multiple one- to two-inch flowers up and down the stems, which my bees ravenously feed upon. Then, after tiny seeds develop on each flower stem, small birds such as goldfinch, peck away at them, loading up on nutritious food for the winter.

There are many plants that I would like to write about here, but I have limited space. At least let me invite you to travel down the length of Woodside Drive in Thurmont and marvel at all the wild aster beginning to bloom. They will be flowering all through September and in to October, and the bees will be busily buzzing with joy!

One of the highest callings we have as humans is to protect the earth’s biological and botanical diversity. To have dominion over creation does not mean to usurp and pollute and mow it until earth is uninhabitable. It means to take responsibility for it. Many people are heeding this high calling, which gives me hope. Won’t you volunteer some of your property for the botanical volunteers just waiting to serve our important pollinators? As we become servants of all by preserving and creating precious eco-systems we will be preserving our own health and future. Have we any choice?

Christine Maccabee stands along the side of the railroad tracks on Boundary Avenue in Thurmont, admiring the yellow flowers of the wild evening primerose.

The Train Derailment No Passenger Noticed

by James Rada, Jr.

The Western Maryland Railroad mail train left Hagerstown on time on August 26, 1913, just another day on the daily mail run. However, as it rumbled down the steep grade on Horseshoe Curve in Sabillasville, the driving wheels of the engine left the tracks.

“The engineer applied the air, but as the drivers on the engine were off the rail, the air was effective only on the five heavy coaches,” the Catoctin Clarion reported.

The engine plowed ahead, no longer riding on iron rails but on the railroad ties. The engineers kept applying air to the brakes. Finally, the engineer thought the engine was going to topple into a ravine and he jumped. As the coach cars became a greater drag on the engine, the train finally came to a standstill.

“Had the derailed engine skidded a few inches further it would have toppled over and fell into the deep ravine,” the Hagerstown Morning Herald reported.

The crew climbed out of the engine to check what had happened. They walked back along the track to locate where the engine had left the rails and tried to figure out what had happened. It appeared that the track had separated about two inches on the curve, which allowed the engine to leave the rails.

“They found that the train had virtually slid 61 rail lengths, or 2,013 feet, and that the flanges on the engine wheels had cut almost all the bolts in the plates which held the rails together,” the Catoctin Clarion reported.

Surprisingly, the engine hadn’t toppled over. Not all of the engine’s wheels had left the track. The pony and trailer wheels had remained on and provided enough guidance to keep the engine upright.

Although the engineer had been injured by jumping from the train, the Catoctin Clarion reported that “passengers scarcely knew anything had happened.”

The track remained blocked all night before the engine could be put back on the track.

It had not been a good summer for the Western Maryland Railroad in Frederick County. Although only one person was killed, there had been four accidents that delayed traffic along the railroad.

In late May, a westbound train had passed over the iron bridge west of Thurmont, when a refrigerated car loaded with pork jumped the rails and rolled down a 150-foot embankment. Somehow, it was the only one of eleven cars in the train to derail. The trucks stuck on the side of the embankment, and only the car went rolling to the bottom. It remained intact, and the 25 tons of meat was transferred to another rail car and later delivered.

At the end of July, an eastbound train ran into the iron bridge, destroying one of the engine wheels. The engineer applied the brakes and stopped the train before it got out onto the bridge. Although scared, none of the passengers were injured.

A couple weeks before the August 26 derailment, a flagman fell asleep on the tracks. A westbound train hit him and crushed his leg and back. He died soon after the after the accident.

Sabillasville Horseshoe Curve.


Joan Bittner Fry

The railroad through Sabillasville has always been a part of my life.  In the ‘40s and ‘50s, we would pick up Uncle Ned at the state sanatorium station, where he would visit our family from Baltimore. I recall a time when the train was stopped at Manahan’s Store. We were on our way home from school. The engineer said we could get on and see inside.  I was the only kid who wouldn’t get on. It was so big!

The Western Maryland Railroad had been transforming Western Maryland since the 1830s. The Baltimore and Ohio connected Frederick City and points west to Baltimore, creating tremendous economic opportunity; but the area north of Frederick City had to wait over forty years to connect with the railroad. The challenges of building in mountainous areas slowed progress.

On May 17, 1862, the builders of the Western Maryland Railroad caused “quite a stir” in Graceham by laying track near the outskirts of town, but the Civil War slowed all progress. It was not until later in the decade that the railroad pushed into Graceham. Not until 1871 did the railroad finally arrive in Mechanicstown (now Thurmont) and press through the rest of Frederick County. Its arrival brought monumental changes to Mechanicstown, according to the local newspaper:

“The sound of steam whistle twice a day in the suburbs of our hitherto quiet little town has awakened everything up to newness of life and a spirit of ‘go-aheadativeness’ which is quite refreshing.  We begin to put on city airs and learn city fashions; Baltimore is brought close to our doors and oysters and cav-back (canvasback) ducks and fresh fish can be produced and eaten daily as at one of the largest restaurants in the Monumental City (Baltimore).”

After its expansion to Mechanicstown, railroad workers began laying tracks westward to Sabillasville. The brand new Mechanicstown newspaper, The Catoctin Clarion, predicted that the new railroad would “whistle the inhabitants of Sabillasville from the Rip Van Winkle sleep into a new and creative existence.” Once completed, the railroad took a leisurely semi-circular route around Sabillasville, a ride that quickly became known as “Horseshoe Curve.”

The entire Horseshoe Curve could be seen from many vantage points around Sabillasville, especially the State Sanatorium TB Hospital. My siblings and neighbors crossed the tracks of Horseshoe Curve every day to and from the former Sabillasville Elementary School. The road is now the treacherous Fort Ritchie Road from Sabillasville to Route 491.  My biggest fear in those days was a train being parked on the track getting water from the tank. I can still remember those huge wheels as we crawled beneath or between the cars to get to the other side. A first grader’s legs are pretty short. I guess my brother Jim’s legs were even shorter than mine.

The Western Maryland main line pushed west across South Mountain from Union Bridge, and by August 28, 1871, it had reached Sabillasville. At Blue Ridge Summit, engineers encountered very hard rock and found it necessary to run the line into Pennsylvania. Rather than go through the time-consuming process of getting the Pennsylvania Legislature to grant a charter, the company purchased the land and laid the tracks on its own property. This amounted to several hundred yards of line at the station at Blue Ridge Summit and again at Pen Mar at the highway bridge.

In the spring of 1871, a strike by workers, demanding $1.75 per day and a ten-hour day, temporarily halted plans to extend the railroad to Smithsburg; but, soon, labor and management settled the strike and the new railroad was pressing onward toward Hagerstown. It reached Hagerstown in August of 1872.

On March 24, 1874, John Mifflin Hood became president of Western Maryland Railroad, a position he held until he resigned on February 27, 1902. When Hood became president, the railroad had but 90 miles of track, a basically muddy roadbed, worn-out rusting rail, and 12 mechanically exhausted locomotives that were inadequate for freight and passenger trade. During Hood’s presidency, the Western Maryland track grew to 270 miles of steel track. From Baltimore, the Pen Mar Express train left Hillen Station at 9:15 a.m. and reached Pen Mar Park before noon, with the trip returning at 9:15 p.m. It was said that the passengers would cheer when they reached the curve. After circling Sabillasville, the railroad briefly went into Pennsylvania at the top of the grade at Blue Ridge Summit.

Passenger stations along the line were also telegraph offices that provided communication over wires owned and maintained by the railroad. My late neighbor, Charles E. Shields, was a telegraph operator at Blue Ridge Summit.

The first Blue Ridge Station was built in 1871. From 1872 to 1957, passenger service was provided to Blue Ridge Summit. The second station was built in 1891. Later, a train shed was constructed at Blue Ridge Summit, along the station side of the track, to protect boarding and alighting passengers from the weather. Pen Mar Station had a similar shed.

In 1958, the railroad presented the deed to this station and one and one-half acres of land to Mrs. Robert Hearne, president of the board of directors of the library at that time, with the following statement:

“In the tradition of the good neighbor, the Western Maryland family deeds to all the families of Blue Ridge Summit this familiar community meeting place to be used as a free public library, thus continuing in a cultural sense, the close relationship between the railroad and the people.” This quaint library serves two states: Maryland and Pennsylvania; and four counties: Frederick and Washington in Maryland and Adams and Franklin in Pennsylvania.

Water service for steam locomotives was a very important requirement, particularly on a mountain railroad. There were water tanks at Thurmont, one on the Horseshoe Curve above Sabillasville, and two at Highfield. Most small stations had local boarding houses available at the time.


Boarding Houses at Sabillasville

Horse Shoe Bend — Mrs. W. Frank Birely (25 guests); Williar House — Mrs. Charles Williar (15 guests); Curve House — Mrs. S. W. Harbaugh (15 guests); Meadow Brook — Mrs. Linnie Crist (20 guests); Silver Springs Farm — Mrs. Wm. H. Naylor   (35 guests); Fair View Farm — Mrs. Samuel West             (30 guests); Mountain View Cottage — R. A. Harbaugh (not given); *Harbaugh Cottage —       Thos. H. Harbaugh (not given); Anders House — Mrs. Maud Anders (not given); The Eyler Cottage — Mrs. Bertha Eyler (not given). *The author now owns this house.

Boarding house rates were from $1.00 to $2.00 per day and $5.00 to $6.00 or $10.00 per week. The charge for children and servants was $3.00 to $5.00.

Throughout the country, as was the case on Catoctin Mountain, the railroad reached and transformed formerly remote areas. In northern Frederick and Washington Counties, the railroad opened tourism to the mountain area and revived agriculture and industry in the region. During the summer on Sundays and holidays, crowds jammed Hillen Station in Baltimore and spilled into the street, with lines sometimes stretching several blocks. City people were headed for vacation resorts at Braddock Heights, Pen Mar, Blue Ridge Summit, and other locations, which were built and prospered because of rail transportation.

Unfortunately, all of this cost money, and by May 1902, the railroad owed over $9,000,000 to the City of Baltimore. After Hood resigned, the city sold its interest in the Western Maryland Railroad to the Fuller Syndicate.


The WMRR Now

Since 2007, the Maryland Midland (MMID) Railroad in Union Bridge, Maryland, has been owned by Genesee & Wyoming Industries, a U.S.-based corporation that owns multiple railroad shortlines in the United States and Australia. The railroad is shaped like a giant cross, with the east-west lines longer than the north-south lines. The western end of the cross, the former Western Maryland main line, goes to the CSX interchange at Highfield. The train sometimes runs twenty to thirty cars, with as many as four locomotives often leading.

This view of Horseshoe Curve at Sabillasville is from a period image (c. late 1800s), according to WMRR Historical Society in Union Bridge. It is not a postcard but an early sketch issued in a small booklet entitled “Western Maryland R. R. Scenery,” measuring 3 x 5 inches.

Eggs By the Numbers

by Buck Reed

As popular as eggs are, each person in the United States eats about 270 per year. That still adds up to a $10 billion a year business that employs 125,000 full-time employees. That is certainly something to crow about.

As far as purchasing eggs for you and your family, free-range chicken eggs are better than mass-produced eggs. Free-range chicken eggs can cost 2-3 times more than those found in the supermarket, but are worth every penny in terms of flavor and freshness. A chicken who scratches out at least part of her nutrition from the backyard will produce a better egg. Scientifically speaking, happy chickens make better eggs. There is a ton of data to support this.

As far as the culinary world, eggs are an essential part of our world. A chef’s hat has a multitude of folds, each one representing a different way they can cook an egg. Omelets, scrambled, or fried are just a few of the many ways we can enjoy eggs every morning. In baking, eggs have an important function in stabilizing finished products, making them firm. As an ingredient, they also add richness and nutrition to everything they touch. This little miracle ingredient could be the most important part of any cook’s or baker’s repertoire.

As far as eating eggs safely, they have a dubious reputation. For every study that says they are good for you, someone will fund a study that says they are bad for you. To some extent, it is about the money. You won’t see the Egg Council fund a study saying eggs are dangerous to your health nor the Big Time Cereal corporations fund a study that says eggs are the wonder food for nutrition. That being said, you should monitor your health and eat eggs in moderation.

Eggs are best eaten fresh. The best way to determine freshness is to put them in a pot of water and see if they float. If they do float, they are old and should be discarded. The white or albumen part should have two distinct parts, described as thick and thin. After it is cracked the thick part surrounding the yolk should actually stand up looking like a mountain. As it ages, the thick albumen becomes thinner.

No matter how you eat your eggs, you should take the time to prepare them well. Just in case they really are super bad for you, you may as well make sure you enjoy them.

Autoimmune Diseases

by Dr. Thomas K. Lo

According to the American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association (AARDA), autoimmune disease happens to be one of the top ten leading causes of death in females of all age groups up to sixty-four years of age.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) estimates up to 23.5 million Americans suffer from autoimmune disease and that the prevalence is rising. The AARDA states that it is more like 50 million Americans suffer from autoimmune disease. According to AARDA, the discrepancy is because the NIH numbers only include twenty-four diseases for which good epidemiology studies were available.

Autoimmune diseases result from a dysfunction of the immune system. The immune system protects you from disease and infection. Sometimes, though, the immune system can produce autoantibodies that attack healthy cells, tissues, and organs. This can lead to autoimmune disease and can affect any part of the body. More than eighty autoimmune diseases have been identified; some are relatively well known, such as type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis, while others are rare and difficult to diagnose.

Some autoimmune diseases are life threatening; most are debilitating, requiring a lifetime of treatment. There are treatments available to reduce the many symptoms and effects of autoimmune diseases, but most autoimmune diseases are rare and patients can often spend years seeking a proper diagnosis. Unfortunately, commonly used immunosuppressant treatments can lead to devastating long-term side effects.

The causes of autoimmune diseases remain largely unknown. There is growing consensus that autoimmune diseases likely result from interactions between genetic and environmental factors. The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) is supporting research to understand how these factors work together to compromise the body’s ability to defend itself and develop into autoimmune diseases.

Unraveling the connections between genetic predisposition and environmental triggers is a major focus for NIEHS and the National Toxicology Program (NTP), an interagency testing program headquartered at NIEHS. The good news is that progress is being made through multiple research efforts, some of which are noted below.

A 2012 study by NIEHS researchers found that over thirty-two million people in the United States have autoantibodies. Earlier studies have shown that autoantibodies can develop many years before the clinical appearance of autoimmune diseases. The study, which looked at the most common autoantibodies, antinuclear antibodies, found that they are most prevalent among women. This research suggests that the hormones, estrogen and progesterone might be affecting the immune system.

A study of residents in Libby, Montana, who have experienced significant exposure to asbestos minerals due to mining in the area, suggested a link between asbestos exposure and lesions in the lungs. Sixty-one percent of Libby residents tested had autoantibodies and were more likely to have two types of lung abnormalities.

An NIEHS study also found an association between ultraviolet radiation from sunlight and the development of an autoimmune muscle disease, myositis, particularly in women.

Low birth weight and low socioeconomic factors in childhood were associated with the later development of rheumatoid arthritis as an adult.

Recognizing that individuals are rarely exposed to one chemical at a time, NIEHS grantees studied what happens when mice are exposed to two suspected triggers for autoimmune diseases. Previous studies had shown that exposure to trichloroethylene, a solvent and degreasing compound, induced autoimmune hepatitis in autoimmune-prone mice. This study found that when the mice were also exposed to mercuric chloride, a compound used as a disinfectant and also used in photography, disease development accelerated, and a unique liver-specific autoantibody response occurred.

NIEHS grantees studying blood samples of Brazilian mothers exposed to methylmercury, an environmental contaminant passed on to humans by eating contaminated fish, found elevated levels of autoantibodies in the blood of both mothers and their fetuses.

NIEHS and NTP researchers demonstrated that a certain enzyme creates mutations in DNA and is a major player in the development of autoantibodies. The discovery of the role of this enzyme establishes it as a potential target for therapy in autoimmune disorders, such as lupus.

NIEHS brought together an interdisciplinary group of experts to evaluate the state of the science regarding the role of the environment and the development of autoimmune diseases. The experts have identified future research directions, identifying promising mechanistic theories and animal models, and identifying some specific environmental agents that may be involved in the development of autoimmune diseases. The findings included:

(1) Exposure to solvents, which are used in thousands of products, including paint thinners, cleaning supplies, and nail polish, contributes to the development of systemic sclerosis.

(2) Smoking contributes to the development of two types of rheumatoid arthritis.

(3) Exposure to fine particles of crystalline silica, a basic component of quartz, granite, and many other minerals, contributes to the development of several autoimmune diseases. Workers exposed to these minerals are particularly at risk.

(4) Eating gluten, present in wheat and some other grains, contributes to the development of celiac disease, a disorder that affects the small intestine and commonly causes chronic diarrhea and fatigue.

If you feel you are dealing with an autoimmune issue, call the Advanced Chiropractic & Nutritional Healing Center at 240-651-1650. Dr. Lo uses a non-invasive way of analyzing the body to determine the underlying causes of illness, aches and pains. They also offer free seminars, held at the office on rotating Tuesdays and Thursdays. The office is located in Frederick. Check out the website at

St. John’s Lutheran Church of Creagerstown

by Theresa Dardanell

St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church is on the left and the Union Church is on the right.

If your summer plans include visiting locations on the National Register of Historic Places, make sure you add St. John’s Church at Creagerstown Historic District to your list. The complex consists of three buildings, all owned by the church. The Union Church building (originally called the Reformed Church) was built jointly in 1834 and shared by the Reformed Church and the Lutherans until 1908. A new church, St. John’s Lutheran, was built and dedicated in 1909. A third building, the Parish House, was built in 1880, originally used as a two-room schoolhouse and purchased by the Lutheran Church in 1926. The adjacent community cemetery is also included in the historic district.

After the new church was built, the Union Church building fell into disrepair and was used only for storage. However, it is now in the process of being restored with help from the Maryland Historical Society. Completed renovations include a new roof and floor, the addition of heating and air-conditioning, and repairs to the basement. The beautiful chandelier and pews from the Union Church were moved to the Lutheran Church. Although the renovations to the Union Church building are not complete, services are held there, as well as in the new church. The Parish House is used for dinners and other community events.

St. John’s is the oldest Lutheran congregation in Western Maryland.  Although it was established in 1732, members worshiped in various locations until they moved into their current buildings. They are proud of their continuous tradition of spirituality, community service, and God’s fellowship. Pastor Wayne Blaser said that members of the congregation care for one another and look out for one another. The small congregation generously supports local and worldwide organizations. Local outreach includes donations to the Thurmont Ministerium, Thurmont Food Bank, Clothes Closet Ministry in Thurmont, and the Religious Coalition in Frederick. They also participate in the summer enrichment camp for students. Global support is provided to Operation Christmas Child, which provides shoe boxes full of supplies for children around the world. Money donated during special collections is sent to areas affected by natural disasters; recent donations were sent to Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico. One of the Lutheran Church Mission programs is the “noisy change” offering once a year. Members drop their loose change in a bucket (along with a check for an additional donation) that is taken to the Synod meeting in June, where it is used for the Lutheran Hunger Program.

Everyone is invited to attend the fundraising dinners, which are held throughout the year. The February dinner, held from 12:00-5:00 p.m. on the second Saturday of the month, features turkey and fried oysters. On the Saturday before Mother’s Day in May, a dinner of fried chicken and country ham, along with chicken and ham slippery pot pies, is served from 12:00-5:00 p.m. Proceeds from the May dinner support the operation of the community cemetery and local street lighting. The menu for the June dinner varies from year to year; this year, it featured fried chicken and pork BBQ. Funds raised at this event help families who face financial hardship due to a major health crises. It is usually held on the second Saturday in June. Plan to spend some time from noon to 5:00 p.m. on the Saturday of Colorfest weekend at the October “Cafe,” where you can enjoy a variety of sandwiches, side dishes, and desserts. The Thanksgiving Day dinner, served from 11:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m., is a 125-year-old tradition in Creagerstown. At the Christmas Bazaar on the first Saturday in December, food and baked goods are available, along with the indoor yard sale from 9:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. The dedicated members of the “Faithful Workers” group organize and conduct these events for the benefit of the church and community.

Special musical events are held at various times throughout the year at the church, and are open to the community; a free-will offering is gratefully accepted. The “Day Star” Southern Gospel group will be performing on October 7, 2018, at 6:30 p.m. The Blue Grass Chapel Band will be performing on November 11, 2018, at 6:30 p.m.

Everyone is welcome to attend the weekly 9:30 a.m. Sunday service, which includes the exchange of peace among those in attendance, prayers and readings, the message given by Pastor Wayne, and holy communion. An enthusiastic choir and an organist lead the congregation in musical worship.

St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church is located at 8619 Blacks Mill Road in Creagerstown.

For more information see the church’s website at ​

Pastor Wayne Blaser (on right) and members of St. John’s Lutheran Church.

“There Goes My Life”…Because Kenny Chesney Just Gets It

by Anita DiGregory

Can someone please answer this question for me? Why? Why? WHY do the months of January and February seem to drag on for what feels like an eternity, while the months of June and July speed by in the blink of an eye? I have consulted the calendar! Theoretically, they both appear to have the same amount of days in a week, same amount of hours in a day. So what is the deal with that?

I think I may have cracked the code and figured it out…at least for me, personally. See, during those winter months, I am just starting to see the proverbial light at the end of the very long, dark tunnel, and I am pushing ever so hard to reach it! However, those summer months fly at lightning speed, because no matter how much I want to live (and set up permanent shop) in denial-land, August is there waiting for me, complete with all its forms, fees, and back-to-school meetings…and then, BOOM, just like that, I am sucked back into that long, dark tunnel!

Okay, okay…it isn’t really that bleak and sinister. August isn’t really circling around me while the theme music from Jaws plays in the background. But sometimes, especially at 3:00 a.m., when I wake in a panic, heart and mind racing, with an ever-growing “to-do” list running through my brain, it sure feels that way, maybe even more so this year.

Yup, as much as I’d like to deny it, August is upon us. With it, another little bird is about to spread her wings and leave the nest, flying northward for her freshman year.  With her will go another very large chunk of my heart. It is truly one of those miracles of motherhood, that we can still walk around and function when so many pieces of our heart are missing; but that’s just what we do. We don’t have a choice.

For my husband and I, this isn’t our first ride on the “send your baby off to college” coaster, but it just doesn’t get any easier. You’d think it would! Maybe I have learned some lessons along the way (valuable lessons like: they aren’t really going to use an iron, so don’t buy them one—even if the college prep sheet lists it—and they probably aren’t going to need the biggest meal plan).  Maybe I am a little more prepared for the mid-terms and finals panic calls or the homesick calls. Maybe not.

Here’s what I think I am supposed to learn. I have to learn to let them fly, which sounds good in theory, right? But letting them fly also includes all the turbulence, soaring, and crashing that come with flight.  See, that is where the problem lies. I want to protect them from the falls, the mistakes, the pain. But, maybe, they learn more from their struggles than from their successes. Maybe, in trying to protect them from getting the same scars that I have, I am denying them huge life lessons that they need to succeed. Maybe, I need to pray more and trust Him more.  Maybe, these are the lessons I need to learn. Problem is, I am not a very quick learner!

You know, I used to think that when I was knee-deep in diapers and completely sleep-deprived that that just had to be the hardest of times. Deep in the diaper trenches, with bags under bags under the eyes, no shower for days, and no rest in sight…there is absolutely no denying that that season of life is incredibly hard and stress-filled. But with three heading out into adulthood, this mom thing just isn’t getting any easier. I am still sleep-deprived—only now it is because I am waiting for one of them to arrive safely at home, or because I am praying for them all and all their different needs, or because I am just worrying about them. And for the most part, their struggles are a lot bigger now, their decisions carry a lot heavier consequences, their heartaches and pain generally can’t be healed with a hug and a Band-Aid anymore. Yup, this mom thing is crazy hard. I don’t know, maybe I am doing it all wrong (a haunting question I have pondered since they were babies!).

But, here’s the thing: I don’t know how to do it any differently, and I don’t think I would even if I could. They have my heart and all that comes with it (the hugs, the tears, the lectures, the scolding, the celebrating, and everything in between). And as much as it hurts to walk around with human-being sized holes in your heart, I wouldn’t do it any other way.

by Valerie Nusbaum

Last week, Randy and I drove up to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, to visit a museum there. We were very excited to be out and about because we don’t get out much anymore.  Our last big road trip was the trip we took to Michigan two years ago. Other than a few weekends in Ocean City, Maryland, and a short trip to Chincoteague, Virginia, we’ve been spending our time in Thurmont. This is due to family obligations, work schedules, and not feeling up to traveling for one reason or another. That day, we spent over an hour together in our truck, reminiscing about trips we’ve taken in the past. We miss those days.

As we drove through Dillsburg, heading to Harrisburg, we remembered the year we celebrated my birthday by going to Williams Grove amusement park. The park is closed now, but even back then it had seen better days. I remembered going there as a child with my parents and my brother. Randy had never been at all, so the two of us went exploring. We went up on a Friday, and as luck would have it, Fridays were “Hot Dog Days.” Every customer in the park got a voucher for a free hot dog and drink. We always enjoy a freebie, so this was an added bonus. Randy and I laughed as we remembered riding the Himalaya. The guy in charge of the ride must have fallen asleep, because that thing went around and around and up and down for a full twenty-two minutes. I know because I timed it. Going forward wasn’t so bad, but those backward rotations didn’t do my stomach any favors, especially with the free hot dog in there. We got off the Himalaya and headed toward the roller coaster. It was my fault. I honestly thought we were in line for the kiddie coaster that I remembered riding as a kid. Nope. This was the full-size wooden coaster, and it shook and jarred us until our teeth hurt. There were two young boys in the seat in front of us, and one of them turned around and said, “Hey Lady, it helps if you scream.” It didn’t. The Tilt-A-Whirl is my favorite ride, and we saved the best for last, which proved to be a bad idea, because when we got to it, the ride was on fire. Upon reflection, this might have been a good thing.

Still driving through Dillsburg, we reflected on the last time we went to the drive-in. We saw the sequel to the Halloween movies, with a grown-up Jamie Lee Curtis, so you know how long ago that was. I remembered that Randy was mortified because we hadn’t had dinner, and I begged him to stop at the Chinese restaurant in the strip next to the drive-in for some moo goo gai pan. Randy didn’t think that we should take food into the drive-in, but I promised him it would be fine. It was, but I still remember him trying to cover it up as we paid for the movie. It turned out that the dinner was better than the movie.

We love a factory tour or a good tasting, and as we drove further into Pennsylvania, we reminisced about the time we did the Turkey Hill experience. All the ice cream and iced tea samples we could eat and drink for the low price of $9.99 each. We opted not to pay the additional fee for creating our own flavors. We’re basic chocolate and vanilla people. We could have gone to the grocery store and bought two half gallons of Turkey Hill ice cream for $5.00 on sale, but we reasoned that this had to be better. Besides, we all know that a carton of ice cream is no longer a half gallon.  Not even close.

We shared some laughs about visiting the Cape Cod potato chip factory when we were in Cape Cod. We could smell those chips frying from miles away, and we just followed our noses to the plant. It’s fun to sample everything, and we did. There’s a pretzel factory in the Poconos. I don’t really like pretzels, but when in Rome… The pretzel pizza wasn’t bad. Randy and I did a bit of Christmas shopping at the Utz and Snyder’s factories in Hanover, Pennsylvania. The folks on our gift list enjoy edible things because nobody our age wants more knick-knacks or decorations.

Wine tastings are another thing we enjoy. Learning new things is fun, and since my dad used to make wine, I’ve always been interested in it. We enjoy tasting the wines, but neither Randy nor I are big drinkers, so the five full glasses I was given at Elk Run Winery was probably a mistake for me. Ditto for the thirty-four tastes with cheese pairings at Linganore Winecellars.  We remembered visiting wineries in Panama City, Florida, as well as in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. I even brought home a bottle for my mom, called Wanda’s a Fruitcake.

The time passed and we made it to the museum in Harrisburg. We probably should have kept going.  At the very least, we should have done some research on the exhibits.  The lady selling tickets looked us over and felt the need to tell us that the downstairs exhibit was “provocative.” She was correct.  When I stop shaking, I’m sure this will be another funny memory for us.


~Emily Dickinson

I awoke this morning to the sound of soft fluttering of wings, unsure as to whether it was in the cottage or just outside my window.  I wondered what it could be: a bat, a large moth, a bird? It was flying around, but I could not see it, as it was too dark yet at 5:00 a.m. After a couple of minutes, the sound stopped, but I was now fully awake and full of wonder to get back to sleep.

Living as close to the natural world as I do, with wildlife of all forms very near me and all around me, my usual state of being is one of wonder. My cottage is located down a short wildflower pathway from the back of the big house, and summer is a great time to sleep out here, and to write. At the call of the first bird, I am awakened (no need for an alarm clock here!), and the musical chorus of bird songs swells as grey skies lighten, awakening the world.

I was going to write about Reverence for this article, but a sense of wonder naturally leads to a feeling of reverence for life. From the time we are born, we begin to wonder at the world, watching and soaking up everything as little babies, truly like a sponge. Not only do we grow healthy because of the goodness of our mother’s nurture, but our spirits are fed as well by our sense of wonder, of curiosity. I wish all children had the loving care I experienced, the opportunity to expand their spirits with a sense of wonder, but sadly this is not always the case. Too many children in the world are traumatized from a very early age by war, cruelty, negligence, and/or loss of a parent to begin that essential nurturing of their souls through wonderment. However, the spirit is unceasingly at work to heal all wounds, so there is always hope. I also know that Nature can be a healer.

I was fortunate to have a blessed childhood and grew up with adults around me who were sensitive to the beauty of nature. One of my first memories as a child of two or three years of age is standing at the base of my grandfather’s butterfly bush, which was flush with purple flowers and loaded with tiny butterflies of all varieties. I know I watched this phenomenon for long periods of time and was in a state of awe and wonder, which never left me.

Yesterday, I discovered a tiny insect on my wild spinach, otherwise known as lambs quarters, which is one of the best wild edibles (I eat steamed with other garden greens like kale and collards). This exotic-looking insect barely moved on its leaf, and looked like something straight out of the rainforest. Putting it on a fresh leaf last night and giving it a drop of water, I saw that it had moved about half an inch over night. I wonder if perhaps I have found a new, yet undiscovered insect. Here on my 11+ acres, I have an amazing variety of wild native plants, each one in service of specific insects. Such diversity is imperative to the web of life as we know it, and so much of that web is still not understood—or appreciated— by humans so busy with human things. I guess that is the awesome wonder of it all: There is always something amazing to discover. Everyone experiences that, even if it is just the wonder of another caring human being or a pet in your life. There are infinite, unending wonders here, where we dwell in the midst of this mystery called Life.

I don’t know what the fluttering was, and still is, that woke me up this morning. I am beginning to believe that it is a poor bird trapped between the inner and outer walls. Somehow, I will try to rescue it. I also do not know what that strange insect on my wild spinach is, though I intend to find out. Perhaps, I will have made a discovery worth writing about in a nature magazine!

Soon, I will be off on a vacation to see the awesome ocean. As much as I love the ocean, I also worry about the terrible assault upon it by the industrial world. I do wonder, or question, how and if we can deal with all the challenges we have ahead of us to clean up our materialistic messes of plastic pollution and on-going spills of toxic chemicals, etc. People dedicated to such cleanups have a strong sense of what is important. They, no doubt, understand the importance of wonder in our lives and are working to preserve that for our children and our children’s children. These warriors for the earth are my heroes.

I pray you and your loved ones and friends are having some awesome moments this beautiful summer, filled with wonder.

As for me, every day I walk out my door and smell the sweet perfume of mimosa and milkweed flowers, I hear bird songs, I see the bees and butterflies feeding voraciously on my Bergamot and Monarda flowers, my mood shifts from ponderous to wondrous. I guess you might say my sense of wonder since childhood remains intact, and for that I am grateful. May you never loose yours. God bless.

The Jinx of Old Frederick Road

by James Rada, Jr.

Old Frederick Road used to be the main thoroughfare between Thurmont and Frederick in 1917. It wasn’t the safest roadway, though. The Catoctin Clarion claimed it had a “jinx” on it. As evidence, it offered four different mishaps suffered on the road during a  September weekend. Not only were they different accidents, they were different types of accidents.

The first problem happened Saturday evening when a car struck Thomas Baker while he was crossing the road. Baker was thrown back over the front-wheel fender, and the only injuries he suffered was when he scratched his face on the road surface. The apparent cause of the accident was that the driver of the vehicle couldn’t see Baker, because the lights from oncoming traffic were too bright and blinded him.

Near midnight on Saturday, Charles Fogle was driving a seven-passenger Overland automobile, carrying Archie Elrode, Clarence School, Grayson Schell, and Arthur Clabaugh. He crashed into a carriage carrying Mr. and Mrs. Frank Angle and Mr. and Mrs. Raymond Cramer, all of Walkersville.

No one was seriously hurt, although the carriage was completely destroyed and the car badly damaged. According to the Clarion, “The tires were stripped from both right wheels and the front axle forced back under the center of the car. The fenders on the right side were crushed.”

On Sunday during the day, two cars hooked their front wheels together somehow while traveling down the state road about a half mile south of Thurmont. Because neither car could drive properly, they both wound up in a ditch.

The drivers weren’t injured, and the cars were driveable once they were pulled from the ditch and disconnected.

The final incident was the most-unusual of the four. Late Sunday afternoon, G. W. Shoemaker was driving a car carrying Harry Trout, Earl Heifleigh, Hallie Crum, and Bertha Crum. Near Catoctin Furnace, a cow made a sudden turn and walked into the road before Shoemaker could avoid it. The car hit the cow, knocking it down, and the front tires of the car passed over the animal.

“Objecting to being underneath, the cow gave a hump and tossed the car to the side of the road and into a ditch,” the Catoctin Clarion reported.

One of the female passengers flew through the roof of the car while Shoemaker was trapped beneath it.

  1. W. Lidie was passing nearby and saw the accident. He stopped his own car and rushed over to help Shoemaker out from beneath his vehicle and administer first aid. The car was damaged, although it was salvageable. No one was seriously injured except the cow.

Lidie sent his family home to Thurmont while he drove the passengers of the wrecked car to their homes in Liberty.

Car vs. person, car vs. carriage, car vs. car, and car vs. cow. The road jinx didn’t discriminate. Luckily, no one was killed in any of these accidents, which may be because the cars weren’t traveling at the speeds they do nowadays.

by Buck Reed

In An Organized Kitchen

In culinary school, we were told a story about a chef in France who worked for the king of France in the days of old. It seems that during one of the parties the chef had prepared for the king, they had run out of food, devastating the chef and his reputation. So, when the next party was planned and the food was delivered, the chef noted that there wasn’t going to be enough to feed all the guests again. Not realizing that there was another cart of food on its way, he became distraught and eventually committed suicide, not wanting to face the humiliation of another ruined party. The moral that I took from this story was that you better get organized or you will get “run over” in the highway that is the professional culinary world.

A natural talent of most successful chefs is definitely found in organization. In my time, I have found that Lutece and McDonalds, both successful restaurants have this in common. If you look in their walk-in refrigerators, you will find that everything is neatly organized and put away the same way every single day. There is no guessing if you are out of something or not. There is no searching for a box that is out of place. Hide and seek is not a favorite game of any chef. Now we have computers to help us with our planning. A Point of Sale (POS) is a system that helps organize the wait staff’s orders into tickets that help the cooks prepare the food for service. But that is only one small part of what this program can do. If properly set up, POS can keep track of your entire food inventory, helping you with ordering, food cost, and even tracking theft. It can also give you a history of what happened in the past, and help you predict what might happen in the future. Knowing how much of a certain appetizer or entrée you sold last weekend, or the same time last year, can give you a great jump on deciding how much you should prep this weekend.

Fortunately for home cooks such as yourself, you do not need a $10,000 computer system to get organized. Keeping your kitchen and pantry organized will make shopping easier. And, an organized kitchen is just easier to keep clean. Making lists before you go out to the grocery store is a help, but like most of us, you may be shopping for sales or, even better, something that is in-season. Trying to shop in such a way that you will know what you want to cook for the rest of week is a challenge in itself. But, real cooks seem to make it work out. It is almost as if we do it without even thinking about it.