Monday, August 25, 2014

Sorghum Making

If you drive the back roads through the country in Southeastern Kentucky in late summer, you might be fortunate enough to see a strange looking crop growing in the fields.

 Its foliage is tall and green, the stalks with tassels topping the heads resemble corn without ears.

Its called sorghum cane and is used for making Sorghum molasses,it made its way to our country from Africa in the 1800 hundreds.

My father often planted some each year, to make sorghum for our family and to share with neighbors and friends.

It's sweet syrup like taste makes for some good eating, mother used sorghum in making a cake she called Molasses Cake that was so moist and flavorful I could  just about eat a whole one myself.

"Sorghum needs a warm climate to grow in." The best sorghum comes off poor land. It needs little fertilizers, withstands drought and the only weather damaging to the crop, is usually when wind blows it down.

In my fathers day the canes stalks were fed through a mill press, powered by a  mule pulling a  wooden pole attached to it .

The juice was screened and extracted into a home made evaporator cooking pan.

 The pan used a wood fire,  beneath it to cook the juice.

 The entire process took about 30 minutes to make a batch of the sweet tasty Sorghum.

It was a tedious process, one that required  a certain amount of skill, Evert Weaver a friend of my fathers was a craftsman at it for many years, and rated by many as one of the best in our community.

Been a while since I had some good sorghum, I use to try to find me some when I would go to Kentucky,  but seems like anymore its getting harder to find .

Hope you enjoyed our  Sorghum making lesson today, if you're ever down in Kentucky in the fall of the year, you just might want to check out these two places I hear they still make sorghum.

Renfro Valley, in Rockcastle  co. Ky.
West Liberty, in Morgan co. Ky.

Until next time,    God Bless.

Coleman Schell


Saturday, August 16, 2014


 When I was a kid I never imagined, one day we would have the technology we have today.

 Technology was a word I hadn't learned about yet, let alone imagine what it could do to change our lives.

  Today we have gone from a wall phone to a smart phone, World news taking days to reach us, to instant broadcast from anyplace in the world.

Tablets, computers, cars, planes, so many changes I can hardly keep up.

Change is good for the most part, but it does come with a price tag and a few side effects. 

Computers are an important part of our lives, occasionally they get infected with a computer virus, then what was so useful and helpful, can start running a muck unable to function as they were designed to do.

         Many times only a major reprogramming of  their corrupted  hard drives, will restore them to usefulness.

         This situation can be compared to another virus, the virus of sin, God created our first parents perfect and with out sin, their every need met  and their relationship with God UN-blemished, but they rebelled against God, sin entered the world---- and since that day, the human heart has been infected with the deadly "virus" of sin.

         Our fellowship with God was destroyed, we became morally weak and corrupt.

          And like the computer we must be reprogrammed, Christ came to conquer the "virus" of sin! When He enters our lives ,He begins to remake us from within, the "virus" no longer has absolute control.

         Romans  8:  21 Because the creature itself, also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption, into the glorious liberty, of the children of God. 

 If the first part of my life is any indication of what is yet to come  the rest should be interesting and challenging.

 My grandmother Carrie Parman wrote so many good things about everyday life in the twentieth century.

 If she were still with us today I'm certain,  she would be awed by, how much things have changed since her writings.

Coleman Schell


Saturday, August 9, 2014

Apple Cider

My wife and I love to visit Yates Cider Mill at the end of each summer, Yates is located amidst the beautiful countryside of Rochester Hills, Michigan.

It has existed  since way back in the days of Abraham Lincoln, Yates opened its doors in 1863 beside the rapidly flowing waters of the Clinton-Kalamazoo Canal.

The Clinton River cascades over the Yates dam, providing power for the mill, the original water turbine was installed in 1894 and its still being used today.

As you visit  Yates if you're like most folks, you will take a tour of the cider presses to get an up close look of how cider is made.

And you certainly want be able to leave without, trying some of the tasty home- made donuts and fresh off the press apple cider.

Yates Cider Mill is one of the oldest continually running businesses in Michigan, the scenic beauty there is ideal for a relaxing stroll through the adjoining hills and along the Rivers edge.

People come from all over the State each year to visit this place of history, if you are from Michigan there's a good chance you are one of them.

As summer ends this year and the children go back to school why not plan a week end trip, to get out and enjoy  yourselves  at a cider mill or park near you.

Remember times spent with your family can be the most precious of any you will ever spend.

As God paints the meadows and hills once again this autumn with His favorite colors, be mindful He alone paints with such splendor.

Colossians 1:16-17 - For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether [they be] thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:   

Coleman Schell 


Monday, August 4, 2014

Count it Joy

When I was five years of age, I got typhoid fever, mother and dad said it was a close call. 

 My temperature reached  107 degree, our family physician,  Doctor Walthen came to our home and spent the night with us, trying to get the fever down.

Early the next morning, he told my mother, he felt he had done all he could do for me and needed to go and attend to other needy Patients .

  I  remember hearing my Mother  praying after he left, asking God to heal me and spare my life,  God was good to us and answered her prayer at 7:00 am, the temperature began going down, and I started getting better.

Because of the high fever, my hair fossils were damaged and my hair turned completely white, staying that way for about a year, before returning to its natural color. 

Fortunately, no one else in our home got sick with the typhoid, my immune system must have been weak or something.

Not sure, why I was the only one to get it, some thought the well water may have been contaminated.

Now, looking back at that close call, I count it all joy, that God answered my Mothers prayer, and spared my life that day.   

With out a doubt its hard to "Count it all joy" (when) sickness and suffering comes your way, I'm sure you can agree.   but Christ say's we can do it.

 James 1: 2
When ever you face trials of any kind, consider it nothing but joy.

God has been so good to me, I thank Him for sparing my life that day,  I'm thankful for a fine family. The little church that I attend and for all my good friends, especially you my Facebook friends you are the greatest.

 Thanks for reading my meditation.

Coleman Schell