Count Your Many Blessings


| May/June 1979



Old Gas Engines

7900 Taylor, Zeeland, Michigan 49464

NEW YEARS, 1979, the snow is piled high beneath the windowsills of our old farm house, the temperature is zero or just a little above as I begin writing this.

Let us first look back at the past year and think about some of the things that took place, some good and some not so good. As we look back, we can ask ourselves if we met all of the goals we had set for ourselves at the beginning of the 1978 year, and if we are honest, we must say 'No.' I believe sometimes the good Lord lets us fail just so that we do not get too big for our 'britches'. Then too, we must ask if we did all the things we should have done. Again, if we are honest, we must say 'No.' Did we turn the other cheek, as the Good Book says we should, or did we take offense at something one of our fellowmen did or said? Did we lend a helping hand as often as we had a chance to, or did we look the other way and tell ourselves we were too busy? We can only ask the Lord to forgive our mistakes of the past year, and ask for courage and wisdom not to make the same mistakes in the new year.

The year 1978 was a trying year for the Dalmans in many ways and also a very good year in many ways. On December 29 of 1977 Mrs. Dalman suffered a stroke and was hospitalized for almost three weeks. Then followed quite a long period of rest and recuperation at home, first using a walker, then a cane, and then came the day when she walked by herself. (Praise the Lord!) In many ways she has not fully recovered, but is doing her housework, and was able to take a short trip to the Upper Peninsula in Michigan this past September, and would you believe, we found and brought home from up there five old gas engines! The writer also went through some setbacks this summer healthwise, but as of now is getting along pretty well.

Now we look at some of the blessings of the past year. On December 15 we had been married 45 years, but it was December 29 before we could get all of our family together for the celebration. Our oldest had to fly from California; the second from Illinois; the third from our own state; and the last son, Roger, who stays at home. If we had tried we could not have picked worse weather for an anniversary party. It snowed, it rained, it sleeted, and then rained some more. In spite of the weather, 120 of our relatives and friends gathered in our church basement to wish us well, and we thank the Lord for that happy occasion. I have always said that best thing an old 'engine nut' could ask for is a patient and understanding wife, and the Lord has been good to me there.

Now to the engine part of our storyin August of 1977 my wife, son, Roger, and I went to the Buckley show near Traverse City, Michigan. It was there that Roger saw his first model gas engine and fell in love with it right then. A word of explanation is in order regarding our son, Roger. He is 33 years old, totally deaf, and the victim of cerebral palsy. He had never been too interested in large engines, but that little model at the Buckley show stole his heart. He was determined to buy it right then, but the price was $800 which was out of our reach by quite a bit. On the way home that night I told him I would try to build one for him and try to have it done by Christmas.