Written by Larry E. Wolfe (edited and compiled by his brother Brian A. Wolfe)
Dad was working in Harrisburg doing interior and exterior painting and somehow decided that we should live closer to his work, so after a while we were movin’ on, on the road again. It was early in 1958 when we moved to Piketown in the mountains of Dauphin County north of Harrisburg. Mom and Dad bought another home with the help of our Great-Grandma Kate Wolfe and it was here that we, the whole family, lived for the longest period together as a family, early spring of 1958 to the spring of 1962, a little over four years!
It was also here that Pooch (Warren) and I received a sound high school education in a good school with the twins attending a modern elementary school in West Hanover township. Fred would start school down the road a little later, and have the privilege of attending one school system for all of his school days! Years later mom’s last son my youngest brother Steven would also have this same blessing of living in one place most of his childhood days, due to Mom’s determination to keep her boys together and raise them the best she could.
Pooch graduated from Central Dauphin High School in 1961, but before he did, Dad kicked him out of the house! This was a traumatic event for Mom and the rest of us kids. Our family was splitting up, it seemed, and turmoil abounded! Pooch moved in with his future in-laws, having dated his future wife, Thelma Moyer, for over a year and soon joined the Navy. But, he was still a strong influence on our family even though he was away for quite a while. He served his country for four years during the build-up to the Vietnam war.
I graduated in 1962, but three months before that happened Mom separated from Dad permanently and divorced him not long after their twentieth wedding anniversary, February 28th, when she was only thirty-nine years of age! Her boys were her priority, and she decided it was time to get a place of her own! We moved on once more into another old farmhouse near Grantville on old Rte.22 where we once again rented one half. This was the twelfth place we had lived in ten short years if you count our stays at the two Grandma’s! I think we were called to be ‘Professional Nomads’ hah!! Maybe that’s the reason we’re so comfortable ‘On the road’!
The twins and I finished our school year commuting in a ’48 Chevy Tudor Fleetline I bought for $75 from U.J. (Uncle John) but it barely lasted me the three months we needed it to get the job done. True to U.J.’s prophecy, the engine blew, throwing a rod out the side, when I exceeded its previous owner’s limits, which was ’50 mph and no faster’ I remember U.J. saying! Hahaha…that limit lasted only about two weeks, and the old Chevy couldn’t take the pressure of 65mph on new Rte. 22, the only four-lane highway in the area!
But, thankfully, Mom’s moving days were almost over. She gave birth to her sixth and last son, my brother Steven, while living there in Grantville in 1966 when she was 44 years old. She lived there for six years, the longest she ever lived in one place since she was a child, until Pooch bought her a mobile home in 1968 and set it up on a beautiful piece of land overlooking the valley, and it was there where she spent her most carefree and peaceful days.
Mom with her Boys at Fred’s Wedding in 1984, From Left: Warren, Larry, Brian, Mom, Bruce, Fred, Steven
She lived there in her trailer twenty-three years, some of the happiest days of her life, in a place which was truly her own, to move on no more…except for her final trip, the one she made to heaven in October of 1991…movin’ on no more…no more tears…resting in the arms of Jesus…Irene…our Mom found PEACE at last! In those sixty-eight plus years Mom spent on this earth, some would say she didn’t amount to much. But, when viewed from God’s vantage point, we will easily recognize that God used her to keep her boys together and influence them all for eternity! Now I’m surely not trying to paint a picture of Mom the ‘Saint’, because she certainly was not, even though she did become a saint, a born-again child of God!
No, she had her faults to which we all would admit, but her determined mindset to do what she could to keep her boys together and raise them the best she could was one of the keys to her great success as a Mother, which is probably the greatest single calling anyone can have here on Earth! Yes, it was and still is the miraculous working of God throughout the history of our family that is the MAIN reason why we can truly say today, “To God be the glory, great things He hath done!!” And as one Bible Preacher has rightly said: “It takes a thousand pounds of Preacher to equal one ounce of Mother”, Amen and Amen!
And so, the sacrificial influence of our Mom who loved us, as she depended on God’s grace and provision to raise us, became the very reason why we, ‘Irene’s boys’ as we are called by the people in the area, are living for God’s Glory today!
For more encouraging stories see: New Blog Index
Upcoming: The story of the Anspach’s, Mom’s family story.