American Heirlooms - December 2018




My children attend our small, local school run by our local Mennonite church. It’s the same school I went to, and often I see my former classmates dropping off and picking up their children. Parents and the church community here both take an active role in the type of education students receive. This helps keep the learning centered on our goals, which are designed to ensure spiritual safety. Our children’s education is Bible-based rather than secular. That’s not to say our children don’t excel at, or understand, a basic academic education. In fact, we encourage academic excellence, to the best of a child’s ability. As a craftsman, where would I be without the math and problem-solving skills I learned at this school? But more importantly, where would I be without God and His Word? So hold that thought…

As a background to this, in the mid-20th century many Amish and Mennonites were dealing with government regulations that took the responsibility of children's education away from their parents. It was a rocky time. Since the government was stepping in, our people were concerned that they were being pushed out of their children’s upbringing. Some Amish parents were even jailed for sending their children to their own schools instead of being bused to public education. The situation moved all the way to the Supreme Court, where our position was recognized to continue educating our children the way we deemed best.

live life, to find fulfillment, and to obey God. I’m happy these traditions were secured for future generations. These aren’t customs we keep for custom’s sake; these are lifestyle choices based on God’s Word. There’s a saying I once included on my email signature: “Only the best endures.” It’s a call to see and recognize this well-known truth: that what we allow ourselves to think, say, and do all affect our future. It’s a call to lead the fullest, purest lives we can. And it’s a call to understand that we have to prepare ourselves in order to achieve our divine hopes.

And so at our school, we’re teaching our children about the most important ways to

–Ethan Zimmerman

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In the wake of destruction, it’s easy to focus on self-preservation. After all, fight-or-flight instincts are hard-wired into our brains so that we can survive dangerous situations. But while fear drives the actions of many in times of chaos, there are a few who find greater strength in compassion. Tony Alsup considered the potential devastation of Hurricane Florence as he sat comfortably in his home in Greeneville, Tennessee. Rather than sit back and watch, the truck driver by trade packed up an out-of- commission school bus he’d bought and set off to South Carolina with one goal in mind: to save as many animals as possible. Stopping by every shelter he found along the coast, Alsup rescued over 60 cats and dogs in both North and South Carolina and took them to Foley, Alabama. The heroic efforts of Alsup saved the lives of many animals, but it wasn’t the first time he’d rushed into danger for a good cause. He’d originally purchased the school bus, which he turned into Noah’s Ark last year, to save animals in Texas and Florida as Hurricane Harvey pounded the Gulf Coast. When he finished there, his mission shifted to helping animals in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria ravaged the island.

devastation of Florence, but as news stories turned to sports, politics, and business, America slowly moved on. Victims of the hurricane who lacked supplies received less national attention, but more than a month later, Alsup’s commitment to the cause was as strong as ever. Living out of the back of the bus for weeks, he drove pets out of the persistent flooding and convoyed shipments of desperately needed supplies to the coastal Carolina towns. You can follow Tony’s commitment on Facebook. He’s not asking for money or fame; he’s just a person with a heart to serve, using social media to promote awareness about those who desperately need our help. If you’re wondering what drives such a person, you can find it written at the bottom of every update he posts: “Love y’all, mean it.”

It’s said that character is defined by the way someone acts when no one is watching. Many people heard of Alsup’s bravery after the

We are very pleased with the rocker we purchased for our youngest grandchild. The quality is very good. Keep up the good work.

-John and Audrey Buck

Thank you for a beautiful table and chairs.

-Pat Keen

Your furniture is worth saving up for! Craftsmanship is wonderful. I can’t wait to complete my set with a corner cabinet!


The writing table is an excellent addition to our home. We are very well pleased.

-Gordon Blythe


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Regardless of why you chose to add a custom piece of furniture to your home, the piece was designed by a craftsman who put time and care into it, so you’ll want to preserve that effort. These pieces are special, but in the real world they will experience wear and tear over the years. To prevent damage, use these simple tips to preserve your new, cherished piece of furniture. When you first get your custompiece, follow proper preventative care to extend its life. Our shop’s pieces feature high-quality catalyzed finishes on all painted or stained furniture pieces. For the first three months only cover or protect table top surfaces while using the furniture. The finish should be uncovered to allow the finish to fully cure. As needed you can clean the furniture with a warm, soapy, damp cloth. Then dry it with a separate soft, clean cloth to enjoy the fresh sparkle! Polish infrequently. Avoid furniture polish or wood treatment for the first six months. After that, use non-silicone and non-citrus polish such as Guardsman Furniture Polish. Over time, your custom piece will become a fixture in your home, and like other parts of your home, it will require regular care and cleaning to maintain the style and sheen. If your furniture gets a food or drink

spill, use a warm, soapy, damp cloth to clean the surface. But no need to panic! The finish we use will repel water for up to an hour or so without permanent marking. To give your furniture the best chance of long-term survival in your home, protect it from extremes of temperature and humidity . Our shop uses solid wood in our custom pieces. This is a natural fiber which is susceptible to overheating, sunlight, and high or low humidity. The wood will expand or shrink with the seasons, and too high or too low humidity can damage pieces over time. Set your house humidity at 30-40%. Lower or higher will result in the wood moving and possibly cracking. Be wary of extreme heat or sun exposure, as both can discolor finish or darken wood. Keep your custom furniture in a dry place in your home, away from stoves, heaters, heater ducts, or large windows, and use pads, coasters, or potholders to protect surfaces. Furthermore, teach children and pets not to chew, hit, or play on the furniture, and keep your custom pieces in a secure area when training that new puppy. Preserving your custom furniture with proper maintenance and cleaning methods can be simple. To learn more, or to add a new custom piece to your home, call our shop at 302-653-2411.

Hail the blest morn when the great Mediator Down from the regions of glory descends; Shepherds, go worship the Babe in the Manger; Lo! For his guard the bright angels attend. Brightest and best of the sons of the morning, Dawn on our darkness, and lend us Thine aid; Star of the East, the horizon adorning, Guide where our infant Redeemer is laid. Cold on His cradle the dewdrops are shining, Low lies His head with the beasts of the stall; Angels adore Him in slumber reclining, Maker and Monarch and Saviour of all. Say, shall we yield Him, in costly devotion, Odors of Edom and off’rings divine, Gems of the mountain and pearls of the ocean, Myrrh from the forest, or gold from the mine? Vainly we offer each ample oblation, Vainly with gifts would His favor secure; Richer by far is the heart’s adoration, Dearer to God are the prayers of the poor.


2 pounds fresh chestnuts, unpeeled

2 teaspoons kosher salt, or more to taste

• •

2–3 sprigs rosemary 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

Pinch of freshly ground nutmeg

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste


1. Heat oven to 450 F. 2. Place a large sheet of foil on a rimmed baking sheet.

3. On a large, flat workspace, place chestnuts flat side down. Using a sharp knife, carve an X on the rounded side of each chestnut. 4. In a large bowl of hot water, soak chestnuts for 1 minute. 5. Pat dry and transfer to a medium bowl. Add rosemary, butter, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Toss to coat and transfer to baking sheet. Arrange in a single layer. Gather the edges of the foil together, leaving an opening at the top.

6. Roast until peels curl up, about 30–45 minutes. 7. Transfer to a platter and serve while hot or warm.

Inspired by Bon Appétit

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Brought to you by Kenton Chair Shop Builders of American Heirlooms and Penns Creek Furniture The Swiss Craftsman


P.O. Box 280 • Kenton, DE 19955 • Phone: (302) 653-2411

Inside this Issue

My Children’s School Page 1 Hurricane Pet Hero Testimonials Page 2

Cleaning and Caring for Your Furniture Buttery Roasted Chestnuts Page 3

What Do My Symptoms Mean? Page 4


Achoo! That’s the last noise you want to hear this winter. Cold weather brings a slew of sicknesses, so be vigilant to treat these common illnesses, or better yet, avoid them altogether. The Common Cold Although there is no cure, a cold is easier to treat than other illnesses. If you or a loved one has a runny nose, low-grade fever, headache, cough, nasal congestion, or sore throat, the common cold has most likely taken hold. With the help of rest and perhaps some cold medicine, like cough drops and decongestants, the cold will come and go in about a week. Bronchiolitis Bronchiolitis appears most commonly in children less than a year old and is caused by other viruses. Of the many symptoms — nasal congestion, low-grade fevers, and coughing — wheezing is the one you should be most concerned about. If your child is having difficulty breathing and is dehydrated, they may have caught a more serious strain of the virus. Most children will recover with at-home rest, but some may need to be hospitalized for more severe symptoms.

Influenza The flu is known for causing high fever, muscle aches and pains, nausea, and other symptoms similar to a cold. Often, the fever will last for around five days, but it can be shortened with the aid of antiviral medications. However, these medications are recommended only for children who face serious complications or hospitalization from the flu. If you want to avoid catching this, your best bet is to maintain a healthy immune system. Strep Throat A sore throat, headache, stomach ache, vomiting, and high fever are signs of strep. This infection is treated with antibiotics and should be addressed soon after the first symptoms appear to prevent further complications. Children with strep throat should stay away from school and other activities until they’ve been on antibiotics for 24 hours. Everyone knows that getting sick is no fun and is best avoided at all costs. However, it happens to everyone eventually. Catching a virus or infection in its early stages can help you shake the sickness much faster.


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