Friday, July 8, 2011

How Green Was My Valley

"You've been lucky you...lucky to suffer...lucky to spend these weary months in bed.  God has given you a chance to make spirit within yourself..."

Today, we are marking the passing of our dear friend and mentor Bets Hause, who endured a long illness with grace and courage that was so much a trademark of who she was.

As I prepare macaroni dishes for the funeral today (the supplies for which, Bets' family prepared in anticipation of this day), the movie "How Green Was My Valley" comes to mind. 

"How Green Was My Valley" is considered by many to be one of the greatest movies of all time.  Released in 1941, the movie was nominated for 10 Oscars and won 5, beating out such critically acclaimed movies as Citizen Kane and The Maltese Falcon for Best Picture.

But that is not why I love this movie or why it comes to mind when I think of this family.  I wish I could put it into words, but I fear that I cannot.  I loved Bets so much.  It was an honor for me to get to know her while I served briefly as her visiting teacher, shortly before she became ill.  Bets taught me so much during our visits.  She was always happy, always eager to talk about the Lord.  Everything was "a blessing".  Work was never a chore.  

Every time that I dropped by unannounced, Bets was working in her garden.  On scheduled visits, her kitchen bore testament to her hard work as her counters were always covered with freshly canned produce.  She was so self-reliant, that her family rarely had to grocery shop during the winter months.  They lived on their home-canned meat and vegetables.

Bets was an amazing matriarch.  Her family is the legacy that speaks for her the things that she could never and would never put into words about what she has accomplished in this life.

Perhaps it is their old world way of life that reminds me of the movie.  Their way is wholesome.  Their attitude is one of serving others.  Their minds and hearts are constantly turned toward the Lord and toward cultivating the good earth that he has given us.

But I suspect it is because this family lives together, toils together, and sticks together through every hardship life throws their way...and through it all, they can still stand and say "How Green Was My Valley".  

At the end of my life, I want so desperately to be able to say that, to see only my blessings and the hand of the Lord in my life and to let every other unimportant detail fade away.

When I read her obituary online this morning, I realized that the simple words held therein would tell her story best.

Carrie Grace “Bets” Hause, 64, of Lewisburg, departed this earthly life on Monday, July 4, 2011, at her home after suffering a long illness.

A native of Union County, she was born Aug. 20, 1946, in White Springs, a daughter of the late Orvis Daniel and Mary Grace (Heeter) Crossgrove. At the age of 19, she married Gerald Leroy Hause and her death breaks a marital union of 45 years.

She had worked at Steininger’s Restaurant where she met her husband, Par-Knit Mill where she was a seamstress, was a caretaker for Mrs. Hall, worked at her church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, at Finish Line Screen Printing. She was a hardworking wife and mother.

She had a smile that lit up the room and was known for her kindness, love and understanding to her family and others. She was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother, sister and friend.

Throughout her life she enjoyed cross stitching pictures for her children, sewing dresses, dolls, aprons, and many other things. She was an expert in canning and food storage. If you ever had a question, it was always, “ask mom, she knows.” She loved family gatherings and caring for her garden.

If asked what she enjoyed most in life, she would reply raising my children and helping with my grandchildren. She had a great love for her children, always there to lend an ear or wipe a tear. She had always wanted to be a grandmother and was an awesome one too. There are no words to express the kind of woman she was and she will be forever greatly missed.

In addition to her husband, she is survived by six children, Renee and husband, Robert Hauck, James and Jennifer Hause, Jill Hause, Rebekah Hause, Carrie “Kim” Hause and Camilla and Joshua Satteson; eight grandchildren whom she adored and they adored her, Carin, Jamie, Ava, Gerald, Madeline, Jilian, Jacob and Elizabeth; siblings, Cora “Sis” Weller, Fern “Bill” Crossgrove, Roland “Butch” Crossgrove, Mary Jane Koonsman; and many nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by one brother, Orvis Daniel Crossgrove Jr.; sister-in-law, Ruth Crossgrove; and brother-in-law, Charles Weller Jr.

Friends and relatives will be received from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Friday at Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Ridge Road, Northumberland, followed by the funeral at 12:30.

Burial will be in the Penns Creek Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Carrie’s memory may be made to the General Missionary Fund at The church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Ridge Road, Northumberland, PA 17857, or to Evangelical Community Hospice, 1 Hospital Drive, Lewisburg, PA 17837.


  1. What a beautiful tribute from her family.

    And from you.


  2. Beautifully said.
    She looked so peaceful today as I looked upon her. I was warmed by her family's spirit of hope and truth that they will see her again.

  3. This was very sweetly written, and great thoughts and reflections for all of us on earth. Life is short and it is good to remember what impact we can have on others.

  4. I was waiting for this post and it brought me to tears. As a child growing up who has known her goodness... I can attest to how wonderful she was (and still is.)