Friday, January 23, 2009

Cutting Ice Day 2

I will tell you after Day 1, I barely slept that night. I was in awe of the day and also I was so nervous I would over sleep for the next day when everyone, all 24, would be eating noon dinner at our home. I kept thinking that I would be awoken to 5 Amish ladies at my front door and I had over slept. This dream continued throughout the night so finally at 6:30 am I just decided to get up and get with it! I am glad I did. The Gentle Giant had Charlie horses the first 5 minutes into the night of sleep. I should add that all of us were in bed by 8:45 pm! WE WERE exhausted… I was on my pregnant feet all day and he was much more physically active obviously… He did not sleep that well either. He said he would be humiliated if he over slept. The guests were not to arrive until after 10 am, but boy was I surprised at 8:45 when they started to pull up to the house. I was still in my PJ’s and robe cleaning the kitchen and I did a really quick change and wash up and they never knew I was in PJ’s.
They immediately walked in, a mother and daughter (I had only met the daughter previously, a sweet heart GEM of a lady. At age 35 never married. Beautiful and domestic and very intelligent… hmmm? I never did figure out why she is still single…) and asked how they could help. I felt so awkward giving them jobs as they were guests in my home and one lady I had never even met. They said this is the “Amish” way. So, I let my guest finish up washing the breakfast dishes and sweeping floors! ACK, it was quite hard for me. I would have rather served them coffee or tea and had them sit in the front of the house, but they insisted.
I am amazed at how much help the Amish give each other. They never let you out alone on a limb in the first place, ever… But if you found yourself there, they would be coming to rescue you and help you. That is the Amish way…. And a dear Amish friend of mine always says being Amish gives you security from the cradle to the grave. They insure each other, pay each other’s medical bills, work their fields, clean their homes and spiritually encourage you to stay within the rules of the Ordnung and the German Bible from the Martin Luther Era. I will touch on why the Amish have many rules later and why they abide by them. I asked an Amish lady why and she had a great answer. It’s not the answer you may be thinking of. We (The English) really do not understand why the Amish do what they do. As I now have talked to more Amish in depth about the whys, I really feel I am getting a good grasp on it. Of course, I still cannot fully grasp it…
My menu consisted of baked chicken drum sticks with a seasoning, fresh cooked carrots in a sauce, deviled eggs and chicken rice. I made the famous Fruit Cocktail cake of Farm Girl Cyn’s, Chocolate Mayonnaise cake and white cake with whipped crème and canned strawberries for the top. All the ladies helped with setting the table, pouring water, making coffee and the rest of the meal. When the men all came in, they washed up and were seated the same way as Day 1. We did the silent prayer as well, signified by the Gentle Giant. I was last to be seated and that signified the beginning of getting ready to pray. The lunch was quieter than the day before. All the men discussed their aching bodies and one mentioned he had Charlie horses all night as well. The men really liked our wash house and appreciated the ice house. They liked seeing many similarities in our home as theirs. The ladies loved my new stove. One Amish lady had just got a new stove about the same time as mine and her and I discussed how we were getting used to baking in our stoves. I later found a dozen cookies from her hidden up in my cupboard for a gift. She is the lady that owns the staples store. She was the lady who said, “We will see how long you will last living without electricity”. I believe the cookies were a wonderful gift from her and I believe she does see my true spirit and resolve now. She is a little rough around the edges, but when you scrape that away, she is wonderful lady, a GREAT mother and more…
Everyone helped to clean up after the finishing prayer after supper. I also had every dish in my home dirty as well. I laid the baby down and came out and I tell you the kitchen was about 50% cleaned up already in about 5 minutes… Many hands make light work… Yes. The teenage daughter enjoyed hearing the girls play the piano. They enjoyed seeing our family photos on the wall. Some wanted to see our school books and others looked at my family recipes. The teenage daughter asked our daughter about the same age if she could have a ride on the snowmobile. It was pretty cute seeing her on the back with her blue dress and helmet over a bonnet! She said she would trade her pony for the snowmobile and my girls were thrilled, but both parties knew it could never really happen so they just laughed. She did promise to ride her pony down in the Spring and the girls loved the idea!
Some women worked on their caps (did you know they make every piece of their families clothing? Even the caps and bonnets) others sewed denim projects and mended socks. I sewed up a few holes in The Gentle Giant’s down coat. I was doing all I could to stay awake. Don’t get me wrong, I was enjoying the company, but I was exhausted. The little children played very well together. The Great Him was having so much fun with some kids his size. There were 6 Amish ladies at my table with children as well. They seemed to be enjoying themselves. One lady told of how her adopted daughter left the Amish and how she missed her as the daughter does not see them. It really is not true if someone leaves the Amish that they are not allowed to ever talk to a family member again, at least in this sect.
Women started to leave after 3 pm. The final guests, an Amish couple did not leave until 8 pm!!! We had left over supper together. The Gentle Giant and I literally fell into bed… Again, by 9 pm. I left the supper dishes for the next day… Day 3 of ice cutting and wonderful fellowship.
The Gentle Giant and I again had a full day of so many things going through our heads, so many! I cannot explain what we are feeling even now… it’s really big, its deep and a lot of all of it really makes sense to us… My children all commented on how full their hearts were and more, all on their own. The Amish definitely are different, the Amish are definitely …
To be continued…

5 comments:

Mama Hen said...

I am so enjoying your commentary about your days. I know you must be very tired at night though. I

evie said...

Hi Ang!

It is warming to us even to just READ your experiences about being in close fellowship and service with the Amish the past Ice Cutting Days. You've mentioned that the children play together with their toys...I was wondering what kind of toys the Amish play with. Are they all homemade toys, constructed of wood, fibers, dried plants, etc..? I would love to have NO PLASTIC toys in the house!

PaulaB52 said...

It's so wonderful to read more about the Amish way of life, and you are so inspiring choosing the life you have!

Thanks for sharing with us.

Rhonda Jean said...

I think we could learn a lot from the Amish. Imagine if it was common practice to help our neighbours like that.

I am enjoying reading about your days very much, Ang. Thanks for sharing.

Dixie Trish said...

You sound as though you are having wonderful fellowship with your Amish neighbours. I love reading your blog. Our lives sound so different, yet reading your retelling of your days I feel as though I am right there with you. Bit far away though as I live down under.
I love fellowship and working hard with other believers. There is such a sense of family about it, and yes, our children notice that true community spirit as well. It is a wonderful adventure you and the Gentle Giant have them on. They will have such wonderful memories of being children growing up in their family.

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