Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Transportation 101

When I came out of the outhouse I whispered to Gabriel, "Son, thanks for telling me about the "accommodations" ahead of time." He is such a man, it NEVER occurred to him to tell me such an important fact! My first thought was to stop drinking for the week, but after 53 years of living on this earth I knew better.

Supper was a delicious chicken casserole, some homemade bread, pickles, potatoes and an apple crisp for dinner. More on food later. I promise.

Remember there is no radio to listen to, no mind altering television shows to watch, so what does a person do without any of that? They sit and visit for a bit and then everyone heads off to bed. Their three children moved out of the second floor so Gabriel and his crew slept in one room and I got a room all by myself. The upstairs was lit by a single kerosene lamp. The moon was out that night so I could see shadows in the bedroom. When I climbed under the covers I couldn't help but think how peaceful the place was.

The next morning was Sunday and when it was time to get out of bed it was pitch dark. I could smell the mornings breakfast and hurried to dress. We all sat down together to eat and the conversation turned to "going to meeting". This family lived on the far side of the community so it would take a while to get there. With 11 of us there was no way the horse Barney could pull us all there. The men said they would all walk and the "women folk" would take the horse and buck board.

Just recently I had gone to an Amish community in Ohio and had ridden around the property in a buggy on solid ground. Never in my wildest dreams did I consider just how rough this ride would be going all the way down into the community. I sat on a bundle of hay holding one of the babies. There were a couple of times I worried I would be dumped on the ground with baby in hand. The buckboard rocked back and forth over and over again. Just when I thought Barney would find some smooth road he would send us over a large tree stump. I am certain our host saw fear on my face because when she looked at me she told me not to worry. She went on to tell me that her first 4 or 5 times down the hill absolutely petrified her. I felt a whole lot better after she told me that. I truly held on for dear life. When we finally pulled over and Barney was tied to a tree, all I could think about was wishing my favorite chiropractor was around!

Most of the families in the community do not have your traditional buggy but rather have a buck board which is much more practical in a farming community. They have to haul lumber to build the buildings so a buggy doesn't make much sense. When I got to help in their one room school house (which I will write about in a couple of days) I saw a few Papa's "drive" their children to school which was impressive. The children would stand behind their papa's and hold onto their shoulders. They looked so secure holding on to their Dad. No fear in their eyes like I had in mine. Hmm, what a lesson for you and me. I just love it when God teaches me new things.

Walking is the only other way to get around the community. They all walk so much of their day that I have to tell you that in 20 families there is not one pleasantly plump lady in the bunch! They have no need of gym memberships. What a life!

Next time I will tell you about their "meetings."
In Christ Alone,

Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the ground each morning Satan says, "Oh crud, she's up".

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