Monday, September 29, 2008

~Amish Innovations~

My little Amish friend, Katie, spent last Thursday with me. I find myself constantly marveling at how she can walk into a situation, size it up, and begin re-prioritizing and re-organizing the most mundane tasks in order to work more efficiently. And the good Lord knows with upcoming shows on the horizon, I could use all the help I can get on that front! The studio had managed to explode into most rooms of the house!

With only 8 grades of formal education, I used to think that the Amish were not as bright as the ‘average’ schooled American. Boy was I wrong! I continue learning that not only do they think everything through before acting on it, they do it with passion. That’s a totally ‘win-win’ prescription for Life 101.

By the time I drove Katie back to Middlefield, my home and studio was in tip-top shape…..and so was my soul. We talked about everything: Caroline’s recent passing and her widowed husband's struggle to continue on, her group of “Travel Girls” who get together monthly for pot-luck dinners, how the canning and wood-chopping is coming along for the upcoming winter months, the differences between her and her siblings….just everything. No topic is off-limits, and emotions flow along with the unending chatter and laughter.

She was excited for me to see her newly-sided house. Her brothers got together and not only sided the home Katie bought recently with two of her sisters, but also built the girls a spacious back porch, complete with railings, rockers, and planters filled with colorful flowers.

When we arrived, I could see why she was excited. The ‘almost’ century house now looked brand new. Her sisters, Fannie and Emma, were sewing in the huge great room. Fannie, working on a quilt, Emma, on doll clothes for her neighbor’s little girls. No matter how intense the task at hand, when they talk about them, their faces ‘light up’. Chores to us, but acts of love to them.

After chatting about our recent loss of power, my upcoming shows, how many dolls I’ve completed, how my Mom is faring, etc, my escape from the world was over, and I was ready for the 30 minute ride back to ‘my’ life.

As the girls waved good-bye, I rolled down the window when I noticed three cows in the pasture behind their house. Hmmm. I knew about Socks, the horse they recently purchased along with an Amish buggy, but cows??

“Hey…..when did you get the cows?” I asked.

“They’re not ours. We ‘borrowed’ them from our brother”, was the reply…..grins of delight and mischief evident on each of their ‘plain’ little faces.

“Why?” I asked.

“Oh….we got tired of mowing the pasture. They’ll eat the grass so we don’t have to mow it!”. I must say that the giggles erupting from those three sweet girls tickled me to the core.

Can you just picture Brother Daniel, hooking up his team of horses to the flat-bed wagon loaded with his three cows, traveling the 2 miles down the dirt roads to deliver those human lawn mowers to his sisters? Priceless!

Have a gloriously innovative Monday, wherever you are in the world!

**This post was nominated as Post Of the Day over at David's authorblog. Take a peak at the other winners!** Thank you, David!


Connie said...

That was the most enjoyable post I've read in a long time, sweet little chickee! My hubby and I visited an Amish "museum" when we went back there several years ago - to Pennsylvania, I mean. It was very interesting.

Anonymous said...

Carol, I love your posts about Katie! Your interaction with her is not only good for your home and business organization, but it obviously feeds your heart and soul in a wondrous way. Thanks for sharing!

Kathi said...

Thanks, Connie! Their entire culture is interesting and inspiring.

Anonymous said...

Your 'little' Katie visits fill your heart and soul. I've never seen you more happy and content, Carol Rose.. your friend Nel said...

Kathi...She is certainly food for the soul!

Nellie...You're echoing what all my family and friends are saying. Even my MOM notices. I'm in my glory!!

david mcmahon said...

Put a big smile on my face!

Woman in a Window said...

Love the photos. Envious of your window into such an evocative world. I was reading a lot of Rebecca Lewis last year and really appreciating it. I do wonder about photography and the Amish. No contradition there? A real question, no a criticism. said...

David...I'm glad it made you smile! Katie's like that.

Erin...I've bought Katie quite a few of Lewis' books. We've discussed photographs in length. You're right: the Amish feel it's sinful. Katie is okay with it sometimes. Sometimes not. I always ask first.

Charmingdesigns said...

Oh how I enjoyed your blog!! Laurie

P and J Crafts said...

I love reading about the Amish people and your posts and pictures are lovely! What a treat to have Amish friends!


Cath said...

Yeah you put a big smile on my face too! And I have learned a great deal here through back reading.

Great blog and congrats on POTD from David.

Merisi said...

More power to the Amish girls! :-)
Wonderful story, thank you for sharing it.

Congratulations on your Post of the Day award over at David's Authorblog.

74WIXYgrad said...

Hi there, I come over from Authorblog. I am amazed how many bloggers from Ohio meet over at his blog.

I live not far from Holmes County and am amazed how the Amish live. Maybe one of these days I will visit Amish Country around Geauga County. said...

laurie and pj...Thank you!

CrazyCath...Thank you! I find their way-of-life fascinating!

merisi...You are right: Katie and her sisters are something! Thank you for the compliments on the award. I'm so flattered!!

Saz said...

Over from davids, well done..lovely post..

and a fellow etsy girl too!! l heart your etsy!

lime said...

here from david's.

i grew up in PA dutch country and knew a couple of wonderful mennonite ladies when i was very small. this post brought back some of those memories.

i thank you also for the window into a world few know outside silly hollywood depictions and misconceptions. beautiful glimpse.

Anonymous said...

Just found your blog today and am so glad I did! I can feel your personality so much in your writing and you seem like a remarkable woman! Loved this post and the letter to your brother one as well. Can't wait to read more...