Part 2 – The Night the Lights Went Out in Amish Town
Like so many tourists before us, we were curious about a culture and lifestyle much different than our own.
The evening we arrived to our Amish homestead, Emma busied herself preparing dinner for the house guests.
Our family, however, would be dining around the table at another Amish homestead.
About a 15 minutes drive from Ben and Emma’s, tucked behind two tall cornfields and a windy driveway, sat a little dairy farm – the home of Amanda.
A widow in her 70s, Amanda had a separate mother’s suite built onto the side of the family farm house ( now in the hands of one of her sons).
One adult son, Daniel, who had down syndrome, greeted us with a big, warm smile and showed us around the side of the house to Amanda’s front door.
Amanda cared for Daniel in her home, but, after a few moments, it was apparent they both cared for eachother.
Daniel laid plates and bowls with homemade bread, applesauce, and coleslaw on the table. Next came the meatloaf, tomatoes, corn, roasted potatoes, and beans. Then, came the best part: a chocolate whoopie pie, peaches with a scoop of ice cream, and a piping cup of coffee.
Everything was made from scratch and all of the food ( apart from the homemade bread) was produce from the garden or fruit trees.
Daniel smiled big and laughed at Ari.
Amanda told her story….
She’d been married twice.
In her first marriage, she had three daughters. But her husband passed away in his late 20s when they were still very young.
A young widow then, her parents built an addition onto their home and brought Amanda and her girls back to their farm to live.
Five years later, she met another man and they married. She went on to have five more children – all boys this time.
Her second husband passed away in 2007 and it was around that time she started taking people into her home for dinner as a way to make ends meet.
One son moved his family into the main house, built the addition for Amanda and Daniel, and took over the dairy farm. But, with the dairy industry taking a hit, every member of the family did their part.
Amanda cooked for guests 3-4 nights a week.
When I spoke to her about being Amish, about her faith, she said…
“Anyone can live a simple Christian life. A long time ago, I heard a saying that has stuck with me. It says: bloom where you’re planted. This is where I was planted, so this is where I’ve bloomed”
When this woman looked at her life – in all of its hardships – what she saw was that she bloomed where she was planted.
A woman who had lost two husbands, been shifted from her home to another multiple times, had humble possessions, didn’t have a large successful farm, and lived each day dependent on the earth and her Heavenly father for her daily bread…bloomed……
…simply because her faith did. A simple Christian life.
More to come in this series…