THE AMISH COOK
BY GLORIA YODER
Okay, what I would really like is an open house and host all of you for a meal, get acquainted, and the like. I know it's impossible, but I won't stop wishing for it. Daniel was bound and determined that we should travel to Ohio or somewhere closer to you to allow me to meet you. He was going to make it happen by this year, but plans have changed since he went to heaven. We'll see what comes together- one day.
For now, I'll take you on a little tour of our home as a reader suggested.
Oh my, where do you want to start? Hop on the pony cart, and let's be off- don't worry, we'll bring you back safely. On either side of the dusty, gravel road, you'll notice corn fields and pastures for Grandpa's horses and beef cows, including one that Daniel had bought as a calf that spring just before he passed.
Uncle Paul owned the little country store less than a half mile from our house, and has now been sold to his daughter and son-in-law and Daniel's parents. Shopping there is always enjoyable, providing the children keep in mind we can't buy every other item.
Returning home, Tissa, our new pony, will naturally take you straight into our driveway, where the road makes a sharp right.
Picture this: when I was five years old, and we lived in the large Amish community of Holmes County, Ohio, we came to Illinois, and my parents told me we would live 'over there.' I didn't get it- it was only a barren field with woods beyond it as far as I could see. How could we live there?
Today, 28 years later, it doesn't seem like the same lonely field. Driving into our lane, you'll notice maple trees along the right side, which my dad planted years ago. On the left is a row of pine trees my husband planted five years ago after we bought this home. Beyond pine trees is our chestnut grove, where hubby poured in his heart to provide work and grub for his growing children.
As we keep going, we'll loop past our garden and through the front yard; yes, I know, it's not necessarily found to be proper, but our front yard gets lots of use on all sides. It is big enough for the boys to play softball or for Julia to ride horseback with Tissa.
The shop my dad built sits next to the house. Dad worked with multiple types of wood and rustic furniture designs. Thus, he extended his shop numerous times. It is now large enough to host weddings, funerals, and other events with many people.
Across from the shop is the barn- one of my favorite places. I know barns can be smelly and lots of work, but our love for animals outweighs all that. I have been amazed at how tonic animals can be to struggling children. If they can care for an animal, it's next to them getting the care themselves when Mom can't take care of everything all at once. We hope to get more animals next summer once we redid our fencing system; we constantly need to be on the lookout for coons, minks, foxes, and such that want to steal our ducks.
Daisy, the milk goat, has done fantastic in clipping back weeds behind the barn or wherever we tie her. Her young kid, Lily, runs with the sheep. Hopefully, she'll also be having babies by next year.
Next, we'll return beyond the shop to a particular spot I visit almost daily. It's my little sanctuary Daniel built last winter before he went home to heaven. He made it a temporary home for Cousin Owen, yet in my heart, I knew that's where I would someday spend time with God. I had no idea how it would ever happen with children who need me 24/7. Since he passed, family and friends have taken turns to watch the children daily for an hour to allow me to pray, grieve, and rest.
We enjoy going back as a family, but at this point, it is mostly for my quiet hour.
Taking a walk back to the house, I'll take you in the front door to the living room. If you come on a winter evening, you'll probably find us sitting on the floor playing Memory or UNO or sitting around the living room singing.
Come on out into the kitchen! Here, we have tea, cookies, and good conversations. You'll notice our new double doors going off of the kitchen and back onto the deck that has been replaced this summer. One of my primary plans with the deck is to host guests in the evening, invited or not invited. So have a seat and stay a while!
This week, my mom made a tasty casserole, which we served to the Stoll brothers and their families who came to help us with fencing. The casserole was warm and satisfying as the temperature around us dropped.
We plan to put a screen around the deck later this fall; you can leave your mosquito spray at home!
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