Thursday, April 24, 2014

Be Careful What You Wish For

Mennonite farm

(This post was written a few weeks back, but I am having a new book published, and wanted it included.)

Today I was wishing for some reason to get me out of the house. It's still a bit cool and early for yard and garden work. Low and behold, as we were planning to go by Flint Hill Grocery for our breakfast, we got a call from Pop's Cousin Larry. He was stranded down in Hart County with his logging rig, where he had taken the wrong road, and had his log truck in a real predicament trying to turn around and get back onto the right road. We grabbed a bite to take with us since I was already trembling with low blood sugar from the late breakfast and the scare of not knowing what had happened on the other end of the phone conversation. Pop was getting pretty torn up on his end. Needless to say, we headed out to see if we could be of any assistance. Sure enough. It was an ordeal, but between the three of us we got the rig and its trailer turned around and headed out to it's original destination. ****

The view of the country in those parts is spectacular. I think a lot of the land in that area is owned by Mennonites. They are quite different from the Amish around our home. The Mennonites have the most beautiful and immaculate farms. Every aspect of life for them is neat and organized and orderly. The difference is unbelievable. The homes are huge and most of all, neat, as are the out buildings and barns. Neat is the best word I can think of to use when describing their farms. The fields and pastures run forever across the cleared and rolling hills. Even the fences are as neat and well kept as their homes and pastures. It's hard to imagine a farm being so beautiful , but the neatness and the simplicity of it all is breath taking.*****

Most of the Mennonites have a business of some type. They have huge businesses doing and selling other things that benefit us English folks, as well. Many of the discount grocery stores are owned by Mennonites. There are more and more of those types of grocery stores popping up everywhere lately. The cedar mill where we take our cedars is owned and operated by Mennonites. Some build log homes for the public. Some build furniture. One we know of one who has a store selling Redwing shoes, boots, hats, belts, various leather goods, etc.

The Amish, for the most part, live off the land. The do have businesses that are used by many folks in the communities in which they live, but for the most part, they have businesses that benefit their own people, like shoeing horses, training horses, making tarps, repairing buggies, running sawmills,etc. Many raise huge gardens and sell to the public. They also make money by selling their crafts from their homes,along the roadsides and sometimes flea markets and the like. The Amish do not care about pretty things. They live simple and unadorned in any way, whether it be on their person or their homes.

It was such a nice treat to ride through that beautiful country as the day was shaping up a bit. We stopped at a little restaurant, The Bacon Creek Cafe, in Bonnieville, and ate a leisurely meal, before heading out, only to find the log skidder was in need of some repairs. Again,we three, worked on that project for about an hour,before Cousin Larry could proceed on to Bloomfield with his load. He had been hired by one group of Mennonites to haul the log skidder from one location to another.

The sun had come out by the time we got home and warmed things up enough for me to work in one of my raised beds. Pop carried me up, a bucket of rich soil with the tractor before he headed out to work up another load of cedars. I raked and shoveled the new soil into one of my beds, getting it ready to plant. I am not sure yet,just what I'll plant in this particular bed. I have three beds now so I can plants many things. Pop will most likely have his traditional garden, although I am hoping he will downsize it a bit this year. Those huge gardens are getting to be too much for us to care for.

Since Pop had headed out to the woods, I decided to stop what I was doing and go help him for awhile. I hate for him to be back there alone. Considering his age and the danger of using the tractor and chain saws, a second party needs to be present at all times. We loaded the trailer with cedar posts and headed back to the house. Time for the coffee drinkers. I worked on my seed bed a bit more before heading in to start supper while he entertained his guests. After awhile,he made the rounds, feeding the chickens and one more trip through the woods before night fall, to check out one more tree he had planned to cut. This has been one busy day. I wanted help staying away from the fridge, but I think this was a little extreme for two older folks. We should sleep good tonight.

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