God surprised me this morning. Yesterday, when Ron told me the sun would rise over the Amish farmhouse, I immediately had a vision. I could see the purple and pink hues highlighting the silos as the sun began its slow slide upward. My mind’s eye created that picture.
I waited all night to see the sunrise. Before going to bed, I googled “Sunrise in Lancaster,” 5:53 a.m. Praying for God to get me up in time to see it, I went to sleep with anticipation.
Imagine my surprise when I wake up at 5:33 a.m., throw on my clothes from yesterday, and run outside to a foggy morning. No sunrise, just mist. Nothing.
Disappointment started my day.
But then I started my fire, appreciated the beauty of the fog, and went on about my business. About an hour later, I look up and see sunlight peeking through the trees. I was overcome with the beauty of the moment: silence, yet noise. Somehow, the chirping birds and bubbling stream created silence from their noise.
The peace that surpasses all understanding is a gift from God. One I enjoyed this morning as He once again reminded me, His way is always better.
Praise God for this morning’s sunrise:-)!
Sitting by the morning fire got me thinking about Ron. Praying for us to grow old together, I thought of our “dating” song, “I Will Follow You into the Dark,” by Death Cab for Cutie.
Why ours? Because when we were dating, I was setting a ringtone on my phone for Ron. When I asked him what song I should use, he replied without missing a beat, “I Will Follow You into the Dark.” Having never heard the song, I had to listen to it. When I did, be still my beating heart.
Yes Lord, please let us grow old together, then follow each other into the dark. God willing, one day at a time, we will:-).
While having a lazy morning, Ron ran to Walmart for batteries. One of the anxieties I battled this trip are moments like this one. The anxiety: I’m alone, God knows in what part of the country, and God forbid something happens to Ron, God forbid. (My mother’s voice is how this particular anxiety sounds in my head:-)).
When my thoughts start down that rabbit trail, is when I pray. As soon as I start praying, God reminds me; He’s in control, not me. No matter what happens, God is with me. The day Cody died, God was there. The day I got married, God was there. God is always there; I’m never alone. Me dealing with my anxiety takes work, but with God is possible.
God also reminds me, Ron’s a better driver than me, no doubt:-).
After planning our day, we started with a driving tour of Lancaster. Amish View Inn, where I stayed last October, I wanted to show Ron. Our conversation while meandering, Rumspringa, the year Amish teens get to do whatever they want. After much debate and time spent in Lancaster, Ron and I decided the Amish get life right, love God, love others.
We spent less than 20 minutes at Kitchen Kettle Village. Bird in Hand Farmer’s Market was a definite on the To-do list for purchasing Amish Butter. However, they were closed. Our next destination was Steamboat Inn’s Huckleberry’s Restaurant and Tavern.
Country Acres Campground was on the way back to ours, so we did a drive-by. As Ron says, “Looks new, can always tell by the size of the trees. This one would be ideal, actually.” Country Acres is in the heart of Amish farmland, where Old Mill Stream has more concrete outside its entrance. However, if you’re going to Dutch Wonderland, definitely stay at Old Mill Stream. We saw a billboard for Flory’s Cottages and Camping, but didn’t stop, also located more in Amish country.
Smiling broadly, turning the gas on the handlebar, Ron said, “I can’t wait until I get my dune buggy.” Ron has elaborate plans to build an electric buggy. He talks about his idea constantly, patiently waiting for the opportune time. From my perspective, I thankfully say he has not found a time that is opportune:-). However, three hours in our little coupe added fuel to the fire.
Lorraine was our tour guide, our first stop, Country Craft Roadside Stand. Eli, the owner, began his little shop as a side business. However, the craft business grew to the point where he gave up farming. Thinking this was our ice cream stop, Ron and I each had a cone.
Sidenote: when I tried to find a website for Eli’s store, one doesn’t exist. Amish don’t use electricity. I did learn some have started using solar panels for small appliances and washing machines. But in Lorraine’s words, “No one has been able to make a dryer work.”
Leaving the stand, Ron dodged horse poop on the road. On hills, Ron prayed us to the top, “Come one little car, get us up the hill.” Our combined weight limit was slightly higher than the manufacturer’s recommendations; we had a few tense moments.
The next stop, the local Ferrier, run by Elam and his brother Eli. Not knowing what to expect on our scooter outing, visiting a blacksmith didn’t cross my mind. Ron will tell you; I’ve come a long way in battling my fear of horses. I felt none while standing, listening to these two men talk. No, I felt a deep respect for these men living their lives day-by-day for the Lord, all while shoeing horses.
When someone asked if all horses need shoes, Elam answered. “Buggy horses either have shots or lost shoes.”. Field horses [Draft horses], pasture horses don’t need shoes.” Elam also talked about the seminars they do every year that cover all aspects of life. “Horses, how to take care of your body, the business…” Eli interrupted and said, “Marriage” When pressed, Eli said he learned “a lot.”
Lorraine asked him, “Umm, what?
Without skipping a beat, Eli said, *Stuff my wife told me I just didn’t believe.”
Elam said, “I didn’t go to that one.” The reason why he’s not married. Amish men don’t wear wedding rings; their beards indicate they aren’t available. If I were a young Amish girl, I’d have my eye on Elam.
I left the video in raw footage so you could hear the boys talk about their jobs.
Lapp Valley Farm raises Jersey cows, which produces creamier ice cream. Mennonites, in their belief, are more progressive. They use electricity, have a Facebook page and A/C. Young, fresh-skinned girls served us even more ice cream. If Ron and I had known we were coming here for ice cream, we wouldn’t have eaten the cones. As a result, we split a scoop so that we could try the yummy deliciousness.
Either way, we ate ice cream twice, nothing to complain about here.
“Let’s hit the open road,” Ron said, getting back into the buggy at Lapp Valley Farm.
Riehl Farm, a three-generational farm that stopped dairy farming this spring, is run by the oldest son. When his parents retired, they built an addition onto the house and moved into it. His son took the big house, and by the number of children who greeted us, he needed the space.
Dairy farming is no longer profitable due to the competition from soy and nut-based kinds of milk. Empty dairy barns waiting for use are a sad sight. At the end of the long barn, you can see a lone tricycle. What was once a source of income, now a child’s playground. Now, the Riehl’s rent out the land and run a quilt shop to make ends meet.
Tip jars were everywhere, for everything.
Full of barnyard animals, the guinea pigs were a surprise. Playful puppies, darling calves, and giddy goats were a joy. My phone overheated and was running low on battery, but I managed to capture a few moments.
Oh yeah, I’ll pose Lone tricycle Training horses for the children
Mini horses are to teach children how to handle larger horses. Kids can saddle them, ride them, etc., which prepares them for larger horses. Just like tennis, start on a small court that fits the size of the student. As the kids grow, the court grows with them until they reach full court. Amish children do the same thing, except with horses. Lorraine said, “Every farm has mini’s for the kids.”
Revving the engine, after our last stop, Ron says, “We gotta get a motorcycle, Honey.” Hard pass on that one, HONEY:-)!
After our exciting afternoon, we returned for one last campfire before heading home. Not enough wood for a morning fire, just enough for one tonight.
As we were settling in for the night, a neighbor walking his dog pointed to the trees to our left and said, “Look, a hot air balloon.” Another cool sight in Lancaster, PA.
Not wanting the fire to end, Ron went to bed before me. Eventually, I gave into the endless march of time moving on and joined him.
Toodles for now. The Meandering Morrison’s