Monday, October 15, 2018

First Date ~ Part Two

With the curtains closed I stood inside the sewing room door waiting until I hear LV's footsteps on the porch before I opened the door. For some reason I felt butterflies in my stomach as I waited. Before long I heard his footsteps and as I opened the door everything I had planned to say to welcome him inside left my mind. he looked so handsome standing there at the doorway. Behind him the sky was painted in one of the most beautiful summer sunsets I had ever seen.

I choked out a whispery little "Hi" and then stood there feeling awkward, as if I was huge and clumsy. Somehow I managed to invite him into the living room where we sat next to each other on the sofa. I was suddenly very aware of how quiet the house was and that Mom and Daddy were only a few feet away on the other side of the wall and with an open stairway I knew my brothers would be able to eavesdrop all they wanted to. Apparently my inability to talk above a whisper right away caught and before long we were lost in whispered conversation.

At 11 o'clock I happened to remember the pecan pie I had baked and asked him if he wanted a piece. After carefully carrying the lamp out to the kitchen I went to the pantry to get the pie. I got it off the top shelf and was horrified to see that some one had already eaten a piece. I didn't want to serve a pie with a piece missing so I quickly grabbed several dessert plates and cut two pieces of pie and served it that way. 

Before we knew it the clock was striking 12. Midnight had come much too soon and it was time for LV to leave. After saying good-bye he closed the door behind him and I quickly blew out the lamp and ran up to my room and looked out the window. With the full moon shining I watched him walk over our field and disappear into the woods.

As I got ready for bed I thought I was going to burst with happiness and looked forward to our next date.

Friday, October 12, 2018

First Date ~ Part One

For my seventeenth birthday Mom gave me enough fabric to make a new dress. It was a lovely jewel blue crepe and I couldn't wait to start sewing. Jewel blue was lighter than what could be worn to go to church but it would be fine to wear to go traveling or on a date. At the moment I wasn't too concerned about the traveling part.

As I worked on cutting and sewing my dress I couldn't wait to wear it for the first time when LV came calling several weeks later.

The Amish in Somerset County are only allowed to have a three hour long date every other Sunday evening on the Sunday that the boy's district didn't have church services. I was glad LV and I were both in the same church district which meant our dates would be on my inbetween Sunday too.

On Saturday afternoon I took special pains in baking the perfect pecan pie to serve. It turned out beautiful and I carefully placed it on the top shelf in the pantry out of reach of my hungry little brothers. I made sure that the house was spotless and placed several new rugs in the living room in front of the sofa. I brought my pretty lamp downstairs and set it on the end table.

Sunday morning arrived and I got up with a sense of eager anticipation. By mid morning Daddy suggested we all drive to the old train tunnel and have a fun day of hiking and then have a picnic beside the creek. I helped pack the picnic lunch but opted to stay at home and read and try to take a nap to make sure that I wouldn't be sleepy on our first date.

By late afternoon they came home happy and tired from their day of hiking. Mahlon had caught a little minnow and brought it home and happily put it in an old glass bowl filled with water and set it in the living room on the end table. I didn't want it there and determined to hide it in the laundry room once everyone else had gone to bed.

At eight o'clock Daddy announced it was time for to get ready for bed. I took special care in getting ready and then went downstairs to make sure that the fish got removed from the living room and then wait until nine o'clock when our date would begin. Mom and Daddy were still in the kitchen when I got there. Daddy got up from the chair he was sitting in and smiled at me as he said "It doesn't seem possible that our little baby is already old enough to be courted." Mom added that they hope I have a very nice time and then they headed for their bedroom and I was left in the kitchen alone.

It wasn't quite nine yet but everything was ready and I went ahead and closed all the curtains which was the preplanned signal for LV to know when it was safe to come into the house.

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Memories

Memory after memory has been flooding my mind this past week of one of the kindest, most tender hearted young boys I have ever known. My brother Mahlon.

I don't have many pictures, but I treasure the ones I do have. In this picture Mahlon is nine years old. We were on a family vacation and he was waiting on the rest of the family as we were getting ready to walk through the Watkins Glen Gorge. Our driver took the picture and gave us a copy later.

At nine, Mahlon loved the outdoors and animals. Animals seemed to have a special connection with him. He could talk to them, and they'd listen, doing what he asked. Not only our farm animals, but wild animals as well.

One of our favorite Mahlon/animal memories are when we went out to the barn one day and a cat came in carrying a terrified chipmunk. Mahlon was horrified and told her to drop it right away, which she did. "Run, run," Mahlon yelled at the chipmunk, and run it did, straight toward him, up his pant legs, up over his coat, and with a final leap it perched on top of his hat where Mahlon guarded it safely before taking it outside and letting it go.

I can't help but think of the similarities between that happening and his life later on where he battled with some serious things, and how he is safe in the arms of Jesus now, and free from all that.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Broken Hearted

On Saturday my life was forever changed when the phone call came to let us know my brother Mahlon had died.

We arrived home early this morning after attending his funeral yesterday. The reality of the finality of death seems to be sinking in hard right now, and I may need a few minutes to get back to regular blogging.

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Remodeling

I was nearing my seventeenth birthday and the time was getting closer for LV and me to have our first date. Our house had never been a nice one but it had never bothered me up to this point. But knowing that LV would soon be coming to call on me all the obvious flaws of the house were glaringly magnified.

The drop ceiling tiles in the living room were stained and ugly, the windows were so old that looking through the glass made everything appear wavy. The trim and windowsills had paint worn off.

The little room at the top of the basement stairs between the living room and kitchen was horrible. The floor consisted of unfinished plywood with gaps between the sheets. Three of the walls were ancient gray two by fours and the fourth wall had lattice that was trying to hold in crumbling plaster that kept releasing little bits onto the floor. There was a a sizable hole in the floor along the edge that used to serve as my dustpan when I was nine and ten. There were nails pounded into one of the walls on which we hung all of our coats and boots were lined up neatly underneath. The door to the basement was white and orange striped and never latched.

The linoleum in the living was cracked and worn with several areas worn all the way through. The kitchen was better since it was a new addition but it had never been finished with trim around the windows or baseboard.

I knew I couldn't do anything about the little room except put a clean rug down in hopes it would distract from the cracks and try to hang a curtain of sorts to hide most of the walls and our coats. I asked Mom for permission to make curtains for the room. She didn't answer immediately but told me I could paint the woodwork in the living room and if I wanted to I could take the drop ceiling tiles down and paint them too.

I was happy to make any improvements and proceeded to take the tile down. Several hours later Daddy came into the living room to view my progress and then started to measure the little room. A little later a driver came and Daddy left with him.

When he came home that evening I was thrilled to see that he had bought things to transform the ugly little corner. Under his capable hands a closet emerged and the walls were covered with beautiful mahogany. The floor was fixed and new linoleum put down. I could hardly believe how something that had looked so awful for all these years was suddenly the nicest spot in the house.

We pulled out the old linoleum from the living room and were happy to find that over the years the previous owners used to lay new linoleum on top of the old without gluing it down or anything. The third layer was a soft golden brown in a pattern to make it look like a rug. It didn't appear to have much wear so we left it. With several coats of wax it became gleaming and with fresh paint on all the woodwork I was pleased with how the living room looked.

Daddy said the trim for the kitchen would have to wait a while yet, but I didn't mind. I was deeply grateful that he had taken time from his busy woodworking shop to make the house a little nicer before LV came for the first time.