It felt great being able to get back into the house and away from all the slow church songs that the uncles kept singing. LV and I had to get sheets of paper ready with all the youth girls names on it so the boys could pick who they wanted to take to the table that evening.
We had just finished writing the names down when the first buggies with young folks started arriving. LV handed the sheets to our hostlers and they went outside to where the boys were all hoping to be there early enough in hopes they would get to escort the girl they wanted to.
The girls came into the house to place their gifts on the table that was already overflowing with gifts. It simply couldn't hold anymore and they began piling on the floor around the table. It felt a little different to have all my friends coming by and everyone seemed a little uncomfortable not really knowing what to say other than smile in my general direction and then visit with whom ever was standing next to them.
Uncle Ezra came up the stairs and asked me if we have any white medical tape that he really needs some. I told him we don't but we do have bandaids. He said that would work and after I found a bandaid for him he left.
A little later he appeared with a huge barn broom and leaned it against the pile of gifts. Taped neatly to the handle was the bandaid where he had written "From Uncle Ezra" I tried to suppress the laughter that wanted to bubble out, at that sight. Good old uncle Ezra, no one else would have thought to use a bandaid.
Someone announced that the boys were coming in already and all the girls went into the living room to wait until their name was called to be paired up with one of the boys. The boys piled their hats on a shelf in the sewing room and then stood waiting until the hostlers called their names.
LV's cousin Wilmer and my cousin Nathan were the hostlers and took turns calling one of the girls names. She would walk up to them where they told her who wanted to escort her. After she said yes they walked over to the sewing room door and called the boys name and together they walked into our big kitchen to watch and wait until everyone was paired up.
Once everyone was paired up one of LV's married brothers came to tell everyone in what order to go out to the showroom to eat. Table waiters, cousins, and steadies would go first and in that order. The rest could come however they liked to. We headed back downstairs and out to the showroom where the next two hours would be spent singing. This time nice songs. It seemed hard to believe that our wedding day was almost over already.
To be continued
According to the dictionary hostlers are men who care for horses for other people. I was surprised to know we used to use an English word for that. At Amish weddings two or three hostlers take care of the horses for the bridal party. Since we didn't drive to church they didn't have to worry about horses but they still played an important role of getting all the boys and girls paired up for an evening of singing and eating.