Thursday, January 6, 2011

Meeting Cousins ~ The Initiation

Leaving the wedding we went to Daddy's brother Enos where we would spend the night. All the other aunts, uncles, and cousins that didn't live in that community also went to them. Enos wife Lydia bustled about trying to make sure that everyone would have a place to sleep.

The boys would all have to sleep in the woodworking shop on cots and sleeping bags while the girls would all have to sleep in their parlor on blanket nests on their hard floor. I wasn't too concerned about how hard the floor was since we had already planned to stay up all night.

After visiting with the aunts and uncles for a little while all of us cousins went out to the shop where we started playing games. An hour later Enos came out and asked us all to come into the house to have evening prayer and then it's time to go to bed. We followed him into the house and after prayer Lydia said we could all have a cup of coffee if we wanted to yet before we go to bed and added who ever doesn't get a cup needs to go to bed right away.

I hated coffee (still do) but I wasn't ready to go to bed and decided if drinking a cup full made that I could get to stay up longer I would choke it down somehow. We all took a cup of coffee and headed back out to the shop where we sat and talked and laughed. I was glad to see that LV was thoroughly enjoying himself. After a while cousin Nathan asked LV if anyone had ever given him shaving lessons. LV was smooth shaven and answered that he never really needed shaving lessons it had not been something hard to learn.

Cousins Johnny and Nathan solemnly informed him that he really does need to have a real shaving lesson though. Johnny said he would go get the supplies and they would get to it. After he came back out to the shop he was carrying two small bowls of water. Sitting on a chair he asked LV to sit on another chair facing him and the lesson was about to begin.

He gave him his instructions saying, " Here hold this bowl of water. I am your mirror. Don't ever take your eyes off of my face and do exactly what I do." Johnny dipped his fingers into his bowl and rubbed them over his face. LV did the same. Johnny instructed now we need some shaving cream of-course so since this is only a lesson we'll pretend the shaving cream is on the bottom of the bowl." Johnny rubbed his fingers across the bottom of his bowl and then over his face. LV did the same, only his face got black. Johnny had secretly blackened the bottom of LV's bowl over an oil lamp in the house before he brought it out.

The shaving lesson continued until LV's entire face was black. No one said a word while the lesson was going as we all watched. Finally Johnny said and like always once you are done shaving you look into a real mirror and handed a mirror to LV. He looked into it and laughed heartily. They gave him some paper towels to clean up.

The rest of the night was filled with more games, fun, and laughter. Finally at five I went to the house knowing that aunt Lydia would soon be getting up and would probably appreciate having help preparing breakfast for everyone.

After breakfast it was time to head for home. As we were ready to leave Nathan and Johnny came and congratulated me on finding someone like LV.  They had planned that shaving lesson to see what his reaction would be. He had passed their test and they could now extend their blessing if we ever wanted to get married.

It felt nice to know that LV had met their approval.


  1. What a sweet story! Your cousins sound like lots of fun! I never knew that some Amish communitites allowed square dancing, that is so interesting!

    And, I have to know, did you ever learn to like coffee? (asked as I sip on my first cup of the morning!)


  2. That's HILARIOUS - sounds like something my brothers would've done. I bet those are some fun memories ~ ♥

  3. The shaving was a trick we played many a time to some unsuspecting person.

  4. That is such a funny story! What a night to remember.

  5. What a fun memory to share! LV proved that he was a good sport and had a sense of humor!

  6. Such good fun but I am also wondering how that cup of coffee tasted? I have never cultivated the taste for it. My mother was appalled! The last time I tried was on her 80th birthday .. on a dare from my husband. I managed to get 3 sips down!

  7. Peggy, the coffee was dreadful and I never did get my cup empty.

    Centennial Farmhouse, I don't think I'll ever learn to like coffee.

    As far as I know only Lancaster and it's daughter settlements dance at weddings. They call it playing square. Somehow that makes it a little better or something.

  8. I live in Lancaster County and have never heard of the dancing at weddings....interesting!

  9. What a sweet story! Your cousins sound like lots of fun!...I am also wondering how that cup of coffee tasted?
    Have a happy new year!

  10. I have a large extended family, and at one set of first cousins' home, the ritual was for the family to vote on whether a girlfriend/boyfriend was OK. One of my cousins swears that he had to break up with a girlfriend because the family voted no. He said my sister was the only one to vote "yes" and that was just because she hated for the girlfriend to get no votes. I wasn't there, but I believe it.

  11. That sounds like tricks my daddy's brothers and he played on each other!!!

  12. That is such a precious story; thank you for sharing!! I love family so much!! It is a wonderful gift God has given us!

  13. What a fun story and fun memories!
    until next time... nel

  14. The odd thing is despite living in a different continent I had that trick done to me too.It's funny how the world over, basic human traits like humour remain the same.


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