Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Announcement

I got up early that Sunday morning and went downstairs, filled the teapot with water and set it on the stove to brew a fresh batch of peppermint tea for breakfast. I knew I didn't have to be up yet but I simply couldn't make myself stay in bed any longer being filled with nervous anticipation like I was made that almost impossible.

Mom must have heard me stirring about the kitchen because she got up soon and came out and sat on a chair next to the stove. We talked a little bit as I set the table and then checked the food in the pantry to make sure it was still okay. It was.

Today was the day I had been looking forward to for quite a while already. Today was the day when after the preaching was over in church the bishop would announce our upcoming wedding. It hardly seemed possible. After a year of planning and preparing for our wedding it was so close.

At the breakfast table Daddy told my youngest brothers that they would hear my name in church to day when the bishop made the announcement that we were getting married. Ivan promptly burst into tears when he realized I was moving away and Raymond taking a cue from his older brother joined in. I could feel a lump rising in my throat as I assured them I would be back to visit often and that I hoped they would come see me often as well.  As much as I had been looking forward to getting married the reality that I would be moving away from the home I had known and loved for so long was very bitter sweet.

Arriving at church early Uncle Eli was still building a fire in the old wood stoves. He drew a chair up and talked for a while. Aunt Emma and Vernie were there already as well. I wished Grandpa could be there. He was at home still recuperating from his stroke. He really wanted to be at my wedding and seemed to be recovering with sheer will power.

After church services were over the bishop said his usual piece about gathering for another service in two weeks and then added that a brother and sister of the church have agreed to enter the bonds of holy matrimony. Namely, LV _____ and Mary Ann _______  The wedding will be on Thursday in two weeks. I glanced over at Daddy where Ivan and Raymond were sitting beside him with huge smiles on their faces. I was glad to see their sorrow had been short lived.

The songleader announced a song and started singing. For some reason I couldn't concentrate on the words today. As the last note faded and the boys and girls filed out Vernie came scurrying out to meet me. Grabbing my hand she kept saying "My little Mary Ann is getting married!"  I told her her that she would have a special place to sit at the wedding, beaming happily she went back to sit with Emma until she was ready to go home.

Looking out the window I could see LV getting his horse ready. I got my shawl and bonnet and stood outside on the porch to wait for him to drive up. It seemed wonderful that we were allowed to ride with each other in broad daylight! No longer could anyone complain that we spent too much time together. He would be at our house everyday helping with the final preparations for the wedding.

We spent the afternoon writing wedding invitations until it was time to go to the singing. The fact that my years of attending singings regularly were almost over didn't seem real either. I loved singing and knew I would miss them.


  1. Finally! I think you were holding your breath when the regular announcements were being given, knowing what was coming next!

    So glad your little brothers came around as I knew they would. They just needed some time to think about all the advantages of having their big sister in her own home.

    I can just imagine the happiness in Vernie's face when she heard and how pleased she must have been to have a part in your wedding.

    Thank you for not ending entry at the point where the little boys were crying ... you could have made that a cliff hanger!

    Only two weeks left :-)

  2. Oh, this is so lovely. Please think about having it published, I'm sure you would have so many readers.

  3. I hope you don't get tired of everyone urging you to'll make the best decision for yourself on that. My father-in-law wrote his memoirs at about age 80 and he's now 86. We helped him find a publisher and there was a limited amount published complete with many old & modern pictures scanned in to the text. He has given them out to family & close friends, but never charged for them.

  4. I have just loved following you on your journey! Always anxious to see the next chapter!

  5. That is an exciting time in life, finding your true love and preparing to marry him.
    I remember thinking how wonderful it would be to be able to spend all my free time with my very best friend. Actually, it's still wonderful, 37 years later.

  6. Wonderful post! my husband & I are both reading & enjoying your story.

  7. Mary Ann, I absolutely love hearing about your childhood and Amish life. I find your stories very heart warming as if they were coming from a dear sister. What a blessing!

  8. Another great post and chapter of your life. Enjoy reading!

  9. Every day I eagerly check to see if there is another post. I so enjoy reading your memoirs and anxiously await the next entry.
    Thanks so much for taking the time to share your story.

  10. I know this happened a while ago, but I cant be excited for you! Blessings, Joanne

  11. OOPS Sorry, I meant to write I cant Help be excited for you!

  12. I haven't had much time for reading others' blogs lately, but I just caught up with the latest on yours... nice buildup to the wedding. You are such a good writer/storyteller!

    That is so endearing that your brothers felt sad that you would be leaving home. How sweet!

    I often wonder -- had I been raised in a happy Amish family like yours, would I have ever left? Of course that is impossible to answer, but I think I would have been endowed with a different personality for me to still be living there. The fundamental questions that have always risen up from within were simply not compatible with being an Amish woman.

    I marvel about your understanding parents. I love the story about your father hitching up the horse so you could go tell LV that you were allowed to move up the wedding date. Nice.

    Thank you for sharing your wonderful stories.


  13. What a lovely story, thanks for sharing.

  14. What a sweet post! I'm really enjoying your story. :)


Thank you so much for taking time to comment. I love hearing your thoughts.