Winter months do have a twist all their own. For many of us Amish housewives, the quiet winter months are a time to catch up on sewing for our growing families. Just yesterday while sewing a shirt for Austin, I told Daniel who stepped in the house for a minute, “I forgot how much I enjoy sewing!” As odd as it may sound, it’s true. As a young girl, I could spend entire days, sewing dresses or coats for myself or my little sisters.
We bade the birth parents farewell. The door shut behind them. Could it be true? We looked at each other then at our darling children. Would they really be for keeps? Would the birth parents change their minds? How much should we really allow ourselves to think of being Rayni and Jesse’s parents for life? At any rate, we didn’t waste too much time calling to Ohio to tell Daniel’s family of the birth parent’s proposal of us keeping the babies.
I know many of you have been waiting patiently on an update on our two darlings we’ve been fostering the last 14 months. Honestly, it’s been quite the journey for us. As we poured our lives into Rayni and Jesse, we knew it will never be fair to them if we didn’t love them as our own. Yet especially for me, it’s been a constant process of letting go and loving with no expectation of any return, only imagining how crushed we all would be, should the time come of parting with them.
DANIEL: So we all like to make memories you know, and tonight was one of those nights, today was the last day of deer season for shotgun, so I told Julia and Austin that I would like to take them with me. Wow, excitement was in the air, they could hardly wait. I told Austin that he needs to take a little nap before we go, so that is what he did. After an hour, I woke him from his nap and told him we’re ready to go. He was all smiles and ready to roll. Gloria helped get Julia and Austin get bundled up for the cold evening, with goodbye kisses to Mama we left the house.
Thanksgiving is just around the corner. I wonder what you think of as you prepare this holiday? As long as I remember, a hearty Thanksgiving dinner took priority at our house on Thanksgiving, along with time spent with family and friends. Generally, we had something like mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, turkey of course, then things like salad and pie. This year I miss my grandparents who have both passed on, they were always the ones to help plan events and would host it at their house. There was never a lack of food at their home. Grandma always made sure everyone had plenty and was well taken care of.
Ever since Grandma’s death, I knew the auction was coming up. But then, you can’t really face it until it comes to reality. The Amish tradition is to sell the deceased parents’ items over auction with only the family included. The proceeds then get added to the inheritance money, then each person can do with their money with what he chooses, in honor of their parents.
I tossed and turned. The mental list was only getting longer. “This is ridiculous, why waste this precious time when I could be sleeping?” I asked myself. “Lord, you can remind me of everything I needed to remember in the morning.”
We were on our knees, having our morning prayer together when I heard the “tingle, tingle” of a bell. “What could it be?” I wondered. As we rose from our knees, Daniel stepped outside with Jesse to investigate. “There’s a cow in the garden!” he reported. Jesse loves mooing like a cow, but as they stood right next to the cow and it opened it’s huge mouth and let out a giant “Moo!” It wasn’t what Jesse was expecting; his big blue eyes got bigger still as he watched in amazement. Austin was all eyes and ears as well. “Mom! There’s a cow in the garden!” he exclaimed as he returned to the house. Indeed it was a cow, and by all appearances, it was ready to be milked.
It’s Sunday afternoon and were are cruising down Interstate 70, heading for Hocking Hills in Ohio. We have another 230 miles until our arrival. Yes, we’re traveling again. We’re taking the whole family; there was no one we wanted to leave back with a babysitter, so all seven of us packed up for our three day trip to Daniel’s family gathering in a large cabin tucked into the hills in Logan, Ohio.
It’s early Wednesday morning. The house is peacefully quiet, so I’m seizing the opportunity to get in touch with you all.