All month, I have been anticipating my next trek to Lancaster. After all, I now have my own place at an Amish home to live! Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to get out there since I rented my place. Life, work, children, birthdays…little things get in the way of those valuable free days that we have called weekends.
But I love spring on the farms.
Twenty years ago (or so), when I first stayed on the farm, it was a rental but I wasn’t necessarily a tenant. I was younger then and, as such, didn’t have the money to rent the apartment year-round. One spring, when I was scheduled to spend some time at the Lapp farm, there were two other ladies coming to stay at the same apartment that I used to rent. Unfortunately, because the apartment was small, they didn’t have an extra room for me. Since the other people had booked before me, I would have to vacate.
I was really disappointed but understood the situation. I was ready to look for a hotel room. However, my dear friend Emanuel (from Fields of Corn) solved the problem. Without a question or even a moment hesitation, he retreated to the barn and returned with a bucket full of tools. For the next few hours, he spent his Saturday afternoon…his free Saturday afternoon…building a new bedroom on the first floor that butted into the mule shed.
I remember standing in the doorway, watching him with his mop of loose brown curls and his sparkling blue eyes, as he worked. He never complained and always had a quick smile on his face when he looked up. I’d bring him lemonade from time to time and his mother, Katie, would pop her head in, staring disapprovingly but saying nothing. Emanuel had found a way for me to be able to stay on the farm.
As an “adult”, it’s interesting to me that I was too young and naive to understand why Emanuel had spent that Saturday afternoon building a bedroom just for me. We had fun painting the walls and I was really touched when he found a double bed (complete with old, handmade headboard) and dresser to put into the room.
This spring, when I go to the farm, I am sure that I will finally run into Emanuel after all of those years. He’s married now, perhaps even a grandfather. It’s also extremely interesting to know that Katie Lapp and I are good friends these days. I always stop by to visit her and, when time permits, I take her to dinner in town.
Spring is a good time for revisiting my old friends and for making new ones. I’m looking forward to spending spring back on the Amish farm.