Sunday, November 15, 2009

Apples of Our Eye

One of our best Amishing stories happened a short time ago:

We were driving home from a trip to a local apple orchard, where we'd bought some cider and a bag of apples. We decided to go home via the back roads, past a couple of Amish families who maintain roadside stands, to see what they had to offer that day.

As we stopped at one stand, a young girl came out to wait on us, soon followed by a smaller child who couldn't speak English. (Small Amish children speak a Swiss dialect of German at home, and only learn English when they start attending school.) The barefooted kids were so charming, and grimy, and seemed so serious about closing the sale. So as we bought a couple jars of canned peaches from them we offered them a couple of apples from our bag, along with our money. Their faces lit up. The younger child devoured his in a few gulps; he ate like a kid with competition at the dinner table.

"Maybe your other brothers and sisters would like apples too," offered Fellow Traveler. "How many do you have?"

"Ten!" announced the girl.

Gulp.

We just gave them the rest of our bag.

3 comments:

Mompriest said...

sounds like you did the exact right thing....children who gulp apples like that clearly need them. (10 kids, or would that be 10 more, so like 12?)

LutheranChik said...

We think there are 12 kids...which is pretty common for Amish families.

One day when we were passing this house we saw one of the tiny girls -- maybe two or so -- with her dad while he was talking to the milkman; the girl was dancing in pirouettes, the strings on her prayer cap whirling with her...what a delight to see. They're all very sweet, polite children at all the homes. And we seem to be like friendly alien beings -- they LOVE talking to us. One little boy kept talking to me in dialect, which is very unlike standard, High German...I started talking to him in High German, which is Amish church language, and we were finally able to communicate in a rudimentary way...although I'm sure he thought the English lady speaking in "church" was pretty weird.

Beth said...

How wonderful.. I hope those peaches make a grweat pie/cobbler/crisp. Either way, the smiles were probably worth it.