On our street, we don’t need an excuse to party. I said our dinner was to celebrate the end of Easter, only because we had split pea soup made with stock from the Easter ham. I wanted Gerhard to meet our neighbors, and I felt Shawn and Bob would enjoy him. We missed Amy, who was out of town. As it turned out, we also celebrated the birth of Shawn and Bob’s second grandchild. The baby boy was born in Turkey that morning, mother and baby doing well.
Gerhard brought a gift for Logan from Germany, a toy book wagon. There were four horses pulling the covered wagon, and two barrels were visible on the outside. Gerhard explained that long ago books were shipped in barrels. Who knew? I wish I’d taken a photo of it.
People often find things they have in common if they have a chance to talk. I was surprised that one link was a relationship with Amish people. Gerhard taught in State College PA for over 24 years. Early on he found it easy to converse with the Amish, because he was used to reading German from the 17th and 18th centuries. This was the basis for their language today. He has lectured about the group and has photos to go with it.
Shawn and Bob interacted with the Amish in Ohio. They struck up a conversation with a man and were invited to his home! He took them for a carriage ride, and two handsome boys gave their daughter a ride on a pony. They wrote to each other from time to time, as Shawn and Bob moved to Florida and then North Carolina. One day the man called, saying he was passing through, and could he stop by to visit. When he was about three hours away, he called again. He had a bus load of people, maybe 15 to 20, and could he bring them, as well.
Shawn said, “I called people in the church, and they baked cakes and desserts to serve the group.”
Bob added that the people were very personable — laughing, joking, and poking fun at each other. Most Americans see only the staid and sober side the Amish show the outside world.
People know I’m going to take their photo unless I forget. I made them pose at the table, but everyone said Logan should be in it. We pulled him away from playing games on John’s computer, and he dutifully smiled for the camera. We were sorry the evening had to end. Nevertheless, we packed in a lot of conversation. As you might guess, we think we have the best neighbors and friends in the world.