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Saturday, February 11, 2012

Oh the things you'll see, Oh the things you do...

Recently I was thinking a lot about the "rounding" homework Hannah brought home at the beginning of the year.  On Friday, February 3, I was thinking about how the nearest ten I'm rounding up to is 50 (I turned 47).  WHAT????  How in the *&#$%@# (insert your own expletive here) did this happen?  I can't believe it.

My 47 years on earth have gone quickly!  I've been having a good time and you know what they say, "Time flies when you're having fun!".  I've had some wonderful life experiences! 

As I look back on my 47 years I stand in complete and total Awe of how good God is to me. What blessings he has lavished on me!  Some of the things I've done in my life I still stand with my mouth hanging open shocked that I even did, for example...

Giving Birth to two boys!!

Adopting a daughter

Being a Restaurant, Bed & Breakfast and Bakery owner

             Being a Mennonite (Never heard of those until I married one....btw...only pic I could find of a bunch of Mennonites - yes really, this is how they look!!!)

 But the one thing this old Hillbilly is the most amazed by is that the husband God picked out for me lives in an Amish tourist town!! I still, to this day, after having lived here for almost 24 years, will stop my car to watch a 4 team hitch of horses plow or plant a field.  Probably, more than being 47 years old, the fact that I have spent almost half of it living in and raising my family in Amish country is still the most amazing to me.  I mean, who ever heard of a city girl raised by a couple of Hillbillies from the KY hills moving to an Amish Community and taking root there - and "liking" it!???  Must be that the guy she married is some kind of Stud!!!  Or...she's just totally nuts!  Take your best guess!

I don't know if I'm more amazed that people still actually live this way or that I've lived amongst them for all these years. 
Here are some things about living in Amish country that still amaze me after living here 24 years!
  1. Dodging road apples - how many people in America can say that they have to drive around horse poo every time they go somewhere. There's more than just "rubber" that meets the road around here!
  2. When the Amish neighbor kids stand in line in my kitchen to get a drink of ice water out of the automatic icemaker in the fridge door.  They marvel at this just like my kid would marvel at a Disney world ride!
  3. Brigthly colored wash hanging out on the line on a 20 degree day!  Wow - talk about being a "stiffed" shirt - ah ha ha
  4. pony carts with one tiny pony carting 6-8 rosy cheeked children with their head scarves blowing in the breeze
  5. speaking of head scarves......and stocking caps! Everybodies got one and it could be 310 degrees outside and they will still be wearing those darn stocking caps!  SWEAT!
  6. Watching a house or barn go up in just a matter of days!  It's like a LEGO set to them! 
  7. Those tiny little bonnets with the flowing strings and straw hats they put on the little ones - sooo cute!
  8. The Sundays when the neighbors have church at their house and watching all the families walk down the street in their Church clothes and the buggies lined up and moving slow into their drive way.
  9. Going past a home on a Summer Sunday that had church and seeing all the little boys dressed exactly alike in their white shirts, black suspenders, bare feet and bowl haircuts playing in the yard while all the men folk who are also dressed just alike sit under the shade of a tall old shade tree and visit. (Dressed just like the little boys minus the suspenders)
  10. Taking a walk on a summer day and listening to a little Amish girl singing while she swings!  Love that!
  11. Spring time when the pastures are full of little spindly legged draft horses that look so awkward and cute standing so close to their big stately mamas.
  12. Reprimanding my kids because they are saying naughty words in dutch taught to them by their Amish friends. Yeah, that would be Zac in case you're wondering!
  13. The stark diversity of looking across the gymnasium at a high school basketball game and seeing a cheerleader in her short skirt, bouncy hair and makeup and sitting just a few rows up from her are a sea of girls who are the total opposite of her, dressed in bonnets, dresses, hair pulled back tightly and no make up!  And there is respect for both by both for the most part! That one blows me away every time.  Still!

If someone had told me 30 years ago I'd be married to Joel Mishler, a restaurateur turned coach and baseball freak (lol), live in an amish town where the neighbor kids would be fascinated with my ice maker in the fridge door and take my daughter on pony cart rides - I would have laughed them out of the park!  But here I am....and it's great...
  ..............And I'm still laughing!

Thank you God for all these lovely surprises along the way!