Monday, September 1, 2014
ELMER SAYS: "HAPPY LABOR DAY"
What I found to be odd is that many Englisers do not like to do farming work. Some of the people consider it low status work and beneath them. How do I know? Over the years, I have needed extra help on my farm. Now Amish help Amish, but during harvest season, we sometimes have to look for extra help - maybe outsiders. I have run adds in local papers, gone to unemployment offices, and more looking for someone to help on the farm. I seldom get a reply. I even offered a salary, place to stay if they needed one and meals.
I thought that maybe it is because I am Amish and use horse rather than tractor, but found it wasn't just me. Englisher farmers have the same problem. That is why they have to hire people who come from Mexico, because they will work on a farm. Many people think of farming as a way of the past.
To change the subject, we got a call the other day from John's Sarah. John was in the hospital. It seems John had been working at the house with a couple of his friends, trying to get it remodeled. Taking down walls, pulling electric, checking the plumbing, putting the walls back in , etc. caused a lot of dust. When Sarah stopped over to see how things were going, she saw John was coughing and as red as a Fire Truck, as she said. At first, she thought it was heat, gave him some water and got him to sit down. He couldn't stop coughing and staying red. Against John's wishes, she ran to the neighbor and called our house. Of course, we weren't home. So she called the ambulance. When Anna and I got to the shanty phone and got the message, we got a driver and went to the hospital.
It seems John has some sort of an allergy to all that dust and dirt in the air. We told the doctor he didn't get it that much building our new house, but then again he wasn't in it that much when it was built. He did mostly outside work - roofing, the windows, the siding, etc. The doctor also said our house is a lot newer than John's , which is true.
They kept John over night and he could not go back to his house. So he couldn't decide to come to our house or his sister's house (our old house). Anna decided for him. Our house. Anna got all his clothes and items he needed out of his house. Washed everything she could wash. Cleaned everything she could clean. Scrubbed everything she could scrub including one of the guest bedrooms in our new house. Also prepared John's favorite dinner and invited Sarah to come to dinner when he got home. So John is presently living in our new house.
Eli, Sarah and I went through the house and over the plans as to what has to be done on the house. Eli got John's friends and some others together to work on the house, when they have time. It is really getting together. The building inspector passed the plumbing, insulation, windows, etc. so now they can put the walls in. John must wear a white mask over his mouth and nose when he goes in. Anna has gotten a group of ladies to go over and help Sarah clean the place from top to bottom when the men get all done. They want to get all the dust and dirt out of the house.
What we don't understand is that John has worked in the fields and barns with hay, corn, etc. and never had any problem. The doctor said maybe there is more air and it is different than house dust and dirt.
Poor John feels so bad that he can't work on his house right now. When he gets feeling better Eli told John he can work on the roof to his house because he has to put a new on - the building inspector didn't pass it. That is, if John's friend's don't get there first. As young folks, John's friends, told him he was going to pay for this. Not money of course. I think they are planning little pranks on him. Eli and I warned them not to do anything that would hurt them, the house or the barn.
Like with our house, Amish and Old Order Mennonite's are building some of the furniture for John's house. Some John and Sarah know about - and some they don't. I have to keep a list of who is doing what as I can't remember them all. Sarah's parents also have a list as they ordered some of the things. I think John and Sarah are suspecting some of the things that are coming. Eli made the deal with them that after the remodeling is done, it passes their inspection and the building inspectors inspection, they can't go into the house again until after they are married. John was upset at first until he thought about it and then agreed. He has tried to get Anna and I to tell him what is going on - but we won't tell. Sarah agreed saying as long as it was liveable when they move in. We promised her it would be.
When he goes to do his barn work, the blinds will be closed on the house, so he can't peak in there. We are putting something over the door windows. So that has him really wondering what will be going on in there. It will be hard for him not to peak, he got it from his Father - me.
Right now, John is feeling better and doing small chores at our house. John's friends are doing his chores for him until he gets his strength back. By the time you read this, John should be back doing his chores again.
Bishop Eli had a meeting after service with John, Sarah, the deacons, minister, Sarah's parents, Anna and myself. He said they had a discussion and thought it would be a good idea for John to take a walk through the house when the first floor walls are in to see if he can breath. If he can't, they think, we should tear down the house, and build John and Sarah a new house. John did not care for the idea of tearing down the house. Eli said it is not an order, but a suggestion. John asked to leave and Eli okayed it. Sarah went with John to calm him down. We adults talked about what would happen if we did do as Eli asked. I know the church would pay for anything we couldn't, but we didn't want that. About a half hour John, Sarah, Eli's youngest son who is John's best friend and his lady came in. Eli's son asked to speak. Eli said okay. Eli's son said the four of them had the matter settled if it was okayed by us - they are changing farms. Eli's son and his lady really liked John's house and John and Sarah really liked their house. When remodeling Eli's son's house, John slept there and had no problems breathing. Both houses are about the same age, similar inside and barns. Yes, they would like to keep the farms they have, but on the other hand, if it will make John breath better, they could live on each other's farm. Eli asked if all four agreed and they said yes. Now that is a friend that would exchange farms like that. So tomorrow, they are going to transfer the deeds. John will help Eli's son as much as he can with the remodeling - mostly doing outside work. Eli's son and his lady are also getting married in either October or November.
Eli's son does not have to ask to speak to his father under normal conditions, but this being a church meeting he does. Usually Eli's son can just talk to his Father.
Marilyn has given me some questions you asked so I plan on putting them on next week, if nothing else serious happens in our family.
John and Sarah had gone for a buggy ride and Anna and I were on our porch. We liked having John back in our house - even if for a little while.
Trust God's Wisdom,