Monday, September 1, 2014


Being Amish, we do not consider today a special day, but I do wish everyone a Happy Labor Day.  For those who are working outside or inside the home.  To those looking for work, I ask you to keep praying and looking.

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,


Tom said...

Elmer has it right about farm work. I have been in the nursery business for 46 years and Mexicans are the only worker that will do the work I have to offer. Tom The Backroads Traveller

Evie said...

Hope John is feeling much better
Could there have been some asbestos dust in the house, it can be a problem in older houses and would perhaps explain John's severe reaction.
What wonderful friends to swap houses
Thank you as always Elmer I so enjoy your posts


Countryside Reflections said...

Wow, things move fast in the Amish world. As usual, I'm so impressed with the help of Amish friends and family, but to switch farms, that's really friendship.

When we restored our barn, we used good respirators, not just the small white ones when we were tearing down plaster and opening up walls. You never know what nasty stuff is hiding in there. I hope John is feeling better.


New York State Of Mind said...

Hi Tom,
Thank you for telling us. My Dad was raised on a farm and even though my brothers and I grew up in town, we all had to do farm work. Two of my Aunt and Uncles had farms. During the summer, we had chores there we had to do. Dad said he wanted to teach us hard work and that crops come from the ground not just the grocery store.


New York State Of Mind said...

Good Morning Evie,
Asbestos was the first thing, I thought of too, but Elmer said before the closing the inspector checked for that and when the town building inspector came he checked for that and both said there wasn't any. Elmer and John are thinking of having someone else come and check just to be on the safe side.

New York State Of Mind said...

Good Morning Doreen,
The Amish do move fast. Elmer said he and Anna got out of the old house into the one just before their daughter had her baby.

That is real friendship that a friend would switch farms. I don't think they had respirators which I think was the problem. John is feeling better, but he hasn't been back in the house yet.


Vickie said...

What a wonderful, blessed friendship indeed! Truly a great solution.

New York State Of Mind said...

Good Morning Vickie,
That is a great friendship that would do that for a friend.

Hug Mabel and Henry from us,
Marilyn and Pierre

kymber said...

Marilyn - can you please pass this msg on to John and Elmer for me? i know that you will!

first off - the Amish show incredible christianity in how they take care of things so effortlessly, with no pridefulness of ownership and with friendship and fellowship always first and foremost in their minds. they have so much to teach us englishers and we are all very glad for the lessons that they teach here, and that, you, Marilyn, make sure are shared here.

John may need to take a break and let the others finish up for him. WE DO NOT WANT HIM TO GET ANY SICKER. he has many friends and family that can help right now and HE WILL BE CALLED ON in the future to help others, so please tell him to maintain his health. Elmer is such a funny guy - i love Elmer's tales. but John's health must come before his ego.

imagine? switching farms like that. i am glad to say that we left the city, joined a small community, raise our own food - and even the people here think we are crazy. or maybe they think we are Amish - bahahahah! oh please tell that one to Elmer as i am sure he will get a laugh out of that.

no one here grows their own food except us. heck, maybe we are Amish.

i already said it - but please make sure to tell Elmer how much i enjoy his "special" way of telling stories - he is such a hoot! i can't imagine him thinking when he was a young man that he would be such an internet sensation - bahahahahah! oh that is sooo funny right there!

thank you Marilyn, so much, for providing such a safe place for us to visit, be entertained, learn, and feel closer to God. please tell all of the writers here how much they are doing. they are doing The Lord's work...and are you.

your friend,

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Elmer,for letting us know what's going on out there. Besides asbestos, I also considered mold(possibly black mold). I don't think inspectors always look for that(and I certainly can be wrong). First of all, no matter how young, hale+hearty one thinks they are, everyone doing renovations within a home(confined space)should always wear masks/respirators. It is the right+safe thing to do. Dealing with lung disease later in ones life is absolutely NO picnic! I've witnessed+cared for others a lot over the years who acquired pulmonary problems because they chose not to be cautious.
Glad John's feeling better though. Will John+Sarah be closer to Elmer+Anna switching farms with his friend? Always a blessing to hear about neighbor helping neighbor. Not enough selflessness in this world for sure!
Many blessings to all, In Christ, Carol

New York State Of Mind said...

Hi Carol,
I never thought of mold so I will pass it on to Elmer. John had worked on the house before and nothing happened, what happened that day, they can't figure out unless this was building up and then hit that day. They are trying to find out what was it that was bothering John now, that didn't bother him before when he was working on the house. What Elmer said if it is bothering John now could be bothering Eli's son later on, if they change farms. Also being close friends, it would be nice if they could go in each others house.

New York State Of Mind said...

Hi Kimber,
I will see that Elmer and John get your message. Right now, John is not working on his house at all - his friends and his Father are. They are also having the house tested to see if they can find out what it is. Elmer called in some firm from Rochester, NY to do the testing.

Elmer does have a way of telling things in his humorous ways. He talks that way in person, too. Oh, the things Elmer and Eli use to do as young folks that Bishop Eli told me on the phone the other night. I was laughing so hard, I could hardly talk to him.


kymber said...

oh Marilyn - you have to get them to tell those funny stories. you are the only person who CAN get them to tell them. and thank you - i know you will pass on my msgs to them. much love Marilyn.

your friend,

New York State Of Mind said...

Hi Kymber,
I will see what I can do about that. Bishop Eli said the worse part is they still do stuff like that together today.


Anonymous said...

Hey Marilyn, Y'know, John probably be tested for allergies-blood test called RAST. I think they still use that, along with possibly the Scratch Test. Any-which-way, he really should be tested. Glad that Elmer has a company coming to test the house out for any potential problems(like black mold etc). Once you have the right answers you can be at ease+relieved. Having the right info is a must;esp when it comes to ones health.
Hot+muggy here today. Should be having rain tonight.
Blessings, Carol

New York State Of Mind said...

Hi Carol,
I will tell Elmer what you said. I know they ran a lot of tests on John when he was in the hospital, but I don't know what. Also, he has to go to their family doctor - I guess to find out the results of the tests.

It is hot and muggy here too. It rained so it is cooler.