Monday, November 3, 2014
ELMER TELLS OF WEDDING DISHES AND HIS BIRTHDAY AT JEAN'S HOUSE
We have three wagons. One contains the dishes, cups, and silverware. When we first came to New York and started our group, the dishes were donated. Each family donated whatever they wanted. Some of the dishes were round, some of dishes were square, and some were different sizes from others. As our group got larger and ladies were using more dishes - these different size ones made it difficult at times to serve food and clean up. So eventually the ladies saved enough money for new dishes. They asked Bishop Eli if they could purchase new dishes so that all were alike. After setting some rules: no fancy design, etc. he gave them permission. So now all the dishes are the same. Most of the silverware matches, too.
The second wagon we used for special occasions like weddings, funerals, when we and the Old Order Mennonites get together for Mother's Day and Father's Day. Inside are pots, pans, a stove, and I don't what else the ladies have in there. At Sarah and John's wedding, it will be parked outside to the side of the back door where ladies can use the wagon and the house to prepare food for the wedding. They will be using the stove inside the house and the wagon stove.
Third wagon contains the boards that we set up in whose house it is for church service, wedding, funeral, etc. We set them up to sit on. After service, we change the seats into tables and seats to sit at to eat.
For a church service, we have the dish wagon and the seat wagon. At a wedding or funeral we have all three wagons. When the Old Order Mennonites and us Amish get together for Mother's Day or Father's Day, we have ours and their board wagons, dish wagons and sometimes the two pots wagons. You can tell these wagons as they are a bit higher than a buggy we would regularly ride in and they are more enclosed than a buggy we drive.
On October 31st, Michael and I celebrated our birthdays at Jean's house this year. Michael turned 16, the starting of courting age. I turned 51. Anna and I arrived at Jean and David's after milking. Edward had done most of the cooking as part of his present to Michael and to give Jean a break. He made my favorite scalloped potatoes and ham with cheese in it. Yummmm. We also had a tossed salad, home baked bread (by Jean), homemade jellies (by Jean), chow chow, beet eggs, and more. Of course for desert, we had chocolate cake with chocolate frosting that Edward also made. He said Jean had to put on the Happy Birthday to Michael and myself as he doesn't do as well writing in frosting as Jean does. At our dinner was Michael, Edward, Thomas, David Jr., Susan, Katie, Grandmother Olive, Grandfather Albert, Jean, David, Anna and myself. I think I have everyone.
After dinner Michael and I exchanged gifts. We also brought a small bag of cookies and candy for everyone else as we didn't want anyone especially the small children to feel left out. The funny part was Jean had the same idea. So everyone else got two gifts, too. Katie wondered why it was Michael and my birthdays and everyone was receiving gifts. I told her because we spread the good wealth and are happy of us all being friends together and loving the Lord.
Jean's husband took me up to the attic so I could see the work they had done up there. It is coming along very well. Told them if they needed a hand to let me know. He said they might take me up on that. I also told David Sr. on how stairs never bothered me when we had the old house, but now not having stairs, when I do use stairs they seem harder than before. He laughed. You will find out why I mention this a little later.
When I got downstairs Michael had checkers set up so we played a couple of games. I won both, but I think he let me. Then all the men went down into their finished basement and played darts. We left Anna upstairs this year. While we were down there, Jean and Anna put the little ones to bed.
Upstairs again, Michael, Edward, Thomas and I played a game of scrabble while the rest sat and talked. We had pop corn and hot chocolate. Then David Sr. did a reading and gave me the bible where I did a reading. We prayed and sang a few songs together. As we were saying good-by I noticed Michael, Thomas and Edward leave. When Anna and I walked outside, I saw something silver attached to our buggy - and it was long. As I got closer I realized it was a new ladder.
Years ago when I started doing construction work, a friend of my parents made me a ladder where the steps were closer together because of my short legs. When Anna and I married that ladder went in all our moves with us. At every job or barn raising, I brought that ladder. It was getting rusted and its steps did not hold together as well as they should, but I stilled used it. When Michael asked Anna what I could use for my birthday and Anna knowing the work that Michael and Kevin do - she said a new ladder before I break my neck. But the steps had to be closer together. So it seems Kevin and Michael came to the house, when I wasn't home, measured the old ladder and made me a new one. I couldn't believe that they made such a beautiful ladder for me. It's exactly like my old ladder, but in much better condition. It looked even better the next day in day light when I could really see it. That is a lot more special to me when I think that Michael and Kevin made this for me.
The only sad thing was, because of the birthday party, David and Jean forgot to take the pumpkins they had for sale on their road stand and put them in the barn. Someone, we assume children, came by and smashed them. Also, they took the money jar that Jean had there. Jean didn't think there was much in the money jar - what really upset her was the pumpkin mess to clean up.
Next year Michael and my birthday is at Anna and my house.
Trust God's Wisdom,