Wednesday, April 27, 2016


Hello, my name is John and my wife is Dot.  You often hear about how the Amish or Old Order Mennonites move in our area, we did reverse - we moved into their area.  My wife and I met while working for a company in Rochester.  We married, lived in the city subburbs, and raised our children there.  After our children grew up, went to college - they moved out of the area.

It looked for a while, the place we worked was going to close, at least in Rochester.  Rather than transfer, Dot and I took early retirement.  We also decided that seeing our children had moved, we were going to move where we wanted - out in the country.  So we sold out house and rented one in Gorham, right into the Old Order Mennonite area.  We weren't planning on moving into Old Order Mennonite area, it just happened where the house we rented was.

We met both Englishers and Old Order Mennonite in our area.  Our neighbors were Old Order Mennonite and we got to know them.  They were very nice people.  We enjoyed sitting on our porch in the morning, drinking coffee and watching the buggies go by.

Dot and I were looking for part time jobs.  But, out in the country, jobs are hard to find.  Also, being in our 50's, people would rather hire younger people than us.  It's either they think we would want to much pay or we are to old to do the job.  We never thought of becoming a driver for Old Order Mennonites or for the Amish, who later moved into our area.

The first Old Order Mennonites we drove were our neighbors.  They had come to use our phone, on occasion to call their driver, but never asked us to drive.  This day, the ladies Mother came to call the driver and they weren't home.  She called another and another.  None home.  Dot asked her where she wanted to go and she said her daughter had to go to the hospital.  We said, we would take them. So we drove to their house - took Mother and daughter to the hospital.  Once we made it to the hospital, the Mother asked if we could go get her son, the ladies husband.  He was at another Old Order Mennonite Farm.  So off we went and got him.  We had to break the news that his child was coming - NOW.
Instead of just dropping him off, we went up to the delivery section - we wanted to know if it was boy or girl, too.  We found when we arrived, their baby girl had been born.  We took Grandmother home on the way to our  home.  The next day the babies Father came and offered us money.  We told him, we were neighbors, that's what we did for one another.  Still never thought of being drivers.

Once in a while, we would get people that would come to our door asking if we could take them here or take them there.  If we could, we would.  They knew we would not accept payment, so we found money in our car after we left them off - sometimes stuck in the seat.

One day, their Bishop, came to our house - it was the Bishop before Bishop Joseph and said he heard we wanted to make some extra money.  Would we consider being drivers for the Old Order Mennonite?  We thought about it for a minute and said sure.  He said if we had our plans when someone asked, that was understanding - but they would appreciate it we would when we could.  Also, he said, we were to take money.  He understood we are neighbors, but we had to pay for gas, our time, etc. We agreed we would take money.

Dot and I were trying to figure out how to set up rates to charge people, but we never had to.  They paid us what they paid their other drivers and we took it.  When gas went up, the other drivers went up, our passengers started paying us more.  So we really never set a rate - they pay us what they pay the others.

We started with just our car.  Old Order Mennonites and the Amish have large families.  They don't fit into a four door sedan.  Finally, we bought a van and kept our car. So we have two vehicles.

Someone asked if we make a living doing this?  Not really, but it is a nice addition to our retirement.  It allows us to have some of the extras in life like eating out once or twice a week. going on a weekend vacation a couple times a year, etc.  It also helps cushion the money in the bank a little bit.

Some of the people we are close to them and their families - we have built a relationship.  I know Elmer has told you that people are different and different groups of the Amish and Old Order Mennonites are more open than others.  Some of them are very close friends of ours.  Some of them, we are just their drivers and our customers.  I would say most of them are our friends and we are theirs.

I was going to tell about driving the Amish and the Old Order Mennonite, but I guess maybe I getting long.  So I will do another post. Feel free to ask questions.

How Elmer bribed me to do this is that our landlords want to sell the house we are renting and offered it to us.  After praying, looking around, we decided we wanted to build a new one.  We also decided the best place to build it is the farm area next to Elmer.  Dot and I wanted to ask him, as he is particular who buys that property.  We didn't know if he would want Englishers next to him.  So, we decided to ask except Anna broke her leg, they went to Pinecraft, and were busy when they came back. Finally we asked.  We told them we WOULD have electric.  We would have phone.  Still Elmer and Anna agreed.  He said they would sign the papers, if we would put a post on here.  So here is the post, so we can own the property and start building our new house.

I told Elmer, the only reason he wants us next door, is so he wouldn't have to go so far for his driver when he needed us.  With a grin on his face he replied : "Darn right."

John and Dot

On my calendar today is: Sorry looks back, worry looks around, faith looks up.


Tom said...

I drive Amish friends when I visit them, but I am paid with baked goods.

New York State Of Mind said...

Good Morning Tom,

Now that is a tasty way to get paid !!


Vanssmomc said...

Good Morning Marilyn, Elmer is a hoot!! I was laughing out loud by the time I finished reading! John and Dot have found wonderful neighbors and a way to make a little extra money that is always handy when one is retired. I love the area they live in, we have friends that live in Potter and it is beautiful country. Cathy in Webster

Anonymous said...

Thank you, John, for your post. Much appreciated+informative. What a wonderful blessing that you'll have a new home next door to Elmer+Anna! I assume it's not far from your current location? Many blessings to you+Dot, Carol

New York State Of Mind said...

Good Morning Cathy,

Elmer is funny !!! It is beautiful country out there. I really enjoy going out there. Been through Potter several times.


New York State Of Mind said...

Good Morning Carol,

Will see that John gets your message. It is a blessing that they will have a new house next to Elmer and Anna. I am not exactly sure where the house they are currently living is, but it's not far from where they are building.

Blessings to you and yours,

dynnamae n said...

Thank you, John, for your interesting and informative post. What a blessing it became when you moved to the country! Elmer is so funny and I'm glad he bribed you do this post. My question would be about auto insurance. Being a driver for others, do you need any extra coverage or different coverage than the kind we usually have? I sure think it could be a fun and interesting job to have.

Vickie said...

John and Dot sound like some very special people. I really enjoyed this post, and am glad Elmer bribed John. ;)

Wendy said...

Hi Marilyn

That was a very interesting post will look forward to the next one that John does
I read a lot of Amish Fiction

Sometime ago I asked you if you could ask Jean or Anna if they had a recipe for a no roll pie crust ????

I do enjoy your Blog especially Jean, Anna and Elmer and now John writings
as well

Would like to hear more about Baby John and how Sarah and John are

Have a good day

Anonymous said...

Very enjoyable reading. John and Dot sound like wonderful people.

Veronica said...

What a great post today John. Welcome to you and your wife Dot. What great information you gave for us today. I would love to have the chance to do what you are doing driving the Amish and Mennonites around.What a blessing that you will be building your home right beside them also. I would have to move for that to happen. Although we have thought of having a summer home near a close to some of the Amish and Mennonites here in Ontario. I would say it is the best of both worlds. Looking forward to reading your other post also. Thanks again to everyone involved in the blog especially you Marilyn. Hope you and Pierre are having a good week. God Bless Veronica

New York State Of Mind said...

Hi Folks,
I will see that John and Dot get all your messages and questions.


Anonymous said...

Thank you, John. What a great blessing for all involved. Have either of you ever discovered someplace that you didn't know existed by being drivers? Hope all goes as planned with your new home. Thanks again.

New York State Of Mind said...

Hi Anonymous,

Will see that John gets your message.


Prairie Stitcher said...

I love reading New York State of Mind. The Holy Spirit is in it. Thanks so much.

Kathie in Odessa, WA