Thursday, May 5, 2016


We take the Amish and Mennonites to many different places for different reasons.  Some of the reasons are to weddings. funerals, auctions, barn raising, family gatherings, work, doctors, grocery, and more.  Not all of our drives are instate either.  We have driven to Pennsylvania, Maine, Ohio, Indiana, Tennessee, Kentucky, Michigan and maybe one or two more.  If it is an over night trip, sometimes they make arrangements for us to stay with their family or friends.  Sometimes, we get ourselves a motel room.  This is all worked out before we leave.

Have we discovered someplace that we didn't know existed?  Yes, we have been places we didn't even know existed.  It is very interesting to Dot and I.  Sometimes while the Amish or Mennonite do their thing, we do ours.  Dot and I enjoy seeing the areas that the Amish and Mennonite like to go to.  We sort of take a tour around.  Many times they tell us of interesting places we might like to see or places we would like to go to.  Even though they don't eat out at lot - they know the best restaurants in town.

What you might find interesting is that usually Amish or Mennonite ladies will not sit in the front with a man driver.  Likewise it is unusual for a man to sit in the front seat with a lady driver.  Now there are exceptions to the rule like when Anna was going with her daughter-in-law to the hospital for her baby delivery.  I was driving - Anna set in the front seat while her daughter - in-law laid in the back seat.  Dot would have driven that day, but she was out driving someone else.

Yes, sometimes we are both driving at the same time.  When we drive them to a place where we will stay over night - both Dot and I go.  But in state, sometimes two different people want to go at the same time in opposite directions.  So we both drive.  One goes one way - the other goes the other way. We usually try to get everyone in our van, then we go around, make stops to let them off, and return to pick them up, but it doesn't always work out that way.  People have special needs sometimes where we have to wait, or they have several places they have to go.

Did we have to get extra insurance coverage or different auto coverage than we have on auto insurance? When we first started, we never thought of the insurance on the car and van.  After living in Gorham for while, we decided to move our insurance from Rochester to a local agent.  That's when we found what we didn't have that we should have had.  In the course of conversation we mentioned that we drove the Amish and Mennonite.  That's when we found we should have more insurance than we did, in case of an accident.  The Amish and Old Order Mennonite do not sue, but still you never know especially if the accident is our fault.  So far, we have never had an accident, but wanted to make sure we were covered if we did.

One time on the road with the van loaded with people, we had a flat tire.  I got out of the van, one of the Amish told everyone to get out of the van except one elderly lady.  The young fellows had the spare tire off the back of the van while another jacked it up.  I had never seen anyone change a tire so fast in my life.  They were doing this before I go to the back of the van.  When we got home, I told the fellows that there ride was free, but I found they left money in the van.  They would not accept it when I tried to return it.

Dot and I learned their Deitsch language.  We understand it better than we speak it.  Sometimes when we are driving we know what they are talking about.  Sometimes they forget to ask me a question in English - they use Deitsch and are surprised when I answer them in Deitsch.

We enjoy this driving very much.  Amish and Old Order Mennonite are like we are in some ways.  They have the many of the same problems we do and many of the good times we do.  Yes, we have had crying babies in the back. We have had unscheduled rest room stops.  Still, Dot and I enjoy this work very much.  We believe God provided this job for us.

Someone asked about the house we live.  Where we live now, is about two miles from Elmer and Anna's house.

Dot and I were going to hire a contractor to build our house, but some of the Amish and Old Order Mennonite have been to our home telling us that they would build the house for us.  It would be like a barn raising, but a house - that is how Elmer and Anna's house was built.  We didn't know what to say.  Elmer told us they would consider it an honor to build our house.  All we would have to do is supply them with the plan, and building supplies - they would take care of the rest.  Dot and I felt bad about all the charging we did for driving them around.  Elmer informed me that driving them and their building our house has nothing to do with each other.  Our driving is a business.  Building our house is friendship.

When our house is done, it will be solid.  All they ask is that we wait until after planting.  They will build it between planting and the harvest.  It will only take a couple of days to get it up.  Then the ladies will go in and help organize the inside.  Also, they will all help in packing and moving.  Elmer said if we hire a contractor we wouldn't see the inside of that house for six months.  So Dot and I talked it over and we decided to let them build it.  We feel very humble they would do this for us.

We do have a lot more land than we need and thought of selling some of it - when we get it.   Elmer came up with the idea of renting it out.  I never heard of renting land out.  He said he is sure that some young person, would like to rent the land, plow it, plant it, and harvest it.  When the crop it sold, we split the profit.  Or, we could just charge them a flat fee to use it.  He would suggest us going the profit way.  He even got an Amish young man that would like to rent it, if Dot and I agree.
The young man told Dot, he would even plow where she wants her garden put in, so I think we have a deal.

Hope you have enjoyed our telling about us being Amish and Mennonite drivers.  Now Dot and I have to go through our house and get a rid of a lot stuff we don't need and packing for the move when our house gets built.  Thought we should start ahead.

John and Dot


Anonymous said...

So very interesting. And to think they are building their house. Its amazing how some small act of driving them around one end of being a paying job for both.

Vanssmomc said...

Good Morning Marilyn, John and Dot will have a well built home when the home is finished. True craftmen the Amish and Mennonite are. Thanks for sharing this info, I was wondering about the insurance too. Have a great day! Cathy in Webster

Vickie said...

This is a most interesting post. I truly enjoyed learning so much more about John and Dot and their adventures and what they have chosen to do with their life.

New York State Of Mind said...

Good Morning Jodi,

It is interesting that after driving them around that they are going to build their house for them. I asked John how long he and Dot had been driving them and he said over 10 years.


New York State Of Mind said...

Good Morning Cathy,

Their house will be solid wen it's built. The Amish and Mennonites do excellent work when building a house or barn. Will see John and Dot get your message.


New York State Of Mind said...

Good Morning Vickie,

Will see they get your message. They do have a very interesting job.


Tom said...

You sure have made some wonderful friendships.

Fiona said...

We bought a farm in Kentucky from a young Amish couple who had plans to move back to New York. We did not know there was such a thriving Amish community here. We absolutely love it and the wonderful people. God has blessed us with the perfect place for us. We are getting to know and very much respect the Amish business's and our Amish neighbors.
We are in the Cub Run area so if you ever get down this way.

Diann said...

Very interesting blog post! I learned a lot today! It is especially touching to me, as my parents were also named John and Dot! I miss them so much, but I know they are very happy in their heavenly home, where I hope to join them one day.
Have a good day!

Anonymous said...

Hi Marilyn and John, Oh my, John! What a wonderful post! I do believe you're right, and God's hand has been in this from the beginning. As for the Amish and Mennonites wanting to build your house, a total blessing from the Lord! I've said this before and I'll say it again-the Body of Christ in action. God bless you both along with Elmer+Anna, David+Jean, and all the people who will come together to "raise" your new home and help get you settled. May God's grace, mercy, and protection abide always, Carol

Anonymous said...

Thank you, John, for this post. Amazing how life turns out sometimes, isn't it. Hope we hear/see more about the new home.
What/where are some of the new places John and Dot have discovered because they were drivers?

New York State Of Mind said...

Hi Folks,
Will see that John and Dot get your messages. It is great that the Amish and Mennonites are going to build their new house for them. Will see they get your questions, too.


dynnamae n said...

Thank you, John for answering my question and others. So much interesting information. I really enjoyed you sharing it and what a wonderful blessing for your house being built by these good folks. I agree when you say Gid provided this job. And you couldn't buy the benefits you get through your friendships. God is good, all the time.

New York State Of Mind said...

Hi dynnamae n.
I will see that John gets your message, God is good !!!