Sunday, December 21, 2008

Through the windshield again

This is from the skim of snow we had a couple weekends ago. I know and have read that the Amish do not like to be photographed...I have never talked to any of them about it person to person. But I could not resist snapping this picture. There is no face showing...even if he wasn't behind the horse, you could not have seen his face if you tried he was so bundled up against the cold.

And I have read of others talking to them and them not minding. I think it probably has to do with the attitude...or maybe what the pictures are for. But I so would like to document some of the stuff they do. For Neal and I grew up, he more than me, doing farm work the way the Amish do it. We all the time talk about wishing we had pictures of this and that from our childhood. But that time is past, and there is no going back to take pictures. So, I want to record it while it is still there to record.

Some of the Amish used to come to the orchard where I worked...and one of them told my boss that he would love to be a gourmet cook, but he couldn't do that and be Amish too. And he chose to be Amish. He and the other Amish man with him had a twinkle in their eye and you could tell he enjoyed joking and teasing. I was starting to go on with some sort of foolishness, and stopped because I wondered what he was going to think...then I saw that gleam in his eyes and knew he enjoyed it as much as the rest of us.

We had this big pole barn there...and the cooler was in part of it. As more of the trees in the orchard got more mature and started producing, we started using bins instead of crates to store the apples in. Using bins required using the forklift...remind me later to tell you about that forklift. Anyway, using the forklift required concrete since ours had pneumatic tires.

So, we were clearing out an area to the side of the cooler and putting in a big pad of concrete that went around the front, one side and back of the cooler just to have a place to stack the bins and move the bins of apples around when having to get in the cooler. Well, we worked and worked, but the boss just could not get the ground around the cooler/pole barn graded right.

So, he was having some of the Amish actually pour and finish this concrete....one of those guys got on the tractor and had the ground prepared in no time at all. I did not get to watch them do the concrete, but let me tell you it was a job well done.

Now to Bessie, the forklift...actually, I called it Nellie and I think it was Sandy that called it Bessie. It was old--I mean really old. It has bit the dust since I left there. But the last few years of its life, it did not have brakes...talk about a fun job. You just always had to be aware of where you were...the concrete was not finished perfectly flat...you wouldn't know it to look at it. But you knew it when you were on the forklift. You just always had to keep in mind that there was no stopping unless you dropped your load real quick...I think more than me forgot and got the front wheels off the concrete, but it was always out front where it was not serious. And the tractor could pull it back on.

Out behind would have been a serious matter because the land fell away from the back....John would go just zooming around there but I always half way just crept along. Now when I got to Menard's and see the boys flying around on the forklifts, I wonder what it would be like to drive one with brakes. And wonder if I had had brakes, would I ever have became comfortable enough to zoom around like that.

13 comments:

Deborah Godin said...

I can just imagine the thoughts of the folks in the cars behind that buggy - trying to maintain enough speed to get up the icy hill. Sometimes a 1-horsepower vehicle just works better... Enjoyed your recollections, too!

Leedra said...

Since you are a reader you should read Beverly Lewis if you have not. She has some great fiction about Lancaster Amish.

Lovely photo and story to make a lovely post.

Tricia said...

The Amish have sparked my curiosity too, especially since my sister went to college in Springfield, Mo & while driving over there to visit her, we'd pass thru a community of Amish folks. I'm intrigued to the fact that they live sooo different than we do, but BETTER for sure!!!

dot said...

Rose, that was so interesting. I wish I could visit in your part of the country and especially in Ohio.
Hope you have a great Christmas. Looks like a winter wonderland up there.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Rose, I'm intrigued with the Amish also. I think we all could learn from them.

When we were in Buffalo in October, we went apple-picking and found the best eating apple I've ever put in my mouth. It's called a Honey Crisp... We brought a bunch home--and now have ordered more from there. Have you heard of it--or is it just a New York apple?

We also went to an Amish shop while there---and bought some of the best cheese I've ever put in my mouth.

GREAT picture.
Hugs,
Betsy

Carletta said...

Boy oh boy that looks cold!

Years ago when I visited Ohio Amish country they were a much quieter people. Usually they didn't mind pictures if it wasn't their face.
There is an Amish family living here on a nearby farm that sells bulk food. We go there often now that we found it. The lady is as charming as she can be and the four or five kids always come running from their play to say hello when we pull up. I haven't asked to take a picture yet. I'm working up my courage.
Back in November when I was in Ohio I found them to be a very friendly group of people.
I didn't mean to go on but I find them extremely interesting as well.

don said...

On a recent visit to Kansas I got to drop into Yoder, Kansas which is an Amish community. A gentleman drove his horse and buddy up to a store front and tied up. I asked if I might take his picture which he declined but said I could photograph his horse and buddy which I did. Then, we had a friendly conversation about local things so that I was very pleased that I had given it a try. Their farms are so immaculate and appear very productive.

Abe Lincoln said...

We grew up here in Ohio with Amish, German Baptist and Dunkards. All three were similar but some were less strict. I think the Dunkards were less strict if my memory serves.

I really liked this photograph.

George said...

Thanks for the picture and the stories. I'll have to admit that I admire the Amish -- they seem to have an inner peace that so many of us lack.
I've used a forklift a time or two, but I can't imagine using one without brakes. You're much braver than I am.

Your EG Tour Guide said...

Wonderful photo of the cars behind the Amish buggy.

I can't imagine driving a forklift with or without brakes! But naming it Bessie or Nellie would make it a bit more people friendly. LOL

John said...

Great shot and nice storie.
Hope you have a great Christmas.

Mary said...

You tell such good stories...your work at the orchard must have been a lot of fun. Love the photo.

Jeannelle said...

Interesting tidbits about the Amish. We have an Old Order community not far from us and often see buggies on the roads in that area. Many of Amish around here are doing more carpentry work than farming these days.

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