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 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 about a fun job. You just always had to be aware of where you were...the concrete was not finished perfectly 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.