Archive for the ‘Mennonites’ Category

Jean is old order Mennonite from New York State.Jean and her husband David and family live on a dairy farm, and travel their community using horse and buggy. She tells her story exclusively on Amish Stories.

 David, his Dad, my Dad, my Grandfather and myself were working on my some changes in the house  that David’s parents had just purchase and moved in. My Grandmother was taking care of Baby David in the other second house on this property. Michael had been there all morning so after lunch time we let him and Susan stay home. Later in the afternoon we heard the fire siren and David’s cell phone went off. After talking on the phone he said “What are you trying to tell me?”. Finally the Fire Chief grabbed the phone from the fellow talking to David and said “The fire’s at your house.” David told me and I thought he was going to pass out. David’s Dad ran next door to see if he could get his neighbor to drive us home. My Grandfather said they would take care of Baby David. All David and I could think of was Michael and Susan were in the house. The neighbors came and took us home.

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When we got out of the car, the lady across the street from us said she had Susan and Michael who was in one of our barns. We were having a wind storm -Michael and the neighbors were afraid if the sparks from the house hit the barn our cows, horses, farm equipment would go up with it. The cows and horses had been moved to the pasture and they were taking out our wagons, and farm equipment out of the barn. The fire department arrived right after we did and had the first truck pumping on the house and the second pumping water on our barns. Shortly my parents and David’s parents arrived-Michael was talking with them. They all came to us and David’s Mom told David he better not get upset when he hears this because he did the same thing when he was about Michael’s age.

Michael wanted to tell us how the fire started. He got hungry and had decided to cook a couple of hamburgers in the fry pan on the stove. I guess he put in too much grease in the pan and the hamburgers caught on fire. He put the fry pan in the sink and turned the water on which only made the matter worse. The fire started to go up the wall and blew out the window. When he saw the flame he got Susan and they ran to our neighbors across the street. Our neighbors called the fire department. Michael left Susan at the neighbors and ran over to get the cows and horses out of the barn with my neighbor’s husband.

The kitchen in our house was burned out and the basement under it. The basement was not only heat but all the water the Fire Department had to pump in. Our washer, dryer, and freezer were ruined. David and Michael felt bad because their wood working tools were ruined. I felt bad when I saw all my canned jams jellies, vegetables, apple butter, etc. in cracked jars being carried to the garbage. The funny part of the basement is the only thing that wasn’t damaged was Michael’s basketball hoop.

We stayed at my parents house until Monday. They live closest to our house. On Monday Old Order Mennonite, Amish and outsiders came. We went through the house from top to bottom cleaning all the smoke out of our clothes, furniture, etc. They also cleaned out the kitchen and basement. We received food from all the people. The next day people came to do more work on the kitchen. When I went down to the basement my shelves were filled with canned goods that the people had made and given to us. The glass people were there and now we have all the windows back in.

David and I decided how we wanted our new kitchen and it is under construction all by Old Order Mennonite, Amish and outsiders. Of course all of us that were working over at David’s parents house are now over at our house. We are getting electric instead of gas stove. The price of gas is so high. I am also going to teach Michael how to cook so nothing like this happens again. Just want to teach him how to cook a meat, potato and vegetable meal. My Mom taught my brothers and David’s Mom taught him.

When we were alone Michael said he thought of running after he got Susan out, but he saw the barn and knew he had to get the animals out. Also, where would he go. He thought we might turn him back to Social Services. We explained that we are adopting him. As far as we are concerned he is our son. We are a family and we go through the good times and bad times together. David had a fire like this when he was about Michael’s age. His Mother saw the smoke as she walked to the house from the barn. She ran into the house and put the top on the frying pan that stopped the fire. We told Michael that we understand it was an accident. Both David and I are glad that he though quick enough to get Susan and him out of the house. We can replace the kitchen, but not them.

Be With God,


Please note Jean and her family are fine everyone, and they are now rebuilding their kitchen with help from Amish and Mennonite neighbors and English friends. Richard

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