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
The sun is shining. The crops are growing and it is a beautiful day today. I thought this time I would answer some of your questions.
A few people have asked for pen pals. I have asked some of my friends that I thought might be interested and they are not saying no-but not right now. This is our busiest season right now. With all the farming duties, houses going up (one will be ours), farmer markets, etc. we are all really busy. Maybe after the harvesting I will be able to get some pen pals for you. I don’t promise, but I will ask again.
My biggest sellers at the Farmers Markets are donuts, cookies and breads in that order. The people that set up for the Farmers Market usually would like a cup of coffee and snack after they set up. Also the first outside customers through like the donuts and cookies with coffee. We are right near an electric plug so my mother-in-law came up with the idea of us selling coffee also-so now we have three coffee urns set up-one regular coffee, one decaffeinated coffee, and the third is water for tea. We also have tea bags, cream and sugar. We thought this might not work, but it has increased our sales. The urns we have now are borrowed, so we are going to buy some new ones when get a chance and return the ones we have now to the owners. After the donuts, cookies and breads are the pies. Pies sell a lot better than cakes or cup cakes. But of course we have cakes and cup cakes.
People do drift to our bake food stand. I don’t know if it is because of the food or the way we dress. I always thought it was because of the food. I do know that if a child is lost or afraid they will come to us before someone in jeans or shorts. Also children will talk more to us than they do some other people. If David is with me-girls will come to me and boys will go to David. Also, I think adults come to us more to ask questions about the area than they do people in jeans and shorts-even though they may be wearing the same.
We dress the way we do and live the way do for several reasons, but the most important reason is in the bible. Romans 12:2 “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” Also Romans 12:9 “Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.” Yes, we each bring our bibles to the Farmers Market with us. We also have a bible that we keep in our buggy. In our house are several bibles. At the market, at home, or in the buggy-we keep then to read if times are slow or if we need the word of the Lord after maybe something happened that upset us. Also, if someone asks us questions-we have the bible close so we can show them certain passages. We do not preach , but people ask questions or ask us to pray for them.
Yes, I read quite a bit-when I have the time. At this time of the year, I don’t have a lot of time for reading, but I do get some in every now and again. Yes, I read the bible-David and I read in the morning, and in the evening. Also, David tries to get some reading in with small passages at lunch and dinner, but when harvesting begins it is hard sometimes. Through out the day, I also try to get some bible reading in. We also read Family Life, Young Companion and Blackboard Bulletin magazines that come once a month. Also we receive the newspaper every day and the Budget once a week. Most of the books we read have a religious background to them or are religious. Do I sit and read a good novel? Sure I do. Because Marilyn’s favorite author is Beverly Lewis, I have read a couple of her books. Also, there are some other authors I read once in a while. I do most of my reading during the winter. David gets a couple of farm magazines that he enjoys reading.
What do we do for fun ??? We visit friends, relatives and the sick. We like to get in the buggy and go to flea markets, garage sales, auctions and alike. Also, we sometimes drive around in our buggy just to see the flowers, crops, alike. As David and I like to fish-Susan is learning-I sometimes pack a picnic lunch, bundle up Baby David and we go on a combination fishing, picnic. David enjoys going hunting with a couple of his friends during hunting season. If we have a barbecue and sometimes sit outside after dinner and cook smores to eat. We play games with the children, take them to the school where Susan plays with all the swings, climbing, etc. that they have there. We have a swing set in our yard, but the swings are better at the school,LOL.Sometimes Susan’s playmates are there and they all play together while parents talk. In the winter we go ice skating, and sledding. It’s fun to have small children-because you have to go with them and do what they are doing. We enjoy taking walks, Sometimes we go to the park and have a picnic or in this season take the buggy into town and get an ice cream cone. We do make ice cream in our home, but sometimes it tastes better at the store-especially in this hot weather. In the evening we sometimes read books to Susan and have popcorn. On occasion we make taffy. Sometimes we sit on the porch, watch the sunset, with ice tea or lemonade and cookies. I know we do a lot more things-I just can’t think of them off hand. We don’t just sit around, LOL.
Yes, people are allowed to come attend our service. Most people know someone who belongs to our church and come with them-but no one is turned away. All are welcome.
Most Old Order Mennonites do have large families. We believe our children are a gift from God. Some people have large families like 8, 9, 10 and more. Also, we leave our choice to have children with God. Some families like ours are small-because that is all God has given us-although David and I have discussed maybe adopting. There are so many children in this world that need homes. We also thought of maybe taking in foster children, but we are still in prayer over these thoughts.
I have a request for recipes and will would be glad to put one in once in a while if it is okay with Richard. I know he has other recipes on and I don’t want to over do. Maybe there is something else I could put on that would interest you if you have any suggestions.
Be with God,