Sometimes, a person must throw down the responsibilities of the Daily Grind and report to the offices of Adventure and Discovery. Monday was such a day for not only me and Terry, but for my cousin Pam, who drove an entire day from Virginia to be with us for a few days, both here at the farm and on a quick trip to Pennsylvania.
A six hour drive in Pam's car (at 33 miles per gallon - pure bliss to our wallets) took us to Pennsylvania Monday, to fetch Pam a teacup (as in Chihuahua). Along the way cousin and I gabbed and giggled, Terry told stories of what to expect in Amishland, and the anticipation of meeting the soon-to-be-named "Boo" kept us preoccupied. Early morning landed us at our friends' farm, Menonites already out with team and cultivator. Pam got a quick lesson about both horses and machinery (top photo).
As a special treat, and since Paul needed to hit the horse auction, we took Pam to the New Holland Sales Barn. While there, she learned how to look for the right horse for a customer, learned to stay away from the hind ends of angry saddle horses, and discovered that Amishmen wear straw hats and Menonite men wear black. She also learned that there is a time to bid higher than you may want (but not by more than $50), and a time to just let the horse go to the next guy. Back in the parking lot, she found it amusing that Amish pick-up trucks could also be equipped with "caps" (second photo).
The day continued with numerous runs to various harness shops, again learning lessons about Amish and Menonite ways. One of our favorite tidbits to be taken home with us came from old man Weaver Aucker: "Horse sense is either born into ya, or it 's not. You just can't learn horse sense".
Since horse sense does not apply to Italians with growling stomaches, we took Pam to Shady Maple for lunch. A well known smorgasbord restaurant to both English and Amish, we ate like true Romans. We were so full afterwards that we welcomed a long drive with Paul to go fetch money on a horse he hadn't been paid for yet. Although we promised to back him up in true mafia style, his gentle Menonite sensibilities caused him to chicken out and let the bearded guy in the straw hat slide with a promise to send a check sometime soon. (Yeh, right - see ya next time, buster).
Then finally, in the late afternoon sunshine, Pam met her sweet little...BOO! I will post pictures of Boo and Pam in the next post to our blog, because he deserves his own portfolio of pictures!
Photos: Top: Pam with Jim & Jess, Paul's spotted team, on the cultivator.
Second: Amish pick up truck waits in the parking lot at the New Holland Sales Barn.
Third: Our teacup man's mules - harnessed and waiting for evening work.
Fourth: Just some old barn, with as much character as the people of Lancaster County.
Last: Outside the Shady Maple restaurant, goldfish in their fish pond surface to greet us. We are certain they must get the leftovers - never seen such giant koi!!!