Friday, September 28, 2012

Home to Amish country

Terrill & I currently find ourselves in Holmes County, Ohio. It is my birthplace and where I spent the first 12 years of my life. Over the past 20 years, my family has returned often to visit my mother's family, and being back in Amish country never seems to tire us. This time around my father, twin brothers and nephew traveled with Terrill & me up to Ohio. Dad needed to come up to speak at a banquet in support of prison ministry, but he also wanted to drive my grandmother's vehicle back down to Florida. My maternal grandmother is moving down to Tallahassee next week, to the great excitement of her Florida family. She's trading her snow boots in for flip flops. 
It was really neat for me to have a few days with my father, brothers & nephew. One of our first stops was Troyer's Trail Bologna store. This store is located near-by our old house, and we used to visit it often as children. My dad would frequently take us in to get Trail bologna and Swiss cheese sandwiches at the counter. Now my nephew, Cristian, has now had his first Trail bologna sandwich.
On Sunday, the Ohio family had lunch together. This includes my cousins Nick & Steph with son Joe (on the near right), my aunt Karen & uncle Todd, Grandma Stutzman, and cousin Tasha. We are a small group but close-knit. It's a good thing we pretty much like each other.
One of the best things about the past few days was interacting with my 4-year old nephew. I haven't been around for most of his life since we moved to Africa. I suppose it's one of the regrets I have...missing their growing-up years. When we are together, I want to hold him a little longer and savor the time. Cristian loves to wear boots, so was excited to discover uncle Todd's foam boot.
Another treat of being in Holmes County is the access to Amish home-cooking. A particular specialty is biscuits and sausage gravy...and lots of it. 

When stopping at an apple orchard to get cider, I got a shot of this buggy. Anyone who has been to Amish country knows that buggies populate the roads almost as much as cars do. Where else in America would one find such eco-friendly people? Besides other Amish settlements, that is. We could learn a thing or two from them about simpler living. 

On the way back from the orchard, we passed this first house where we lived until I was seven. I used to walk to school all by myself at the age of six. That is how secure the neighborhood used to be. 

This is Holmes county, Ohio...the place where hundreds of my good memories have been made. Even as I sit here and enjoy the familiar sights, smells and sounds, I'm beginning to miss Timu and my flock of children. It can only be God that would change the direction of our lives and the desires of our hearts. Without His nudge, I might never have left this place. 

1 comment:

The Reeds said...

What a neat testimony Amber. I'm so glad you're getting quality time with family. I love that your childhood home has a huge lightning rod beside it. That brought back the vivid memory that we had an identical one right outside my bedroom window growing up. You don't see those around as much now it seems!