Sunday, October 24, 2021
Wednesday, October 6, 2021
Monday, October 4, 2021
Cool mornings, eastern skies streaked with rose, peach, mauve and lavender. By afternoon the temperatures climbed to the low 80's F.
The routine home making tasks were broken by errands on several days. I needed a 50 lb bag of bakers' unbleached flour, reason enough to make a run to the South Fork community. Most of the businesses and shops there are owned by families of the Amish or Mennonite persuasion, the pace is slower, each customer valued, service courteous.
The one caveat is the narrow winding roads shared by laden semis, bicycles, farm tractors, horse-drawn buggies, in addition to the usual traffic of cars and pickup trucks.
I met two semis--one loaded with logs, the other with pallets of lumber; in both cases there was room to pull to the side of the road and give them room.
Back in the day if Jim wasn't along I would attempt to manage the 50 lb sack of flour by myself--heaving it into the shopping cart from a stacked shelf. Now the bulk flour, beans and rice are housed in a cooler, so a young Mennonite woman who was clerking called the owner from his office to pull out my chosen product: Seal of Minnesota Bakers' Flour. He assured me that he would be available to load it in my car, however he had retreated back to his office by that time. I had noticed an elderly Amish gentleman also shopping--short and stooped, thin brown arms below the rolled up sleeves of a faded shirt. It was he who followed me out to the car, the sack of flour clasped to his middle. When I thanked him he smiled through the gaps in his teeth and commented wryly, 'I'm not quite what I used to be!'
Since I was in the neighborhood, so to speak, I decided to visit The Quilters' Trunk so see if they had restocked batik fabrics. There are two roads that go there--both steep and winding; the route I chose was longer but slightly less daunting in terms of sheer drops from the edge of the road into a ravine.
As I began the first twisting climb I caught up with an Amish buggy driven by a young woman with a child on the seat beside her. Toiling behind was a sturdy older woman, walking to lighten the load for the horse. Rolling down the car window I asked if she would like a ride to the top of the hill. red-cheeked, smiling beneath her white head covering she declared, 'Thank you, but the exercise does me good.' I eased the car along until I could carefully pass the buggy; the horse was leaning into the climb, head down, feet clopping a plodding rhythm.