Amish Country

November 10, 2012 slave drewTravelsVanilla Life  5 comments

I am at the moment sitting in slave drew’s living room.

For those of you in the know, it might matter that I’m typing on a Paul McCobb dining room table, sitting on one of four of his “shovel” chairs, and facing a buffet piece with two jewelry chests on top of it, all also done by the same Danish modern designer.

drew’s house is as eclectic as he himself is. It has a lot of art made by prisoners scattered around.

He curated an art show ten years or so back of art produced by prisoners in Kentucky prisons, and that lead to a couple other pieces, as well as the stuff he bought or was given by prisoners.

On one wall is a leather nature scene by a guy who killed three members of a rival biker gang, with one of the motives being the theft of a motorcycle jack with on of the victim’s club colors on the back.  He’s doing life without parole.

One another wall has a sculpture made of cardboard mostly of a pig farmer, done by a guy who spent a long time in prison, but spent about the last ten years of his life outside.  He married, and died a couple of years ago of kidney failure.

There are violins made of toothpicks and miniature carts made of Popsicle sticks.

There are carousels of wood, brightly painted by a prisoner at Green Rivers facility.

The bed frame in the downstairs bedroom is one drew made from an old confessional.

He has a radio, circa the 1930’s or so, a big piece of furniture, with all the words in German.

We started to watch Goldfinger last night and ended up going to bed by 9pm Central time, and sleep very shortly after.

We got up this morning and headed to Amish country.  We go through Fredonia, and Crayne and Marion, to Mattoon, where there’s a large population of Amish.

It was a beautiful day, sunny and very mild, with a high in the 70’s.  You rather wend your way over there, and it’s somewhere we’ve been going since, I think, the first time I came down here, which was 2000.

We went to the place we always go, the Yoder Greenhouse and Bakery.  We buy plants there in warm weather, and baked goods in every weather.

We got sad news from Mr. Yoder, Milo Yoder, to be exact.  Next weekend will be the last weekend for the place as we know it.

Mr. and Mrs. Yoder are retiring and moving maybe a quarter mile down the road.  “I’ll still be here some in the spring especially,” he told us, but one of his sons is taking over.

He and Mrs. Yoder, we found out, had ten children, the oldest and the youngest being daughters, the ones in between being sons.

They have 60 grandchildren now, and a half dozen great-grandchildren.  He’s had three hip replacements and doesn’t need to be hauling bags of dirt and plants anymore,.

The bakery equipment is being sold to another Amish family, and his wife is going to spend a few weeks with them, getting them set up and giving them her recipes, so it will continue.

But you know it won’t be the same.

Mr. Yoder will be missed, as will the bakery, so I was very glad we came down today.

Traveling with drew always involved a certain amount of naturalist conversation.

Me: “Wow, look at that big hawk.”

drew: “It’s probably a female if it’s big.  In the raptor families, the females are always bigger than the males.”

Me: “The trees have a lot more leaves than I expected and the colors are gorgeous.”

drew: “Yes, the silver maples are particularly pretty this year, and I love the color of the sumac.”

Me: “…”

drew: “Look at that field of goldenrod.  Wow.  I think that’s all gray-stemmed goldenrod, every bit of it.”

If you don’t learn something new around drew, then you’re not trying.

We came home and took our usual lake afternoon nap, which was particularly nice.  I rarely nap, so the times when I do are kind of extra nice.

I don’t think we’re going anywhere tonight.  The nearest theatre is 15 miles away and has an awful sound system.

drew has no cable, but he’s got a huge collection of movies on VHS and DVD both, so we’ll not suffer for lack of something to watch.

I took some lovely photos of Amish country, but they need a bit of lightening up, so I will get those posted in the next day or two.

I hope you all have had as pleasant a Saturday as I have.  I made myself laugh until I cried when, in naming members of the Rat Pack – you also have to know your 60’s and 70’s culture around here – I mistakenly listed Peter Lorre rather than Peter Lawford.

drew doing his impression of Peter Lorre in the Rat Pack was also pretty damn funny and I laughed until I had to wipe away the tears.

Think about it.  Peter Lorre in the Rat Pack.

It’s pretty amusing.

5 comments to Amish Country

  • striving for peace  says:

    this post just left me smiling at you both.


    • MsConstanceExplains  says:

      How nice. We really had a lovely weekend, we sat on the couch last night with our respective Kindles and idly surfed, something I rarely do and drew never does. We watched James Bond movies. We slept and watched bluebirds and cardinals. I saw an eagle on the way home, which will be mentioned again, but seriously, an eagle. It was a very nice break.

  • sin  says:

    Sounds fun.

    • MsConstanceExplains  says:

      It really was a nice weekend – a great break right before the holidays kick in. Weather was perfect, too, sunny and mild with blue skies. It was windy this morning, but not unpleasantly so.

      And now I’m comfortably home again with the dogs at my feet and there’s nothing wrong with that, either.

  • thomas  says:

    Hail hail Fredonia! Home of the free and brave!

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