March 23, 2018

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The Green House

March 23, 2018

  My very first memory is of me swinging from a rope inside a barn with hay or straw being all around and my older brothers being present. I was Amish and around 3 years old. This barn was at the green house, the house we lived in when or right after my parents left the Amish. The “green” house is no longer there. The house has been torn down and now a white one stands in its place. Yes, my first memory, swinging from a rope in a barn, as a little Amish girl.

   My parents left the Amish with 10 kids. The oldest was 12 and the youngest was 3 months old. I was the eighth child at the age of 3.

   In the hot summer sun, with nothing else to do, we cooled off in the horses’ water tank. It was a rectangular shaped tank made of cement, about 2 feet tall and, maybe 8 feet wide. I remember black leeches being stuck to the inside walls of the tank as we cooled off in the water. Umm, gross. Didn’t think it was gross then and thought nothing of it. To this day, the water tank is still there.

   We had a circle drive made of gravel and I remember riding inside a black car that kept going around and around that drive, with one of the car doors being open. My parents had just gotten it after leaving the Amish.  There was a feeling of excitement from everyone inside the car because we actually had a car and not just a buggy.

   I remember walking down, what seemed to me to be, a very long road with older siblings to get milk at the Amish neighbor’s house. It was very fresh milk, with all kinds of bacterial goodies, I’m sure. But, I’m still alive to tell you about it. Ha ha ha

I remember the neighbor man being old and had a very long white beard. He was sitting on a buggy, looked down at us and asked “vutch do some milik?” (Do you want some milk?) We thought the way he said it was funny because we just called it milk, not milik.

   I remember popping tar bubbles on the road with our bare feet, just for fun. Grass and gravel stuck to our feet and toes as we left the road. I have no idea how the tar ever came off of our little feet, my poor Mom. Ha ha ha

I can’t remember why, but one day Dan got in trouble, by our Mom for something he had done and being mad, he called her, “fetta Mom, fetta Mom, fetta Mom” which meant, fat Mom. Ha ha ha  I’m sure that calling her fat 3 times didn’t help the situation. LOL!

   One day my parents left my oldest sibling in charge of some of the younger kids while they were gone. My brother Dan and I went onto the road, which we weren’t supposed to do with my parents being gone. The sibling in charge spanked us both with a hand saw and left some marks, nothing serious, but enough to upset us and make us cry. Gotta remember, the oldest sibling wasn’t very old and not sure how to handle these situations. For compensation for our ouchies and feeling bad for leaving the marks, we were each given a piece of gum, which was a major treat!     

Just like every place we moved to, we lived there for a short period of time, which happened to be summer because I just remember, being hot, being outside and being very hot. We didn’t have electricity so that meant no air conditioning or even fans. There was no TV, nothing. It was just nature, which was awesome but it could also be very cruel. I remember sitting in the dry, yellowish grass and listening to the “sounds of summer”. Sitting there in the heat, there was absolutely no traffic noise, just the sound of flies and bees buzzing, crickets chirping, birds singing, an occasional butterfly mutely floating by, and the breeze blowing through the trees and fields that surrounded… the green house.

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Fort Wayne, IN