Dad has a very good friend, who he met threw the world of clock repair. They haven't been friends for but a few years, but they hit it right off, and so enjoy being together, talking about clocks and many other things. His friend is Noah...and he just happens to be an Amish gentleman. Noah is from an "old order" of Amish, but they know how to "live" in the modern world too.. and though his lifestyle doesn't promote living with modern world... he can take advantage of it... riding in cars, busses and trains.. using someone's cell phone to make connections... things of that nature. I won't say that Noah visited often, but he did visit and of course Mom and Dad went to see him as well.
so, when my Dad said that he would like to have some time with Noah while he could.. Ed and I decided that we would make that happen. Ed came home from work early on Friday.. we packed up Livy.. called Astrid to the farm, and headed north to get Noah. I had written to Noah earlier in the week, so he knew that we were coming to get him. He also rearranged many things on his list just to come. It's not easy for him to just leave his farm, family and clock business, but this was important to him as well, and he wanted to be sure he got to see Dad too. It's about a six hour trip one way.. so, we stayed overnight at a motel near Noah's farm...Livy thought all of this was quite grand.. and I have to say, she was a very good traveler... minding her manners, riding nicely in the car, and being a good guest at the motel. (though taking complete advantage of her Dad!!!)
Saturday we were up bright and early.. we wanted to get Noah and get him down to Dad as "fast" as possible so they would have a good visit. The northern part of the state has had it's usual snow amount and it seems so funny to think that there is such a difference.... Noah lives in farm country, so the roads are two lanes, and the wind blows the snow across them... needless to say, having bare paved roads in the winter like we do here... is not common.
As early as it was... (before sunrise).. we did pass a few buggies already out on the road. I did not take any pictures, because they Amish do not appreciate being photographed like they're "things to look at"... and I don't have any photos of Noah for the same reason. In fact the more that we have come to actually knowing Noah.. the less I think of him as "amish".. and more just like Noah....
It beautiful country and honestly, if it weren't so far from my family... I would consider living here..... the town has really come to love their Amish neighbors and Noah tells us all kinds of stories of how people are willing to help out in all sorts of ways. He has several neighbors that we can call who will take messages to Noah, or if he needs a modern ride almost anywhere, there always seems to be someone who is happy to take him. We arrived at his farm, the whole family was up.. actually had been up for hours... we stopped a minute to visit with the family before heading south, the house was warm and cozy and everyone seemed happy to see us again.
We didn't stay too long, we wanted to get on the road, Noah had to be back on Sunday, so basically he was going to have just Saturday afternoon and evening to visit... and then Sunday it was back north again.
We got to Dad's by noontime, then Ed and I left to head home, giving them the time to visit, they had a great visit. Saturday evening we went back down.. had dinner with Mom, Dad, and Noah.. and then brought Noah to our farm.. so that we could get an early start back on Sunday morning. Noah was able to find another friend that was happy to meet us half way, so we only had to do half the trip to take him back home.. which worked out really well, because we had already planned a family/birthday celebration for Sunday afternoon. I really didn't want to miss out on that, but we were more interested in Noah's visit and thought what ever worked out or not, was just the way it would be.
Sunday afternoon was a very fun and special time. It was Rachel's 50th birthday celebration and just the chance to be together as one big family. Everyone was there.. (except poor Jessie who was dealing with a bad toothache).... and even though it was sad to think like this, we all wanted to get photos of everyone being together... and so we did....
Dad held up threw it all pretty well.. but he really is not feeling well at all..... It's been such a busy weekend, with Noah coming and all sorts of friends and family popping in and out of the house all the time. I find it exhausting, so I can only imagine how it is for him. But he smiled and went along with all our crazy plans, and seemed to really enjoy having everyone around.
Photos are such precious things.. especially to me, I take hundreds of them. And I recall a saying that goes something like, "never say you don't want to be in a photo because you think you look too fat, or your hair isn't right, or whatever".. because one day, someone will say... "I wish (you) had been in that picture".. and it's so true... and because of my Mom and Dad... this is what (who) are family is today....
I am treasuring all these days... in fact, everyday, because each one, whether it's amazingly great, or horribly sad... is a gift, and needs to be taken just as that.