During our recent trip back from Missouri, David and I got to see quite a bit of interesting landscape. It took us a while to grasp that we were seeing cotton fields when we were driving through southeastern Missouri. I had never seen a cotton field before. Here is a photo taken from the window of our moving car:
Sometime after I left the Amish the final time, several families from my original community started a new Amish settlement in the Munfordville, Kentucky area. Many of my first cousins and their families were among those who moved. Later, the family I used to live with while I was teaching school, moved there also. I've always wanted to see the area, so that I can visualize the community. We drove through the community on our way back from Missouri. We stopped and visited the family I used to live with and gave them the surprise of their lives, they said. (They didn't say whether it was a pleasant or unpleasant one). They were sitting out in their field, roasting hot dogs and looking out over a breathtaking vista. They pointed to a farm where they said one of my cousins and his family lives. It did not look that far away as the crow flies, but they said it's nineteen miles to get there by road, for the Green River runs through the middle of the Amish community.
Here are a few photos we took in Munfordville area:
What a pretty farm!
And pretty horses…
So, it was great to get to see the setting where many of my cousins live in Kentucky. You may be wondering why I didn't visit them when I was there. So far I've not gotten the scuttlebutt on what affect my book has had on the Amish communities in general, but I don't imagine most Amish are thrilled that I broke the silence about the abuses in my childhood. The Amish way of dealing with these things is stoic; if you don't talk about them, they aren't really there. Because of this, having me in their midst could be quite uncomfortable.
After we left the Amish community, we visited my sister, Katherine, who lives at the Galilean Home in Liberty, Kentucky. We took her out to lunch, and then I took her to a sewing shop. Her pastime is embroidering. She bought herself enough materials to keep her busy through the winter. She was not very happy that day. Here is a photo of her and me at the Galilean Home:
We traveled to Ohio that night and stayed with David's sister and her husband overnight. The next morning, we met three of my nieces for breakfast. Our camera was not getting the colors very well in the setting we were in, so these pictures are technically not very good. But trust me, all three of them are drop-dead gorgeous. We had a wonderful time catching up with them. Not only are they beautiful physically, but they are very beautiful people. I am proud to be their aunt!
From left the right: Leanna, Me, Katy, and Sarah
Radiant, they are!
You will make my day if you tell me I look like her. Just ignore the gray hair and the sore on my nose from my fall in Indiana…
Their vibrance and zest for life is contagious, and I had to think of being that young again, when so many directions were open to me. Katy's heart is in California, which she is planning to move to (her enthusiasm was so contagious, she almost has me wanting to move there); Leanna is a nurse with the ability and the personality to go anywhere; and Sarah gets along with just about everyone, as far as I know. She works three jobs and hopes it's in the stars to have her own family.
Having this time with my nieces was a wonderful ending to our trip. I hope it won't be long before I get to see them again.
Do you have relatives who remind you of your younger self?