Saloma Miller Furlong's Blog
A Day in the Life of an Amish Person, Part III
After our German reading we had our arithmetic lessons. Enos started with the fifth graders and moved through each grade. When he got to the seventh grade, we exchanged our papers. Then Enos would call the answers to the problems we had solved the day before and we checked one another’s papers. Enos would give us grades according to the number we had right or wrong. Then he had each of us call out our grade as he recorded it in his grade book.
After arithmetic came our spelling lesson. We were assigned a list of words each week. Each day the lesson varied. Sometimes we wrote sentences, using each of the spelling words to show we knew the meaning of it.
And here is where this piece of writing ends. I faintly remember that I wrote this as a typical day in school because I was leading up to a story I did keep. This happened that afternoon.
I noticed that look of pain cross Enos’s face several times, but then I saw a look of concern there that I had never seen before.
I looked out again and saw a sheet of white. The wall of the barn was no longer visible. We filed down to the basement and quickly put on our wraps.
Yoxall was waiting for us. I wondered how he had managed to get there.
We were on the first load with the Gingeriches and the Yoders. We tried to be really quiet so Yoxall could concentrate. I wondered how he knew where to go. Most of the time he was driving into a white wall with a few quick glimpses of the rood in front of us. He made it to the Gingeriches, and then he got stuck. John Gingerich came with the tractor to pull out the station wagon. John was just hitching up the car to the tractor with a chain, when Datt came walking out of the storm. He had come to walk us home. I didn’t want to walk because I was already so cold, but I knew we had to. It was a half-mile walk, but it seemed like five. We were all nearly frozen when we walked in the lane. That’s when I noticed Datt’s ear, as white as a dead man’s ear. I had never seen a frozen ear before, so at first I didn’t know what it was. We were coming to the door when we remembered we had to enter the house through the cellar. Our regular door wouldn’t stay closed, so we kept it propped shut with a broomstick. All of a sudden we heard a loud crashing noise, then Mem screaming and crying out in pain. We hurried through the cellar and found her in a heap on the concrete floor below the stairs. She had seen us coming, and hurried down to open the door for us. A fine snow had sifted through the crack in the door onto the painted floor of the landing, making it slippery. Mem had stepped on that and fallen on her back, down the five steps to the cellar. So there we all were, cold as ice blocks. My legs and face were stinging, Datt’s ear was frozen, and Mem couldn’t get up. Datt helped her stand up, then the rest of us walked cautiously up the stairs. I got a rag and wiped up the landing. Then Datt helped Mem up the stairs, one at a time. Mem sat down and cried on the couch for a while. She had a nice fire going in the stove and we crowded around it. Mem took me into the bedroom and asked me to describe what her back looked like. It was black and blue, from her shoulder blades all the way down to her hips, with deeper bruises where she hit the edge of the stairs on the way down. She was still groaning in pain.