I still remember the trip to Amish Indiana when my husband finally became comfortable around the Amish. It was the time that Glenn had knee surgery.
My Amish friend Glenn had torn up his knee sliding into third base during a family game of baseball the previous summer. (I guess men are men in any culture!) One December when we were out visiting, Glenn told us that the doctor had said that surgery was needed, and he was obviously feeling quite far out of his comfort zone as he talked about it. My husband, after silently conferring with me for agreement, said, “We can come out here and take you—would that help?”
So plans were made… We would come out on Thursday night, spend the night at the farm (something my husband had said he’d never do), and then on Friday we would take Glenn and his wife to the surgery center fifteen miles away, sit with her while he was in surgery, and then drive them back.
The time came, and out we went. Late that Thursday evening we settled in with Glenn, Ruth, and their 14-year-old son to play a few games of dominoes by gaslight. It was a game my husband and I had to be taught—another step back to a simpler time. Things were going along just fine until there was a ruckus outside. An Angus steer had broken out of his pen at the Angus beef farm down the road, and he was running renegade through the snow in the dark, breaking through any fences that got in his way. The men (Amish) dropped everything and ran out to assist, and that was the end of dominoes! Later that night we slept under a homemade quilt, with an electric lantern by the bed.
The next morning we headed to the surgery center, and I do think that having us along made a difference. We knew where to go and what to do and what to expect, and Ruth didn’t have to wait by herself. Glenn’s surgery went well, and we were able to get him his prescriptions on the way home. So it all worked out… and after that, my husband was as comfortable around the Amish as I could hope for. Now he felt like they were his friends, too.