11/24/09, Switz City, IN - This was a very special day on the wagon. The highlight of the day was a morning visit to an Amish school. Last night, while having dinner with the James Lehman family, we were invited to the school here in Farmers, IN. Before we left we had a chance to visit once more with our host, Harness maker, Ed. Ed was kind enough to fix the halter that B.O.B. broke the day before. He also had a chance to read most of my book while his wife left in the wee hours of the morning to attend the birth of his 60th grandchild.
Amish children attend private, church sponsored schools from 1st to 8th grade. I had the honor of observing the classes for a short period of time. Three teachers taught three separate classes of about 15 students each. A single large room was divided with curtains for each class. All of the students were very attentive and well-mannered. My students at the nuke plant were all pretty good, but they could have learned a few things from these kids (in particular when they felt the need to play practical jokes on their poor teacher - me)!
Outside, the kids seemed to have a great time learning about the wagon, my team, and the travel. They asked a lot of really good questions and got a chance to climb into the wagon and take a look at a horse drawn RV. Unlike visits to “English” schools, the kids didn’t really want to pet the horses - they get to do that every day. Both Denise and I had a really great time and I’m sure the kids had a lot to talk about when they got home.
Next door to the school was the home of John Lehman, brother of our dinner host from the night before. John gave us a bag of grain, and we got to visit with him and some friends that were there from Martinsville.
Once we drove back on to Route 67, we stopped at the Amish grocery store. I knew Richard, the owner, from previous trips through the area. It was great talking with him. He was kind enough to leave us with several gifts for the journey.
We stopped for lunch in the town of Worthington. We haven’t had a restaurant meal since we started the trip, so I took Denise to lunch. Before we pulled out, several folks stopped by to talk and to pet the horses.
Tonight we’re at John and Susan English’s place in the town of Switz City. While the horses munched on some alfalfa that John provided for them, our hosts fed Denise and I some wonderful Ribeye steaks. After Clementine munched on her share, I thought I heard her mumble, “Ruff, absolutely Ruff”.