When we last left you, we were getting ready to go to dinner at an Amish home. I had no idea what to expect, but we have read and heard that the Amish people do not like to have their pictures taken, so I didn’t take my camera. Luckily, a few others in our group did take theirs, so I’ve “borrowed” a couple from them to share. No one took pictures of the hosts, but there were pictures taken of the house and our group.
Molly and Bob, who are working hard on the Escapade, took time out of their busy schedule to set this dinner up with the Amish family and invite us, so we started by meeting them at the Elkhart County Fairgrounds where they are parked as staff. They led the way to our destination, since they have been to this home once before. There are several Amish families in the area who do these dinners for groups. We went to the home of Levi and Esther, who serve the dinners in the basement of their beautiful home (Thanks, Dee, for the use of your picture!):
Another group had a dinner just before us, they were still clearing out when we came in. This is a business venture for the Amish, each person pays about $20 for their dinner, which is served family-style at long tables (Thanks, Dee & Darrell, for these pictures):
Levi started the meal by offering a blessing, spoken in German. He followed that by bringing baskets of homemade bread and drinks, either punch, coffee or water. The next course was a delicious salad with chopped vegetables in a mayonnaise-type dressing. After that out came stuffing, homemade noodles, mashed potatoes and gravy, roast beef, baked chicken, and then seconds of all of that. Plus more bread with homemade jellies and jams. Each time Levi came out of the kitchen, he had two bowls or platters of food which he handed to the first people on each side of the table. This was some of the best tasting food I’ve ever had! But we weren’t done yet – just when we all thought we were too full to move, Esther appeared with a cart of desserts – slices of homemade apple, coconut cream, raspberry cream or chocolate cream pies, and a huge bowl of scoops of ice cream!
Finally, after we were all groaning at the amount of food we’d consumed, we were given a short tour of the grounds around the property, and Levi’s garage, which is as spotless and neat as the rest of the property. In fact, it is so nice that when they have very large groups, they use the insulated garage as a serving area. Since they don’t have cars, only buggies, stored there, even the floor is spotless! They do have a boat, however, and a travel trailer, which they hire someone to tow for them. Even though they don’t drive cars, they will ride in them. I noticed that there was power to the garage, so when I asked Levi about it, he said they do have a generator to provide power, but they are not hooked into public power sources. If they need power for conducting business they can use it.
We asked Levi a few questions about how they prepare the meals, if he helps, and so forth. Esther has been cooking these dinners for about 20 years. Her first husband developed health issues that prevented him from working, so she started off baking, and eventually started serving dinners from her home. She continued to do so after her husband passed away. She and Levi, who was also widowed, have been married about 3 years now, and he does help with the food preparation as well as the serving. They do about 3 or 4 dinners a week during the summer months.
If you visit this area and have the opportunity to attend one of these dinners, don’t pass it up, it is a very special occasion!
Yesterday, Jim and Mark took our Euro-recliner to Lambright’s Comfort Chairs factory near Shipshewana and left it with them to be sold and the money donated to charity. They came back with Jim’s new, Amish made recliner, which he likes so much I haven’t had a chance to get a picture of it yet – but I will and promise to post it soon. I like it too, because when he’s not reclined in it, there is no footstool sitting in the middle of our floor, and our home looks much roomier!
Last evening, a “few “of us gathered for one last happy hour at the Elkhart Campground, where we’ve been hanging out for the past few weeks. The group just keeps growing:
This morning was moving time! A big group of us, I never did figure out exactly how many rigs total, but I think there are 12 to 14 RV’s, all moved about 12 miles from the Elkhart Campground to Goshen and the Elkhart County 4H Fairgrounds, where the 50th Escapade will be held, starting this Sunday. It was quite a parade of RV’s rolling through Elkhart and Goshen! As we were getting parked and settled, Molly stopped by to welcome us, and to see if Jim and I would fill in for staff photographers who had to leave due to a family emergency. Of course we said sure, so not even an hour into our first Escapade experience, we are now “official” photographers for the event!
Our new yard at the Fairgrounds:
There was one upsetting event that took place today, however. One of our group, Greg (Mac), began having difficulty breathing and experiencing chest pains just after he got here. He was taken to the hospital where he was taken care of and given lots of tests. He is ok, though and back at his rig tonight. Our prayers are with you, Mac, take care of yourself, we hope to have lots more fun times with you and Netters!
This evening we attended the staff appreciation dinner, and guess what – I won the first door prize (just what I need – 4 free servings of ice cream here at the Escapade!):
The next few days are going to be even busier than we anticipated, and I will try to save some pictures to share with you!