I was privileged to meet Ella yesterday on our drive west of Hazleton, Iowa. We went in search of barns that needed their pictures taken. The farmer/windmill man and I love old barns and windmills. When our children were young they helped their dad work on windmills. When we traveled we didn’t play the usual car games like I Spy or Alphabet sign games. We played what kind of windmill was that? Was that windmill a Dempster, Aeromotor, Monitor, or Fairbury or Woodmanse? The children were experts at this game. The windmill man and I still play this game as we travel and we reminisce of times when we had the four children along with us. It’s a lot quieter in the car now. It was our day off as retired folks only have a four day work week with this SOWER group.
As we traveled west of Hazleton, IA we discovered we were in an Amish neighborhood. A community auction was just completed and horses and buggies were everywhere. The farm homes were beautiful and huge! The clothes on the lines were impressive. Some of the clotheslines went to the top of the barns. There were large barns and we even saw a round barn.
We saw farmers mowing hay with horses and several others were cultivating the corn. Children were working in the gardens and helping around the farmstead. Of course an Amish bakery was discovered and rhubarb pie, cinnamon rolls, and jams and jellies were relished. After enjoying some delicacies and getting filled with sugar we headed south.
There is where we saw a sign for “Quilts, Crafts and More”. The farmer was instructed by his bride quickly to turn in. As we pulled into the drive a beautiful lady with gray hair was walking over from the nearby house. Two dogs were in the lead though. As Ella led me into her quilt sanctuary, my breath was taken away by her lovely quilts. Gorgeous colors and perfect stitches. Her machine was a trusty treadle machine. No electricity here to take away the quiet, contemplative nature of the place. Aprons, pot holders, painted saw blades, and other crafts were readily available. Ella and her husband were unable to have children but they have lots of neices and nephews to spoil. Her grandparents were from Yoder, KS. She sends her quilts to Yoder for their big quilt auctions. She would love to visit Yoder some day. It would be a long trip to Kansas by horse and buggy.
I remember my dad talking about the long trip from Quinter to WaKeeney with his grandpa. The trip was made by wagon. Oh the visits they had as they traveled that way. No time for ipods, ipads, video games; only talk. Grandpa’s had lots of stories to tell their grandsons. And grandsons had time to listen.
My short visit with Ella, the quilter made me reflect on the noise of our society. What if we sang our own praises to our God instead of turning on the radio? What if the TV was off and birds could be heard singing? How about shutting off the news in this world gone wrong and enjoying peace? I feel the stress of this world lifting when I still my heart and listen to the still, small voice of my God. Not even the sound of an electric fan or motor but the birds and His creation. I wonder if Ella would let me stay?
Be still and know that I am God!Psalms 46:10