Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Amish Far Side

We heard sirens as we left the park yesterday evening. "Is that an ambulance or a fire truck?" I asked.

"Fire truck, I think," Matt said. A minute after pulling out onto the highway we could see billows of black smoke from about two miles away. "Want to go for a drive?" Matt asked. It wasn't hard to find the origin of the smoke. Fire trucks were wailing and whizzing by us. The road was blocked ahead so we parked in a long line of cars along the country road, unloaded the kids, and walked to the top of a nearby hill. An Amish family and a few others were watching the fire from there as well. They told us it was a garage that had gone up in flames, and the barn beside it was singed, but thankfully the nearby house was fine and no one had been hurt. We listened to the hissing of the water on the flames and talked to the kids about how the firefighters were working.

After about twenty minutes the air was becoming chilly and the action was winding down. One spectator climbed back into his truck to leave, but turning the key, was only answered by a loud clicking sound. He turned and the truck clicked for another minute, then he got out, popped his hood, and stood staring at the truck's insides.

The Amish man beside me shook his head under his straw hat, then called out in a faded German accent, "Sucks to be you! If you would've had a horse it'd go now!"

I had to suppress my laughter. Oh, how the people around here love to talk bad about the Amish. "They make it so hard on themselves! Why are they trying to earn their salvation?" But maybe they're not making it that hard on themselves after all. At the end of the day, which man had trouble getting home?

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