I stop, and looked back over my shoulder to see if my dad was following me and there in the field I see an Amish man and a young Amish boy, their backs to me looking over the stalls BOTH standing with their hands slightly tucked into the back of their pants, palms out. The little barefooted boy looked up at the man and followed his gaze into the field. Both were wearing dark pants and bright blue shirts, suspenders and straw hat. It was ever so brief before they moved on but this snapshot is captured in my mind forever.
Other sights not captured with my phone come to mind, the rolling hills along the highway covered in tall corn and lined with white fences, the corn gives way to a field with a barn and two horses nuzzling each other.
A grayish blue barn stands next to the field with a donkey standing in the shade given by the barn. His face is full of meekness., his colors blending with the barn.
Digging through a bowl of miscellaneous things and find a little box of Maybelline mascara complete with the little black brush. I know I’ve seen someone use this before, perhaps my mom or grandmother. The memory flashes forward and I tuck it into by “buying” hand.
Moments later I see a box of Raggedy Ann paper dolls and remember playing with them when I was 6.
Deddy buying a straw hat and thinking he is allergic to it.
And him naming the year of every old car we see… 53 Ford, 56 Plymouth and him retelling stories of sneaking friends in the trunk of his car like this to the drive-in theatre.
This being our third year to go, we have our favorite stops, favorite venders and stands. The memories are meshing together. We don’t recall the year it happened or which “encampment” is next on the highway but the memories come to mind readily of the seller who sold milk caps, or the ATM I visited twice, or the lady who carved spools.
I listen to conversations among the sellers and shoppers and take note of my favorites
A man toting a large advertising clock with the electric cord wrapped up in his hand and says, “might only be right two times a day but I like it” (this one took me a minute)
“Some times you have to burn bridges so the crazies won’t follow”
“We quilt, what’s your super power?”
We met interesting folks who have a story to share and we shop at a speed where we have time to listen. Good things happen when you are listening. Your heart is touched, you laugh, you learn and you connect with another.
We learn that the bottle man grow’s dahlias named “My Beverly” because that’s his daughter’s name, or that Buford turned his life around when he found God, or that aprons use to bring $8 a piece but now only $4 or that this little piggies name is Charlotte.
Out of energy and money we head home Thursday afternoon after finishing our shopping in Liberty Kentucky. Our last purchase was fried pies, peach pie and a whoopee pie from the Amish ladies. We discuss our favorite purchases and why and make plans for our approach next year. We count the dollars we have left and wonder in awe where it all went.
Heres to finding joy in your life.