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262011 Bill Webber <ol2lrus@v...> 2017‑03‑19 An Amish Yard Sale
A lengthy report about a yard sale that really wasn't, a new tool and 
another visit to anticipate, maybe.

I finished my chores early yesterday, so MLW and I were off to the local 
brew pub for a little relaxation.There is a Victory Brewing Company up 
the road; sometimes it's too convenient.We haven't lived in 
Pennsylvaniatoo very long and we still enjoy the picturesque drive.There 
is a working covered bridge on the way, and passed that there is an 
Amish school house. A little further on there is an Amish farm on the 
left.As we passed the farm I thought I saw a yard sale sign.With no one 
behind me I braked and quickly backed up.Sure enough there is a sign. It 
was cold and kinda early in the season for a yard sale.I pulled into the 
driveway.There were a dozen or morebuggies parked on either side of the 
drive, their horses turned loose to the hay bales in the fenced area 
beside the barn.Looked more like Sunday church service than a yard sale.

I pulled further up the drive to where folks were milling around and the 
drive was blocked with farm equipment and some furniture.I recognized a 
corn seeder and a hay rake and there was a lot more farm equipment.This 
is all horse drawn stuff, the kind of things you see as lawn ornaments 
in other parts of the country.LOML just gave me a look and pulled up a 
book on her phone; guess she wasn't going to accompany me.

I got out of the car and started looking around for tools that weren't 
horse drawn.I got a few strange looks from some of the Amish but no one 
said anything.After a few minutes an Amish woman asked me if I needed 
any help.I told her I'd noticed the yard sale sign and thought I'd stop 
and see what was for sale.She gave me a funny look, you know, like I was 
probably nuts or something.I pointed to the sign at the end of the 
drive.That's when her eyes go a little wider and she yelled something to 
some boys kicking a soccer ball in the packed snow by the house.One of 
the boys ran over and his expression changed from smiling to chastised 
as he ran off towards the sign.He brought it back to the women, who is 
acting like a mother now. Something else was said and the boy headed 
back towards his soccer game.The mom yelled again and the boy changed 
direction towards the door to the house.I don't know what was said but 
it was pretty obvious from the facial expressions that the sign wasn't 
supposed to be there.I've heard the Amish speak some sort of German 
dialect when at home.The common reference to Pennsylvania Dutch actually 
being a mispronunciation of Deutsch.

The woman explained that Micah, the boy, was her youngest son and always 
a handful.He must have found the sign along the road and thought he was 
being funny.I told her I did some woodworking and asked if she had any 
wood working tools to sell.She offered that her husband had been a 
woodworker and he had made some of the pieces of furniture here in the 
yard.All the tools he had would go to their sons.The sons weren't as 
skilled or as interested as her husband had been, but the tools weren't 
for sale.

She went on to say there was one tool she could sell.It had hung in the 
barn for years.She thought it was a hammer of some kind.Her husband 
always laughed about it and said it was only good to threaten the boys 
with when they got out of line.She told me she would go and see if it 
was still where she thought it was.

While she was gone I looked at the furniture.Our house is so full I 
don't need more furniture but I'm always interested in the crafts of 
other folks.There was a pedestal table and a set of ladder back chairs 
that looked to be new.The chairs were painted but you could still see 
that the backs and frames were all nicely pegged.The pedestal table 
looked like cherry; the pedestal was painted and the top had a clear finish.

I saw the woman coming back from the barn with what looked like a long 
handled hammer in her hand.As she got closer I realized it wasn't a 
hammer, but a cast iron nail puller.Not exactly the kind of tool I was 
hoping for!I told her what it was and she asked if I was interested in 
it.I explained it wasn't something I would use, but I have a shed where 
it can hang just like in her barn; I gave her a dollar for it.

I asked about the furniture and she said it was, in fact, new.Her 
husband had had a contract to sell furniture through an Amish store in 
Strasburg before he died.These were the last pieces he had made and she 
didn't have the wherewithal to get them to the store, etc, etc.She went 
on to explain her husband had died in an accident last fall and she was 
moving to Ohioto live with her oldest son.This was why she was selling 
the farm and most of the equipment to her Amish neighbors.She had no 
intention of selling anything to the /english/ and was still upset with 
her son for his little joke.(the Amish refer to anyone who is not Amish 
as being /english/)We talked about the furniture a little more.I 
explained I was impressed with the design and quality of the pieces.She 
said it was all made with hand tools, no power tools allowed she added 
with a smile.She asked about my interests and we talked some about my 
projects and my tools.I asked again about any of her husbands tools she 
might be willing to sell and she repeated her sons would get all of them.

I thanked her for her time and for the nail puller and the interesting 
conversation.As I turned to walk back to the car.She said she might have 
a work bench her husband had made and would I be interested in something 
like that.I don't need another work bench, but it sounded like it might 
be a way to at least see what the husband had been working with so I 
told her I'd like to see it.Some of the Amish ladies began yelling for 
her and she said she needed to go and couldn't show me anything right 
now.She asked for my phone number and I handed her my hobby business 
card.She said she would have one of her /english/ friends call me when I 
could look at the workbench.She left me standing there with my new-to-me 
nail puller.

Anyway, interesting experience... and the possibility of something 
more?Probably not, but the conversation was interesting.There are lots 
of Amish around here.They are friendly and hard working people, though 
they don't go out of their way to socialize with the /english/.They 
often visit the local /english/ yard sales and I hired an Amish 
carpenter to help widen the door on my shed; very hard working and 
skilled fellow.

So, I have this nail puller to hang in the shed:


I probably should figure out how to use it, eh?

Bill W.
In Beautiful downtown Nottingham, PA

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