Sunday, August 14, 2011

Rude Awakening

One of the things I love to do is take a car ride down back country roads. It started when I was six and stayed with my Grandfather and Grandmother Krieger. Grandpa would come home from work smelling of grease and oil and take a shower before dinner. I sat next to him at dinner and he smelled of Thayers Witchhazel Aftershave. Dinner, in the summer was almost always just vegetables and pie for dessert.
My Grandmother, an excellent cook, following in her Mennonite tradition would whip up corn fritters, fried green tomatoes, cabbage and one of my favorites beet pickled hard boiled eggs.
I loved the pink color of the eggs when they came out of the canning jar.
After dinner we piled into Grandpa's pride and joy a BLUE, they were always blue, Chevrolet.
I had the entire back seat to myself but I was glued to the window. There was a reward, you see, for the person that saw the first deer. I earned many a quarter during my visits.
We drove the back roads around Shamokin, Pennsylvania. I was instructed on what crops were growing in the fields, what large birds were flying in the sky and my Grandmother's unusual aggressive behavior towards other drivers. Which is funny in itself because she never learned to drive.
I would frequently here her say, "Hit, him George, that will teach him."

Lucky for me Zeus shares my passion for drives. And, now that I take photos he has become even more involved. In fact, on this recent drive down from Minnesota I had to listen to him rant about not only did he have to back the car up for me to get a picture of a barn, that I didn't see but he had to take the damn picture too.

Key grips can get mouthy.

We wandered down Murphy Road, a must once Zeus saw the sign. We stumbled on Route 33 which took us through beautiful, GORGEOUS Amish countryside. I posted some of my favorite pictures on my Sun Dog Studio Blog. The link is on the side of this blog.
We were tight on time which probably saved Zeus a bundle but frustrated the heck out of me.
We passed, Amish furniture sales, up in the barns, Quilts For Sale signs and Amish Bakery and Gifts, located up behind a barn.

We slowed down for horse drawn carriages and little boys peeking out the windows of the carriage at the English.

We followed a rain storm and drove over roads that were releasing steam from the recent rain.

I saw barely maintained farms the crops the most important item the barn second and then the house. Paint is expensive for private farm.

Many of the Amish Mennonite groups here in Wisconsin still dress reflecting their Old Order Amish connections but they do drive cars, use electricity and send their children off to high school.
I could understand why many of the Old Order Amish had tucked themselves away in these beautiful valleys. We were miles and miles away from any town of any size. We passed home made signs for Saddle repair, Metal work, Woodworking, etc.
The hardest was passing by a young woman sitting by her road side stand, her jars of preserves stacked up and a homemade sign that said, BAKED GOODS.

Zeus promises me that we will go back another day and spend more time.


1 comment:

  1. Great story! Haven't heard the Kreuger stories, but loved the description of the meal and that you got a quarter for every deer. And, Grandma! Well, there are two sides to all of us:)

    Got a barn and sign for you from Vermont.