Today I watched an Amishman in a straw hat and a short coat shoveling snow from the end of his driveway in a wind chill of about -17°. He was shoveling the snow into a wheelbarrow and moving it to the side of the driveway.
Apparently the township plow came through, broke through the drifts and deposited snow at close to 4 feet high across the entrance to his farm drive. I would guess that today is milk pick up day and the milk truck drivers will not cross large piles of snow to get to the milk house. If the pile is still there when the milk truck driver arrives he will just drive on to his next stop. The farmer will then be left with but one option for the milk that does not fit in the storage tank—dump it.
That’s just one of the many cruel points at which Amish farmers and the English world come together.
For the uninitiated, to an Amishman, anyone who is not Amish is English.
A non-Amish farmer would simply slip the shovel on the front of a tractor and widen the drive in about four swipes from inside a heated cab. A non-Amish farmer would also have some help to get the job done while on the Amish farm everyone else was probably engaged in a time-sensitive chore.
I had the briefest of urges to stop and help until reality hit me. Had I stopped I would have been in his way, I would have had no shovel and I would have slowed down his progress. In very many ways the Amish are to be admired for their “simple life” and their industry.
Now I am wondering why the township snow plow driver couldn't have taken five minutes and pushed that pile out of the way?