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“Guess who’s coming to dinner.”

Posted by on May 26, 2015

MAY 25, 2015.


The Yoders’ large home in the country. Our Amish friend Owen built it himself, from the ground up! Can you imagine?

A VERY SPECIAL INVITATION. “Do you and your wife have plans this evening?” Owen asked me. “Would you like to come to my house for dinner?” Wow, what a nice invitation, I thought. I’d only met Owen Yoder, the young Amish store manager at Schrock’s Heritage Furniture  Store in Berlin about a half hour earlier, and here he was already inviting us to visit his home and join his family for dinner.” Absolutely!” I said. “We’d love to join you. Count us in!”

SOME INTERESTING FOLKS. Earlier, Florence and I had enjoyed lunch at Der Bake Oven Cafe, smack dab in the middle of Ohio’s Amish Country. Afterward, we walked next door to browse in a store that carries beautiful locally-crafted Amish furniture. I was greeted by the store manager and, well…we just “hit it off.” Soon we were chatting about topics of mutual interest that had absolutely nothing to do with home furnishings. I told Owen about our Great American Adventure and how much I’ve enjoyed meeting so many interesting folks during our travels. And I guess he decided it would be fun for me to add his family to the list of those interesting folks. So he invited us to have dinner with him and his family at their home located nearby. I’m so glad he did!


A view of the Yoders’ front yard.


And a view of the backyard. The laundry is washed by hand, put through the clothes wringer and then hung on the clothesline to dry. While all of this is going on, the kids can play on the trampoline. Or play with their ponies. Or their dog. Or horse. Their play area is huge. What a great place to raise a family!

DINNER WITH AN AMISH FAMILY. Later, when it was time to leave our campsite and drive to our new friend’s home for dinner, neither Siri or the Google app on my iPhone “understood” the rural “township road” address I gave when asking for directions. “So now what am I going to do?” I wondered. “Perhaps stop a buggy on the road and ask some Amish driver if he knows where Owen and his family live?” I don’t think so. Navigating around winding back-country roads in search of an unmarked lane leading to an unmarked driveway in an Amish farming community wasn’t a challenge I was ready to meet by myself. No, I was going to need some help if we were going to make it to dinner! So I was thrilled when just then my cell phone rang and I heard Owen’s voice. He’d made an exception to the Amish “no telephones rule” so he could call and give me driving directions. Yes!


The front porch is a great place to watch the sun set.

BEAUTIFUL HOME AND FAMILY. We had a great time! Owen introduced us to his wife, Ada, and four of their six children including their newest arrival: a three week old baby girl. We sat around their huge dining room table and enjoyed a leisurely meal during our once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for a real hands-on, unscripted visit with an Amish family. We’re impressed. I’m not sure what was catalytic in affording us an opportunity to make these new friends and learn a bit about their ways. I think God just meant for us to meet this family. To chat with them, learn a little from them, share with them a bit about our lives… and also to just have fun kiddin’ around with the children.



The light you see above the roll top disk is in a gas fixture, with a mantle that’s lighted just like a Coleman lantern. There is no electricity in the home.


Brian in the family’s living room. He was still a bit skeptical of me at this point. That didn’t last long, however. Pretty soon he and I were goofin’ around and laughing with each other.

After dinner, we sat in the living room and talked. The home is furnished casually. The family is warm, welcoming and completely unpretentious. We are lucky to have been invited to spend the evening with them.


You’ve already met Brian. Here he is poking his head out of the side window on the family’s buggy.


12 year old Kristina is the oldest child. When the baby started to fuss, Kristina tended to her without even being asked.













Hey. Look at me! Aren’t I about the cutest two year old boy you’ve ever seen in your whole life? 


2 year old Jeremy is a real charmer! He spoke mostly in a German dialect, however,  so we “talked” with smiles and handshakes. English is a second language for most Amish people. German is typically spoken in the home.













I’m not sure the kids ever saw a camera before last night. They really ‘hammed it up’ when I took their pictures. 


One of Kristina’s teachers has been at it so long that Owen was also one of her students many years ago.













The family’s buggy has battery powered headlights and turn indicators.


The baby slept through dinner, but she decided to join the party a little later in the evening.



Owen showed Florence how the buggy’s windows can be opened and closed. All eight of the Yoders can fit in the buggy and ride to church together on Sunday mornings.

Owen works about five miles from the family’s home in the country. He doesn’t drive a car, so he uses an Amish transportation service to get back and forth. The service has several cars and vans used to ferry folks around as needed.


This is the horse that pulls their buggy. There’s just one problem…she doesn’t really like to work. So Owen has to be careful not to let her see the buggy being pulled out of the garage. If the horse spots it, she’ll take off into the pasture and it might take as long as a half hour to catch her! True story. Isn’t that a scream?


Kristina with her little pony.


You can’t miss their buggy at night!












“Their car” and “our car.” Not sure which one I like better.



Our friends have a horse, two little ponies, a calf they’re raising and a viscous watchdog! Here’s a photo I call “Small, medium and large.” I’m missing one pony and one calf. 

THANKS AGAIN, YOU GUYS. Being welcomed into your home was a very special treat for us. An experience we’ll never forget. And Kristina, Brian and Jeremy: “You kids tickled my funny-bone! I enjoyed goofin’ around with you. Thanks for showing me your buggy and your animals. I’m so glad we had a chance to meet. I’ll send you prints of the photos we took, I promise. Perhaps we’ll meet again some day. I sure hope so.”


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