Love in Many Forms

Clump # 149:  Sort and clear paper pile number eight of twenty-eight (only twenty more to go!):

Love was the theme of the day today!  And I’m not just saying that to spice up yet another picture of a pile of paper (well, okay, maybe a little bit).  My younger daughter had sorted the last few piles so specifically (all the Time magazines; The Week; People magazines filed together within the same bigger “magazines” pile) that I can only assume she designated the one my husband and I tackled today as “miscellaneous.” A mixed bag, destined for various file folders.

As usual, we peeled away one shred pile and one recycle pile, below. Little by little, as I/we do this every day, I am losing my-what to-do-with-important-paper-phobia (fear of becoming an adult?).  My husband’s help with this project has been better than roses and chocolates any day.

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I was visiting my mom in Lancaster County, PA today, and I have to report: Love was in the air.  And not just in the unfailingly loving person of my mom.

At almost every visit, I stop at a bakery called OCB Cakes, (Out of the Cake Box), in the town of Strasburg, for a cup of coffee and a few of the delectable treats they offer.  The owners, at this point, feel like family. Like the Cheers bar, they know me by name, what days I usually come in, worry when I’m not there, and ask about my mom. They are the best. This is Joanna:

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Right now she and her husband, Scott, are gearing up for Valentine’s Day.  (So cute: two hearts buttoned together.)

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I am endlessly fascinated by the Amish people who live in that area.  Maybe especially today, coming out of my “terrible” time without electricity.  Which brings me to kind of a love story that is most likely all in my imagination:  I was uncharacteristically late to have lunch with my mom, and stopped at a Wawa for a sandwich, knowing I missed the time for ordering food in her dining room, but wanting to eat with her nonetheless.  Wawa is a revered institution around here, a place for coffee, hoagies, free (no fee) ATM machines, gas, etc. The term convenience store does not really cover how much people love their Wawas.

I noticed a youngish Amish man at one of the touch-screens, ordering lunch, too.  An Amish person at a computer is not something you see every day.  He then asked the person behind the counter where [woman’s name] was. The clerk said, “Oh she works at a different location now,” to which the Amish man said, “If you see her, tell her I said ‘Hi’.”

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(Photo, above, not mine.)

Well, I can’t help thinking and wondering about that exchange.  How forbidden was it for him to be patronizing a Wawa?  How often had he visited to know the missing clerk by name?  What were his intentions toward her?  How forbidden is it to have feelings for an “English” (non-Amish) woman?  The questions and unfounded assumptions swimming in my head about this poor man had no end.  Too much People magazine reading, perchance?

One thing about our recent camp-outage: my husband and I were stripped of so many of our usual electronic distractions.  It was a bit of a test of whether we still like each other after all this time and the arrival, nurture, and exodus of three kids.  As my husband and I were walking around in our dark house the other day, holding lanterns, the sound of our next-door neighbor’s generator was buzzing like a lawn mower on continuous idle.  I said “Ah, the [neighbor’s last name]’s generator.”  To which my husband responded, “Yeah, more power to them.”

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Two of the characteristics I’ll always cherish about my beloved: a quick wit and a kind and generous heart.

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