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A Basket Friendship
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A Basket Friendship

Our names are Allan and Jennie and we live in Princeton, West Virginia. We are sharing a story of our meeting a wonderful Amish family on one of our many trips to Ohio Amish country.

We enjoy everything about Ohio Amish country and we always look for Amish made baskets. Last spring, on our trip to Lehman’s, we noticed a sign directing to a place which sold baskets. The slight detour was the beginning of our falling in love with an Amish family. They were very warm and friendly and their baskets were of great quality. We have decided to omit their names out of respect for them and the fact we have not been given permission to publish their names. We had the opportunity to talk with their daughter and learn about their family. We fully intended to return upon our next trip.

We made our next trip that fall and were welcomed by the mother who shared with us that they had to euthanize their buggy horse due to its breaking its leg. They used this horse not only for going for supplies, etc., but also to deliver milk as part of their income.

When we went in December we were able to meet the husband/father and the rest of the family. They have two sons who are autistic and a sweet daughter. We were beginning to become very acquainted with them. The husband asked if we could provide some wheat saltines and graham crackers that they could not get there, upon our next trip which we gladly agreed.

We returned in the spring of this year with the saltines and crackers along with marshmallow and Hershey bars to teach them how to make S’mores. They were very excited to get the goodies! Unfortunately, they had not been able to purchase a trotter due to their low income and the cost of the horse. We offered to get them groceries since we were going in to Berlin, and they provided us a list of things they needed. We returned that evening with the groceries and the mother had made us some delicious bread. As on previous trips, we purchased more baskets and always donate additional funds to help them buy a suitable horse.

We made a short return trip in May of this year prior to our going on vacation and to see the progress being made on the horse. To our dismay, they had not been able to find one within their means. The morning after our visit, we took the family a huge breakfast from Boyd and Wurthman’s, our favorite dining spot, which we discovered was theirs as well. The husband has been wanting to take his wife there for many years but has not been able to do so. We also picked up some great pastries from Kaufman’s Bakery for the boys. Their eyes lit up like saucers! The family devoured their breakfast while we went to get them groceries. We also gave them a sum of money to again help toward acquiring a buggy horse. This family is always hesitant upon taking our offerings but we always insist and they are always very appreciative. The wife made us three pies to take on our vacation, one being a blueberry pie which is our favorite.

We are planning a return trip in August and we have been corresponding with them by mail. It sure takes us back when we want to communicate with them as we do our friends and relatives by phone or email, in having to rely on the U.S. Postal Service. But that’s a lot of what attracts us to the Amish country. It is beyond description as to how relaxing and reminiscent of the days gone by. We are hoping to learn that they have been able to get their horse and return to being able to do what they need to do each day.

It is our hope that whoever may read this will want to make a trip to their house and purchase their baskets and other items they make. They are a resilient family and have obvious setbacks and obstacles, but they never let those things show when you’re with them. There is no other place we enjoy more than visiting the Ohio Amish country and now even more so with our new friends we have become acquainted.

Story submitted by: Jennie & Allan H.

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