Friday, October 30, 2009

I spent the day in Amish country...

Yes ,I do realize I have not performed one stitch of work for two days but I went up to Mount Vernon to visit dear friends who are going through Hospice Care. Bill has valiantly been fighting his battle against cancer and Marsha is attempting to take care of the farm, the horses and work at her newspaper job and still be a guardian angel to her beloved Bill. They have been together for over 32 and their devotion is still so evident. When I pulled my car into their driveway I realized I did not know what I was going to say or do...but I felt my mother's spirit with me as I climbed the steps up the deck. Their quiet touches, gentle laughter, shared movies and magazines and reassurances that the farm is being taken care of. Marsha is one of my favorite artists friends from my gallery days and she and Bill would always make me smile when they made the trip to Newark for a visit. I was very honored to be inside their intimate home and share the sunshine of their life and beautiful farm land. We visited her horses and walked in the sunshine around the blackberry farm and down into a hillside of color and possible sledding possibilities for this winter. Courage is not recognized as often as we should here in our culture...the love demonstrated of this couple is nothing short of heroic and courageous. Love takes small steps we often overlook in our hurried lives.

The drive back to Newark was breath-taking and I stopped to photograph the hillsides and harvest of our independent farmers here in Ohio. I met a young Amish man Andy Miller and photographed parts of his farm and even though I desperately wanted too take his portrait I recognized his religious beliefs and need for privacy. We only spoke for a moment but I could truly appreciate this young man's simple life, the farm's clothesline, the young black and white calves and the free range chickens that caught my eye and invited me to stop for a moment. Andy was a kind gentle man who spoke softly with a pure innocent gaze into my eyes. I would have liked to know him better and spend some time in his world. Next time I go up I promised myself I would stop and buy some of their eggs and maybe some Maple syrup. The rest of the way home I waved at all the families in buggies and they all waved proudly back to my little old car. I have tried to share some of the best photographs but still I have not decided about the new camera I would like to acquire before the holidays. I am not quite sure how I got home this afternoon...I found myself getting the directions all turned around and the hills and roads are all curvy and twisty....but all the same I made it safely and very tired once again. Friendship is what guided me to Mount Vernon and my reward was immeasurable...I love you Bill and Marsha and I pray we can get together once again soon. I need to get to work for the remaining hours of my day. Imagine and Live in Peace, Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart


  1. Beautiful photos, especially the one of the barn and cornstalk stacks. And the expression on the calf...darling!
    You live in a wonderful area to be able to drive out and find such excellent camera fodder.....
    maybe I need a day off too occasionally...for things like this! ;)


  2. Of course...we all need a special day in our cars to drive and pause when we see the inspiration...somehow the photos overlapped due to my low tech skills ...I was overwhelmed by the beauty of the simple life the Amish community. Happy Halloween dear Lady!!! Imagine and Live in Peace, Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart