Today when I asked Julia what I should write about in the column, she immediately popped up with, “about our trip to town with Montana!”
I was glad for the suggestion, so why not join us as a family as we make a nine-mile trek to town and back with the horse and a wagon. Usually, we hire a driver to make the trip to do general shopping or go to the doctor, dentist, or the vet with an animal, but today was a bit different. When Nathan Lehman, a gentleman in church, generously told us that we could use their big trusty horse and open wagon to go to the nearby town of Robinson, we knew we’d have to make a point of doing just that before the weather turned too chilly. It’s not that we don’t like or use our Standard Bred mare, but with the Lehman’s horse having a larger build, he was more suited for a longer trip, especially when pulling a heavier wagon instead of a buggy.
On Tuesday, Daniel had off work, and the sun shown gently with temperatures in the 70s. It looked like the perfect opportunity.
We all loaded up and headed for the Lehmans. Daniel and Owen brought their horse in from the pasture, then harnessed and hitched him up to their old fashioned open wagon. The children were all excited as they climbed onto the back of the wagon with Owen. I took my seat up front with Jesse on my lap, next to Daniel, who took the reins. Montana, the horse, was raring to go. Soon we were clipping down the blacktop road. The crisp autumn air breezed past as the children snuggled into their blankets.
The next 45 minutes passed swiftly, and soon we were driving out onto the main street. It felt odd to be driving a horse right into town. Obviously, there were others, including dogs who weren’t expecting to see us. One dog, when he spotted us, came rushing towards us, in his blind haste, ran right into a little bank leading up to the road. He rolled back down, regained his balance, and by then, we were well out of his reach. At least we got a good chuckle out of it.
Montana became impatient at times when he had to wait at stoplights. Several times after waiting at a stoplight, then safely passing through with traffic on all sides, it somehow just hit my funny bone. I just had to laugh, happy to have my husband at the reins.
At Rural King, the children all enjoyed popcorn, which they give to customers. In the meanwhile, we picked out a toy tractor for Jesse’s birthday, which happened to be that day. Daniel and I agreed that there is probably nothing else that Jesse would enjoy more than going on a drive on his birthday.
For lunch, Owen treated all of us to a nice meal at a local place called Gabriel’s Family Dining, which was a rare specialty for all of us. As I looked around the table with our five little darlings, ages 1, 2, 3, 4, and 8, my heart swelled with joy and gratitude. This certainly was a special occasion. What a simple pleasure to see the little ones enjoying this rare treat. “This is food I didn’t cook,” I told Daniel with a grin as I took another bite.
Turning toward me, Owen said, “This is lemon pudding.”
Mmm… now if you know me you know my crush on refreshing lemon desserts. For me, it was the biggest treat in the entire buffet. I don’t make too many puddings for our family, so it was an extra treat.
By the time we headed for home, we had five little ones ready to crash out and take naps. Austin nestled in a sleeping bag under one of the benches while Rayni snuggled up against me and was soon sound out as well as Jesse who was in my arms. Elijah fell asleep in Owen’s lap. According to Owen, Julia was too curious about what conversations we’ll have along the way to dare take a nap. The children enjoy Owen as a big brother and would certainly miss it if he’d never tease them.
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
3 egg yolks
½ cup lemon juice
½ teaspoon lemon extract (opt)
4 tablespoons butter
1 cup milk1/2 cup sour cream (opt)
Mix sugar and cornstarch and add milk. Bring to a boil and cook several minutes and add egg yolks and boil gently. Next add lemon juice, lemon flavoring and a pinch of salt plus butter. Cool and add whipped topping and sour cream. Pour into a baked 9-inch pie shell and top with whipped topping or if you like, serve over a graham cracker crust or spoon on top of diced angel food cake or any other cake of your choice and top with cool whip. If you’re like me, you’ll even enjoy it just plain—no fancy add-on needed!
Gloria Yoder is an Amish mom, writer, and homemaker in rural Illinois. The Yoders travel primarily by horse-drawn buggy and live next to the settlement’s one-room school-house. Readers can write to Gloria at 10510 E. 350th Ave., Flat Rock, IL 62427