Writer’s Block by Brad Igou
I am fortunate to work in an office along Route 340, pretty much surrounded by Amish farmlands. As I was looking out the window during a period of “writer’s block,” it suddenly occurred to me that I could write about things I see out of my window from time to time.
Of course, last year the view from my window over the winter looked like a scene from “Lawrence of Arabia,” except that the sand dunes were “snow dunes,” cars in the parking lot covered by several feet of snow.
But now it is spring and the browns of my patchwork quilt of fields and farmland are turning to greens. The Amish farm across the road stretches along the highway, and I sometimes see the farmer plowing, planting, or spreading manure. (I usually smell that activity before I see it!)
My favorite sight is when the horses are out in the field. Sometimes they run or chase each other, and other times they just stand around watching the cars go by. In the summer they like to stretch out and relax on the grass, or roll over to scratch their backs, their legs up kicking at the sky. A visitor once dashed into our office shouting about a dead horse in the field. I guess some people are unaware that horses don’t have to sleep standing up!
One day there was a thunderstorm, and lots of water gushed down the hillside to form a big “puddle” in the field. The horses came over to it and, just like a bunch of children, took their feet and splashed in the water. To see these magnificent animals just having a good time playing in the water is a sight I shall never forget.
Naturally, we have a parade of Amish going by every day. We see carriages pulled by beautiful, prancing horses. Weekdays there are Amish children on the way to the one-room school, carrying their lunch boxes. One lad wearing a bright red backpack used to whiz down the road to class on roller blades. And I can’t forget the lady who pulls an empty wagon behind her down the road, returning a half hour later with it full of groceries.
Finally, there’s our neighbor here at Amish Country News. He’s an Amish carriage maker, and has his phone outside. (Amish cannot have phones in the home.) While I don’t always hear the phone, his dog barks whenever it rings, and I do hear that. I sometimes see him through the trees running to answer the call.
Now the sun is setting — another spectacular view of reds and pinks and yellows and oranges. If the view through my window is any indication, it is no surprise that the Amish are content to live without a TV set. It’s a wonderful changing program of sights and sounds with no commercials!