Lancaster County Day
The drive out was uneventful. The traffic on the turnpike portion wasn't terrible, and soon enough I was heading South on 10 to be followed by West on 340. When I started out, I was thinking of some of the unsettling things about this summer: Disruption in routine at the little school where I work, a couple of important friendships in a bit of disarray, reminders of mortality much closer than one would like. I was looking forward to the visit with Susan, but feeling as though my world wasn't particularly rosy.
That all changed.
Once I got into the Amish countryside, the farms, cows, flowers were all so beautiful. I felt myself changing and settling down inside. I'm a sucker for a good clothesline full of Amish wash and apparently today was laundry day, for I passed several wonderful specimens. When I met up with dear Susan, I was pleasantly surprised that she'd brought along her granddaughter, age 1. Emmy is a gorgeous and personable baby, with a pleasant and amiable disposition. She's recently learned to (1) wave and (2) point, and did both with delight as her grandma and I consumed our chicken salad and she her cut-up chicken nuggets.
Susan was happy to receive the backpack. She told me that Brittany, the recipient of the first backpack I'd filled, is now a college student and showed up at her home the other day with a new, filled backpack. My gift had meant that much to her that she knew to pass it on.
I bought a little Kona Snow and a magazine. On the way home I stopped at a fine farm stand where I bought a big basket of Red Haven peaches, something my husband remembers from long, long ago.
I came home content and at peace. What caused the change? Was it the Amish wash (still hanging and blowing a bit on the way home)? Checking off another year of tradition with Susan? Lunching with the very newest generation? That big basket of peaches (and some sweet corn, too)? All of those things were wonderful. But the story of Brittany's generosity, I think, was the finishing touch.