The past few days have been cold, windy and damp, with snow flurries each morning and afternoon. After church and dinner yesterday, I felt the need for a long walk, but it was far too chilly to ask my warm weather adjusted parents to accompany me on a trail.
We went for a drive north of the city in an area of the region that has many Old Order Mennonite farms. I am not sure if Easter Sunday is more special that other Sundays for these Mennonites. Sunday meeting is a long affair, and afterward is a time for visiting friends and family.
There were many horse drawn buggies on their way home in the late afternoon, as the farmers returned to do their evening chores. Their tidy farms had huge woodpiles and tall windmills for the water pumps. One farm, with no electricity service, boasted four large solar energy panels on the roof of the farmhouse. It is not unusual for the Old Order Mennonites to have electricity in their barns, but they will not have this convenience in their homes.
This happy looking family did not mind being in an open two horse open carriage with a cold north wind blowing down on them. They are bundled up for the weather. From a distance, I could see the steam rising from the horses' backs and they hurried along the shoulder of the highway.
These two women were sharing a good story and laughter just as girlfriends anywhere will do.
This picture was the best of all. As we passed by this family, we noticed their three small children sound asleep in the back of the buggy, leaning over as they supported each other. One big seat belt held them together under a thick quilt. Our children would fall asleep in the car very quickly when they were young, and a horse drawn buggy must provide the same soothing comfort for these little ones.
Wouldn't greenhouse emissions be reduced if we all lived like this? We were impressed by their obvious joy and contentment in the simple way of life they have chosen. There is a lesson here somewhere for all of us.
(My dad took all these pictures through the car window as we were driving.)