September 19, 2009...
Today, I had two memorable experiences.
First, I bought a blackberry pie from Eli Hersenberger. He was selling homemade baskets and baked goods next to a gas station near Old Washington, Ohio. Eli was 61...had 19 kids...and 72 grandkids.
Oh yeah...and Eli was Amish.
I asked lots of questions. He smiled gently and gave me lots of answers.
We talked about his beard (never shave after turning 18), Amish dating habits (they sit and talk), traveling (when going far distances...bus), and a wide range of other topics for about 30 minutes.
My new friend, Eli, definitely lives life with a purity and simplicity that hits home. As soon as I finished sharing time with Eli, we each passed on our future blessings to the other, and I pondered what it would be like to live like Eli.
I almost wished I could.
Then I got on my cell phone to share my experience. Whoops.
The second neat experience of the day happened later that night. Julian and I had to drive into Wheeling, West Virginia for a late night interview with a newspaper. Afterward, we walked down to the river where the Sternwheel Festival was being held. We saw an amazing firework demonstration that just seemed a bit more special with pure "I love America" music being played simultaneously. Then we stayed and listened to the second half of a concert by a famous '60s group called the Marcels ("High School Memories," "Blue Moon.") Minus the deep fried smell that permeated the air from all the food vendors, the whole night just felt good.
It was a good day.
No. It was a great day.
I mean, how can't any day be great with a homemade blackberry pie?