Yesterday I sort of goofed off.
I picked up a few things and returned the excess roofing materiels and later in the afternoon, I drove up north to pay the roofer.
When I got to the roofers house, he was with his family sitting outside enjoying the early evening, even though it was still pretty hot out.
I paid him, and looked at his wife, an immaculate woman that I knew had been busting her ass all day doing the household chores that went along with the lifestyle and she looked as starched and fresh as ishe had just stepped out of the shower.
I looked at her and said, "How you keep an entire family of roofers in such immaculate clothing is beyond me."
She is a shy woman, she sand nothing but her face lit right up. Her husband laughed appreciatively and I knew I had said the right thing.
I thing the only mistake I made on the whole job was when the youngest, a kid turning fifteen soon, went to cut a piece of ice guard and the knife slipped out of his hand and when past me. I immediately knew it to be a total accident, but I was startled.
"Hey, Kid, You want to eat that knife?" I blurted out. There was a playfulness in my voice and the startled, naive look he gave me told me I had said exactly the wrong thing.
I brushed it over quickly, and felt bad about it.
The Marines have an unofficial saying about how they fight for those that can't fight for themselves.
The thought that went through my mind with these people was, "Hey, Marines! Job opportunity!"
These people are pretty much incapable of violence of any sort. They are generally given conciencious objector (CO) status, which is fine by me because, frankly, I do not WANT people like this in the service. Their very nature and religious beliefs would make lousy soldiers.
Over the years I have heard that they take up so little time of the police department other than being occasional victims.
I can think of two or three things I've heard over the years. A few years back one husband went nuts and murdered his wife, a crime generally attributed to mental illness. Another Dutchman got popped for a DUI while driving his buggy. The general consensus on that one is that the cop was one of three things, an idiot, totally overzealous, or simply had a bone of some sort to pick wth the Amish.
A guy in a buggy isn't a real danger to the public, after all, the horse probably has more than enough sense to get him home without causing anyone any harm.
On the other hand, a guy tanked up behind the wheel of a car can do a lot of damage.
The other thing I have heard is that among the young people that drugs are working their way in, but I attribute that to the period of late in their teens when they are allowed to go forth and explore the ways of the English.
As I understand it, there is a period of time before they are baptized that they are permitted to explore the ways of the English prior to baptism.
This is probably a dangerous time because they are cutting a kid loose that isn't in the least streetwise and letting him out into a den of wolves. Just thinking about it scares the hell out of me.
What astonishes me is that most of them survive only to return to the fold intact. Still there are casualties, and the single casualty is the thing that gets noticed, and not the mass of people that pass through the teen years intact.
The rumors that the Dutchmen do not pay taxes is a crock. Truth is, they do not take a cent from Social Security and do not pay into it, which is fine, but they sure pay everything else. Whoever started that dirty rumor is an idiot.
You think Uncle Sam is going to let something like that slide?
HA! You should live so long.
I think that if the Amish left the state, Pennsylvania would be a lot worse off for their leaving. I sort of like having them around and many parts of their lifestyle impress me and serve as inspiration.
Let's leave it at that.
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