Auction at Grandpa’s
Excitement filled the air as Daddy came home from work everyday with empty boxes. The next day Mom would work on packing everything thing that we didn’t need for a few days. Some days we would go to Grandpa Masts and help them pack since they were also planning to move to Somerset County, as were uncle Eli’s and John Henry’s.
One Saturday we all got up very early and climbed on the spring wagon. The back was filled with boxes and a few pieces of furniture so John and I sat curled up on a blanket in front of Mom’s feet and we went clip clopping down the road in the dark to go to Grandpas. After we got there I stood beside the spring wagon as Daddy unhitched Jim and lead him into the barn. There were several vans parked beside the harness shop and it looked like every room in the house was well lit. There were people everywhere. Mom gathered David and a few bags and things into her arms and started for the house. When we got inside I was delighted to see that all the cousins from Canada were there. Everyone was trying to catch up on the latest news as the women started making big bowls full of dough to make donuts.
As the sun started to rise the men busied themselves with setting out furniture and and lots of other things and double checked to make sure all the farm machinery was situated where they wanted it.
Mom and the aunts started frying donuts and glazing them. Before long vehicles started driving in and people started coming to the the area where the women were making food. Almost everyone got a fresh donut and a cup of coffee. I sat on a bench with my cousins as we watched our mothers fry donuts and make sandwiches and take care of hungry customers. My mouth was watering at the sight of all the good food, so I was delighted when Grandpa came and gave us each a dollar and said we could go buy anything we want from the food stand. A sandwich, a donut, and a cup of hot chocolate seemed almost too good to be true.
Before long the sound of auctioneers filled the air as they started selling the things that would no longer be needed once we moved to Somerset. It was cold outside so we didn’t spend too much time watching the things being sold. We did go to the barn to see the cows for one last time.
Uncle David had a pony and a cart and was giving people a ride for a quarter. He allowed us cousins to each have one ride. Once my turn came I sat beside him on the cart. It was great to be riding with him all by myself as the others waited for their turn. I adored uncle David. He was ten years older than me and I was sure that no one compared to him. He always took time to talk and play with me when ever we visited Grandpas. And now as I sat proudly beside him as we headed down the field lane for our ride, he asked quietly. You think we could cross the bridge with the cart? I of course agreed so once we got to the point where he normally turned around he continued going and crossed the bridge over the ravine and circled John Henry’s house before turning around and heading back again. The pony’s feet made such dainty sounds compared to the clip clop of our horse, Jim. A little before we got back he told me not to tell the others because he doesn’t have time to give everyone a long ride like that. I was almost too happy to even nod my head. Uncle David had given me the longest ride of all, I would never forget that!
By late afternoon everything was sold and people were heading home. we stayed long enough to help with the clean up and then went home to finish our Saturday work. On Monday we would go back to help them load a big truck with their belongings for their move to Somerset.
Want to read more? Visit Mary Ann Kinsinger’s blog A Joyful Chaos.
Mary Ann Kinsinger was raised Old Order Amish in Somerset County, Pennsylvania. She met and married her husband, whom she knew from school days and started a family. After they chose to leave the Amish church, Mary Ann began a blog, A Joyful Chaos, as a way to capture her warm memories of her childhood for her own children. From the start, this blog found a ready audience and even captured the attention of key media players, such as the influential blog AmishAmerica and the New York Times. She lives in Pennsylvania.