“Men, I believe I have just met my future bride!”
David Stoltzfus hurried out of his storeroom office to see who had just burst into the store to deliver such a bold announcement. Dane Glick stood at the open door with a delighted look on his face. The handful of graybeards, settled into rockers that circled the woodstove in the front of the Bent N’ Dent store, turned from an endless discussion of the weather to consider Dane.
“BOY,” Hank Lapp called out. “Matrimony is nothing you should rush into. Trust me on that. You know what my wife Edith has to say on the topic.”
“What does Edith have to say?” one of the men asked.
“Wer heiert dutt gut; wer leddich bleibt, dutt so viel besser.” He who marrieth doth well, but he who marrieth not, better.
“Hank,” David said in the warning tone usually reserved for his children.
“It’s high time I marry,” Dane said. “I can’t stand my own cooking and my own company for one more day. I’m starting to talk to my buggy horse.”
Dane had left the door open behind him, and cold air came into the store on a gust of wind. David walked around him to shut the door. “Lots of folks talk to their horses.”
Dane turned to him with frustration. “Today she answered back.”
“THEN, SON, YOU’VE COME TO THE RIGHT PLACE,”
Hank Lapp boomed. “Sit down and let’s hear all about your future missus. Es is ken Heffel so grumm as net en Deckel druffbast.” No pot is so crooked that you can’t find a lid for it.
The graybeards all shued over to make room for Dane as he plunked down in the rocker next to Hank.
Community, David realized. He was all about building and strengthening community—and that was happening, right here, right now, in the Bent N’ Dent store. A woodstove community, and it pleased him to his core.
Until this moment, watching the men surround Dane, David hadn’t been convinced that his son Jesse’s improvements to the store were all that beneficial—at least to the bottom line. Even more concerning was that Hank Lapp was a part of the improvement project. Hank Lapp and Jesse had started to sell premade sandwiches, made by his daughter Molly, who was just learning to cook. Happily, the graybeards weren’t particularly fussy about the quality of the sandwiches, especially with the frequent-sandwich punch cards that Jesse had implemented.
Jesse and Hank also added rocking chairs by the woodstove in the store, and had plans for picnic benches out front, come springtime. The outcome was such that quite a few retired men gathered around the stove during the afternoons. In a good way, the store was filled with customers, and that was a change from a few months back. In a bad way, these particular customers rarely bought much other than Molly’s dry sandwiches.
Hank Lapp was there every day. Newly married, his wife Edith shooed him out the door each morning, with orders not to return until sunset.
David shook his head. Never would he have thought he’d see the day when anyone would go to Hank Lapp for matchmaking advice. It was like asking an elephant to tie your shoe, but if Dane Glick wanted to put his fate in the hands of Hank Lapp and his cronies, then who was he to interfere? Besides, David had enough troubles on his plate. The church of Stoney Ridge, for one.
Maybe helping Dane find a wife would be a good thing. David did worry about the young man, fairly new to Stoney Ridge and all alone on that neglected hillside property. But who could handle a fellow like Dane Glick?
Enter to win a copy of The Quieting below and make sure to swing by my Facebook page for another special giveaway!
Suzanne Woods Fisher is a bestselling author of Amish fiction and non-fiction, and a columnist for Christian Post and Cooking & Such magazine. The Search won a 2012 Carol Award. The Waiting was a finalist for a 2011 Christy Award. The Choice was a finalist for a 2011 Carol Award. The Letters is a finalist for a Christian Retailing 2014 Best Award. Amish Peace: Simple Wisdom for a Complicated World and Amish Proverbs: Words of Wisdom from the Simple Life were both finalists for the ECPA Book of the Year (2010, 2011). Her interest in the Amish began with her grandfather, who was raised Plain in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. She travels back east a couple of times each year for research.
Suzanne’s latest release, The Quieting, is now available!