Hannah Lapp covered the basket of freshly gathered eggs with her hand, glanced behind her, and bolted down the dirt road. Early morning light filtered through the broad leaves of the great oaks as she ran toward her hopes…and her fears.
A mixed fragrance of light fog, soil, garden vegetables, and jasmine drifted through the air. Hannah adored nature’s varying scents. When she was far enough away so her father couldn’t spot her as she topped the knoll, she turned, taking in the view behind her. Her family’s gray stone farmhouse was perched amid rolling acreage. Seventeen years ago she’d been born in that house.
She closed her eyes, breaking the visual connection to home. Her Amish heritage was hundreds of years old, but her heart yearned to be as modern as personal computers and the Internet. Freedom beckoned to her, but so did her relatives.
Some days the desire to break from her family’s confinements sneaked up on her. There was a life out there—one that had elbowroom—and it called to her. She took another long look at her homestead before traipsing onward. Paul would be at the end of her one-mile jaunt. Joy quickened her pace. Her journey passed rapidly as she listened to birds singing their morning songs and counted fence posts.
As she topped the hill, a baritone voice sang an unfamiliar tune. The melody was coming from the barn. She headed for the cattle gate at the back of the pastureland that was lined by the dirt road. Beyond the barn sat Paul’s grandmother’s house, and past that was the paved road used by the English in their cars.
Paul used the cars of the English. Hannah’s lips curved into a smile. More accurately, he drove a rattletrap of an old truck. Even though his order of Mennonites was very conservative, much more so than many of the other Mennonite groups, they didn’t hesitate to use electricity and vehicles. Still, his sect believed in cape dresses and prayer Kapps for the women. Surely there was nothing wrong with her caring for Paul since the Amish didn’t consider his order as being an Englischer or fancy.
© 2014 Waterbrook Press. Used with permission.
Cindy Woodsmall is a New York Times best-selling author who has written a dozen (and counting!) works of fiction and one of nonfiction. She and her dearest Old Order Amish friend, Miriam Flaud, coauthored the nonfiction, Plain Wisdom: An Invitation into an Amish Home and the Hearts of Two Women. Cindy has even worked with National Geographic on a documentary concerning Amish life. In June of 2013, the Wall Street Journal listed Cindy as the one of the top three most popular authors of Amish fiction.
Her real-life connections with Amish Mennonite and Old Order Amish families enrich her novels with authenticity. At the age of ten, while living in the dairy country of Maryland, she became best friends with Luann, a Plain Mennonite girl. Over the years Cindy has continued to make wonderful friendships with those inside the Amish and Mennonite communities.
Cindy and her husband reside near the foothills of the North Georgia Mountains in their now empty nest.
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