Monday, April 20, 2009
a gathering of friends
Nancy, on the left, was having a birthday. so Flo, next to her, invited a bunch of us to a birthday feast @ her country cottage B&B. and taught us how to play a card game called Dutch Blitz. Flo was raised in the nearby Holdeman Mennonite community. the Holdemans are a very conservative branch of the Mennonite faith who still are shocked to see a woman's legs, arms or hair!!!! their women wear head coverings, and calf-length dresses with high necklines and sleeves. Flo was single when i first met her, so she made a living selling baked goods at the local farmer's market for years. it's how she financed the B&B, believe it or not! and her rep as a baker got the B&B customers coming. but she's been ostracized by her people, for being an independent, unmarried woman running a business. just a few years ago, she married a man from 'outside the faith'. so now she's not just ostracized, she's actually shunned. shunning is alive and well in some bleak places on the fringes of civilization. but Flo is a strong and courageous woman. she continues to treat the people of her community with respect, and behaves with integrity and dignity. but she's not letting them tell her how to live her life. she's even taken to wearing (shudder) jeans!!!