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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!!!

9 comments:

Cicero Sings said...

Dutch Blitz ... now there's a game to keep you going!

My, I can't imagine making enough selling baked goods at the market to finance a B&B. Good for her. And good for her for not holding resentment in her heart towards her (ex) community.

Often what man does to us for evil (ostracize) God turn and works it for our good ... but only if we trust that He will work it for our good and not let a spirit of bitterness enter our thoughts ... if we can trust then it makes us a better person ... we grow and are enlarged (not physically LOL). That's my theory and I'm stickin' to it.

jozien said...

All the power to Flo! Good for her.
I am Dutch, of a different kind i suppose. My God very... allowing. But the same God as hers(my opinion), all in the name of Love.

What is Dutch Blitz?:)

gfid said...

cicero - Flo used to bake all week for the one day sale @ the farmer's market. she first convinced the bank that she was solvent enough with this income to deserve a loan to buy herself a new van to get her and her goods back and forth, then a few years later, she'd saved the down payment to build the B&B, and the bank didn't hesitate to loan her the rest. yes, she's a very gentle, wise, and forgiving woman - though they've got her convinced that she's a terrible sinner for being so 'willful'.

Jozien - actually, Flo's people are of German descent... Dutch blitz is a card game, something like solitaire, but played with a group. the idea is to get rid of your cards first, by completing number series from 1-10 in different colors. there are no turns, you just start, and everyone plays their cards at any available opportunity. can be pretty chaotic, but the kids are crazy about it.... I agree - love is, i think the thing that makes or breaks any belief system. People who deliberately hurt others aren't practicing love.

susan said...

It's a lovely photograph. I've always been amazed that some people believe they can change the world by putting themselves and their families into a box.

gfid said...

it was a lovely evening. i don't think box dwellers are concerned about the safety of the world. it's their own safety they're concerned about; anything outside the box is a threat.

Seraphine said...

yay flo. it can be difficult being the "black sheep" in a group or even worse, being shunned by family. i have great admiration that she is able to successfully live her own life and prosper.

p.s. happy birthday nancy!

p.s./p.s. sometimes i'm shocked to see my own arms, legs and hair too.

lindsaylobe said...

Hi Granny Fiddler
A nice gathering of friends who no doubt are both tolerant and helpful to one another, just like the first early christen communities before they were subsequently beset with bewildering rules and regulations.
Best wishes

gfid said...

sera - body parts get more shocking the older they are. thanks, from Nan, for the b'day wishes.

lindsay - the rules and boxes are ours, not god's. i think there'll be a lot to answer for, one day.

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