“Look,” I said to Lena and Fanny as I opened the barn door and showed them the screen I made for skirting my wool. They were both impressed remembering from the spring when they last helped me that the old screen didn’t seem to work.
We put Merricat’s wool (which is very soft and has a wonderful crimp) on the screen. Lena took one end and I took the other and we shook it. Fanny looked to see if anything fell out. It didn’t look like much was happening. But later I texted with Suzy and she said we probably just couldn’t see it, that when you shake wool like that the smallest particles are released. Next time I’ll put a canvas under it and see what happens.
Fanny told me it was a year ago today that they moved to Cambridge. They said they missed their friends but otherwise, they liked it here.
While we skirted the wool, their horse, Striker, stuck his nose in the barn no doubt smelling all the fresh hay. I closed the door so he wouldn’t be tempted by it. Then Lena grabbed a handful of hay and held it up to the horse’s nose. “What to do think of this, Striker?” she asked as his nostrils flared taking in the smell.
It was nice to see Lena’s connection to the Striker.
In the spring Lena and Fanny told me the story about their uncle who was a paraplegic. He had a horse who he loved so much and trusted to take him where ever he needed to go. Their bond was so strong that he cried when the horse died, which I gather is not something most Amish men do.
At one point Fanny looked up at a car passing on the road. “There goes Jon,” Fanny said recognizing his car. “We like to tease him about not walking on his bad foot,” she said with a smile.
Lena who loves to sew asked if I was working on a quilt, so I invited them both into my studio. As she did last time she visited, Lena squatted and looked closely at the beginnings of the quilt laying on my floor. She had some questions then she and Fanny saw my Corona Kimono hanging on the wall.
They were fascinated by it, looking at every entry and all the details, reading it like a newspaper.
Then Lena sat at my sewing machine and when Jon showed up she pretended to be sewing. Of course, she couldn’t really try it because it’s electric.
It took Lena asking me three times if we raked leaves to get the message that she was offering to help. Lena will be twenty-one next year and will be able to earn her own money so she’s beginning to look for work outside the house. Until then the money she and Fanny earn goes to the household. So when all the leaves are off the tree, Lena and Fanny will be back to help with the raking.
That’s another job I’m glad to have help with.