Here’s a little known fact that I bet you’d never guess, but I’m a Cleveland Indian’s fan! When I get to Ohio for a visit, I stay glued to the TV when the games are on. I barely hear anything about how the Cleveland Indians are doing in Florida, but when in Ohio it’s hard for me accept invitations to dinner unless I’m back in time to watch the game! Yes, that means dinner at 4:30 PM or shortly afterward, but… have no fear, I’m home for the game!
- As some of you know, I vacation in Ohio’s Amish Country and meet many wonderful people who have so much information to share. With this column I’d like to tell you about Maudie Raber of Berlin, Holmes County, Ohio — the heart of Amish Country. Maudie does many things within the community, and hosts buses of tourists at her home for dinners, or for local people who want to have a home cooked meal to celebrate an event. There is an attraction called “The Farm” in Holmes County where the owner hires her to cook wholesome lunches for his employees. She pointed out to him that it would be much cheaper to buy ready-made meals, but he said he wants to treat his employees right, as they always work hard for him, and they deserve the best! She uses her own recipes and hires a couple people to help her. Maudie has even written a cookbook called Raber’s Home Cookin’, and if you are interested, you can write to Maudie Raber at 3497 CR 135 Millersburg, Ohio 44654. The cost is $10.00 for the cookbook and $5.00 for shipping & handling. Make checks payable to Raber’s Home Cookin’.
We sat around talking after one of her dinners in her home, and I learned that she lost her husband to cancer last year, and three of her children have died of that same type of cancer over the years, the last one was a daughter who just died a few weeks ago. Most of her family have homes in the same area, so they are always there for each other. The family is lovely and gracious and extremely friendly. Maudie told me that for many years she was a Field Editor for Country Magazine and for Taste of Home Magazine. She would bake pies for winners of contests from each of the magazines, and have them shipped to the recipient from the Editor, Roy Reiman. One of the people she sent a special pie to at the request of Mr. Reiman was Ernest Borgnine. He loved the pie so much he sent a thank you note to Maudie for the apple pie and sent a signed picture of himself, which she still has displayed. She didn’t know who he was, but thought it was very nice of him. When people came to dinner later, they explained that he was a movie and TV star. She of course had never been to a movie or seen a TV program; however she was very pleased anyway! Remember – no electricity, no TV, and there isn’t even a movie theater in the area, and no car to travel outside of the area. And by the way as an afterthought: Amish always pay their taxes and many vote, especially for school board. Many of their children attend public school, so the parents get involved. You need to know though, that within the Amish Church structure the children are only allowed to go to school through 8th grade. After that they go to work and help support the family. They turn their paychecks over to the parents, and the parents give them 20% back. The rest of the paycheck pays for room and food and clothes and other needs within the household. Do these kids feel deprived? Nope. It’s the way all Amish live, so everyone is the same. Once they marry the money stays with the new couple. Meanwhile, that 20%, in most cases has been saved by the young person, and it gives them a down payment on an apartment or a small house. They are GREAT savers! Many, if not all, Amish LOVE to read, and while they work, they are learning the value of hard work, of saving, about business, about the business world, and I’m here to tell you an Amish person would never look for a handout or welfare. That is just unheard of! When these kids are still young they have chores to do around the house and yard, and as they grow they assume more responsibilities. It’s so interesting to watch how they raise their children.
- I’d like to mention another wonderful lady who lives in a little development called Picket Place in Berlin, Ohio, and is one of the best cooks and bakers that I’ve ever met! Karen and her husband Myron are a fine example of what Mennonite people are all about: God, Home, Family and Friends. She is constantly baking for people just to be nice, and they, as a couple, are always ready to help anyone in need of a favor. When living here, you get a completely different picture of the true value of friends and neighbors, and a work ethic above reproach! There is barely any crime, they pray at meals and go to church, reach out to help others, and live the life we all used to know when we grew up. It’s like stepping into the past. And this couple has lovely grandkids that are respectful and polite. It’s really fun to see these children. I said to Preston, the oldest of the grandkids: “Have a nice day!” And he replied: “You know it’s up to you!” I loved that response because it is right on target!
Have a nice day! It’s all up to you.