Katie and the Amish Farmer

I have been on the receiving end of two attitudes the past couple of weeks with our apple give away.    Both have left  lasting impressions.

Do you mind if I tell you two short stories? 😉


Her name is Katie.

She called our place a week ago, looking for apples.

Wondered if she could stop by after work.  She wanted to make apple butter.

I told her on the phone about the hail storm in June, how it had severely damaged the crop.  She was more than welcome to get as many as she wanted, I didn’t want them to go to waste…and they were free. She insisted on paying something,  but it would have to be after she got paid on Wednesday.  (She works at a local nursing home.)  I was struck by the concerned tone of her voice on the phone.

She stopped  one of the days I was home working in the shop.

I was struck even more by her appreciative, caring attitude when I met her in person. If I could bottle it up and sell it, I would be a rich.  What her attitude did (and does) to my heart  is almost palatable….like a perfume that makes my heart glad.

Katie came back this week and got a few more apples…and a pumpkin. She insisted on giving my wife $20.



This second attitude came my way via an Amish farmer.  He was here twice picking apples.  I lost track of how many bushel he ended up getting.

The second attitude  (if I were to put it into words) goes something like this…… You must be stupid (or uninformed).  Sure I will take free apples.   Before giving my friend your phone number I want to make sure I get all I want).

I don’t have a prejudiced, biased, judgemental bone in my body toward the Amish.  It has nothing to do with that. In the past  few years the Amish have been moving into our area in droves.  I interact with them every chance I get.

The Amish farmer asked if I had any apple wood he might be able to get for smoking.  Just so happened I did have a pile stacked by the barn I was hoping to sell to local restaurants…. When he asked me what I would charge for the wood, (this was after getting all of those free apples) I still sensed he was trying to get as much as he could for the least amount of money….

I just think it is hard-wired into some people to do business this way.


People  are watching.  They may not say anything, but don’t think our good (or less than stellar) attitudes don’t go unnoticed.


Protecting the brand.

Hail damaged Cortland


Do you have any recent (encouraging) encounters with a stranger that left a lasting impression?

You know me….I love details. 🙂 DM

11 thoughts on “Katie and the Amish Farmer

  1. I love these stories. I have known both kinds—those who go for all they can get, and aren’t grateful, and those who are grateful for the small gifts. A lesson there for sure.

    Recently we stayed in a friend’s house while Ben did some work for her neighbor. She offered us a bedroom with our own bath and small kitchen. We used her electricity, her washing machine, her hot tub, her tv. We cooked together and I provided some food, but she was generous with hers.

    When she left on a trip she said, “make yourself at home.” She expected nothing in return, except that Ben do a few chores while we there, which he did.

    But when we left (before she got home) we bought a fresh jar of raspberry jam from the Farmer’s market to restock what we used, a loaf of the bread I had used up, a box of coffee pods Ben had used up, and a thank you card with a $100 bill for the extra heat I had used with the space heater in her back bedroom.

    It wasn’t much, but we wanted to show her our gratitude in a small way—especially because she didn’t expect it.

    She texted me when she arrived home. She said, “I keep finding things…I had hot tea and toast for breakfast. Yum. You didn’t need to leave the money.”

    I could tell she appreciated our gesture. Was touched by it. That touched me.

    This wasn’t a story about us, but about our friend who shared so much, expected so little, and was so appreciative when we cared back.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Martha….I love, love loved that story. Sounds like your friend and you both get it! I am currently working @ a home putting in new windows where there is an undercurrent of guardedness (and distrust) It drives me bonkers. The homeowners daughter knows me and has known me for years..that is one of the reasons I got the job. On one level I get it…but as a Bed and Breakfast owner, and proprietor of a self serve apple wagon I have to tell you, there is so much more freedom and joy when you loosen up just a little. good to hear from you. DM

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Hubby and I like to pay our way one way or another, be it time or skill based. We have been blessed recently with the friendship and generosity of people we have not known all that long, which we tried not to take for granted. We may not have a lot of money, but we contributed towards bills, bought our own food and also topped up anything we saw that was getting low, whether or not we used it. We kept the house clean and tidy, Hubby did little jobs that needed doing, and I cooked for us, encouraging our friend to try a little of whatever we were having due to her digestive problems. We are hoping she will come up and stay for a few days once we get the spare room sorted properly and we can repay her accordingly.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Nope Doug. We got chatting when she had her dog, a lovely little whippet called Twiggy, shortly after we bought the boat in 2014. We were asked to house sit for her in December 2015 when she visited friends in the USA for 7 weeks, and she has been an absolute brick with all the problems we had with Maggie on the boat and that intermittent beeping noise we could never trace. She also had her for us the 9 days we took the boat up for brokerage, and it’s the only time we have left her in the care of someone else overnight… EVER.
        Gems like that are a privilege to know and an honour to have as a friend.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Doug, so good to hear you were able to give away some apples even after the June storm!! We had the hail in July that destroyed all my garden crops. I found many wonderful local people in our town who were giving away extra apples. I picked about 6 bagfuls and shared with friends from an old couple (80 yrs old) orchard. I did not offer them money, but helped them to rake and pick all the fallen apples for their horses, as that was a hard task for them, and next time I went to visit, I brought the apple pie I made from their apples for them to eat. I will be getting cuttings and visiting them often as we are now friends. No money is worth the friends you make, the stories you hear, the connection you have with people. I only feel sadness for those who try to calculate every single dollar on something so magical that is incalculable. We have a wonderful community here in Arizona, people who share fruit. I got tons of plums that way, and free citrus, etc. But I always bring back the goodies I make from their fruit, the plum ice cream, the lime pie, to the people who gifted the fruit. That is the whole point of the experience, is it not?? ❤
    The other day I was picking quince at some very old, fancy orchard. The owner is a former TV actor. He came back from a surgery recently, and I was wanting to help them out, and offer to feed their chickens. However, a whole different attitude was felt at that place. As soon as he saw how many quinces I picked, he ran out with a scale and made sure I pay a top dollar for every ounce of it. I was a left a little sad. I paid and did not mind paying, but it was sad. At this multi-million dollar worth property… When people who have very very little, share for the joy of sharing. May you always find those who make the perfume to make your heart glad, Doug.
    Many Blessings from Arizona. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • What a sweet blessing Kristina “May you always find those who make the perfume to make your heart glad,” 🙂 You put it into words so eloquently…, what I feel instinctively….

      “. No money is worth the friends you make, the stories you hear, the connection you have with people. I only feel sadness for those who try to calculate every single dollar on something so magical that is incalculable. Glad Arizona is agreeing with you. DM

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Doug, I’m always up for your stories. I will admit to being surprised by your experience with your Amish neighbor. Since their usual way of living is near total self-sufficiency and minimal contact with the outside world, I would have expected a far more communal, sharing attitude than a “what’s in it for me” attitude that is all too prevalent in many places. We moved to a small place by fluke rather than by design a very long time ago, and most people we encounter every day would be more like the woman in your first story. Part of the reason that I am so discouraged by the world at the moment is precisely because this is not the attitude that is necessarily being promoted or modelled in public. Keep your stories coming. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • I hear what you are saying about the attitudes being promoted and modeled in public currently…to be kind and caring can feel almost radical when we do it to strangers (and vice versa). I came across a note someone from Canada left @ our self serve apple wagon recently, thanking us for doing it…it made me think of you DM

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Story 1, heartwarmingly marvelous. Stort 2, typical, sigh…
    I loved this post.
    Mine would be yesterday. I just don’t belong in this city, in this part of the country. After 10 years here, everyone is so arrogantly superior, rarely a “good morning” or even a smile on the sidewalk. But yesterday an unknown woman with her adult daughter actually spoke to me in the elevator at the grocery store. And was friendly! It was so (sadly) unusual… It lifted my spirits for the rest of the day.Hugs
    Hugs to you and yours.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Love your story too! Isn’t it amazing how just a simple act of kindness (ie. someone speaking to you in the elevator vs. the other) can still touch another person….Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment. DM

      Liked by 1 person

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