The Amish Nurse Series #1
Worry Ends Where Faith Begins
Can Phoebe find happiness as a single Amish woman? Is this God’s will for her?
Phoebe Schwartz tries her best to remain thankful while resigned to living a single life within her midwest Amish community, surrounded by friends and family, many of whom have large families and seemingly endless babies.
Is this all part of God’s plan for her? Is this His will? Is loneliness just another part of her fate? Does she have the faith to believe this simple life is everything and she will find happiness, too?
Release Date: November 15, 2022
Genre: Amish Romance
~ A White Satin Romance ~
Phoebe looked out the window as she polished the last lamp chimney on the kitchen table that had been lined up with the others she had gathered from around the house earlier that morning. It was going to be another hot day. The air practically shimmered across the alfalfa fields.
Five lamps done, she told herself. Best to trim the lamps in the morning, otherwise you might forget and then when you need them in the evening they won’t be clean or filled.
She topped off the bottom chamber with kerosene, carefully screwing the cap back on, and moved the lamp to the ‘done’ side of the oilcloth-covered table. Another day just like yesterday, she told herself, breathing out an audible sigh. Summer in the 1980s looked very much like it did in the 1960s and would in all likelihood look the same in the Amish world in the next century, too. And the day before that… she thought to herself, but that would turn out to be very far from the truth. Today would change her whole life. Forever. And she had no idea what was coming as she dreamily gazed out the window and across the golden fields to her right.
Then noticing a horse and buggy on the county road to her left, she watched absentmindedly as the horse trotted briskly along the shoulder of the road pulling a black buggy behind him, (or her,) rode on past her family’s farm, past the row of weeping willows and on up the road and out of sight. Then she wondered wistfully who was in that buggy, certainly not a young man on his way to see her. Oh, how she longed to be courted. If only—but it had not happened yet. Not once. All her girlfriends had gotten married already. Fine weddings they had too. She was often asked to be one of the attendants, but that is as close as she’d ever been to being in a wedding.
* * *
Her mind wandered once again to the home she was now convinced she would never have. Sometimes she admonished herself and left daydreaming to others. But today she was discouraged. It was hot and life seemed so... so monotonous sometimes. One brother, a hopeless pessimist, had once summed it up this way while greeting the family at breakfast one morning: “Another weary, dreary day,” as if this life was just made up of days that you put in, days you ticked off on a calendar, waiting for the real thing, until you die. Some called it fatalistic; thinking that we have no choice in it, but to her there were still too many utterly beautiful things that God gave us to make this life worth living, even enjoying. Babies were one. Would she ever have a house full of them? So many, in fact, that she would be run ragged by the end of each day, only then falling into bed with—a man? And what would that be like? The thought scared her while at the same time sending shivers up her back. Strong arms holding her, her head resting on his chest, then longing... Now she spent her days alone with Mamm and Dat. They were great. Mamm was wise and industrious and kind. Dat was funny and eternally telling bad jokes or making up puns that left them all hopelessly groaning. And there was Alice, their beautiful roan horse and the cats and the cows. Her older brothers, Abe and Isaac, had already married and built their own homes on Dat’s land, living close enough to all work together. Her parents had married late; both were in their mid-thirties when they met. They only had the three children, far fewer than many other families in their district. One family had thirteen bobbeli. Phoebe knew that house was never lonely, but the work and the huddlich were also never ending with such a large family. I won’t have to worry about having that many kinner at the rate I’m going, she thought to herself.
Turning away from the window, she finished the lamps, and picking up two, headed for the upstairs bedrooms. As she set each lamp on a bedstand, she shut the window and pulled closed the curtains. It’s best to shut the cool night air in the house so we don’t bake all day, she reasoned. Without air conditioning or electric fans, a house could get mighty hot on a summer day in the Midwest. Old Order Amish homes don’t have electricity, so you make do with what you have.
Earlier, before starting on the lamps, Phoebe had set three sadirons to heat up on the cookstove pointing toward the back of the iron stovetop. Invented in the early seventeen hundreds, the heavy iron appliance has served generations of women before the advent of electricity and the modern standard iron used today by women the world over—except those who continue to eschew electricity, like the Amish who still lived in the last century or earlier according to some, in spite of it being the 1980s.
There was only a small pile waiting to be ironed, having been brought in from the wash lines the evening before. After Mamm was finished making breakfast and the fire in the wood box had settled down, the irons would be plenty hot, and Phoebe could set up the ironing board in the kitchen out of the way of any traffic. The weight alone from the molded cast iron could smooth out any wrinkles but the added heat worked very efficiently to get the job done. Rotating through the three irons would ensure Phoebe had a hot one ready as soon as the one she was using cooled enough to warrant reheating. One wrought iron handle served all three, easily detaching from the last iron when the next iron took its turn. They came in especially handy when sewing a dress or shirt or a quilt top. The seams on the wrong side of the garment would be permanently flattened after the sadiron did its best. A bottle of water with a spray top sat on the ironing board to add steam to the fabrics being ironed.