My husband surprised me the other day when he asked if there was anything I needed at the Scratch and Dent – our name for the local Amish owned discount grocery.
It was no surprise that I needed something – I can always find something I need at that store. The surprise was that he asked me to go with him – since my bill there is almost always in the triple digits! 🙂
I didn’t question his intentions at the time – I just grabbed my coat and ran to the car before he changed his mind.
It wasn’t until we walked into the store that I understood.
There in the front of the store stood about a half dozen men – all gawking over the biggest – baddest- looking wood stove I had ever seen.
My husband whispered to me that the Amish guy had designed and built it himself. All the guys at his work were talking about it.
I guess the whole county must be talking about it – judging from the full parking lot and the number of ladies pushing carts while their husbands try to study the monstrosity.
And a monstrosity it was!
It’s base was a barrel – a large ugly barrel – and was covered with pipes. It looked like a jet engine that was just waiting for take-off.
I immediately thought of Bill Cosby’s 200 MPH routine and whispered “Pipes! Look at those pipes!”
My husband studied it from a distance, straining his ears to hear the men talking about it.
“It’ll burn anything I put in it – crates, boxes, old pallets,” Eli, the Amish proprietor announced while the men around nodded their approval.
My husband paid the triple digit bill without blinking and I thought his curiosity had been appeased.
But I was wrong.
A week later I casually mentioned that I forgot to check for ketchup when we were at the Scratch and Dent. His eyes light up like the 4th of July and he said, “We could run over this afternoon if you’d like!”
I smiled while I grabbed my coat and jumped in the car, knowing this time he wouldn’t change his mind – but he might just leave without me! 🙂
The novelty of the new stove must have worn out because the parking lot and store were much quieter when we got there.
We were all the way over in the toiletries section when we heard the explosion.
We peeked around the corner of the aisle and saw smoke billowing from the stove while the very hot stove pipe was laying on the floor. Eli was running to the front of the store yelling out orders frantically in Deutsch.
He and another Amish fellow manhandled the stove pipe back on with some – I’m sure – very choice Deutsch words.
It really was a humorous sight – those Amish men with their gray beards flapping trying to re-attach that hot stove pipe!
Meanwhile his wife quietly opened some windows and – when the smoke cleared – we continued shopping.
As we paid yet another triple digit bill and left the store I thought to myself – “It’s back to the drawing board for Eli.”
And boy was I glad I stocked up – it might be a while before our food budget can handle another Amish woodstove!