Unexpected, appreciated gifts


By Gloria Yoder

The Amish Cook

“Austin, you may answer the knock on the door.”

The knock had come at the living room door, the room where we were relaxing and winding down for the night.

Walking over to the door he turned back with a strange report, “No one is there, but I saw some sort of package on the porch.”

With trusting eyes widening Hosanna looked up at me and said, “I think it was Jesus!”

“Perhaps it was,” I responded.

At that moment Julia, who had been in the kitchen, joined us.

“Julia, check what is going on, Austin says there’s something on the porch, but no one is around.”

In a moment I knew it was true. “There’s a box loaded with goodies- and there goes someone out across the yard!”

The next instant I slid Hosanna from my lap and dashed for the porch. I didn’t mind the damp coolness on my stockings.

Sprinting across the yard, was the outline of someone heading toward the driveway. “Hey, who are you?” I called out. No response. Now running, he headed out the driveway. Curiosity who the gift giver may be took over as I again called out, “Who are you?!”

By now the children had joined me on the porch and together we hollered, “Thank you!!”

Turning to the box, the children grabbed one end and I got the other. In the living room we all talked at once as we laughed then laughed again, rehashing the details and piecing it all together.

After Austin had checked the door to welcome the guest who had knocked, and there was no one there, he freaked out a bit and took a seat where he happened to be lined up with the window. Moments later the motion light went on. Austin, quick as a flash, turned to look out, just in time to see someone inching their way up the porch steps. The individual clapped his hands over his face and turned to make a quick retreat, so as not to be discovered as the gift giver.

The way it appears he had come back to knock again to make sure we discovered the box, not knowing that the outside motion light had been turned on. Austin was pretty sure that through the semi-darkness, he recognized the individual as a gentleman from the community.

Now we dug through the box, exclaiming over everything in it. There were bananas, donuts, bacon, potatoes, shrimp, orange juice, butter, the list goes on. After a bit, I told them to sit back on their spots in the living room, for a bedtime snack. (They each have a designated spot on the couches to call their own when it’s time for story, prayer and singing.)

The oranges from the box were perfect for the occasion. Little hands were soon peeling oranges as we tried to decide how we will find out who it was for sure, and how to thank them.

“For tonight, let’s thank God for everything, then tomorrow we’ll take it from there,” I finally told them. I explained how God knows exactly what we need and sometimes he sends actual angels to help, and other times he sends people to do his work.

Certainly last night, as always, God knew it all. The evening had been more rough, and we needed to lighten up with laughter, curiosity and happiness.

Last night before the surprise box came, we enjoyed Poor Man’s Steak, made by Daniel’s sister Mary from Ohio, which she had frozen along with other goodies sent with her brother who had come to Flat Rock.

Easy Poor Man’s Steak

1 pound hamburger

1 cup milk

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 cup cracker crumbs

1 teaspoon salt

1 small onion, chopped

10 1/2 ounce cream of mushroom soup

Mix all ingredients except mushroom soup. Shape into a loaf. Refrigerate overnight. Slice and roll in flour. Fry until browned. Put into roaster. Dilute with soup with 1 soup can water. Pour over meat. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Especially good with mashed potatoes.

Gloria Yoder is an Amish mom, writer, and homemaker in rural Illinois. The Yoders travel primarily by horse-drawn buggy and live next to the settlement’s one-room school-house. Readers can write to Gloria at 10510 E. 350th Ave., Flat Rock, IL 62427.

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