February and the Amish

February is a busy time in Amish households. I suppose most months are. But in February, the Amish who farm are preparing their fields for planting, miriam newslIF the snow has melted. This winter, that might be tricky. Dads also use this time to repair any farming tools that need it, and there is the constant tending of the animals.

For moms, the work of February is much like the month before. Yes, laundry can be hung outside if it is 32 degrees or even a bit below on a sunny day. Otherwise it’s hung in the basement, or on the porch that has been temporarily enclosed. Many moms also plan their spring garden – much of the family’s vegetables will come from there rather than the store. February is a good month for quilting and also I’ve heard that quite a few babies are born in February!

For students, February brings something special – Valentine’s day. Teachers have several different plans for this holiday–allowing students to decorate the room with strings of paper hearts. These young scholars also make valentines which they put into boxes they have decorated. The last period on Valentine’s (or Friday if it lands on a weekend) is spent passing out those valentines to one another. Some moms also send treats–puffed rice candy, popcorn balls, and cookies.

In A Promise for Miriam, I describe a fun Valentine’s tradition. Each student brings a lunch, placed in a paper sack or box or pail. The container is decorated, and then they are all placed on the front table or the teacher’s desk. At lunchtime, students draw names and exchange lunches.

To me, a lot of this sounds like Valentine’s day when I was in school, and as a teacher I realize that a lot has changed. However, what hasn’t changed is the way students care about one another and how Valentine’s offers a bright, fun holiday as we wait for the first signs of spring.

I’m praying this February finds you well and looking forward to the changes in the months to come.




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One Response to “February and the Amish”

  1. My birthday is just passed Valentine’s Day. Count backwards, that’s May conception. Spring. New hope. Longer days. Not too hot yet. New life.

    I like the “names in the hat” idea and sharing lunches. It certainly is more inocent than some things we Englischers do.

    Thanks for sharing your imagination and your writing talents with us.


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