My name is Sarah Yoder and this is the beginning of my journal.
July 1, 2008
My newborn infant Mary is 7 days old now. She has her father's eyes, they sparkle when she looks up at me. Her brothers, John, (7yrs) Jacob, (5yrs) and Michael (3yrs) adore their baby sister. They fight over who gets to hold her. It was surprising to me that I gave birth to a baby girl. I am happy; in the future I will be able to share the customs of an Amish woman. Looking at my baby daughter it makes me think of my family and home in Lancaster Pennsylvania. I was born in the spring in 1982 in my mother and fathers home. My grandmother, who only speaks Dutch, was there to witness my birth. She brought me to my father and he was disappointed, he had wanted a son. Sons are important to the Amish, for they worked on the farms. In time, my father began to love me and accept me. After all, I was the first daughter and granddaughter born.
My mother used to tell me stories of how my family came to Switzerland. She would tell stories while we did household chores. ‘Our descendants came here by ship in the 1800s in hopes to find freedom of religion and farm land’. I learned that some of our descendants were not accepted in the past as far as the 1600s. Some of them didn't live to see the age of adulthood. They were placed in sacks and thrown into the rivers to drown.
Back home, I can remember traveling to the markets, church and other Amish farms in our midnight black horse drawn buggy. The sounds of the horse's hooves reminded me of how a heart beats. The grass along the country roads was so green and moist. Sometimes my father would stop the buggy to let me pick the colorful wildflowers. Occasionally we traveled to the city where there were it was so busy with automobiles and flashing lights and signs. The people were loud and referred to us as the Plain People or the Simple People.
During the spring when I reached the marrying age of 18 my father introduced me to John Yoder...