An amazing thing happened at the train station Friday night. My daughters and I went to the train station to see Rosie off to Michigan and the train did not arrive. Instead a bus was going to take her to Buffalo to catch her next leg to Tupulo and on to Lansing. While we waited for the delayed bus we were happily chatting when other passengers began to arrive flooding the once empty hall. Two young Mennonite families came first and sat themselves down directly in front of us though there were plenty of empty seats elsewhere.
They were all dressed in black though the children had alternating colored full aprons and the little girls had scarves. The mother and little children wore black bonnets while the fathers and young boys wore straw hats firmly atop of their heads. One young bearded father sported a small flashlight made for spelunking on his hat probably to distinguish himself from being identified as Amish. That might be pure speculation but the Amish refrain from using electricity while the Mennonite enjoy certain modern amenities.
Another thing stood out aside from their clothing. They did not speak English. Think about it. Full blooded, native born, American citizens and they were speaking German. But they did smile. At the children smiled and seemed happy and downright joyful. One little girl perhaps three to four years old suddenly had the impulse to run around and chase her slightly older brother. When he caught her she lost her balance and cried. Her father came to her rescue and carried her away. Where was the mother? She was cradling a new born baby.
We didn't speak much but I am sure they were studying us as well with our exuberant colors including my hot pink fingernail polish and sandals. Since they started talking in German we retaliated with a bit of our happy Spanish bewildering them a little bit, too. They probably looked at us in slacks and leggings. So we gave them something to talk about, though I have to admit, I did feel a bit underdressed and I was conservatively dressed myself.
The men retreated to the outdoors to have a smoke which totally surprised me. That is the only thing that just seemed wrong. Other than that they seemed like happy loving families following their faith and culture. That is just fine with me. Gutten Tag, Gesundheit, and ich verstehen sie niche.