Berlin, The Heart of Amish Country

Amish man shyly picked up my book turned to face away from me.


I was getting ready for my first official book signing at the Gospel Book Store in Berlin, Ohio and trying to be quiet so I wouldn’t wake up my dear husband Doyle.  As I was leaving the bathroom and entering the bedroom Doyle said, “I’m laying here thinking, I really want to go with you today, but I was also thinking of all the work I have to do.”


I said, “Oh, honey you know I would love for you to go, but you don’t have too.”


He looks at the clock, “I have fifteen minutes before you have to leave, and I really want to be with you for this first book signing.”  He jumps out of bed and gets ready in fifteen minutes and we were on our way toBerlin. The heart of Amish country, not the area I’m from, but real Amish country.


We arrived early inBerlin, but the German Village Mall seemed busy with shoppers, so we went in to see where I would be sitting in this group of 30 authors.  The tables were all set up, but the thing I noticed immediately was the big beautiful signs of all the author’s book covers, hanging from the ceiling. Doyle and I were looking eagerly for mine, but I couldn’t find it.   I said, “Well, I’m just an unknown, first time author and they probably don’t have one for me.”  So we went to each empty table looking for my name and still couldn’t find any.


Searching, my dear husband said, “Naomi, look!” and he pointed to the entrance of the book store and on the wall, not hanging from the ceiling, was my big book poster. “It was at that moment, I first felt like an author. What a thrill, but the blessings were yet to come.


After I set up my table an older man came up to Doyle and they began to talk as if they knew each other. This man (John) explained to me that he was Doyle’s mother’s first cousin. He was very surprised to see us there and stayed there talking for awhile. His excitement peaked as he realized he would be purchasing my first signed book at my first bookstore signing. As he was leaving he continued to tell others of his excitement that we were there.


The whole day I had a regular flow of buyers and I as watched authors around me some didn’t even sell any and I felt so sorry for them, but not sorry enough to buy their book. The one author beside me was an Amish man and his book was all about hunting. Not my kind of book. Now if my father-in-law was still alive I would have bought it for him.


We did buy books and probably more than we should have, just hope we find time to read them. Doyle had the time to look and shop, I was busy, yea!!!


It was so nice that a few of Doyle’s first cousins stopped by, it made the day very interesting and fun.  Ethel came to stay with us awhile and she introduced me to a man. I didn’t take too much of a notice, but after he left my table to go to the hunting table, Ethel started to explain who this man was. She said, “He really is a good singer, he sounds like Johnny Cash, only better. He also sings Dutch songs, and the Amish love him.” 


It was then I started to think, is this the man my brother Atlee, who lives inArizona, was raving to me about? I went over to the hunting table and tapped John on the shoulder, “When you are done here, can you come back to my table?”


Sure enough he knew my brother Atlee, he was the popular man my brother was raving to me about when he was visiting me this past summer. John and I got to talking about planning a time to have him perform in Middlefield  in hopes the Amish would attend. John could sell his CD’s and  I could sell my books. Later during the day, I asked him if I could buy some of his CD’s.  His reply was “ I’ll check”.   After awhile he came with 3 CD’s, offered to trade them for a book, I agreed and then he said, “I knew I would end up with your book before the day was over”.


So be prepared to hear about an event happening with John Schmid, sometime next year in Middlefield!  Common Ground Ministries,


I sold quit a few books to all different types of people, but the ones I was mostly thrilled about were the Amish. One particular rugged Amish man with scares on his face, shyly picked up a book, turned to face away from me. He started to scan the cover, he read the back cover, then he opened the beginning and started to read a little. He then flipped open the book and I saw the chapter he opened up to as he read.  He then closed the book, scanned the cover again and turned to me and said, “I want to buy it.”  I signed it and asked if he was from Geauga and he said, “No”.


“Do you know anybody from Geauga?”  And again he said, “No”, I could tell he didn’t want to get into a conversation and I could tell he was a shy man with very low self esteem.


What amazes me the most are the pages he read. The verse is perfect, 1 Timothy 1:15b-16. So if you have my book read page 235, Chapter 32, Trip Home. He was the only one who read any pages from my book. Most just read the back cover, but he read pages in my book, it’s a chapter about my sister Dorothy and I’m sure he will relate to her story. 


Some thought Dorothy would not amount to anything but God in His Great Love knew different.


Needless to say Doyle and I had a wonderful day together and as we were wrapping up the day, the book owner said to me, “You sold quit a few books and your not even known yet.”


All I could say is “Glory to God,” with tears in my eyes and a heart full of Thanksgiving!



3 Responses to Berlin, The Heart of Amish Country

  • Marjo says:

    I just love, love, love to read your entries and to see the new roads God is leading you down. They help me know how to pray. As I finished reading I could identify with the tears in your eyes and your heart full of thanksgiving! Bless you sister!

  • Ethel M says:

    It was my pleasure to be with you on Saturday! and Doyle, so glad he came along. Wish I could have spent the whole time with you. Blessings to you as your book blesses others.

  • Donna stack says:

    I read your blogs all the time aunt Naomi! I love to hear about all the people your meeting and your book signings : ) I love you and I’m proud to call you my aunt! John Schmid is a great singer isn’t he! Thank you for all the”hard work” you’ve put into researching our family geneology. I will cherish your book forever! God bless you auntie : )