Amish Highly Competitive Softball Tournament

We went to the 14th Annual Community Rib Burn Off at the Christ Covenant Church in Middlefield this summer. To my surprise there were Amish everywhere. The draw was the highly competitive softball tournament. There were 24 teams and most were Amish teams. So hubby and I took our lawn chairs and sat on the men’s side of the field.  Most of the women were on one side and men were on the other, just like in their churches. Anyways I didn’t feel out of place, because there were a few women on the men’s side.


The teams were amazingly good and for someone who doesn’t care for ballgames, unless I personally know someone, it captured my interest. I loved hearing all the Pennsylvania Dutch around me, especially since I could understand it. Words I haven’t heard in many years came back to me and surprisingly made me feel a bit of pride, that I knew 2 languages.


While watching the games we noticed an Amish coach right in front of us on the other side of the fence. After winning the game, he came around the fence, looked at us and said, “Sometimes these games make my heart go crazy!” and walked away.  Normally I really can’t tell the Amish men apart, but this Amish coach had a different kind of sun glasses on. The kind that has silver lenses and are curved to form the face. So he stood out.


I left hubby to get a Rib dinner and as I was walking to the tent, I met my  cousin Cora, who left the Amish about 20 years ago. So she knew most of her Amish relatives. We started talking and the Amish coach came around the corner and she said, “That is one of our first cousins.”  She grabbed him, introduced me to him, but he had much more pressing responsibilities and meeting a cousin didn’t impress him.  Then she also pointed out some other first cousins. I’m sure the place was flooded with my relatives, so of course I got interested in the games? All around me were relatives, probably a lot more then I realized.


Then Cora with excitement in her voice said, “I have something to tell you.  A year or so ago, we went to visit one of our Amish cousins. We walked up to the front door and we could tell she was attempting to clean the house. Rugs out on the porch, cleaning supplies out and chairs stacked on the table. But we could see in through the window that she had been reading. She came to the door and apologized that the place was a mess and said. ‘I was supposed to be cleaning, but I started reading a book and I just couldn’t put it down.’  After we went in, I noticed the book that she had been reading on the end table was your book. I didn’t say anything to her about the book, but I was thrilled to see that she was reading your book.”


These little stories that come my way, give me a delight better than any delicious, delectable dessert could ever offer.  The rib dinner was good and tasty, but nothing satisfying like the little story I had just heard.


After cleaning up my messing rib licking fingers, I made my way back up to the highly competitive softball tournament. First thing I told hubby was that the Amish coach was my first cousin. It didn’t surprise or impress him. He knows I have a huge number of Amish relatives and we were right in the center of an Amish community, my home town.


Hubby got into watching the games and we stayed until they were all over at 10:30 p.m. I got into people watching more than watching the games.  Although I did enjoy the games very much.  My mind would wonder as I watched the players, each in their own special way putting all their energy into winning. I watched the Amish ladies cheer from the other side when a play was in their team’s favor.  I watched the Amish coach from afar. Wondering if he really knew who I was and if he also was one of my Amish cousins who read my book.  Wondering if it made a difference in my cousin who read my book. Wondering if my book has made a difference in any one of my Amish Cousin’s life. Are they here now? Wish I knew, I would find them and talk to them.  Wondering and praying , surrounded in a ball field, a field ripe for harvest.





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