It is raining outside and I'm staring at a potato field that need dug up soon. I'm itching to get it done and see what's below the ground. In theory, those potatoes are going in next week's bag...if the weather cooperates.
But thinking about digging potatoes makes me chuckle a little bit. I'll get to that.
When you live and work around the Amish, you start to pick up on certain nuances of their dialect. English is their second language and they tend to learn it as children when they start school at 5. Most Amish speak to each other and at home in what they call "Dutch," which is a blend of English and German.
For me, I've started to be able to pick up on which church someone is from based on their dialect. For example, the Old Order tend to use the past perfect tense a lot. "I have already not seen a bull that large." And more common, the addition of the word yet. I have not already yet seen a bull that large."
Then there are the sounds that don't translate well, or words that aren't as phonetic. "Chaos" requires one to listen to the context clues. "The beef got spooked and jumped the fence. It was 'chee-aas' chasing them."
And another sect, the Swartzentrubers, that pronounces their J's like "ch." "I hoed my corn in 'chew-lie' (July) and the weeds were not a problem."
Oh, and I can't forget G. The letter "g" is pronounced like a "ck." "My kale is covered in 'bucks.'" If you've been following along, you know where I'm going with this. I understand this, but my office staff doesn't realize the dialect issues.
So last year there was a similar situation. The rain was persistent and I had potatoes on order. Jonas, a Swartzentruber Amish from the West Salem settlement, sent a letter in the mail. As typical, the office opens it, reads it, and scans it to send to me. This time business as usual went viral in the office.
It has been too wet to dick potatoes but we will try our best to fill next week's order."
As badly as anyone would want to run with a string of dirty jokes in the response, I simply said, "I understand."