Heroine Interview from The Wounded Heart by Adina Senft

» Posted on Sep 22, 2011 in Blog | Comments Off on Heroine Interview from The Wounded Heart by Adina Senft

This week I’m hosting Kay Marshall Strom with Faith of Ashish, Adina Senft with The Wounded Heart, and Roger Bruner with Lost in Dreams. If you want to enter the drawings for the books, please leave a comment on one of the post during the week with your email address. I will not enter you without an email address (my way to contact you if you win). If you don’t want to leave an email address, another way you can enter is to email me at margaretdaley@gmail.com. The drawings end Sunday (September 25th) evening.

Interview with Amelia Beiler, heroine of The Wounded Heart:

1.  Amelia, thanks for inviting me over. Sure, I’d love a cup of coffee—and are those whoopie pies? Can I have one? Thanks! So, tell me the most interesting thing about you.

Yes, those are chocolate with peppermint filling, and these ones here are lemon vanilla. Have two! So, as you probably guessed by my dress, apron, and prayer covering, I’m Amish, and I live in this little town called Whinburg, which is in Lancaster County south of Strasburg. I have two little boys, Matthew, who’s 8, and Elam, who’s 6. They’re out in the garden weeding just now. Since my husband passed away last year, I’ve been running his pallet shop in town. Seeing a woman there surprises a lot of the menfolk who come to order pallets. I can use a nail gun, but I’d rather work in the front office and keep the books—and stay out of the way of flying nails! (I just hired a new helper and he’s, um, learning.)

2.  Chocolate and peppermint. My favorite. What do you do for fun? 

I’m making a quilt with my two best friends, Emma Stolzfus and Carrie Weaver, and we get together for a quilting frolic every Tuesday afternoon to work on it. What Emma doesn’t know is that it’s a wedding quilt for her. What we don’t know is who the groom will be, because Emma, well . . . she cares for her Mamm and doesn’t have much of a social life. But we hold out hope that the gut Gott will send her someone. The pattern is called Crosses and Losses, and we call the quilt “Sunrise Over Green Fields” because of the colors in it. Well, Carrie and I call it that. Emma doesn’t believe in frivolous things like naming quilts.

3.  What do you put off doing because you dread it?

Going to Mamm for a cure. She’s what we call a Dokterfraa, a home healer. But Mamm is also the bossiest, most opinionated woman you could ever meet, and I don’t think she realizes I’m a mother myself now, not her little girl. Ach, I suppose I’ll be the same when Matthew and Elam have homes and wives of their own. Before I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, Mamm put me through a whole wringer of her cures. It didn’t do a thing for the tingling and numbness in my arm and hands … but they turned a nice yellow from the mustard plasters.

4.  What are you afraid of most in life?

Of this disease progressing to the point where my boys will have to take care of me. That’s what keeps me awake at night. And poor Eli Fischer . . . I can’t think of him. He wanted to court me, you know, and I had to send him away. I won’t be a burden to him. He deserves a wife who can love him with both arms. Healthy ones.

5.  What do you want out of life?

I want to be free of this disease. But I don’t think that’s going to happen, so I’m seriously thinking of going to another country to try out this certain cure my doctor has told me about. The problem is, the Gmee—the church district—won’t fund such an outlandish scheme. I might have to sell the shop to raise the money, and that will cause such a stir when the men find out an Englisch man has made me an offer. The men think I should keep a good business within the Gmee, you see. So it’s bound to cause offense, even when I don’t mean it to.

6.  What is the most important thing to you?

My service to God and my boys. 

7.  Do you read? If so, what is your favorite type of book to read?

I read the Amish newspaper, the Martyrs’ Mirror, the Bible, and also the Whinburg Weekly. Once in a while my friend Emma gets an editorial piece printed in there. She only uses her initials, of course, since she’s a woman, but it’s such fun to hear people talking about what she’s written. Little do they know! I also like to read biographies, when I have time. With running a household and canning and washing and bringing up the boys and going to town to the shop, there’s not a lot of time left over for reading.

8.  If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

Ah now, that’s a tricky question. You see, God has made me just the way He wants me to be. If I change something, then I’m putting myself above Him—that’s what we call hochmut, or pride. That’s why we Amish don’t wear makeup or color our hair—because it would be telling God that He didn’t do a good enough job the first time. I sure would like to be free of this MS, though. I’m trying to be willing for the row He has asked me to hoe, but it is not easy.

9.  Do you have a pet? If so, what is it and why that pet?

You may have noticed a little gray cat on the woodpile when you came in. That’s Smokey. My youngest has been feeding him late at night when everyone else was asleep. I finally caught him at it, but didn’t have the heart to tell him to put it out in the shed. So Smokey is part of our family now. There’s a family up on Highway 340 who have a guinea hen as a sort of pet. It wanders all over the yard and greets the people who come to their bake stand. And my friend Carrie treats her hens like pets. When she sits on the porch, they come and jump in her lap, just like Smokey does with Elam. It’s probably why you’ll hardly ever get a chicken dinner over there.

10. If you could travel back in time, where would you go and why?

Travel back in time?! Goodness, what a strange idea. If you’d asked me that six months ago, I would have said I wanted to go back to the days when Enoch and I were first married. But life is so precious that I think I will just be happy in the time I have. Would you like some more coffee? And life is short—let’s both have another whoopee pie!