Born to a Mennonite prairie farm family, not even bad weather could allow you to feel free to worship God under the covers of your cozy homemade feather tick comforter… and there was a dinner invitation to honor. Prairie women laid fantastic tables.
This particular Sunday morning, snow was piled along the lane like fat marshmallows. His Dad realized that the car would not make it through the drifts,so the team of horses were pressed into service and hitched to the sleigh stored in the barn for such occasions as this.
Wrapped in horse blankets with only noses peaking out, they glided the two miles to the small village church accompanied by the jingle of harnesses and horse nose blowing sounds. My husband was only a small infant, wrapped in his mother’s arms, warmed by her body. Dad ‘s voice prodded the horses to pick up the pace as they were late for service.
Church was in full swing when the sleigh drew up along a side drift, causing it to slide sideways. When the runner hit the bottom, the sleigh tipped on its side pitching all the family, two sisters, Mom and Dad out into the snow in front of the church. According to his sister’s recount , my husband fell out of mother’s arms and rolled a bit in the snow, much to everyone’s mortification. He has always wondered what his father said at that moment. He was not one for bad language, at least not outwardly.
To add to their embarrassment the congregation had chosen to rise, probably for singing, and were watching from the windows. If it had been prayer everyone’s would eyes would have been shut and they would have missed the entertainment. Fortunately concerned members ran to their aid and righted the sleigh, dusting off everyone, no damage done, except a few jokes about Dad’s driving. This, my husband says was the beginning of his dislike of winter.