Day 8 12/20/04
So I have been here for exactly one week now. It seems like I’ve been here for a month. It wasn’t hard for me to adjust. There aren’t any distractions or artificial lights to keep me up. I fall asleep relatively easy at 8:30 or 9:00.
I’ve bonded really well with almost everyone here. It wasn’t that hard, at first there was a lot of polite conversation and small talk. Now we laugh and joke and there are a lot more smiles. I’m around the whole family 24/7 so it happens more quickly.
I had to wake up at 5:30 this morning. Usually I wake up at 6:30 or 7:00. Albert usually wakes up at 6:00. A bunch of them were going to the chiropractor to get adjustments.
It was insanely cold. It was so cold that the hot water pipes froze in the house, ironically, the cold water ones didn’t. The wind was howling, making it seem even colder. This was the first time I did not have fun milking cows. It didn’t run smooth as it normally does. The barn was freezing inside. No one expected it to get that cold that quick so most of the windows were left open, making the barn really cold. It was cold, windy and smelly and the cows were angry because the water pipes froze and they couldn’t get water. We had to spend half an hour closing the windows putting bales of hay in place where cold was getting in, etc. Even the milkers were frozen and had to be thawed. Everything took a lot longer today than usual which made it frustrating. Plus I was super cold, my face was numb. I am going to start growing a beard.
A funny thing that happened today was that Albert had put a big flat board over part of the entrance where the cows come in. The other half was nailed to it to prevent the cold coming in. This was loosely put over it so we could move it. I was taking the milker off the cows when all of a sudden I hear a large crash. I turn around and the bull that always messes with me and two cows are charging through (not super charging but fast enough charging) the entrance down the lane. I’m thinking “Cows Gone Wild” and I start screaming “Albert, Albert!” I was scared. Then I saw that he was behind them and I felt okay.
I worked three hours this morning before I had breakfast from 5:30 to 8:30 in the freezing windy cold with mad cows. I felt okay.
After milking the cows I piled in a van with Albert, Marie, the kids, some of the Fischers and two other Amish women. Amish don’t drive cars they have English or Mennonites to drive them(1). It was a 2 hour drive to the chiropractor. The driver was a nice guy. Old, tall and fat, he asked us to pray for a safe journey before he left. He would make extremely small, small talk from time to time like, “So you have twins huh?” Every once and a while he would sneak a pinch of tobacco and place it between his lip and gums. I offered him some milk that I had but he said he didn’t eat breakfast in the morning so he wouldn’t have to go to the bathroom as much. Every once and awhile Barbie would start to cry, Marie would start playing her harmonica to quiet her down. It was that same song she often plays that sounds like a cross between “Oh, Susanna” and “Whiskey in a Jar.” It always makes me start singing “Whiskey in a Jar” in my head.
We went to the office and were all waiting in the waiting room. Albert paid for a session for me even though I didn’t really want it. It was nice of him to offer it to me. We joked that since I am his horse that this will only help me work harder. He always calls me “Gouda Gao” (Good Horsey). It was interesting to go to a western health practitioner again. I haven’t been to one in years because I usually find myself unsatisfied with the quality of care I receive. I haven’t been to a chiropractor in years. I had a bad experience last time I went.
This guy was very charismatic and had a wham, bam, thank you ma’am approach. He entered the room full of energy with his hand extended. I told him I generally have some low back pain on the right side but just wanted a tune up. He sat me on the table and asked me to put my arm up. He told me to resist as much as I could. He pushed really hard and my arm went down. He looked at me really seriously and said “Power Loss.” He then cracked some part of my back, pushed down half as hard on my arm again and looked at me like it was better. I’ve had muscle testing done before and he wasn't doing it right; he wasn’t really checking to see if my “Power was regained.” He did a couple of my body parts. Pulled my legs, cracked my neck and jaw. He talked about “power” and “energy“ a lot. When he would move from one side of the table to the other he would do a little 360 move around me. It seemed he was following a familiar game plan. When we were done he asked me how I felt, I told him, “Great” which was true. I then asked him what I could do to help myself on my own, like stretching. He looked up thoughtfully for a couple of seconds then with total seriousness said, “Stretch, get plenty of rest, eat well and you’ll be just fine.” He patted me on the shoulder then left the room. The whole experience lasted under 5 minutes. I felt good though.
For breakfast I had a scrapple sandwich with milk on the van, some cream with honey and leftover mashed potatoes and some chicken. For dinner I just had some home grown spearmint tea with some cream. Marie didn’t help us in the barn tonight, she needed to tidy up the house and watch the kids. It’s a lot harder to breath in there with all the windows closed.
I was really tired. I saw Elizabeth and she asked me why I didn’t go to church Sunday. I told her “Because Albert was sick and I had to milk the cows. She said “Oh, yes.” “Vas en schlofen” (Were you sleeping?)