Dinner By Gaslight

“Life without love, is like a day without light.”

~ Amish Proverb

Before I start this post, I want to clarify the word “gaslight” ……. I am using the word as a noun, a lamp that is fueled by gas, not electricity. Not the verb, which is a term of psychological manipulation.

Recently we were blessed to be asked to attend a dinner with a group of heart transplant recipients at an Amish home. I knew the young lady and her parents where this event was held, from her own heart transplant. This dinner is part of a “heart transplant retreat” that has been going on for, I believe, eight years. A wonderful group of people.

The dinner was held deep in the country side. Thankfully, we were following others that actually knew how to get to the home. (Though we would need GPS to get home later).

The Amish are known for simple living, plain dress, and they are quite religious and typically do not embrace modern conveniences. The are God fearing, salt of the earth, loving people.

The day of the dinner it was a cold, dreary with a heavy mist in the air. When we arrived there was still plenty of daylight that revealed a large, beautifully kept large farm house, surrounded by a number of well kept out buildings. The dinner itself was held inside one of the larger out buildings. For lack of better wording, it was a two year old, very larger and very well appointed garage and social area. (I was later told that this space was used for family dinner, church and other events)  There were 4 pristine Amish buggies in the one end and at the other end there was a kitchen area with many Amish ladies busy preparing the food. Since the Amish do not use electricity in their daily living, all of the lighting was by gas fueled chandeliers and gas fueled floor lights.

After some small talk and introductions the dinner began with a few comments and that was followed by a prayer of thanks.

The dinner itself was AMAZING! A small salad with homemade dressing, Then (all homemade) chicken, meatloaf, noodles, mashed potatoes, homemade bread and veggies. And, of course, there was dessert …… 3 kinds on pie …… Chocolate & peanut-butter, pecan, and pineapple.

Following the dinner was a lot of talking. We met many heart recipients from not only my transplant center, but from another transplant center as well. And, yes, a number of them were Amish. Simply put, just a lot of wonderful people.

At one point I had a nice talk with the family patriarch, a gentleman about my age. (To be fair, I’m a bad guessers of ages). I asked him how many grand children they had, and he was proud to say “58”. Yes, fifty-eight.

At times, I stood back and marveled at the entire scene that was in front of me. Not a clash of cultures, but a blending. Probably half the people there had smart phones, and the other half lives every day using gas lighting ……. but a deep gratitude was prevalent in all, and it was touching everyone. Emotions ran rampant ….. from tears to laughter, from one minute to the next. Love was in that building and God was touching all of us.

I was blessed to be asked and to attend!


About DAP

I am a heart transplant recipient and these are my stories and thoughts. My desire is to assist others pre or post heart transplant in anyway possible. Please feel free to contact me if you have a question.
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