The Amish Christmas Letters, a collection of three novellas by Sarah Price, Jennifer Beckstrand, and Patricia Davids, is a book sure to get you in the holiday mood. Christmas in Amish Country, what could be better? Click HERE to get your copy!
With Christmas around the corner, it’s time for Amish families to include holiday greetings in their circle letters, each writer adding to a growing collection as it travels on to the next. In this delightful trio of stories, three cousins scattered across the country share their blessings—and reveal news of romantic surprises . . .
Here’s an excerpt:
“I’m afraid the time has come to talk to you about your options.”
And there it was. The truth behind the bishop’s visit. It wasn’t to say hello or see how her father fared. No. It was to discuss options and, even though Katie Mae wasn’t certain what that meant, she knew it didn’t bode well for her.
“Options?” she managed to squeak out. “What do you mean ‘my options,’ Bishop?”
His shoulders sagged as he sighed. Clearly, whatever he had to say to her was not easy. “Katie Mae, I’ve known you since you were born,” he started. “You haven’t had it easy, I know. But this…” He gestured around the dark kitchen. “This cannot continue.”
Katie Mae froze.
“It’s just not right, having a young woman living alone—”
“I’m not alone.”
“—taking care of her invalid daed—”
“He had a stroke, Bishop. He’ll get better.”
“—and barely making ends meet on a farm that needs too much work for one young woman to handle.”
She jutted her chin into the air and narrowed her eyes. “I’m doing just fine, Bishop. I haven’t asked Amish Aid for any help since Daed went to hospital.”
“That’s true, Katie Mae. And you’re to be commended for that.” The bishop reached out and touched the handle of the coffee mug. “But you haven’t been contributing to it either.”
“Nor have you been keeping up with the maintenance of this place. Why, that stable looks like it’s seen better days, child. And your fence line’s in need of repair. In fact, I had to stop on the road and shore up a break in the fence along the road.”
She cringed. She had meant to fix that yesterday but had completely forgotten.
“And I near ’bout broke my buggy’s axle coming down your lane.” He leaned forward, his dark eyes piercing hers. “You have a rut bigger than an oak tree near the mailbox.”
That, too, was something she had meant to address.
“It’s time, Katie Mae. Time for you to make some firm decisions.” He leveled his gaze at her. “Before those decisions are made for you.”
Her eyes wandered around the kitchen. She had been so proud of herself for having cleaned everything and thought that was what the bishop would see. Instead, he had noticed everything that she hadn’t finished, not the one thing she had. She took a deep breath and sighed. “This is my home, Bishop. You know that.”
He nodded. “I do, Katie Mae. You’ve got a lot of history here. Not all of it good, however.”
She couldn’t argue with him about that.
“But land is scarce and you’re sitting on a property that, if properly maintained, could support an entire family.” He paused. “A family that needs the land.”
That was when she felt the constriction in her throat and knew she was going to cry. “You want me to sell the farm?” She looked over her shoulder at her father. How could she possibly sell her father’s farm? Not only had she been born and raised in this house, so had her father and his father before him! This house and property had been in the Kauffman family for generations.
And then she realized that it would end with her anyway. She was the last of the Kauffmans. Her father had no other children to pass the farm to.
“Mayhaps not sell it,” the bishop said slowly. “I was thinking more along the lines of renting it.”
“A small family in need of land.” He tapped his fingers against the tabletop. “Of course, you’d have to move with your father into the dawdihaus.”
“Why couldn’t they move into the dawdihaus?”
“Because Nathanial Miller has four children, Katie Mae. You can’t expect him to live in a two-bedroom dawdihaus.”
Suddenly, Katie Mae stiffened. Had she actually heard the bishop correctly? He wanted her to rent the farm and the farm house to Nathanial Miller? Was he out of his mind?