Please allow me to offer a pleasant distraction to the current political wrangling that seems unending.
Recently, on October 30th, I wrote A Delightful Getaway about a visit I spent with friends on their farm. For this grieving woman — it was just what the doc ordered. A chance to be with friends, visit some notable sites in the area, kick back and relax.
It seems that given the current political climate, it would be nice to offer my readers a pleasant distraction. So, I would like to share a book with you published in 2004. It is called House Calls and Hitching Posts Stories from Dr. Elton Lehman’s career among the Amish, as told to Dorcas Sharp Hoover, 2004.
Ohio has many Amish and Mennonites, and many live in the parts of Ohio beloved by my parents. My Dad had family in the Dover/New Philadelphia area and generally loved any excuse to head in that general direction. I’ve often been to see Earnest “Mooney” Warther’s carved trains at the Warther Museum and Gardens in Dover.
But most of all, my parents loved, as do I, the rolling hills of Ohio’s Amish country. All the town names in that neck of the woods are old friends: Wilmot, Winesburg, Berlin, Trail, Charm, Sugarcreek, Strasburg, Stone Creek, Millersburg, Walnut Creek, Apple Creek, and not far away, the little town of Sherrodsville. Sherrodsville holds a special place in my heart as that is where my dear Mama entered the world.
Should you ever go to see that part of Ohio, be careful driving down Amish country roads.
Remember that there may be a horse and buggy just over the next hill.
This book tells about a doctor who served the Amish around Mount Eaton, Ohio, for his entire career. He and his wife decided to build a medical office. He was beloved by them because he respected their beliefs, often making house calls to deliver babies or dealing with horrible farming accidents. Dr. Lehman would deliver more than 6,300 babies before “retiring.”
Let me give you a small taste of the book from chapter 2 — A Country Boy Come Home:
“A ministry awaited Dr. Lehman. The plain people needed doctors who understood and respected their convictions for living simple, separated lives. If the young physician’s first calls were any indication of the future, his life as a country doctor would be far more unconventional and exciting than he had ever imagined.”
“As a general practitioner, the young doctor imagined delivering a few babies each year in the nearby hospital delivery room. He certainly never thought of delivering a baby in his Jeep at a stoplight, or delivering twins by the light of a kerosene lantern in an Amish bedroom. He could see himself stitching lacerations — but gunshot wounds? The thought never crossed his mind.”
Have you ever soaked a wound in kerosene? Well, all of his Amish patients did. The good doctor was sure that it would be full of infection when he looked at the injury a week later. It also went against everything that Dr. Lehman had learned in medical school. But the kerosene did just what the Amish said it would do; it killed all the germs. The wound was healing nicely.
Many of the true stories told in this book are amazingly heartwarming, but some are crushingly heartbreaking. Dr. Lehman received many accolades for his work, but his life was a ministry of service to his patients.
This book is still available for purchase in many different formats. I think I can guarantee that you won’t want to put it down.