Monday, February 1, 2010

Thank You Mr. Weaver

It took thirty minutes of driving on snow covered roads before Dad and I found ourselves deep in the midst of Amish country. The entire trip I kept thinking about how I hoped "Plan B" would work when this falls through. Apparently my optimism is limited to dealings that don't involve people.

Three weeks prior my husband and I ordered six hundred board feet of rough cut oak from an Amish saw mill. We had bought from Mr.Weaver before but the lumber was precut and ready to load. Doing business with the Amish is quite a bit different than doing business with an "Englishmen".

He never asked for a security deposit. We never received an order invoice. He didn't take down our name. Its not like we could call to make sure our lumber was indeed ready. We never even sealed the deal with a hand shake. This all seemed like such a gamble.

The entire journey into Amish country I worried that our lumber wouldn't be cut. We were already pressing our barn completion dead line. Despite my own insecurities, why would he take the chance with out the security of a deposit or even jotting down any of our information? He never had any documentation stating that we would ever even return besides our word. Without that documentation I had very little faith that he as well would uphold his end of the bargain.

As we grew nearer to Amish country my anxieties also grew. I kept trying to prepare myself for disappointment. I began playing around with the possibility of pushing deadlines back and what it could cost us if we had to keep our doelings at the breeders until everything was completed. I even started trying to think of another saw mill that could complete our order on such a short notice but would remain competitive with Amish prices.

Finally we met a young Amish man at the top of the saw mills long gravel drive. Dad rolled down the window to explain to the young man why we were there. He informed us that yes my husbands order was ready and waiting for us down at the house. My dad thanked him and off we went to load our lumber.

I cant explain how awe struck I was. I just could not believe it. How was it possible that he didn't need the security of knowing we would return? Why would a business man gamble on just someones word. How could it be that my disappointment let me down!?

I never realized how (un)trusting our (English) society has become, myself as the example. We have become slaves to the securities/ insurances of documentation. When did it become okay to put more faith in a piece of paper rather than in a mans word. And after all but what is a piece of paper?

Today I learned that someones word still means something. From the trust of an Amish man I learned that its okay to take a gamble on the faith that someone has enough character to do what they say they will do. I learned that I should exercise my faith and trust in people a little more often but also not to be jaded by those who let me down.

So when I thanked Mr. Weaver today, not only was I thanking him for the lumber, but also for a little bit more...

*Song- Van Morrison- Have a little faith in me.


  1. The Amish are amazing people. I would give my right shoe to be neighbor's with one.

  2. Leigh - Thanks for this great "reminder" post of how things should be. It reaffirms the good in people out there and what we should all strive to be!


  3. That's so cool, I wish we had some Amish around here...

  4. My family had a small sawmill operation for about 50 years. Our question was whether to trust people to pay for orders "next payday" and such AFTER picking up their order - credit in other words. We got burned a couple times, and by people that we would never have suspected to doubt. But, my dad was philosophical about it. "You notice how we never have to worry about bumping into them anymore?" he'd say with a grin.

  5. Gorges,
    My husband and I were also a business owner... and no doubt that it seems to be the people you least expect, the ones you bend over backwards for. I know it is easier said than done especially when your livelihood is at stake to gamble on someone else. I seem to have to constantly remind myself that there are good people out there and by taking a "chance" on someone is the only way to find those good people. I like your fathers philosophical view! I will have to remember that one. ;) Thanks for sharing.