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I Am Hutterite: 5-book giveaway and interview with Mary-Ann Kirkby

Mary-Ann Kirkby was raised on a Hutterite colony in Manitoba.

When Mary-Ann was 9, her family–parents, herself, and six siblings–left the colony for the world.

I Am Hutterite is Mary-Ann’s memoir of life at Fairholme Colony, and her adjustment to living “outside the ark”.

hutterite book mary ann kirkby

The Hutterites

Hutterites are spiritual cousins of the Amish.  The two groups share roots in the European Anabaptist movement.  The Amish, named for leader Jakob Ammann, came about in 1693 as a result of schism within the Mennonite churches.  Hutterites originated much earlier (1528), and take their name from early leader Jakob Hutter.  Amish and Hutterites share values such as non-resistance, adult baptism, and plain lifestyle.

Unlike Amish society, however, Hutterite life is based in shared possessions.  A key scriptural passage for Hutterites is Acts 2:44-45: “And all that believed were together, and had all things in common, and sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man has need.”   A Hutterite individual may own a small trunk containing a few personal items.  Otherwise all resources are shared; members renounce all claims to colony goods upon baptism.

Hutterites live in colonies numbering anywhere from 70 to over 200 members, with 90-150 more common.  While Amish live among non-Amish, Hutterites are physically segregated from the world on the colony.  When a colony reaches a certain size, it divides, with half its members founding a daughter colony in a new location.  A colony typically supports itself through large-scale agricultural operations comprising thousands of acres.

Male leaders are elected to important colony positions.  The colony boss and senior minister, responsible for the colony’s financial management and spiritual life, are the most important.  Other positions include field boss, German teacher, assistant minister, and cow man.  Females are also chosen for important positions, such as head of kindergarten, head cook, and gardener.

Hutterites make use of modern technology, including automobiles, electricity, computers, and mechanized farm equipment.  Hutterites are noted for their distinctive plain clothing.  Clothing style varies among the main Hutterite groups (Dariusleut, Lehrerleut, and 2 Schmiedeleut groups), which themselves vary in degree of conservatism.

Hutterites number about 49,000 today.  They live on approximately 480 colonies, mainly in the Canadian provinces of Alberta, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan, as well as Montana, South Dakota and a few other states (for more, see Concise Encyclopedia of Amish, Brethren, Hutterites, and Mennonites).

How to win a copy of I Am Hutterite

Thomas Nelson has provided 5 copies of I Am Hutterite for today’s contest.  There are 2 ways to enter:

1) Leave a comment on this post (1 entry)

2) “Like” the Amish America page on Facebook (1 bonus entry).

On the Facebook page, you’ll find extra articles, photos, and comments on the Amish.  You can find the “like” button in the right sidebar.

The contest runs until next Monday, January 17th.  I will draw 5 winners at random from the comments and Facebook “likes”, and post them that day.

Below, Mary-Ann has kindly answered some questions about Hutterite life.

An interview with I Am Hutterite author Mary-Ann Kirkby

Amish America: In I Am Hutterite, you describe how over the years you have encountered “harsh and misinformed opinions” of Hutterites.  What are some of those misconceptions?

Mary-Ann Kirkby: Most misconceptions are borne out of ignorance.  I don’t think there is any other culture in North America that so many know so little about as the Hutterites.   Some people just don’t like the way we dress or feel threatened by our lifestyle. It can be as small as that but that’s enough to create a barrier. Over the years, Hutterites have been accused of not paying taxes when in fact we pay corporate tax.

hutterite colony manitoba
Hutterites farm vast tracts of land. A Hutterite colony in southern Manitoba

Our lack of involvement in events of the towns and villages that surround us has caused some unkind words and accusations and our stance on pacifism is often met with hostility.  Our strengths such as the fact that we don’t use the welfare system or social assistance and  we take care of our elderly at home rather than place them in nursing homes is entirely overlooked.

When your parents decide to leave Fairholme colony, it is a very traumatic event, not only for you but for loved ones you left behind. How often do individuals leave Hutterite colonies?  Do individuals or families often return?  What is required for reconciliation?

mary ann kirkby child
Author Mary-Ann Kirkby as a child

Mary-Ann Kirkby: In 1969 when my family left it was almost unheard of for an entire family to do this.  Young people have always left and just as often returned.  Lately however the exodus is far higher.  The computer age is having a global impact on our societies and the Hutterites are feeling it too.  Our youth are more aware of events in the world at large and they want to experience it like everyone else.

However the transition to mainstream society is still a huge obstacle so our return rate remains fairly strong as well.  For an non-baptized member to return, one must close all bank accounts, sell all possessions and give those to the community.  On many colonies single men and women are now also required to undergo AIDS testing before being accepted back.

A baptized member goes through a more rigorous process because he or she has essentially broken their vows and must be admonished and repent of this error in judgment.

What aspects of Hutterite life have you missed the most?  Has that changed over time?

Mary-Ann Kirkby: Most of all the people, their saucy sense of humour, their endearing and unmistakable candor and the wonderful camaraderie.  I miss eating my favorites foods, including cottage cheese and sucre pies on a regular basis and for my son Levi, I miss the privilege of having friends and family right next door and running with them all day in such a safe community environment.

What don’t you miss about Hutterite life?

Mary-Ann Kirkby: Getting up really early and my cook week.  I would however really enjoy my bake week. The warmth and smells of the bakery, watching the dough rise, kneading it and rolling the buns is an altogether sensuous experience.

At the beginning of I Am Hutterite, you describe the importance of Acts 2:44-45.  In your experience, how well does having all things in common work?

hutterite colony construction
Hutterite men building a new colony in the early 1960s

Mary-Ann Kirkby: When the leadership on a Hutterite Colony (the Predigar) really loves his flock and does his utmost to abide by spiritual principles, treats everyone fairly and with respect it is a wonderful (not perfect) but truly fulfilling way to live.  Regrettably there are some Colonies with a great deal of conflict and variations of conflict and challenges in all communities.  How they are dealt with determines the degree of happiness of the people.

Reading your book you really get a sense of how collective an endeavor Hutterite life is, for example regarding raising children.  Can you share a little on Hutterite thinking on teaching and disciplining youth?

Mary-Ann Kirkby: Hutterite children are adored and raising them is really very natural and collective although there is never any doubt that the mother has primary say.  There are important rites of passage that every child undergoes.

I have just released my new children’s book, Make A Rabbit which you can see on my website www.polkadotpress.ca.  It deals with potty training, which we view as children’s first rite of passage.  The next will come at age six when early childhood is over and the more formal training begins. They now begin to attend church and commence English and German school.  The next stage is at age 15 when they officially become adults.  These are all very special stepping stones in the Hutterite culture.

In I Am Hutterite you describe how it can be difficult for colony members to acquire transportation, that permission must be granted by the head of the colony to leave with a colony vehicle.

But there are other occasions, such as when your non-Hutterite Uncle Pete comes to discreetly sell the colony ladies cosmetics, or the numerous times when you returned to Fairholme after your family left Hutterite life behind, or when colony members visit relatives in other colonies.  How strictly is traffic regulated into and out of the colony?

hutterite market
Hutterite vendors at a market in Saskatchewan

Mary-Ann Kirkby: Quite frankly no one is supposed to leave the colony grounds without permission or instructions to do so.  The minister and farm boss have special dispensation but regular community members don’t just up and go somewhere because the keys to the vehicles must be signed out and reason given, whether it be business, doctors’ appointments, or visitation.    As for coming on to the Colony that is a bit more difficult to regulate.  Hutterites by nature are quite friendly and social and alot of the traffic is people coming to buy produce so it would be quite easy for Uncle Pete to sneak in to do a little commerce.

Food seems to play an important role in Hutterite life.  Can you share about eating customs and typical foods?

Mary-Ann Kirkby: A Hutterite kitchen…really is a thing of beauty.  Newborns eat at home with their mothers, young children from the age of 2.5 to 6 years eat in the Kleineschul (kindergarten), from 6-15 we eat in the Essenschul (children’s dining room) ,and from 15 to old age we eat in the Essenstuben, the adult dining room. The minister, the sick, elderly and infants eat at home.

The kitchen bell will ring 6 times a day.  It will ring once 15 minutes prior to every meal (first call) to announce that the food is ready for all those who are eating in their own homes.  And then it will ring on the hour for the rest of the community.

hutterite women
Hutterite women manage the kitchen. King Colony in central Montana

The cook is one of the highest positions to which a woman can aspire and for the most part her appointment is based on skill.  She will be given a hand written recipe book from the previous cook which has been handed down and no doubt will have flour and grease marks on it.  Many of the recipes will be centuries old, originating with our earliest ancestors and Europe.  At Christmas we serve duck with cabbage in cream sauce. Yummmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

Our foods are fresh and wholesome.  Our recipes are hundreds of years old.  Where do I begin to explain how sinfully delicious and satisfying cottage cheese pie and Maultoschen are?  You will simply have to wait for my recipe book  Secrets of a Hutterite Kitchen that I am presently writing.

Alcohol also seems to play a role in social life.  For example when you describe how the senior minister sends a bottle of rye whiskey for the Hulba, or when your Father shares dandelion wine to celebrate your birth.  How is alcohol perceived, and how common are alcohol problems?

Mary-Ann Kirkby: Jesus drank wine and so do we.  Certainly alcoholism exists but is not a serious problem perhaps because it is more easily monitored on a Hutterite Colony.  Moderation is strongly stressed and alcohol is served mostly at weddings or celebrations.  We don’t serve it at daily meal times.

Your book is titled I Am Hutterite, but do you still “feel Hutterite”?  What do you tell your children about their heritage?

Mary-Ann Kirkby: Of course I do….in every way.  I still speak the Hutterisch language fluently.  I visit often, sing our songs, know our stories and from time to time even wear the clothes.  They are my people and there is no other culture on earth that I belong to more. My soul has a Hutterite heartbeat.  My son Levi is my only child and I always take him with me to the colony.  He loves it there and the kids adore him.

Bonus: This classic documentary film about the Hutterites offers a look at Hutterite life in the 1960s.

Photo credits: Manitoba colony-Presley Perswain; new colony 1960s-Eternal Vagabond; Saskatachewan market-Peter Merholz; Hutterite women Montana-Matt Green

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    114 Comments

    1. Richard I was wondering where you were too–glad to see you back!

      Tania, I do appreciate it, and thanks everyone for your kind comments. And a big thank you as well to Mary-Ann.

    2. Alice Aber

      Hey Richard,

      I am glad you are OK, was really beginning to worry about you my friend.

      We are in for another snow storm today into tomorrow. Right now they are calling for 3-5 inches of the white stuff. Yuk!! I am tired of shoveling this year. Would love to see your pictures though. 🙂 Do you have my email address?

      Can’t wait to hear about your spell checker ideas.

      Talk to you later, I am heading out the door to get some errands done before the snow rolls in.

      Blessings, Alice

    3. Cara

      I am curious about this collective way of limiting personal resources. How is the idea of ownership reinforced, and how is a sense of individual identity in comparison to the group identity expressed?
      Also, I’m wondering if Hutterisch is a language related to German, or even Plautdietsch? Is it a written or unwritten language?

      Thanks

      1. Lee

        Hutterisch is a fascinating language but it is only partly German. The Hutterites never came from Germany. The movement really started in what is now the Czech Rep. and some from Tyrol. The “German” element of the Hutter language is a Tyrolean dialect and very freely mixed in are many Slavic and Romanian as well as Hungarian words that they picked up in the countries they were exiled to over the years. It’s the only language in the world that mixes four totally unrelated language groups. It is purely a spoken and not written language. When writing, Hutterites generally use English but there is some little use of High German which they learn to read because their sermon books, hymns, and big history book are written in high German.
        Hutterites can read high German though their sermons are in ancient high German and many have little understanding what the sermons say.

    4. Marcus Yoder

      Good afternoon. waiting for the big snow storm to hit Columbus, Ohio tomorrow morning. Would love to win this book. Keep up the great work Erik. Marcus Yoder

    5. Gail Dawson

      I’d like very much to read this book!

    6. Lindsay

      I have really enjoyed the Hutterite info (thanks for posting the film a few weeks back btw). I’d heard of them but I knew little else other than their communal lifestyle. I would like to be entered in the drawing.

      Thanks!

    7. Kristie Donelson

      That book seems VERY interesting. I hope I win. kristiedonelson(at)gmail(dot)com Thank you.

    8. Kristie Donelson

      I like you on Facebook. kristiedonelson(at)gmail(dot)com Thank you.

    9. Sandy K Dole

      Very interesting. Hope I win the book.

    10. Carol

      I am commenting on this blog in hope of winning one if the 5 books on Hutterites that are being given away. I will also “like” this blog on Facebook 🙂 Thanks for this opportunity.

    11. Kate

      This looks like a very interesting book! If I don’t win I’ll have to check our library for it!
      Kate

    12. Faye

      Wow, another interesting interview! Would be interested in reading the book. Thanks!

    13. Richard

      thanks for wondering about me Erik, i appreciate that so thank you. im doing pretty good over here, and i should be on amish America like i was before. alittle secret is when i get up in the morning ill make some coffee and go check fox news, then amish America, pretty much in that order. so i need my amish America fix before i leave in the morning, its sort of like that 1976 Diana Ross hit ” ive got a love hang over, and i don’t want to get over”. well, you get the picture,lol. hey alice about that spell check trick, what ive been doing is going to amish Americas web site, go to the leave a comment box, then ill click on Microsoft new mail, like im writing a letter. then ill write in it what i would be writing in the comment section of amish America, and when im done ill check my spelling. then when the spelling checks out ill highlight everything that ive typed and then ill copy and paste everything that i wrote and drag it onto the comment box. if you have noticed some of my comments have been maybe on the long side, ive been using this method for that. if im going to write something really short, then i wont really use it. im using it now for this comment, which looks like its alittle on the long side. Erik id like to throw in my hat for the book as well, i didn’t think id be doing that, but this book looks to be a interesting read, im rooting for you to win alice. i look forward to Tuesdays topic, and i hope this tip helps you alice…………… good night folks from Lebanon, pa amish country…………. Richard

    14. That sounds like a very interesting book and I would enjoy having a chance to read it. I was always interested in the Hutterite way of life especially since there was a colony not all that far from where we grew up. We didn’t visit back and forth very often but there were several occassions when the men and boys from our church would go help them on a building project.

      They also came and helped with the clean up and rebuilding after the tornadoes of ’98.

    15. JoAnn Betts

      I read Beverly Lewis books and would very much like to read this nonfiction book about the Hutterite!!! I so much admire their lifestyles….I have visited Lancaster a few times and have chatted with the Amish.. The Hutterites sound just as pleasing of a culture!

    16. I would love to win this book! I really enjoy reading about all the various Plain groups, and I know next to nothing about the Hutterites, so I’d love to be more educated about them. Thank you for this interesting interview and giveaway!

    17. Enter me in this giveaway, please!

      seizethebookblog(at)gmail(dot)com

    18. Alice Aber

      Richard you are such a sweetie. I’ll root for you to win too. Wouldn’t that be cool if we both won?

      I have some good programs I could use for spell checking but I guess I am just too lazy to do that and then copy and paste, LOL. Oh well, I’m getting old and I can use that as an excuse for my mistakes.

      Just came back from walking the dog and no snow yet, but we are suppose to get it. At last check they are still calling for 3-5 inches. I’m a bit chilled from the walk so going to the kitchen and fix me a nice big cup of hot chocolate. 🙂

      Blessings, Alice

    19. I would love to read this book and learn more about the Hutterites.

    20. I love learning about cultures and ecspecialy the food aspect. I live in the mountains of North Georgia and have always known cottage cheese to be a southern treat; along with the pimento cheese sandwhichs and hogs head cheese. My family still grows out hogs and make our food from scratch. For this reason I have become fascinated with the similarities between cultures and how they are also different.

      I looked up the recipe for the Cottage Cheese Pie and cant wait to try it. We have always mixed strawberries with cottage cheese, so it make sence to have somthing tangy baked into a pie.Yummy!

      Thank you for the oppritunity to have a new book and thank you for the wonderful article.
      -Candi

    21. Daniel Endy

      Thanks for posting this. I enjoyed her interview on Amish wisdom. Could you throw my name in for this one?

    22. Leanna

      Visited a Hutterite colony about 20 years ago in Alberta with friends who have relatives in the colony. I am intrigued by their lifestyle and would love to own Mary-Ann’s book.

    23. Marilyn

      I enjoy reading of the Amish and would like to learn more about the Hutterites. Receiving a copy of your book would be wonderful!!

    24. Yeah, put my name in again. One of these times I might actually win. 🙂
      For those interested in Hutterian beliefs, I recommend Peter Riedemann’s books. I posted a review of Peter Riedemann’s Confession of Faith on my blog not to long ago. His Confession of Faith (Also called, An Account of our Religion) is pretty much the standard Hutterite reference point for doctrinal matters. Peter has become my favorite Anabaptist author. His stirring Love is Like Fire is his shorter version and is a free download from the Bruderhof people. After three terms in prison, he was one of the “lucky” missionaries that the early Hutterites sent out. An estimated 80% died on the field, usually martyred. Peter was part of the 20% that died a natural death.
      MIke

    25. Oops. Now I remember that I didnt put the final quote mark on the url, and the link didnt show up for the book review. Here goes another shot …
      Review of Peter Riedemann’s Confession of Faith

    26. Renee G

      I would very much like to read this. We have a number of local colonies, and I’ve always wanted to know more about the order.
      rsgrandinetti@yahoo(DOT)com

    27. juan carlos

      hello. please include me in the contest. i would like to own a copy of this book and learn to appreciate the Hutterites more.

    28. Jory

      Enjoyed reading your interview with Mary-Ann Kirkby. Please enter me in your drawing for one of The books. Thank you.

    29. juan carlos

      hi Eric (and Theresa)

      is there a way you could forward my message to Theresa? (her post is on the first page)

      hello Theresa.

      i hope you notice this message of mine. i have been trying to establish contact with a Hutterian community through an online book centre but have not heard back from the administrators of the website. i am interested in visiting one of their colonies with my family. could you advice me on how to establish communication as you have been able to? my email address is calandangie@hotmail.com

      thank you in advance, Theresa

      juan carlos

    30. Barb Larkin

      Itis so interesting to learn about different cultures. For the Amish and Hutterites to maintain their beliefs, life style, and strong family ties in this day and age is amazing. I live near Lancaster Co and go out their a few times a year. I also meet the Amish at a trade show in Columbus Ohio every July. I thank you for your time

    31. Tim Thompson

      Awesome tight Community, Which would be great to be involved.

    32. Alice Aber

      Good morning everyone! The snow is coming down like white rain and soon I need to get out and shovel. Having my coffee first but then have to hop to it right after that.

      Hope you all have a great day!

      Blessings, Alice

    33. Richard

      good morning alice, im flying without a net on this post, im not using my spell check method. looks like the snow your now getting alice is on its way over to penn, so its going to snow around very late afternoon/ early evening today. and then alittle more on weds, so this might be the most ive seen coming since i got back north. i look foward to eriks next topic, and everyone have yourself agreat day………. ill be back later…….. Richard lebanon,pa

    34. Alice Aber

      I’ll see you later too Richard. The snow plow just went by and plowed me in. sort of what I was waiting for so I can shovel out one time and not have to do it again as the result of the plow pushing back in what I just shoveled, LOL. Heading out the door now as I have less than an hour to shovel and get to my doctor’s appointment.

      Have a great day!
      Alice

    35. Esther

      Please enter me in the drawing for this book. Thank you!

    36. Karen

      Hope I can win a copy!

    37. Melissa Nichols

      Thank you for providing this information. I had no idea they lived in colonies, as I’ve never really studied the Hutterites. I would love a copy of this book. Thank you for entering me!

    38. Richard

      snow on its way to pay me a visit, looks like the smile on my face is about to be smacked off,lol. im getting ready to enter my snow shelter, and here are some of my supplys…….food-check…..comb-check……. copys of my posts to admire-check……….eriks book-check……….coffee/hot choc-check………. my ego-check……..and my laptop so i can keep-up with (amish america)-check………………………..i hope everyone getting snow is careful out there………… good night folks………..PS………. i want that book

    39. Alice Aber

      Hahahaa Richard, too cute!! I have done nothing but been on the go all day and I am exhausted. Shoveled out and got to the doctor this morning. On the way home this jerk tried to pass me on Main St. in town. He spun out right in front of me. Luckily I was going slow and he did not hit anyone.

      Took my friend to the VA clinic 25 miles south of here this afternoon. Roads were not cleared well and it was bad but we made it down and back. Then we both had prescriptions to pick up at Wal-Mart and had to walk around for 40 minutes as they were not done yet.

      Got home, got the dog out and slipped on the steps. The temps have dropped back down and everything that was melted turned to ice. Fixing to get something to eat so I can take a dose of my new meds and pray they help, LOL.

      Sounds like you have everything you need in your snow shelter. Hope you don’t get too much snow.

      Blessings, Alice

    40. Jessica Sumner

      I would love to read this book and learn more about the Hutterites.

    41. I look forward to reading this book.

    42. Keith James

      Hello Erik — Thank you for posting this interview and for making this contest possible. Win or lose I think this book will be on my bookshelf soon.

      I’m about halfway through Success Made Simple right now and am truly enjoying it. Earlier this evening I spoke with an Amish friend of mine who lives southern Michigan. He opened a small seed store last year, and I recommended that he read your book as well, as I believe it could be helpful for anyone at any point on their journey in business, Amish and English alike.

    43. Alice Aber

      Good morning everyone!

      Managed to get everything done yesterday I had to do but I am still tired, LOL. It was suppose to stop snowing last night but it has not stopped yet. Means I will have to get out there and shovel again today. I think all total we have about 5 inches and its still coming down very lightly now.

      Can’t wait to see what Erik has on the topics next.

      Richard I hope all is well with you, I have not checked your weather yet, so unsure if the snow has started there or how much you might have.

      Have a good day everyone!
      Blessings, Alice

    44. Hey Alice, I was a little slow today, but just got something up. It’s a fun post, I think. Btw, hope you got yourself un-plowed!

    45. Keith, very very kind of you, I am glad you are enjoying my book. One of the nicest things for me is that the book seems to have been well-received both by Amish and non-Amish readers.

      I actually just got an email from an Amishman in PA who got the book from his brother. Out-of-the-blue things like your message and his are one of the little blessings I’m finding comes with writing. Best wishes to your friend in Michigan, and again, my big thanks!

    46. Theresa H.

      Please enter me in the drawing. When we were stationed in Minot, North Dakota, my youngest son was in Ped ICU in Fargo, he had a boy in the next room and they were Hutterites (there is a large community just south of Fargo).

    47. Richard

      morning……. well this time the snow stuck on the ground , this is the real deal and now im about to start my shoveling adventure. im lucky because im off from work today, and to be honest i think the snow looks kind of pretty, well atleast looking at it from the comforts of my home anyway. but i expected this would happen because it had too, but still im really glad i moved back to the northeast even with all that snow that im about to shovel outside. im not sure if i can drive around today, but at some point when i do its going to be interesting watching the amish buggies navigate through the snow, something ive never seen before because everytime i would come to this area from new York or Florida it would be either the spring or summer time of the year. i know one thing, i think id better get a snow blower next year so i can work smarter instead of killing myself out there. if anyone is in lebanon,pa reading this and wants to come over to shovel around my home, i wont stop you,lol. hey alice did you get alot of snow your way?. i wonder how pinecraft is doing , any readers out there who are living there now, i know there are some. thats one place in Florida im going to really miss, some really nice memories of that place. that little area is not really commercial for tourist just yet, but i could see some changes to the little town to make it maybe that way…………………….. im off to shovel folks………… ill be back later…………. Richard lebanon,pa

    48. Thanks for all the great comments and it is interesting to see how many people have visited Hutterite colonies, more than I expected. A couple quick responses:

      Mike–glad you’re taking another swing here. Odds are you’ll win one of these things eventually 🙂

      Richard–love your morning routine, and hope you are managing the snow as best you can. Here, we are getting the Great Thaw, soon to be followed by another Great Blizzard, no doubt.

      Juan–I don’t know if you’ve gotten in touch with Theresa, but I can try to pass it on for you.

      Candi May–my first reaction to Cottage Cheese Pie is “no way”, then when I think about it, and as long as you throw in the strawberries, it actually sounds like it might be pretty darn good. I think you and Mary-Ann might have this one right 🙂

      Lindsay–glad you enjoyed the film–as did I!

      Cara–Interesting questions; I could probably take a crack but feel I wouldn’t be the most qualified. Maybe Mary-Ann or another Hutterite will come across it and give us an answer!

    49. Alice Aber

      Greetings Erik and Richard!!

      Erik, I indeed got shoveled out yesterday and got all my running done. However, it did not stop snowing last night like it was suppose to and at some point today I need to go out and shovel again. 🙁 Haven’t recieved notice yet of the new blog entry Erik, can’t wait to read it.

      Richard, I am with you. If I am staying in the north I definitely want a snow blower for next year. All this shoveling has been hard on this old body. I think we have about 5 1/2 inches so far. Its still coming down but very lightly. Be careful shoveling!!

      Blessings, Alice