How David Makes Friends: Or How our Amish Furniture was Saved from the Fire

David always seems to know a guy who does a thing. For a while our iPhone accounts were merged and we shared an address book and there were quite literally hundreds of names and odd descriptions of people I had never heard of capable of doing things that I didn’t care about at all. But it is David and he collects people the way my grandmother collected spoons.

At the end of our Sabbatical in Cleveland, we decided to order and ship some Amish-made furniture back to Israel. Having spent a year in the mid-West, there seemed to be nothing more authentic and of higher quality than Amish furniture. So away we went, one afternoon, to Sugar Creek, Ohio to seek out furniture.

Here may lie one of the differences between David and me: when I shop for furniture, I look at the furniture. When David shops for furniture, he needs to meet the guys who design it, who build it and who sell it. Where I see a very lovely bunkbed, David manages to see the potential of lifelong friendships. As I write this, I sort of feel the need to defend myself and my life choices and point out that I do, in fact, have many lovely friends. But I will acknowledge that I probably have not met any of them in a retail setting.

But David’s wisdom proved correct in a hundred different ways (you know if you’re reading this book on a Kindle, you have the ability to highlight sentences? David would publish this and then buy this book for you and your Kindle as long as he could underline the sentence where I say that he was right…).

We ordered our furniture and returned back to Cleveland, the land of the newly-returned LeBron James and great parks and ice cream and waited. David was delivering the furniture to a port in New York that would ship it to Israel. Never one to opt for a delivery service, David thought the trip would be a great time to bond with our newly-teenaged daughter – forcing her to spend many many hours in a U-Haul truck with the promise of a visit to the New York Natural History Museum (if I haven’t mentioned how absolutely adorable our daughter is, now is the right time to do that).

As they pulled in to the parking lot in Sugar Creek, the owner of the store met David with a terrible tale. It turns out there was a factory fire in Sugar Creek just the week before and over a million dollars of furniture was destroyed. What was saved? The furniture heading to the Holy Land. They ran into the burning warehouse and dragged out our bunkbed, our end tables and coffee tables to make sure David and the Holy Land got their furniture.

That would be a great story if it ended there. It appeared in the local newspaper. People talked about it for a while, but then we all moved on. Except maybe we didn’t.

Because since the bakery has been open, we have hosted the Amish from Sugar Creek numerous times. They have come to workshops at the bakery, learning about ancient breads and how breads were made in Biblical times. They have dutifully made their pretzels and eaten their rolls with us. This a friendship that spans thousands of miles, different religions, and different languages. It has been our joy and our privilege to welcome them into our home, our bakery and our lives.

One Friday evening, we hosted the Weaver family at our home. We ate Sabbath dinner with them and then sent them upstairs to take pictures of the famous furniture that we brought from their hometown years ago.

If this feels like it would be the right place to end our stories about David and the people he’s met along the way, you’d be wrong. We’re just getting started.


White Bean Dip

A variation of this recipe comes from my friend and wonderful nutritionist, Debra Waldoks. If she can convince me to make (and enjoy!) this, it is definitely worth a try! 

4 cups white beans 

2 cloves garlic (you can play around with the amount of garlic) 

5 Tbsp olive oil 

Zest and juice of 1 lemon 

1 tsp dried oregano (if you’re feeling very Martha you can use the leaves of 3 oregano stems  or 1/4 cup fresh parsley 

1/2 tsp salt + 1/4 tsp pepper (or to taste!) 

Put all ingredients in food processor. Blend.

Serve with bread.