Ice Cream, Propane, and Gladiolus

Hi, Girlfriends and Guy friends.  

Do you own one of these? 

Irritating Emptiness

As I walk Penny past campsites I usually spot a couple grills that look similar to mine.   I love my mini Weber Q-2000.  

What I don’t love is when my propane tank runs out.  And I really don’t love it when my tank runs out smack dab in the middle of grilling dinner. 

(It happens often.)  

Last week I was fortunate.  Just as I finished grilling a lovely salmon filet I knew my propane tank was empty because the grill temperature gauge began steadily dropping.

Frankly, I don’t know which I enjoyed more; the delicious salmon or the perfect timing of an empty propane tank.  (Insert your favorite adjective to describe me; kooky, weird, peculiar, oddball.)  

 In the middle of nowhere

Now back to the story…

So, I knew I needed a refill of my propane tank.  But where would I find a refill station in the middle of frickin’ Amish country? 

We had just arrived at White Oaks Campground in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.  I walked over to inquire at the office.  Sandy, the manager, handed me a map to an Amish man’s farm. 


Parenthetically, this is what I love most about the RV lifestyle.  You never know what quirky adventure is around the corner. 

I smiled and chuckled as I contemplated this unusual solution to my empty propane tank.  Less than two hours after our arrival I found myself driving through unknown back roads, searching for an Amish man’s driveway.     

Two miles from the campground I approached the unmarked Amish farm/propane filling station. 

Amish will not pose for pictures, but don’t mind if you capture them candidly.   

This guy was all business. 

Without a word he grabbed my propane tank and walked to a shed behind the workshop. 

The Barefoot Wife

As I watched him work, my eyes were drawn to a flower bed of yellow and orange gladiolus. When the Amish man handed me the filled tank I inquired if he would sell me six stems of the beautiful flowers.

Pointing to the house, he replied, “I’ll have to ask my wife.”  I watched him run to the side door of his home. 

A few minutes later a super cute barefoot Amish woman emerged carrying a baby on her hip and holding cutting shears. 

She set the baby on the grass as we chose the flowers to cut. 

We shared a laugh as a large bug flew out of the flowers and ricocheted off her nose.  Together we smiled at the baby’s jovial laugh.  She taught me how to pull off the lower wilted flowers in order to encourage the top flowers to open.  

It was an Unlikely classroom for this Unlikely RV’er.   

Did that just happen?

Total cost of my outing?  Five dollars for the fuel and four dollars for the flowers.  The wife had only wanted two dollars but I felt like I’d be taking advantage for anything less than four.  I placed the Glads in my water thermos and smiled all the way back to White Oak campground.

After sharing my unlikely propane-and-gladiolus-story with John we headed out to investigate the dairy farm located close by our campground.   

A.k.a. time-to-get-John-ice-cream. 

Barefoot Boy

Down on the Farm Creamery is an adorable Amish farm with a full-scale ice cream parlor and dairy store. 

Location?  Halfway between Nowhere and Nothing. 

As we exited our Jeep on the parking lot, a barefoot Amish boy skipped on the gravel driveway to the store. 

He waved. I smiled and waved back- while wondering how thick the calluses were on the soles of his young feet. 

While Penny chased the chickens John enjoyed his milkshake and I ate half of an ice cream cone (the chickens ate the other half). 

$27 of Deliciousness

This is what our $27 bought; raw milk, chocolate milk, regular milk, yogurt, three pounds of Amish butter, crab and cream cheese dip, regular cheese dip, and cheddar cheese pretzels.  Delicious taste for a crazy low price.   

I smiled a lot that day, grateful that smile muscles never cramp when overused.  

Your Turn

Have you experienced Amish Country?  Which state were you in?  Did it expand your awareness of what it means to be in America?  I’d love to hear your story, and there is lots of room in the comments below!  Cuz you know I’m all about Relationships! 

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Love from your Unlikely RVer,




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