I can’t recall when it was that I learned about the definition for melting pot in history, but on Saturday I was reminded of the expression. This was due to the fact that I was at my friend Mary Mark’s house which I have dubbed ” The Amish Mansion” and I was eating fantastic traditional Filipino food that was cooked my Mary’s Filipino friends.
These friends have been a helpful support system to my friend Mary, who was adopted from an orphanage in the Philippines as a girl. It has been many years since she came to America. Mary now has 2 children of her own, and is expecting her 3rd in March.
Here is a photo of her daughter Jade the birthday girl (or monkey as I call her due to her typical habit of hanging off of me) in her pink birthday dress.
Mary and her husband Julian rent their home from my sister-in-laws Aurora’s father. (You can read a more about Aurora here.) Now, Dr. Menn is not only a doctor but a rancher as well. He wears cowboy boots and bolo ties to the hospital. Doc Menn wanted extra haygound and ended up buying an entire farm from an Amish family to get the acreage. Well, he certainly got more than hayground when he bought this house! Check it out:
I know-crazy right? I swear this house must have at least 10 bedrooms, not to mention tons of odd nooks and crawl spaces. Every room in the house is painted the classic light blue shade that the Amish paint all of their walls The story is that a young Amish family built the home and proceeded to have oodles of children(14 I think) who than proceeded to start their own families. One of the children built on a second home that is adjoined to the first by the porch.
The place is a fantastic house to wander. When it was vacant I loved to hunt down plants from the abandoned Amish garden and explore the house, all the while feeling like I was in the midst of a Amish commune or Mormon compound. Gone now are the days of vacancy that existed after the Amish family moved North. Since then indoor plumbing and electricity was installed, and the house has been split into 2 units. Now Mary and her husband live on one side and another young family live in the other half.
When I first learned about the phrase melting pot, I thought of European immigrants on Ellis Island. Now the definition has broadened, and yes, it does include a variety of people at a birthday party in an Amish home in rural Wisconsin in the year 2011.