Husband and I set off for the Hutterite Village right after breakfast. The boys do chores, then work on building toys.
Things are not as quiet this trip as they have been in the past. People come out of their houses and ask us to stop. It seems we've traded half of our goods before we even get to Littletown. Everyone wants to trade and chat. Some things I agree to trade just because the people are so obviously bored. One man traded a knife for a bow, and then traded the bow back for a pot that I got from his neighbour.
It's a fun ride, and we're obviously not the first people this has happened with. People in Littletown come running out of their houses with pots, dishes, blankets, baskets, knicknacks and tools. Everyone wants to trade something, and no one seems to care terribly much what they trade or what they get in return. They trade with us, they trade with each, they trade back again. Everyone is laughing and talking. It feels like a party. They tell us there were a couple of people with carts that would come every other week before the snow got so deep. We trade in our box of books at their library, taking a large assortment of books in return.
We finally get to the Hutterite Village. The store has only root vegetables available- potatoes, carrots, parsnips, turnips, beets, onions, garlic, and sugar beets. The men come out to look at our sleigh full of goodies. They're impressed with Diego's bows, and trade us one bow for enough supplies to build at least a dozen more, and two more for a selection of veggies. They trade the fox skins for more veggies, and my candles for three large jars of honey. Most of the other things we had left home with are already gone, and I honestly don't know what to offer them, or what else to take.
We ask the men if there's anything else they're interested in. They continue to eyeball the sleigh. Finally one asks what we want. I ask for seeds, more honey, size ten shoes, sheets and blankets, hankies. They pick out a few odds and ends, some things I don't even recognize. They give us a bag of assorted seeds, another jar of honey, and three sheets. They tell me to come back in a month with two bows and they'll have a pair of size 10 shoes.
We take a detour on the way home. Most cars on the highway had their tanks punctured, but we find a car on one of the back roads that's still got enough fuel to fill our jerry cans. We pick up the pace from there, waving at people who come out wanting to chat and trade again. If we don't hurry home we won't make it before dark.
Diego and Nira are happy with a third of the veggies, a jar of honey, a few odds and ends, and the supplies to build more bows. They didn't expect to get that much. I give them all of the toys that were traded, and a stack of books. I tell Diego that I need two bows to trade for shoes in a month. He doesn't know what he wants to trade them for, but he'll think about it.
Brother and Sil are at Mom and Dad's when we get there. I keep a few veggies for us, but give them the rest to split between them. We're still doing ok, but I keep the sugar beets to plant for seed in the spring. Dad takes a couple of hand tools. Sil takes a sheet. I give them a jar of honey, and mom pours some in another container. They all pick out a few books.
Lisa and Sally are waiting at our house. Lisa cooked again, and helped the Bigs build toys. The Littles kept Sally busy and wouldn't let her in the garage. All of the dishes, pots and cutlery that are left in the sleigh can go to the cabin for them. I give Lisa a few veggies, some clothes that will fit her and Sally, and I pour a bit of honey in a smaller jar for them. There's an odd assortment of baskets, bins, craft supplies, and knicknacks left. I keep a few baskets, then Husband takes the rest to the cabin.
It's dark out when the horses are finally put away for the night, and I'm exhausted, so I head off to bed.