I hate saying goodbye. But sometimes I have no choice. Farewell, Bill Coleman, photographer extraordinaire of the Amish. He died at age 88 after battling heart disease. We can see through his lens what an extraordinarily generous heart he had as well as a keen eye. Children are good at sizing up people. His photos of children exemplify patience, humor, and humility. Bill’s images remain with us, a legacy and gift for all who see them, and can be purchased online.

Photo by Bill Coleman, used by permission

“Your Turn”, by Bill Coleman

I’ve had the privilege of getting to know Bill’s son, Noah Coleman, who will run the business. Noah is a delightful man and his dedication to his father was evident—a two-way street. Having prayed for Bill this last year, he was often in my thoughts. I can hear my Old Order Amish friends saying his death was God’s will. (Bill Coleman – Centre Daily Times)

The inviting entrance to The Old Country Store
Quilts, gifts & books on the first floor of the Old Country Store

Farewell to the Old Country Store and Quilt Museum in Intercourse, PA, one of my favorite haunts and where a friend worked many years. My husband and I loved to shop at the Old Country Store and visit the Quilt Museum to admire our friend Old Order Amish Emma Stoltzfus’ fabulous quilt (E S Quilts in Lancaster, PA) and my visit with friend Norma, who was a first reader of Leaving Lancaster. Someone from the store recently wrote me to say that hopefully there will be new owners.

Other things I’ve hated saying good-bye to are beloved pets, especially my dogs. Bidding farewell to the last two was so painful I haven’t gotten another. Several years ago, I said goodbye to my old walking partner and then: Presto! A fabulous new walking partner appeared with her dog! Proving that sometimes a farewell is an opportunity to say Hello!

Occasionally we say goodbye to a bad habit and replace it with a good one. A pair of slacks that’s too loose because we’ve lost unwanted pounds. Can’t complain about that! I can imagine the month of January was not difficult to say Adiós or Lewewohl to for those who endured brutal weather—either frigid or too dry, causing a drought and fire.

Is there anything in your life you’ve reluctantly said farewell to or would like to? A clueless neighbor whose dog barks all night? A case of the sniffles?

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Coming June 1, 2014