Wednesday, April 28, 2010

My Amish Weekend

  
This has become the stereotypical representation of a group of people commonly known as the Amish. It is probably recognized all around the world. So famous yet so very private...we are fascinated by this lifestyle. Last weekend I visited a high school friend who lives just outside Amish country. My friend Roberta and I spent all day Friday and Saturday exploring obscure side roads and popular locals. The weather was fabulous and the company even better (I adore you Roberta!) I took a lot of photos, so be prepared to hang for a while or save this post for when you have time to meander with me.
 
The famous Amish horse and buggy...they were everywhere. The Amish go by a book of recorded rules called the Ordnung. Ordnungs differ from group to group, which is why you may see some Amish groups adhering strictly to the 'no technology' rule and some riding in cars. I must admit..whenever we saw a buggy, it made us smile. Don't be fooled, they travel pretty quickly in those things. I think I might enjoy that mode of travel.
Farming is the main occupation of the Amish. They a very self sustained people. Every vista had rolling hills of some of the most beautiful and clean farms you could ever hope to see. You could definitely see that it was planting season as all the fields were being tilled up. 
I have never seen such neat and tidy farms in all my life. Each one was more manicured and well kept than the one before...flowers planted all around. Such pride in what they own...amazing!
I have never seen so many silos in my life...on one hilltop view I counted 18! I loved this pretty line of willow trees.
Horses are a huge part of the Amish way of life...they are the living engine that pulls the farm equipment. Just look at these powerful animals. It was so exciting to see them at work. The Amish treat their horses with great respect and love.
These handsome guys look very content and healthy.
You can click on any of my pic's to enlarge them. The farmer on the left is plowing and the one on the right is hay-bailing.

Animals are plentiful here in Pennsylvania Amish country. Lot's of them!
These little guys were very curious about Roberta and me.
We noticed lots of babies ...that time of year you know ;-) 
This little guy scooted under the fence and was trying desperately to return to his mom.
Success!
Roberta purchased a dozen of some of the largest free range eggs I've ever seen for just $1.50!!  Good job ladies! The best part was that it was on the honor system...just leave your money in the cooler and take your eggs...I love when trusting in people works.
Yes...we even saw an Ostrich. I really loved the cow in the background...zoom in and look at his face...like a Pandow..part panda..part cow!
This beauty was my most favorite. Isn't he gorgeous..I called him Fabio, for his resemblance to this guy..
Too funny.....;-)
On our second day, Roberta decided to try some roads she had never been down before. We were outside the normal Amish country boundaries, but it was very pretty country. All of a sudden we were both squealing like little school girls at a Justin Bieber concert. Who is he anyway???? This covered bridge had the date 1878 posted inside..so cool. 
There were so many lovely stone houses and I'm a sucker for a stone house or a red barn. I was in heaven!
This is one of my favorite photos...a quaint Amish home with geraniums in the window, the wheelbarrow ready for gardening and the Amish quilt hanging on the line...a wonderful slice of Americana. I did politely ask the farmer for permission to photograph his home and he was very gracious. Thank you Mr. Amish Farmer.
Just when Roberta and I thought we had seen the best, it happened.....we saw this family in a buggy along with others. Where do you suppose they were going? Oh be still my beating heart........are you ready for this???  We had stumbled upon an authentic Amish farm auction!!!!! OMG....ok, now we are squealing like we are two adult women front row at a Michael Buble concert!
Is this not one of the quaintest images? I have to tell you guys how rare it is to get this close and to be mingling amongst these wonderful people. We felt so honored to be allowed in this private circle. We respectfully took discrete photos. Never asking anyone to pose and never of close faces. Roberta told me that an Amish farmer had explained to her that the objection they have to photos is for posed pictures. That violates their modesty vows. They will quietly turn their heads if they see a camera. 
This group of young girls were gathered while the parents attended the auction. Isn't that little guy the cutest with his hat and suspenders. Men and boys are not allowed to wear belts and girls never cut their hair.
Boys played a game of catch while parents were busy..love all the traditional blue shirts.
We also found ourselves Witness  (I could not resist) to recess at the local Amish one room school. The Amish only get schooling until the 8th grade,witness but the learning continues in the home. Boys learn to be farmers and girls learn to be domestic goddesses  good Amish wives and mothers. No government funding as these schools are completely family funded.
One of our fun stops was this fabulous Amish owned nursery. I have never seen such healthy and beautiful flowers in all my days. I did not see one dried or dead leaf or flower. They have such pride in all they do.


You know I had to bring some of these beauties home to Virginia!
Well I must stop..I have more photos, but this post is getting quite long. I'll end by saying a big THANK YOU to my lovely friend Roberta for her hospitality and love. The whole Amish experience was wonderful...even though I did get shocked twice by electric fences..what's up with that? I thought the Amish were against electricity!!!! We nearly got asked to leave Good & Plenty restaurant for having way too much fun...hey we gals like to laugh!  I can't wait to go back and do it all again..;-) So if you are ever in Lancaster, Pa area..do make a point to visit the Amish...tell them Janet sent you. That should get you kicked out real quick..he..he.
If you would like to know about the Amish, look here.
Until next time..be kind and stay creative.

28 comments:

LoveMy2Dogs said...

I am intrigued with the Amish. I read books about them all the time. We live about 15 minutes away from a small Amish community. Great post!

Grandma Yellow Hair said...

I have always wanted to visit their communities.
these pictures are wonderful and make me feel like I was there too.
Thank you for taking the time to share these with us.
Maggie

Marion said...

Lovely post and photos. Thanks for sharing your weekend.

who.knows.what.dreams.may.go said...

Seems like such a cool place to visit, thx for sharing. I love that you were totally respecttufl to these people. Seeing different ways of living is always interesting.

Danielle said...

How beautiful! Sounds like a very peaceful trip :)

Kelly Ann said...

Great job on the pictures....Love, Love, Love the picture of the quilt...but then you knew I would...

Jennifer Juniper said...

Wow, what a full weekend! The photos are awesome and I feel like I really peeped into their life.

Aprons and More said...

What pretty pictures! We went to Amish Country in Illinois a few years back. It was so enlightening! We took a tour of a farm and farmhouse and had dinner at another. What wonderful people and great food! We even had a connection to Georgia as there is a Mennonite community not far from here... the first framer's wife has relatives here! Have always wanted to go back! Thanks for sharing your trip!!

Katy :)

Kathy said...

Hey Janet...
Thanks for stopping by ....wonderful to find you too!
The Amish are amazing to watch for sure.
We took a trip last year to Shipshewana and loved it.
Looking forward to getting to knoe you better!
xoxo~Kathy @
Sweet Up-North Mornings...

Wanda said...

Enjoyed learning so many interesting facts about the Amish, Janet. That nusery did look exceptionaly clean!
♥...Wanda

Auntie Cake said...

Loved your post! What a great day!
Kate

Dar said...

Thank you so much for sharing your Amish day. Awesome photos, what an honor to get so many pictures of such pristine farms, greenhouse, and the children, how wonderful to get pics of the children. I loved this entry. Show us more.
And thanks for the education too.

PG said...

Janet, I cannot express how much I've enjoyed this post - what great pictures, the little girls with their dresses and hair! (I was wondering about the *no-photo* rule, and now I know)I love the shot of the heavy horses doing their job, and the perfect nursery. It's made for a brilliant start to my day, thank you! ♥

Kella said...

Great post thanks for sharing, really enjoyed it and the fun you had with your friend was overflowing in your typed words.

Tweed Delights said...

Ooooh fab post Janet - what a great weekend you had! I love the covered bridge - reminds me of 'bridge over madison county', Ahhh Clint Eastwood - sorry, I digress!! :)

d. moll, l.ac. said...

Thanks for all the great photos, wow, what a journey you had. My grandparents were Mennonites, which, I understand is a bit similar. I remember there was something about no zippers, buttons only.....

Crystal Jigsaw said...

That is an incredible post. I saw a program on the tv a while ago about the Amish people and found it very interesting. To be a farmer in this type of environment must be amazing. Thank you for opening up the door to allow this humble farmer a glimpse into their beautiful way of life.

CJ xx

Annette said...

I love going up to Lancaster county. It never gets old and I always see something new. Did you get to go to any of the incredible fabric shops? Loved the Fabio comparison!!!

Debbie said...

Oh what beautiful photos you captured! Amish culture is amazing to me. They where so hard make beautiful furniture, do not have all the luxuries we so take for granted....they really are amazing people!

Gerry Snape said...

this is fantastic and I should think a slice of history for all and especially us brits. I have a friend who lives in the very first cottage used by the quakers for their meeting house in the north of England. Inside has hardly been changed. Still quaint and precious. Wonderful!

Stephanie said...

I love going to this area of Lancaster. It makes you feel like you are in another world. Such pretty photos. Thanks for sharing Janet!

Mumsy said...

Outstanding pictures and post. Love it! I have a friend in Indiana who sends me Amish noodles and Apple Butter...so yummy. Hugs!

JoeyRes said...

I've never spent much time in Lancaster but my family was always going to Amish Country in Ohio. Sugar Creek, Walnut Creek - all the towns are something creek. Once we saw a mom and two girls in a buggy with a big basket of apples between the two kids. I wonder what it must be like to live a postcard all of the time.

Claire said...

Hey Janet, interesting post with lots of great photos.
My husband and I visited that part of the States back in the 90's and it was very interesting. We loved the buggys with their indicators. Amazing way of life, lovely countryside and as you said everything is so neat and tidy, shame more people couldn't take a little more pride in their environment.
Glad you had a lovely time with Roberta and I can just imagine all the laughing and chatter that went on.

Maddy said...

Hi Sis, loved your pictures. Clark & I go there everyonce in awhile. I love it. Maybe we could take a sisters trip sometime! Love ya!

janet said...

Maddy: That would be wonderful...I had the best time and you would love Roberta..do you remember her? It is not that far away ;-)

~ ~ Ahrisha ~ ~ said...

Well Hello, I live in Amish Land too. It's amazing to have them as neighbors and friends in the comunity. Your pictures did capture the beauty of this place. We love living here.

linda said...

Your pictures of Amish Country are beautiful. I grew up in Lancaster County but now live in TX and your pictures bring back lots of memories.