Our area of Ohio includes one of the largest Amish communities in the U.S.
We all exist together...and separately at the same time. Sure, we do business with each other, and rely on each other's skills and resources.
Here's a small list of some of the transactions I have with my Amish neighbors:
- Eggs from the farm $1.50/doz
- Butchering of our family beef
- Vegetable and fruit stand buys
- Seeds and veggie plants from the greenhouse
- Lots of purchases at the bulk food store
- Bargains from the surplus stores
- Baked goods from fry pies to bread
- Cat's Meow ladders and step shelves
- Construction of my factory building
- Restaurant meals...mmmmmmm
But then there's a line-in-the-road of our coexistence!
English on one side, Amish on the other.
Those core beliefs:
- How we raise our families
- How we worship God
- Our choice of lifestyle and language
There are days when I wish for a little piece of the Amish way of life.
- Like when I'd like to read a good book or eat lunch while driving.
- Like when I'd rather just go home and be unplugged from the world.
- Like when I wish I didn't have to pay my electric bill.
- Like when I wish I had the time to do my wash in a wringer washer and hang it out to dry for that fresh clean smell.
But definitely not when my only transportation is a buggy on a 15 degree icy cold day in January!
And there are many times, beyond business dealings, when we do step across that line-in-the-road.
- When we attend each other's weddings and funerals.
- When a neighbor needs help.
- When we become friends and share meals and ventures together.
I wanted to share with you a little taste of Amish life, and I know the webisphere is not good at passing along that warm sugary smell and taste of homemade fry pies.
So, I did the next best thing...
I found an Amish neighbor who would allow me to video him getting their "car" ready to go to town. John got the horse ready while Esther and I waited, patiently, for our ride.
Now, at my age, I still haven't experienced a real buggy ride (can't count New York City or Charleston). And I had no expectation of what it would be like.
Let me just say...if I wasn't with Esther, I think I may have screamed bloody murder the whole way! Amish women have to be the bravest women around...hands down.
How can I put into words...
- The feeling of being in a flimsy cardboard box on wheels
- The horses back end almost in my face
- The combination of a trotting horse pulling a cardboard box on wheels (with me inside)
- The smell of the horse (but I'm a farm girl, so that was ok)
- The semi trucks and cars passing us at 55 miles an hour
- A flimsy cardboard box making contact with every pothole in the road
The only consolation was the black velvet covered 6 inch foam bench seat that was firmly clutched in my hands (the only feeling of comfort)
I hope my harnassing and buggy ride video gave you even a slight insight to just one thing that is a normal daily activity around every Amish home and farmstead. We take for granted how easy it is to get around by putting a key in the ignition.
I also share our local Amish culture through my Cat's Meow Amish Collection. Enjoy discovering a different culture!