I had a great four day Labor Day weekend. I met friends, went out, listened to great music, had great food and best of all, visited Lancaster County in Pennsylvania with a friend to see how the Amish live. My friend and I first visited the Amish Village and were disappointed because this “Village” is just a replica of an Amish homestead and not an actual one. However, our minds were changed for us once we had done a tour of the replica house and grounds as we learnt quite a lot from the tour guide.
We were informed that non-Amish are called ‘English’. Even I am considered English so don’t be surprised if I change my block name to “English Lady” 🙂
I was surprised at how big Amish houses are – for some reason, I expected tiny ones. Apparently, the Amish do not lack most of the mod cons that we have even though they use gas instead of electricity. It was interesting to learn that they shun electricity because they do not want to be dependent on somebody. They are less dependent on others when they use gas.
Amish women have four dresses (I didn’t believe this) which they use for specific purposes. Their wedding dress comprises a dark dress and a white apron over it. They next time they wear white is when they pass away. For wedding shoes, they wear black booties – quite interesting.
Summer kitchen which is in the cellar – this is the stove on which they cook food to be preserved.
A short legged donkey, or so I thought, until I was told that it was actually and miniature horse…
This was one sad mule, it had ‘tears’ dropping from its eye. It was depressing to look at it.
An interesting story about the milk house….
Clothes on the line – I prefer drying my clothes this way as they smell fresh….
We went to the schoolhouse and it was interesting to see that the students also learn their ‘mother tongue’, German. Pardon the blurry photo…
A buggy is the way the Amish mostly move around. It was interesting to see a sleek one that young people use – something of a sports car in the conventional world. For short distances, the Amish zoom around on kick scooters. The Amish do not have cars and do not drive but hire them, get on buses and planes as long someone else is driving/flying.
A buggy similar to the one we were on to visit an Amish homestead. The only thing we really saw, however, was the store that the family runs and the grounds.
Alfalfa – I learnt of Alfalfa decades ago in high school, forgot about it, and only got to see it now. I always thought it was long grass!
Windmill, of course.
The Amish have generational housing and there are three generations in this house. I like that idea as the grandparents have people around them to help out when they are infirm. This homestead has three generations.
The homestead has a dairy area.
Tobacco being air dried.
A statue of an Amish man at Hershey’s restaurant where we had dinner at.
Our homestead guide was very knowledgeable about the Amish. She said she had only met one bachelor (that is an older man) in her 18 years since she has lived in Lancaster County and he is a very grumpy man. She thinks that he is either grumpy because he is not married or he is not married because he is grumpy.
I like the Amish life since they emphasize spending time with family instead of in front of the TV of computer, though I love my internet connection :), and bright lights everywhere. I guess I would be used to hard work if that is all I knew. I also like the hard work ethic they have. My friend said that the Amish live as many people still do in poor countries. The only difference is that the Amish have the opportunity and money to live conventional lives but choose not to.
I know I should not have been, but I was surprised that the Amish are wealthy – after all they do not spend money on frivolous things. They also do not pay school tax as they have their own schools. They do not have medical insurance and pay cash for all procedures, no matter how much they cost.
Our visit was very satisfactory and I would definitely recommend it to everyone. It would have been nicer, though, to have the Amish themselves being the tour guides instead of the “English”.