Saturday, February 19, 2011

Amish Fascination

I have always been fascinated by the Amish and their simple way of life.  This is probably because there are quite a number of Amish communities in our area.  When we visit our son, Greg, or daughter, Tessa, we invariable get behind a buggy of a family maybe heading home from Sunday services and visiting.  Sometimes we are in a hurry and get a little irritated at the pace, but usually I reflect on what I am seeing.  I first see danger.  There are children in an open buggy on a busy highway!  There is nothing to protect them if a car would come upon their buggy and not see them quickly enough.  Then when my mind gets past that, I envy them.  I envy their slow pace and closeness.  I envy their exclusion of outside influences.  Sometimes the often relentless wind is blowing and the temperatures are frigid.  At times like that, I watch in wonder at how they live the life they do.  Fascination.

Amish craftsmen built our barn quite a number of years ago.  It took them two to three days.  When they finished, there was no indication they had ever been there.  The site was clean with no debris anywhere.  Their workmanship was beyond compare.

There is a carpenter, Mose, who lives "right down the road" from Greg who made all of the cabinetry in his home.  He also made much of the cabinetry in our daughter, Tessa's home.  All high quality.  Sometimes he got things wrong (he seems to have trouble following directions) but he always made good by it.   


Mose and his young son, Jacob, also custom made a china cabinet for us.  The workmanship is wonderful.  We have spent time visiting with Mose and Jacob.  Their pace is slow.  We learned early on that when we visited Mose to check on the progress of our cabinet, we'd better plan on an hour or so to account for visiting time.  It was always an interesting visit.  I enjoyed watching his children working barefoot in their garden, or in other activities.

For a long time I've been following the blog, A Joyful Chaos, A Joyful Chaos  .   Mary Ann writes about growing up Amish and her life after leaving the Amish community.   If you aren't already reading her blog, give it a go.  Hers is a very simple, easy to read, writing.  A Joyful Chaos is hosting a giveaway of another blogger, Saloma, who left the Amish Community.

It appears the Amish life that Saloma escaped from was anything but ideal.  You can read about her experiences and register for a giveaway of her new book, Why I Left the Amish, About Amish.  I'm looking forward to reading Saloma's blog and her book.

So, if you are interested in the Amish way of life, or just want a good read, check out these two blogs.  You will be glad you did.

16 comments:

Flat Creek Farm said...

I love your china cabinet, and I'm also fascinated by the Amish. Which reminds me, I need another Amish Day Trip fix! We have a large community up the road from us - well, less than 20 miles 'up the road' :) Yes, the dangers are many for the Amish buggies on the road (one of our locals died tragically last year on hwy 63).

I also backtracked a little and found your refrigerator rolls recipe. I might whip some of these up today, although I am NOT known for my fabulous bread making skills.. lol. This should be interesting, but they sound doable (even for me??). Thanks for the recipe, and enjoy your weekend! -Tammy

Saloma Furlong said...

Dear Deanna,

Thank you so kindly for your comment on my blog, for this blog posting, and for your own reflections about the Amish -- they are absolutely fabulous craftspeople -- both the men and the women. I wish we lived near them, so we could hire them for finishing our house!

I LOVE your "About Me" description! The conclusion is precious! I hope someday grandchildren will call me that!

Rita said...

We used to see the buggies in Wisconsin when I lived there for a few years. They are also fabulous bakers and a couple of the ladies used to sell their baked goods at the intersection of two county roads. Never knew when they were going to be there, but if you saw them you stopped. Scrumptious!

That cabinet is beautiful. I know they are regarded highly for their woodworking skills. I have always been fascinated by their lifestyle. Probably because I grew up in the 60s commune era and the idea of living off the land without the modern conveniences was very appealing to a suburban flower child. But I don't know enough about their beliefs and practices. Her book sounds really interesting!! I went to both blogs. :)

AliceKay said...

As you know, I live in a very rural area and have several Amish communities around me. We sell feed to most of them, so I deal with them almost on a daily basis. We had a young man also named Mose (i think i've commented that before) who worked for us at the feed mill for awhile. He contacted one of our employees several months ago and told him he left the Amish life. I'll have to bookmark those blogs so I can read when I have some time. I'd be very interested in what they had to say.

Your china cabinet is just beautiful. Linda and Karl have many pieces of furniture in their home that were made by the Amish near Lancaster, PA. I envy each piece.

That corgi :) said...

That china cabinet looks very nice! It must be interesting to live close by and be able to see glimpses of their lives as they interact with you. I too find that type of lifestyle fascinating. When we lived in Montana, we were close to Hutterites. They lived in colonies, but were modernized than the Amish in that they drove (usually old school buses). They were always at farmer markets with their produce. I knew of one that left the colony and because she left she was shunned, it was hard on her. I definitely am going to check out those two blogs, Deanna. Thanks for recommending them.

betty

Osage Bluff Quilter said...

Great minds think alike, we went to the Amish store today. If you are intersted the coupon is good until Tuesday and it can be downloaded from their web site.
Go figure . . . they have a web site??

Queenie Jeannie said...

Your cabinet is gorgeous!! I've seen their quilts and wowsers - fabulous work!

Toriz said...

Thanks for the blog recommendations... I'll probably go and take a look when I get a chance.

Lynn said...

I would love to see Amish country but hubby says no he aint interested so oh well maybe one day before I die lol I love the cabinet also :o)

Rural Rambler said...

Lovely post Deanna. We too are fascinated by the Amish. I worry about them all the time with their buggys on those narrow paths by the side of the road. The accident Tammy refers to is always in my mind. Tragic. An Amish Father and Son and Brother to the Father did the framework for our home at the Lake and Amish did our metal workshop. Their quality of work is amazing. I have already bookmarked your two links and will be reading the two blogs when I get some free time. Thanks for the links, I love reading new blogs and old favorite ones too :)

Cheryl @ The Farmer's Daughter said...

It's funny how some of us think alike! I've just been telling hubby that I'd like to take a little day trip over to the Amish country which isn't all that far from us. They have their signs out at the end of the lane advertising what they sell. Like baked goods, quilts or baskets for example. I've always been fascinated by their lifestyle and really envy the slower paced living, but I don't think I could live without my modern conveniences. I'll look at the 2 links when I have more time, thanks for sharing those.

Val said...

I have always been intrigued by them too. I will check out these blogs.

Vicki Lane said...

Interesting links! I was drawn to the Amish by their beautiful quilts and have replicated several -- I love the austere aesthetic, But I wouldn't choose to live a life dictated by others.

From Beyond My Kitchen Window said...

I love the thought of their slowed paced life.

tattytiara said...

There is a definite appeal to living a life undistracted by trivialities.

Intense Guy said...

Living as I do near the edge of the Lancaster County Amish, I too, have been fascinated with them - and somewhat possessive and protective of "my Amish".

But I've always been of two minds with them - first I admirer their tenacious grip on their faith which gives them great strength to be conscientious objectors in times of war and to tell the overbearing government to "perform an anatomically impossible act" when it interferes with their practice of a constitutionally guaranteed right - religion...

But on the otherhand - they have NOT mixed into the melting pot that is America. They are exclusionary and discriminatory.

They are fine woodworkers and fantastic farmers and deep down - I think they are a people to be admired, I just wish some of their beliefs would "rub off" more on the rest of Americans.