Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Amish Country

I’ve missed blogging for a few weeks, and it is good to be back.  My husband and I vacationed in New England and eastern Canada. We returned a few days ago.  I thought about all of you…truly I did.  Now that I’ve returned to Texas, I want to share a few moments of our trip.

When we stopped in Pennsylvania Amish Country, I met the lady pictured here.
 She stood beside me as we both examined books in a gift shop.  She kept picking out the same genre that I did.  I finally said to her, “You and I enjoy the same books.  Maybe you’d like to read one I wrote.”  I handed her a Sarah: A Mission of Love book card.  She looked up at me in surprise. 

“You are the author? I read that book and really liked it.”

Wow!  Talk about a thrill.  That was a first for me.  I’d never met a stranger who had actually read one of my books.  She seemed to enjoy the experience too.  We exchanged emails, and I hope to visit with her now and then by computer exchange.  She lives in that beautiful Amish country, while I live in Texas.  As you can see by our jackets, we enjoyed cool, fall weather that night.  Dry, breezy temperatures provided a welcome relief from the south Texas heat and humidity. 

That same evening, we attended a dinner hosted by an Amish family. An eighth grader entertained us about his life in the one room school house. This young man told how many days he had left in the class room, and then no more school. The students finish after the eighth year. He appeared delighted and looked forward to helping his father in the craft shop.  

Since I enjoy Amish novels, I knew something about their way of life and had visited an Amish school once before. The school term was no surprise to me, but many diners found it amazing that children received a limited education, especially the teachers in the crowd. 

The students begin each day with Bible reading and prayer.  I asked the young man if they also said the Pledge of Allegiance to the American flag.  He replied, “I don’t know what that is. Ask my father. He’s on the school board.”

His father turned to me and said, “I don’t know why we don’t say the Pledge of Allegiance, no one has ever asked me that. I will ask the Bishop.”

Leave it to me to make an inquiry that hasn’t been asked before.  Must be the writer in me.
I wish I could have shown you his picture.  He's a very handsome guy, but the Amish allow no photographs.  A photograph is a graven image, and it breaks one of the Ten Commandments.

I admire the Amish.  They are devoted Christians, but I prefer to live my faith with today’s modern conveniences. Riding in a horse and buggy, fastening clothes with straight pins, no computers, and wearing no makeup doesn’t make my day.  Since no mirrors are allowed in their homes, (that image thing it's vanity.) I wouldn’t see my unadorned face, but everyone else would.  Yikes!

If you haven’t read Amish stories, pick one up.  Beverly Lewis writes lovely novels in that genre.  Others do as well. 

What about you?  Would you trade your lifestyle for an Amish one?

More next time. Stay tuned.





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