Today we had our first Amish friends here for supper. They have been very helpful in showing us some of the ropes around here. We wanted to thank them over supper. They came from about 4.5 miles with horse and buggy. They were very good friends with the people who lived here before us. Their horse knew the way they said without their lead. It took them about a ½ hour to get here. They hooked the horse up to our hitching post and came in for supper. I am amazed they really still travel in this archaic way.
We chatted over dinner, sloppy joes, corn casserole, chips, dilly beans and dilled pickles. We served cherry dump cake cooked on the woodstove (all these recipes coming in the book J) and hot coffee from the French press. They were very intrigued with the French press as they had never seen one before. They loved the coffee and noticed the great taste. I think we know what we will get them for Christmas.
They brought us a bunch of magazines about the local farm markets and they encouraged us to get involved in that as they are. They actually were the starters of the Saturday farmers market in our local town. This is one reason we moved here so the children could spread their entrepreneurial wings even further. It's really not about the money, although we could always use this, it's about teaching them the value of a dollar and how to earn the money themselves. We have lots of plans in the works, but will take one at a time. The children loved having them for supper here. They helped bring the horse water and hay and watched Mr. "A" put the blanket on the horse.
We talked quite a bit, they asked us lots of questions and we asked them lots of questions too. They were very open and seem to be just like you and I. They are Amish because they want a simple life. They talked about how they do not understand BIG business in America in that if a company is doing well, strong and steady but may only have 25 employees, why would they want to even grow if they are safe. Money is not a driving force in their life. Living with just enough for them and enough to help others is their driving force. They do have mortgages though and loans, this surprised me a lot as I had always thought of them as "debt free", etc.
Everything made a lot of sense with what they said. A lot of myths were debunked. They DO read the Bible on their own and they DO read books. In fact, they came from the library book sale this very day with a book about horses for our children as a gift. They buy books for their church (their sect) lending library. I was very surprised when I mentioned to them that I was formerly a nanny and they had just finished read the NY Best Time Seller, The Nanny Diaries…?? I didn't ask much about that J.
They were very respectful to us and said they admired the courage to leave living on grid and that it took a lot of guts to do it. They wondered if we were getting a lot of "flack" from friends and family. We told them yes and no. They said, "Don't worry if people do not understand why you are doing this, they are missing out on the freedom it really is bringing you". They said that going without electricity is easy, it's the other things being Amish is hard about. You must get along with your church family, it is not an option. These people are you sole support, your community, even your insurance. You see the everyday at times. When you build or buy a home, these same people self-insure your home with you that in event of fire they will rebuild it; you do the same for them, even if you are not "fond" of them. They said it's something they have really had to learn and still are. Being Amish in "D's" words provides 100% security from the cradle to the grave. They are very close knit and they help each other daily in getting all the farm work finished. They do not go anything alone. If someone needs to butcher a cow and can 49 quarts of meat, then you do it together on Monday and then on Tuesday you go to someone else's farm and you help them. You eat together, you raise your children together and you do so many things even we would not do as immediate family together. Even Christmas baking, 30 ladies will get together and bake on a large army surplus size stove and then divvy up all the goodies at the end and then you have your baking done in about ½ day and in a very large quantity. It's really neat. I wish it could be like that for us but honestly I would have to really mature a lot in the people area as I seem to be more of a loaner J… Yes, I really just said that…
They had some great books to read that I will get from them this week. Sounded real interesting. They are in no way trying to convert us to be Amish, they are sincerely friendly people. Although, they mentioned that people DO become Amish… Interesting.
They told us about our Amish neighbors that he is 1 of 19 children. His parents are both still alive. Each of the 19 children had a minimum of 9 children, some of them up to 18 and counting… What a lineage, can you even imagine a gathering of the "immediate family"? Pretty cool!
When they left I was in shock seeing them get into a weak seeming little black buggy and taking it onto the road. I couldn't imagine being passed by a semi in that.
They arrived around 545 pm and left at 945 pm. We could hear the clip pity clopping for a good while, even when the lantern on the buggy was out of site. I admire them for not buying into all we have and just saying the same and withstanding the peer pressure…
I did not take photos. I don't want to be another one of those "gawkers" that bothers them. I didn't even photograph the horse and buggy as I didn't want them to feel we thought of them as a novelty. Sorry no photos. Maybe I can snap some of the farms in the area from a distance.
Oh yes, photos of the cottage coming. It was not the dawdi haus, but another home where a young married couple resided here on the property. It was their son and daughter in laws home. Who knows, maybe one of our own children will live there someday… It's right by the pond and an adorable horse tack barn with a hitching post. Who knows, maybe the gentle giant and I will retire there and pass the farm to the kids some day.