A few weeks ago, an Amish friend called from her family’s telephone shanty to invite me to the annual Christmas program that would be performed at their church’s one-room school house. Some of her own children would have speaking parts. She thought I might be interested in coming and had already checked with the two teachers before she called. They had given their permission for me to come. Few invitations have ever pleased me more. I’ve always longed to visit an Amish school house. As someone who writes about the Amish, I try to be as accurate in my portrayal of their culture as possible. I’ve been invited to their worship services, two weddings, several cookouts, and I often stay with Old Order Amish friends when I’m in the Holmes County area—the largest Amish settlement in the world. But I’ve never been invited inside an Amish school. Nor have I ever asked. Amish children are, as much as possible, sheltered from Englisch influences. An Amish person would be welcome to drop into a one-room schoolhouse uninvited and watch and they often do. I am not Amish and therefore I do not belong there. At least not without a direct invitation. […]
Location for Amish related articles starting in 2017
Last night, I returned from another visit with my New Order Amish friends in Northern Ohio. As usual, I left with gifts. There was a box of mint rootings for my garden, dug up by my good friend, 81 year-old Martha. I had been so impressed with the “Garden Tea” her daughter served us, Martha wanted to make sure I could make my own someday. Her daughter, Joanna, gave me a loaf of fresh, home-made bread as I left their home. They are a giving people. The best gift, though, was being allowed to visit on their front porch late into the night, sipping Joanna’s tea, laughing, swapping stories, and sharing our lives and our faith. It is no small thing to be accepted into the heart of an Amish family, and I am always humbled that they allow me to experience their warmth and hospitality. I try to reciprocate, but no matter what I do, it never feels like enough considering the hours of patient tutorials I receive as my Amish friends try to help me accurately represent their culture. A couple weeks ago, I posted something on Facebook about my visit to a New Order Amish school. Several […]
When my sisters and I were growing up, my mom owned a Jersey cow that kept our family supplied in milk, cream, and butter. Part of Mom’s daily routine was making certain the cow was milked twice a day and everything connected with the milking had been washed and sterilized.