Monday, August 23, 2010

Amish around town

For over 8 years now I have been living in rural Pennsylvania. Where I live two worlds collide. You have modern country life and old Amish tradition. At first, for us, it was a sight to see. Moving form Washington D.C. to here could not be more different. We had to get used to this new life, a slow life, a country life.

I live in a small borough. It has 4 churches, no bars, no stop lights, a post office with the most random hours I have ever seen and still can't ever manage to catch it open. However we also have a state University, Penn State Mont Alto, go figure.

But if you turn off on some of the streets just outside the main neighborhood it is a jolt back to older days. Not simpler by any means just bygone. I suppose they aren't bygone if they still happen now and still happen next to us.

All around us you find many sects of the Amish, Mennonite, and Brethren. All very conservative Christian groups. Plain people.

I remember visiting Lancaster County when I was in grade school. We took and over night trip to see and learn about the Amish. Fast forward 20 years and who would believe this city girl is now living with them?!

We interact and see them everyday. We go to their markets to buy their delicious over priced food. You almost will always find their buggies tied up out front.


They go to our markets as well. However they do not bring their buggies there but their black vans. (Well not always I 1 time saw to younger ones in a black Audi tt.) At least when they drive their always black boring cars they don't leave a mess in the road.


My boys are so used to seeing the buggies they don't even think twice about it. They are more in awe when we take them to the city. They think the metro is something amazing. Poor little country boys.

We have covered bridges. Pennsylvania has more covered bridges (over 200) than any other state. A covered bridge is a bridge with enclosed sides and a roof, often accommodating only a single lane of traffic. They have typically been wooden, although some newer ones are concrete or metal with glass sides. Mainly associated with the nineteenth century, covered bridges often serve as prominent local landmarks and have long attracted the attention of historic preservationists.



This one is on Covered Bridge Road, go figure. I wonder which one came first. I don't understand the purpose of them as you are protected for only a matter of feet of the journey.

You might think of the Amish as using no power and no ammonites of modern life. For the most part you would be right. They do however use some and certainly use us to make money. It is the Mennonites that you most commonly see because they are plentiful. They use modern life luxuries like doctors, cars, plumbing, electricity and others. They just limit their involvement. For instance as I mentioned above the cars. They are allowed to drive but they drive plain back cars to stand out. The cars do not have luxury options or even standard options like radios. They are just a means of transportation.

When I was learning about the Amish in grade school one of the things we learned about was barn raising. How they would all come together and quickly build barns for each other. The other day we pulled over to snap some pictures of a barn raising party. However, it was not a barn but a house they were putting up.


You can see the men scattered across the roof building and the women by the cars with drinks and food. They do not live in different types of housing. As you can see this is going to be a normal rancher. Up and down the streets you could not tell their houses from ours. You might be able to guess by the car in the driveway though.

Can you see all the black cars lined up?


Living out here is different. It is not for me. I am ready to move to the beach.

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