As most of my long time readers know, my family is in the process of building our new house in rural Ohio. We haven’t moved in yet…still more to do on the house before that happens! Hopefully, within the next couple of months we’ll be able to call Ohio our home. While working on the house Scott and I have had the opportunity to befriend several Amish families. A large portion of society looks at these “plain people” and they don’t understand them or their ways. They are seen as peculiar at best and just plain odd at the least. But you know what? I have so enjoyed their friendships. I know what it is “to visit” in the winter evenings, seeing only by the light from lanterns. I know what it is to be warm and toasty from the heat of the wood stove. We’ve been given the gifts of home made bread, and cherry turnovers. We’ve gotten eggs from a local Amish family….where if they are not there when you arrive for your eggs, a sign says, “Take what you need and just leave what you owe.” How often do you see that these days? It feels like community. It feels like trust.
No. I don’t think I could live like the Amish. I am way too spoiled by convenience. Indoor plumbing and electricity are necessary for me…and yes, I love my computer. BUT—there is a lot to be said for a more simple life. Family and friends are close by. There is a caring network of people always there to lend a hand. Unlike the general populations who hardly know who their next door neighbors are unless it is to just give a quick wave when they back out of their driveway.
A more quiet life, with less distractions. Without all the extra distractions one has more time to concentrate on the important things. They are not overwhelmed by “the urgent”.
Yes, it is a lot of work without modern conveniences to aide you and riding in open buggies in the winter has got to be freezing cold, but when I am visiting with my new friends I can see the positives of living a simple life.
They don’t have to worry about soaring gas prices, huge electric bills, and who to choose for their internet provider. They don’t have to give a thought to the latest fashions or makeup. I kind of think that living the Amish lifestyle would resemble what the pioneer families of the late 1800s experienced. (Well, maybe easier because the Amish do have modern medical care available to them)
I can only speak for myself, but as one who loves history AND loves to listen to stories AND happens to be an avid people watcher I love that I have some new friends. I look forward to both learning and sharing with my new friends about all our differences, but also all the things that deep down make us the same.