On a beautiful warm November day, I took a ride out to the foot on the mountains to an Amish-run bent and dent store. I’ve often talked and written about my fascination with our plain neighbors and the simple lives they lead. There are days when I feel very jealous of them, and I’m always appreciative that we get to know about them around here. I spend a few days in Lancaster County every summer, to be among Amish and soak up their laid-back lifestyle and slow pace.
I took a couple side trips along the way to the store, to remind myself how peaceful it is to live in small-town America. Outside of town are villages, and farms and mountains. Big cities are nice, and I like to visit sometimes, but I’m always glad to get home. I took a few pictures while I was out roaming on such a pretty day.
I drove out Covered Bridge Road, to look at the beautiful covered bridge that I hadn’t seen for a while. I think there are something like 20 of these left in Pennsylvania and I’m glad to have one right out the road. Times gone by……the bridge is still used every day by people who live around there.
In my travels I passed an Amish school. Amish kids go to the 8th grade because the rest of the teaching they need comes from home, family, church. The Amish kids ride scooters instead of bikes, because you can’t get as far away from home on a scooter, and you shouldn’t go far from home. Adults in Lancaster County also ride scooters just like these, for the same reason. If you need to go further away, you need a horse and your buggy.
The bent and dent store provides a thing we see at some other stores around here, even at some big chain stores in town, cos plain people are our neighbors all around. Macadam gets very hot in the sun, too hot for horses hooves, standing on the surface while the people are in the store. So stores put down a concrete pad with hitching posts for the horses.
We have horse manure on our streets here every day, including in front of my house, because there is an old order Mennonite church out the road from my house, and many families that live out in that area. Amish are among us out in the country but not as frequently seen in town as old order Mennonites. You can tell the difference between the groups by their clothing and also by their buggies. (And adults and teenage Mennonites ride bikes here, no scooters.) Mennonite buggies are black, and the Amish, who actually broke away from the Mennonites, have gray buggies.
I took some pictures at an Amish farm out that way too. They raise their chickens the way chickens should be raised: in the grass, in a coop, out in a field.
Amish farms both here and in Lancaster County always have purple martin houses. Martins are known to be excellent bug catchers, so they attract the birds to their farms as a natural way to raise better crops. These boxes have been lowered down now to clean them out after last year’s nesting.
Rambling on about a nice trip out in the country, and my fascination with a group of people who live in a different time, while still part of our world, but as separate as they can be. It was a good ride out to the mountains, and to the bent and dent store, to find all sorts of good things there. I’ll go again soon, and might have to take another ride over the covered bridge while I’m out there.