Day Seven - The Amish

Lancaster Travel Blog

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Amish country.  The gentle people.  Hard working and loyal.  So misunderstood.  There are several roads that lead into Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and we choose Highway 340.  This was supposed to be the preferred route for horse-and-buggy viewing, and we were right. 

The towns have unusual names that conjure up images in your mind.  Wagontown, Intercourse, Bird-in-Hand.   No tractors to be seen in the breezeways of the well-built barns and sheds.  Acre after acre of turned-up earth and green fields.  Small boys working with large Belgium drafthorses.  Two gentle giants with ears cocked backward, listening for their next command.

Amish horse and buggy

Oh, do we all wish for a live of simplicity?  No arguments over which television show to watch or what to wear to school or work.  There are no worries about the cost of car tires or having the oil changed.  What about that commute to the office.  Non-existing in this neighborhood.

A sideroad took us deep into their world.  It must have been wash day.  Every farmhouse had clean laundry hanging on the clothesline, stretched between the highest point on the barn and the corner of the house.  That made it a little bit easier.  Just pull on the line to feed the clothes high into the breeze.

We passed a schoolyard full of children.  They were all dressed the same and excited to see our motorcycles, running up close to the road to watch as we waved hello.

Well-manicured Amish farm
   Through our rear-view mirror, I could see them all lined up against the fence with their little fingers entwined with the chainlink, watching our tail lights fade away.  I suppose that little boys everywhere like big-boy toys, no matter their cultural background.   We respected their privacy and did not take any pictures, only the pictures that are forever pressed into our memories.

Another scene that impressed me was the buggy lot.  Similar to our used car lots, buggies were parked side by side.  The entire lot was full of black buggies.  How would you decide?  They all looked the same.  There is no odometer that tells the mileage.   Men with beards and black hats milled about the lot.

Two-horse team hitched to a multiple-passenger wagon.
  No women were in sight.   Some of them were in deep conversation.  Others were checking out the newest additions.  All buggies had  price tags and  had been cleaned up nicely to make them more attractive to the buyer.  Interesting.

This is a corner of the world that invites you to stay; don't leave.  These gentle people only ask to be left alone.  They take care of themselves and ask for nothing.

Only one week after we had passed through this little bit of heaven on earth, the headlines read, "Mass Murder in Amish Schoolhouse."  My heart sank deep inside my chest.  What a travesty that someone would actually want to harm these people.  God forgive him.

sylviandavid says:
Very nice blog. good job! Sylvia
Posted on: Sep 29, 2007
kingelvis14 says:
Yes, but we can all learn from these people. They are forgiving and hold no hatred in their hearts. Even for the murderer of their precious children.
Posted on: Sep 23, 2007
mswim says:
I love the Amish Country. The farmlands are so beautiful and the people are so friendly. I remember reading about that mass murder. What a horrific thing to happen.
Posted on: Sep 23, 2007
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Postcard pretty
Postcard pretty
Amish horse and buggy
Amish horse and buggy
Well-manicured Amish farm
Well-manicured Amish farm
Two-horse team hitched to a multip…
Two-horse team hitched to a multi…
Typical Amish farm.
Typical Amish farm.
Welcome to Amish Country
Welcome to Amish Country
Lancaster
photo by: vances