The Amish


Well, this has been an interesting week.  Our original plan to visit my son and his family in Tennessee was changed.  Instead, we visited Jerilyn’s brother Wayne & wife Marion in Armonk, NY (about 1 hours from NYC).  Wayne’s health is not very good.  He has dialysis 3 times weekly and does an admirable job of dealing with his health issues.  After spending a couple of days with him, we left for Lancaster, PA to visit the Amish people.

At this point I need to tell you that I now know way too much about the Amish.   We paid to watch a film about a young Amish boy named Jacob, afterward we toured a typical Amish home and then we paid for a two hour Amish buggy ride (with an older Amish guide named John).  So, by the end of day 2 of our Amish Experience, I was sick and tired of all things pertaining to those fine people.    Day 3 found us hitting all the antique malls in the area and Jerilyn enjoying every delicious minute.   I don’t think I know anyone else that enjoys looking at old stuff more than she does.  Mostly, I set in the car listening to audio books, reading Newsweek and Wired mags, or doing something on my laptop.  As a matter of fact this WOW was prepared on my laptop as Jerilyn was browsing an antique shop.

We went to a live show at the American Music Theatre in Lancaster Tuesday night.  The production was titled:  Broadway’s Best.  It was a very good show with many talented people and included songs from top Broadway shows from 1938 until the present.  It was the day after Labor Day and the audience was small.  That did not deter the cast from giving us a good performance.  Whenever I take Jerilyn to a show at night, after a long busy day, she always has trouble staying awake during the performance.  Now, she has this down to a science.  At any point during the show that requires the audience to applaud, she suddenly wakes up and claps as if she witnessed the entire performance.  Then, within a few minutes she is struggling to stay awake.   I would say, on average, she sees about 80% of any performance.  I do not have a problem with that.  If she’s happy then I’m happy.   I imagine that she could tell you a thing or two about me that would create a broad grin on your face.

I have a wonderful electronic device I use whenever we take trips.   It is a GPS navigation device made by Garmin (Nuvi 360) and affectionately referred to by us as Nuvi.  Wherever we want to go, let’s use Cackleberry Antique Mall for an example, I just type in the name, it does a search and then authoritatively guides us there.  She gave me a list of three places she wanted to visit, I typed them in one at a time, let Nuvi locate each and then saved them with an appropriate name.  From that point on, life got real simple.  No more pouring over maps and getting lost.  That small device cost me $500.   If I had to sell it and was not allowed to purchase another one, it would take a lot of money to pry that puppy from my tenacious grip.  We get a lot of entertainment out of making fun of the way it gets us to our destination.  It is not smart, but it always gets us where we want to go.  One of the really cool features it has is estimating when you will arrive at your destination (based on your speed).   It is amazingly good at doing that.  It will adjust your arrival time as you make stops to eat, etc.  It also will tell you your exact speed so you can adjust it and avoid speeding tickets.   I was setting my speedometer at 72 in a 65 zone and Nuvi informed me that I was actually doing 74.  Needless to say, I immediately reset my speed at 70 on my speedometer.

One last word about the Amish before I close.  They do not have electricity, modern gadgets and wear very simple clothes without zippers.  The men grow beards minus a moustache and sideburns after they are married.  The women wear black clothing after they are married.  No one wears jewelry.  The children go barefoot from spring until the first frost in October.  They attend school in a 1 room schoolhouse and go thru the 8th grade.  They have the same teacher in each grade.  She is chosen to teach because she was the smartest student.  Once they become 16 they are permitted to visit, or live among the “English†(they speak German in their homes).  They are allowed all the time they need to choose between the Amish & English lifestyles.  If they chose the Amish lifestyle, they are baptized.  After this, if they leave for the English lifestyle they are banished and not permitted to return.  It appears to me they spend their entire life working their butts off.  Why any kid would choose to spend their life in these sparse conditions is beyond me.

I hope you’re enjoying your summer, or whatever season it is in your part of the world


“What a wonderful life I’ve had! I only wish I’d realized it sooner.”