Tuesday, March 18, 2008

A Long Shot

There are Amish communities that are near me and also some Mennonite. I've thought about driving out by their homes and taking some pictures...but I really respect their desire for privacy. They don't really like to be oggled at. Who can blame them? That is what is nice about this area. We don't have tourist attractions that call for people to gape at the Amish the way they do in places like Lancaster, PA. Generally they are left alone and once in a while we see them in town. A few weeks ago I saw a horse and buggy tied to a lamp post in the Wal-mart parking lot. I took a great picture with my cell-phone....but I don't have the chord to download it to my computer. Another time I was at the Salvation Army thrift shop and there were two Amish women chatting away in their Pennsylvania Dutch (a form of German). At that point I really wished I knew German. Not because I wanted to be nosy and eavesdrop, but I thought it would be fun to hold up a pair of trousers and say, "How about these? Will these fit Eli?" LOL!

There is an Amish dairy farm down the road from my inlaw's place. I quite often will see a horse and buggy go by the house when I visit. I never happen to have the camera at the right time. Last weekend on the way home from their house we were about to pass a horse and buggy on the road. I just happened to have my camera. It was a long shot (no pun intended) to get the picture. I just pointed my camera towards my window as we were about to pass and pressed the button. Then I checked the results, fully expecting to see blur or just the road or a portion of a horse. To my surprise the picture above was what I found! I was quite pleased.

14 comments:

Martha said...

The wonderful thing about owning a horse and buggy is that you don't have to worry about gasoline prices.

Good shot.

gmj said...

Nope you don't have to worry about gas. Well, petrol, but you do need a pooper scooper in a large size, no baggies over your hand trick.

Bethany said...

I was going to say good shot too, but Mom stole the words right out of my "mouth".

kristina said...

It is a good shot. Very lucky, Eli.

Gudl said...

That is a very nice photograph!
The Amish Guy who built our barn was soo nice, the whole family was. We visited them and gave them a few of our chickens.
Anyway, they are also called 'the gentle people'. I think that is fitting.

Wanda said...

Wonderful shot ~~ like going back in time ~~ And Martha's right, a bale of hay is better than the gas prices we have.

Jenny said...

What a great sight.

Jenny said...

One of my favourite movies years (and years) ago was the one with Harrison Ford in it, set in an Amish community. I think it was called 'Witness'?

Priscilla said...

Yes. I remember that movie.

Ruth said...

The only 'knowledge' I have about the Amish is from movies, like Witness...which I'm assuming means pretty much that I know nothing!!

What is the difference between the Amish and the Mennonites? And when you say they were speaking Pennsylvania Dutch, do they not speak English, or are the bilingual? How does their community sustain themselves? How big is the average Amish community??? (I mean sustain themselves not only as in what do they do for work, but also, who do they marry?)...and also, whay is their life philosophy- i.e why do they choose to live like that?

Sorry, lots of questions, but I'm curious.

When I visited Holland many years ago, we passed a group of locals with apparently similar ideas to the Amish (or so our tour guide said), who wore traditional Dutch outfits etc, and rode bicycles etc - but they had a rep as being a little nasty, so we were warned not only not to take photos of them, but to steer clear of them altogether! (could have been a bad tour guide report though)

Ruth said...

Hey, forgot to say - great photo! I thought you'd got it from some online photo link, but you took it. Too cool!

Priscilla said...

Ruth, You have asked some great questions. I'm not even sure that I know all the answers. I'll try. The Amish and Mennonite are bilingual. In fact, that day I saw them in the thrift store....I got in a short conversation with one.

There are several communities around the country. The biggest communities are in Pennsylvania and in Indiana. They have also settled in Ohio. I'm sure there are other places...but I don't know where. Some of them are related to one another. So some people here may have cousins in Pennsylvania for example. I know they can marry within their own community or from another community. Amish tend to be mostly farmers. Mennonites are often farmers too....but some of them run other businesses too. I like going to a bulk foods store that is run by some Mennonites. Also, when my sewing machine was giving me trouble I took it to a small shop to be cleaned and tuned up. It was run by a Mennonite man. Some also do construction work (see Gudl's comment). Basically...they are just people like you and I who choose to live life a little more simply I guess. (or a lot more simply if you are Amish)

The Mennonites are often from Amish backgrounds (or heritage). They are not as strict with their rules. They drive cars and use electricity. The Amish do not. These groups are sects of Christianity. And just like different denominations within the church...there are some individual members who are Christians....and others who merely follow rules and think that is salvation.

Why do they choose to live like that? I think the basic belief is that they are keeping themselves from the world and it's worldly cares.

joeks said...

Great job with the explanation, Priscilla!
Other places the Amish have settled include Iowa, Missouri, and Kansas--and like you said, probably more. Several families from south central Kansas just, within the last year, moved up to settle in our county in northern Kansas, actually just a couple of miles up the road from us. They are good neighbors, and my DH has done some hauling for one family.

Ruth said...

Thanks Priscilla, that answered a lot of my questions.