Ole Boy and I took a road trip to Lawrenceburg/Ethridge, TN, to the Amish (Mennonite) Community, something we like to do each spring and summer.
An Amish calf...such a cute little thing.
A common sight...children walking barefoot on gravel roads and horse drawn buggies. The Amish do not take pictures of themselves, and I am respectful when I snap photographs. I have never taken pictures of the very little children in the gardens, or at play, nor do I snap pictures while I am on their property. After a little hesitation and research (and much thought), I am posting these two pictures that do not show any faces.
Although the Amish will accept rides in cars, and
ride on trains or buses, they do not own vehicles.
Often, you will see cars and trucks parked in the driveways, but they are owned by people wanting to buy Amish goods such as wonderful home baked breads, cakes, and cookies, or some of the best homemade peanut brittle and other candies. They also sell fresh vegetables from their gardens. They make bracelets, baskets, cedar furniture, jams, jellies, pickles, apple butter, pear butter, scented candles and soaps...you get the idea.
One little lady we like to visit every time we go makes the best turnovers (fried pies, that is)! I probably shouldn't mention that I meant to take a picture before I gobbled mine down, but I forgot once I got the thing in my hand. It was warm and scrumptious. The peach and strawberry are the best.
Keep in mind that these are very plain, simple people. They do not wear bright colors (usually only blue and black), nor do they use electricity (notice no power lines). They do, however, use gas for some equipment, such as milking machines (though I believe some milking is still done by hand). They often use a gasoline engine to pump water from a well. They also sometimes use gas to cook, like the lady who makes the fried pies.
The wives pluck, cut, and fry their own chickens. They bake, wash and clean. The women and small children tend the gardens, and the men and young boys toil in the fields. It is very humbling to watch the hard work that goes into their "simple" life. After marriage, men do not cut their beards; however, they do not keep mustaches, as they believe mustaches are associated with the military, and they strive to be peaceful and live in harmony.
They are German in their heritage, and Christian in their beliefs. They believe, as do I, that the Bible is the inspired word of God; that Jesus is the son of God, who died for our sins. They are committed to peace, and they believe their faith calls for a lifestyle of discipleship, service and holy living, hence the "not being conformed to the world." way of life. (Roman 12:2)
Again, notice no power lines. Young boys mow grass by the
use of a push reel mower, not a gasoline powered machine.
All homes have gardens. The most precious little children work in these gardens in their bonnets and hats, and their pilgrim-like clothing. They are friendly little ones, and also very smart and responsible, often helping out with the taking of money and counting back change; very young children doing a very good job...without a register or a calculator.
Hand made signs dot the community and line the fences.
If you're ever in the Lawrenceburg area, you should make your way to Ethridge, and drive along the gravel roads in the Amish community. Even if you don't buy any of their goods (though you should definitely get a loaf of their homemade bread, just once in your life, and eat it while it's still warm), I believe you'd be touched by this very different way of life. It's a lifestyle that not a lot of us could manage very well...or at least not without some complaint.