Friday, July 25, 2008

The Peaceful People

My firstborn and I went on a three day retreat from the hustle-bustle of modern society and traveled to Holmes County, Ohio. This is home to the largest Amish Settlement in the World. Notice this home has no electric or telephone lines, which the peaceful Amish people believe would bring bad influences into their homes. After many such visits, I agree with them that the outside world is messing with our hearts and souls. Each day more and more harmful thoughts and ideas creep into our lives and we become inured to them inch by inch, minute by minute.
Amish youth enjoy a period of "rumspringa" or "running around", which begins about sixteen and ends when the teen decides to commit to the church and be baptized into adult membership of the community. During rumspringa, the teens party with beer, cigarettes, drugs, wearing "English" clothing and makeup. This taste of wild American life allows them to make an informed decision to live the remainder of their lives for God under the rules of the Amish Ordnung without feelings of having missed out on some nebulous big-time experience. Ninety percent of the teens return to the church after this period of "running around"to marry and become full members of the Amish community. They raise their children in the church, speak only German in their homes and follow principles handed down for centuries. By staying faithful to the simple, plain life, these peaceful people eschew modern conveniences and work very hard. Their lives are productive and successful.
We drove from Northwest Ohio down to Bettsville, Ohio to visit our
favorite fabric shop. We tried to not spend too much money on our quilting addiction, but we have some great fabrics hiding in the sewing room. We failed miserably! Then, we picnicked beside the Tiffin River and leisurely drove on to Holmes County to The Inn at Honey Run. The rooms are very nice with quilts on every bed and hiking trails accessible by simply stepping out the window. Hummingbirds and tiny squirrels flit past the windows and the air is alive with the chirping of many different types of birds. The best part of our trip is driving the car off the main drag at dusk to ogle the Amish as they bring in the big teams of Belgium Draft Horses Horses for the night. Children play games and chase barefoot through the deepening shadows. Moms are out tending the flower gardens. The Amish dress plainly and wear no jewelry. The homes are plain and functional, but beauty comes into their lives in the form of flowers. Though they work very hard all day at chores, the evening is devoted to tending the flower gardens and quilting... no wonder we love the Amish!
This little gal is a living weed eater used for grass control on rolling hillsides and she gives milk, too. The whole area gives an aura of peace and tranquility, which is needed so much by the fast paced American life. When you need rejuvenation of spirit and a picker-upper to carry on in your life....head for the nearest Amish community and learn how to slow down and smell the new mown hay or pig poop. The oldest daughter does not have a feeling for the farm smells, but she loves the quiet. Soon, she will be back teaching a roomful of third graders, which is anything but quiet.



Molly said...

Lovely post Kacey! I read a book a while back about the Amish by a woman who went to live among them for a while. What impressed her was how they don't rush through their work so they can relax and get to the "fun" stuff. They take pleasure in the doing of everyday tasks. They have the wisdom to know that THAT's what life's all about. I find myself feeling that way too as I get older, [and hopefully wiser!] Next time I'll come with you!!

Empress Bee (of the High Sea) said...

lovely post honey! in delaware when i was little we had some next door to us and they were wonderful neighbors. they cook pretty danged good too!

smiles, bee

Big Dave T said...

What I thought was pretty too were the rolling hills. I'd like to go back there during the fall, when the color's in the trees.

I got my picture taken with a goat at Honey Run. He was pretty friendly. Was wondering if he was expecting me to give him a treat. Maybe eating all that grass was getting boring.

Granny Annie said...

My mother's family comes from Ohio and Pennsylvania. Visiting aunts and cousins always talked about the wonderful Amish people they knew. I have never been there and after reading this post, I want to go even more. Very nice Kacey!

Lovells Eye said...

Earth to Kacey!
Thanks for a trip aboard your magic carpet as we joined you and darling daughter #1 on excursion into the past and present of the marvelous Amish people. Truly educational & interesting. Henry Thoreau would have enjoyed your depiction's of nature. Thank God we live in nation where all peoples can thrive. One wonders how the "Fatherland" would view the Amish as citizens. Answer is self evident. It's a miracle their rich culture hasn't been emasculated by the decadence of our day. Surely, we can learn from the Amish. Death can't break the bond you two strengthened during this three day visit. God bless & thank you for sharing,
The Lovells Eye
Too old vize!

Loving Annie said...

That sounds so lovely, Kacey. The Amish have much about their way of life and thinking to recommend them. Living peacefully and without technology certainly has its good side to it... It must have been relaxing and beautiful, and I'd love to have seen the quilts !

Carine said...

I have to agree w/ everyone before my Kacey, lovely post-sounds like a wonderful place. right now, I'd like no electricity and a simpler existence.

Molly said...

Hi Kacey! I've seen Ami Simms on TV. She's very good, but no, it was not her who wrote that book....I think I lent it to someone and haven't had it back---old story---you'd think I'd learn! Can't remember who the author was, but will try to hunt it down for you.

Sarge Charlie said...

kacey i don't know why you can't comment, are you putting in your name? i don't know what is happening to you honey. it is me bee on sarge's blog by the way.

smiles, bee

Cathy said...

Kacey, I love this post and I also love this same area of Ohio. Maybe one day we can meet up in Holmes county.

I always feel so good after I have been there for a couple days. its very inspiring.