11.29.2012

I should've been Amish

Today we're going to talk about the Amish. And my love affair with them. I won't even try to hide it anymore. 

An Amish Farm in Holmes County, Ohio

It all started during the summer of 1999. I was still living in Nevada. My mom had a conference to go to in Columbus, and we made a family vacation out of it (to Ohio, yes, I know). During that vacation, we spent a night in a bed and breakfast in the middle of Amish Country, Holmes County, Ohio. Holmes County is where Jeremiah from Breaking Amish is from, fyi. While we were there, I remember seeing a boy driving a buggy with pink fuzzy dice hanging in it. In hindsight, I bet it was Jeremiah.

Anyway, we all fell in love with Amish Country and its quiet simplicity. I loved the horses and buggies tied to posts in the parking lots instead of cars, the barefoot children running around, THE FOOD, the open fields, everything. And then we moved to Ohio 2 years later, and my love for the Amish just continued to grow. We lived about an hour and a half to two hours from Amish Country, but it was not uncommon to see them in Walmart, or next door working on our neighbor's house, which was built by the Amish.

Speaking of the Amish working on my neighbor's house. There might have been a Friday night that was spent hiding in my parents' bathtub with the window above cracked open so I could listen to them speak Pennsylvania Dutch (their first language). And peek outside when they weren't looking. I'm not even remotely creepy. Just like I've never followed them around in Walmart before. Never.


Amish style hay bales
If you didn't know, there's been a quite a rise in the popularity of Amish novels. Not novels written by the Amish, but novels written about the Amish. I know this because I've read, like, every single one. I'm woman enough to admit it. My friends and I used to trade them in high school. They're as cheesy as a lifetime movie, but they're oh so good.

Yes, these books are probably part of the reason I romanticize the Amish culture so much. I know their life isn't all butterflies and daisies (and there are Amish men who look like Jeremiah. Ew), but I still think there is something to be said for their sense of community, family, their goal to live for God (thought I don't agree with all their methods...) and their simple lifestyle in general. But then again, we all know I'm a June Cleaver at heart and not a career oriented woman. Though I love the idea, I know there's no way I could actually live that lifestyle. I mean, I couldn't even make it through a week of church camp without getting in trouble.



And then there's the whole Breaking Amish debacle. I could write a book on all the ways that show was wrong, though I watched it and loved it anyway. Yes, there are Amish people out there like that, but not most of them. They were not living a true Amish lifestyle. Amish people don't get divorced. They have to join the church before getting married, meaning getting divorced, being on camera, drinking, and basically doing everything they were doing would get them and possibly their whole family shunned immediately. Every district and Amish community is different in the way the rules are enforced, but pretty much no community would've tolerated all that.

Amish kids walking home from school. I'm not creepy. I took this picture for a school project, ok?


The last time I was in Amish Country was March 2010. My mom and I spent the day there so I could write about it for a class I was taking at the time. We walked out of an Amish store and the alarm went off. I already stuck out like a sore thumb in my jeans, but then the Amish lady working said she had to search my purse. I could've died from embarrassment. Ok, so maybe it doesn't sound that bad, but I'm shy. And there was a small crowd of Amish people watching the whole thing. I had to hide in the car for awhile after that. 



An Amish schoolhouse
If you're ever near an Amish community, skip the tourist shops. Get in your car and drive. Take the back roads and get lost. You'll see the most beautiful scenery, meet the nicest people, and see the real Amish community. You'll also find the best restaurants. The restaurants run by the Amish, for the Amish.




And that's all I have for today. I didn't get into all the details of their lifestyle and religion and stuff, but if you have any questions, ask away. I'm accidentally an expert on all things Amish.

And since I'm married and this is no longer an option for me, go find yourself a Jedidiah or an Abraham. Do it for me. Please.

14 comments:

  1. I've always been obsessed with the Amish. I even made my dad detour on a roadtrip so we could drive through an Amish town. I feel much less weird knowing I'm not the only one now.

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  2. i'm totally intrigued by the Amish too! i went to college in Lancaster, Pa (HUGE Amish community)...they are always so polite and nice! they would come in when i worked part time at a grocery store and i remember being like, wait they can eat that? and that?? ha. i totally watched breaking amish in the beginning, but then it just got annoying/fake! i like how the amish kids are rocking their coleman coolers! i read that Jodie Pocoult (sp) book and also watched the Lifetime movie, this makes me a semi expert, right? (NOT) there was some other amish show on before about rumspringa...but i can't remember what it was called!

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  3. Do I even need to leave a comment. I think not.
    I might just have to make a trip to Ohio one of these days so we can stalk... uhhh I mean experience Amish life first hand... not just through the magic (or twisted minds) of TLC!!!

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  4. Ok, well, no wonder why you love me so much! Did you know my grandma was Amish?! Yup, truly she was. Until she was like 12 or so, and then her family left the community and became Mennonite, which both sides of my family are. I always say I have Mennonite and Amish heritage, but I'm certainly not a practicing Menno! (We go to a Vineyard church now; QUITE the opposite! haha!)

    Anyway, I'm so glad you shared these photo's! I've always wanted to go on vacay to Ohio just for this reason. Saw some Amish communities in Pennsylvania when we went there to visit my grandma when I was in elementary school, but then she moved to FL and I haven't been to PA since. So totally want to go back and learn more. :)

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  5. I actually wondered about that show...I haven't seen it, but the whole fact that they're on television kinda made me curious if they're truly Amish. The whole camera thing...

    Other than that...I honestly know next to nothing about them. But your pictures are beautiful and now I think you should tell me which book about the Amish I should read. My Kindle is begging for something new. ;)

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  6. You'd make a great Amish. Are there Amish hipsters?

    Amish to you are polygamists to me (and my mom). We have such a fascination. I blame Big Love and all of those books that came out a few years ago.

    I would LOVE to visit Amish country.

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  7. I got my degree in History and I'm obsessed with 19th century America, so seeing the Amish is like being in some sort of dream for me. I love them. I love their houses and clothing and everything!

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  8. I think I've read every Amish novel and memoir I can find. What did you think of Breaking Amish?? I watched it but was disappointed. It didn't seem legit.

    Oh, and a sidenote--my newborn nephew's name is Jedidiah lol. Makes me think of a little Amish boy every time I say it.

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  9. Agreed. Obsessed with both the Amish and the polygamist Mormons. Happy to see someone confessing. :)

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  10. I swore off reality TV in our house once Teen Mom ended. Our brains needed a break and a chance to regain their composure. Then Breaking Amish happened.

    We missed the second half of the reunion show so I'm now inspired to google what happened. It kind of bugged me that they weren't living "religious" lifestyles. It would have been nice to seem they staying true to their spirituality while branching out into a more "English" lifestyle.

    Thanks for sharing your Amish wisdom!

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  11. This is the weirdest blog post I have EVER read.

    listen.. I just read that the girl above is fascinated by Mormon/Polygamists.. can you be so kind as to respond to her and tell her that Polygs are a broken off branch of Mormons and are not Mormon. Clearly, I'm Mormon. You don't really have to tell her, but still.

    I lived in Lebanon PA for two years, Amish were everywhere.. especially on the road and would constantly cramp the street. Do not like them. do not for that reason alone.

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  12. Bahahaha! I love this. I told you that my parents took a trip TO Amish Country, right? As in, they actually planned a vacation in Amish Country. My poor brother got dragged along. I think he was 14 or so, but guess what? Even HE loved the trip. They had a great time, and I was really jealous that I couldn't go too.

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  13. I love Ohio's Amish Country, always good food and an abundance of cheese! I went to a Mennonite (a faith that is an offspring of Amish) college (Bluffton), so I knew several people who either were Amish at one point or came from parents who were Amish. Actually my two best friends (they are twins) come from an almost entirely Amish family. So when visiting their home in Ohio's Amish country we would get to visit her Amish relatives. We made pie with her grandma, visited her aunts and uncles (where they allowd us to ask any questions we wanted to), we got horse rides....

    It was all very cool. I have so much respect for their way of living. :)

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  14. you and i are kindred spirits. 1) i'm also a stalker, notice me stalkin' your blog today? why yes, hello there. again. 2) i am OBSESSED with the Amish. like i visited amish country a few years ago and i bought an amish beard and told kevin we were getting rid of all technology (which we did to some degree- minus the computer, obviously.) i love this post. and honestly, tell me all you know about them. i'm kinda obsessed. we got lost in amish country and this cute old farmer man and his sons gave us directions to the nearest amish buffet in his penn. dutch accent. i wanted to take him as my souvenir.

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