Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Why many Amish have free healthcare!

“The Amish outnumber us!” my daughter squealed. “This is great!” My youngest daughter LOVES the Amish! 

Our family went to the annual Smicksburg Benefit Auction last weekend. They make enough money to pay into their special hospitalization plans made with local hospitals. This lump sum covers the community for a year. Gasp. Jah, I wish we Englishers could do this somehow. Just imagine if your church made quilts, furniture and whatnot for a year. If they accepted donations such as guns, chainsaws, livestock, etc. And then you ask all your friends to attend and you have enough money to pay in advance on a medical plan for your entire church! This would indeed be free healthcare! 

We can learn a lot from the Amish! 

Since a picture is worth a thousand words, consider this photojournalism. :) 

What struck me funny in the grass parking lot was the number of Amish children surrounding Englishers. They love a good story or "telling". I wonder what yarn this man is spinning. 

One of the first quilts up for auction was this unique Pennsylvania Keystone State quilt. I've never seen a quilt like this. Faces are blotted out to respect their culture. 

My granddaughter gasped when this quilt was lifted up on a long pole. She loves purple. Grandma didn't bid though. This one went for over 7K. 

What I love about the Amish in Smicksburg is how friendly they are to Outsiders. A closer look at this picture would have been nice. You'd see many shooting the breeze, but I must not take pictures showing their faces. I want to remain a Trusted English Friend.

It was 88 Degrees Fahrenheit, so many found refuge under the refreshment tent. Again, Amish chatting with the Yankees (English).

Unlike their church service, there was no need to separate men and women on this day. But how fun it was to see them do it naturally. Friendship among the Amish is a cornerstone of their culture.

On my wish list! Lots of rustic furniture was in the auction barn, along with tree root tables. TREE ROOT TABLES! How creative!

I was shocked at how big this event was. I've been invited for fifteen years but something always comes up the second Saturday in August. Not this year. I engraved it in stone on my calendar.

Too many buggies to count! They were unhitched and horses were tethered to the exterior fence that surrounds this large farm. I have never in my life seen so many Amish in one location.

Different types of buggy styles for different church districts of settlements. I was hoping to see a yellow topped buggy from Volant, PA, but not a one. All black with slight variations.

On the way home, my granddaughter asked how long it took the Amish to get home. I told it that it depends on how far they have to travel. She looked puzzled and asked when are they coming back.  Next year? She didn't know that many lived right there in Smicksburg!  "I want to visit them again and again!" she exclaimed. "I love them!" So, now I have another Amish loving travel companion.

My middle daughter wasn't an Amish enthusiast, but after the auction, she changed her mind! "They have something we all lack in America," she said. "They all pulled together like worker bees. They have real community."

I agree. How can we do this in our churches? Suggestions or information welcome. Leave it in the comment box.

Monday, July 8, 2019

Christmas in July Multi-Author Book Giveaway Plus a $100 Amazon Card

Can you believe there is just 6 months until Christmas? Celebrate Lit Publishing is giving away 20+ Christmas books, including one from yours truly. 
PLUS a $100 Amazon gift!
Click here to enter: https://promosimple.com/…/e5b5/july-christmas-multi-author-…
The event and giveaway is going on now through July 13. 

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Do the Amish lie? Do they seek attention?

I took my friend Janet to Smicksburg to get plants for my garden…and a shopping list from others…my kids.  “Mom, text me when you get to Lydia’s. See if she has sweet banana peppers or Amish Paste Tomatoes.”  At $1.65 per six-pack, jah, I fill my back deck with orders from family and friends. And then Lydia’s flower arrangements…sigh…what a talent.

It was great as usual. Janet exhaled with utter satisfaction as we wandered around the windy roads. “They have something we don’t have. I feel so peaceful,” she said.

As usual, I agreed. It’s why I’m hooked on the Amish way of life. We visited Barb, an Amish mother of nine who also runs a greenhouse and her daughters and grandkids were all sitting around talking, and a young Amish boy on a pony came up. How much more of Little House on the Prairie could we take?
Little House on the Prairie moment!

We continued to mosey around, trying to find a new quilt shop, but instead saw a sign for cedar lawn furniture. We followed them and to a new shop, and to my surprise, it was the youngest brother (bruder) of a well-loved Amish family I write about. (I must change names to protect their privacy and culture. MOST Amish don’t want attention brought to them.)

As I talked to “Joe” about getting a new picnic table, he said he’d like to start reading my books because SO MANY LIES ABOUT THE AMISH ARE CIRCULATING! (Yes, I know I said that in all caps, which writers shouldn’t do, but I do mean to scream it out.)

You see, the Amish in Western Pennsylvania have been targeted by big name media to tell lies. Paid to be on shows that are utter nonsense. If they were any other people group, they’d sue, but of course they don’t believe in defending themselves. They trust God to do it, but I like to help. 😉

“Joe” told me the Amish in punxsutawney are particularly hurt, since some Ex-Amish who took the bait (money) to tell lies still hold their ground. Some are still making money selling slanderous tales. I don’t know why people are addicted to reality shows that demean people of any culture or race. Why do we need to look down on others?

One theory on why many crave to bash the Amish is very interesting. We want to pop their perfect, little world. It’s like saying, “Aha! I told you they were fakes!” Instead of looking within to change our lives to make them better, it’s easier to look down on others.

And sadly, there are a handful of Amish willing to exaggerate (lie) to get attention to give us that ‘aha moment.’  It’s heartbreaking to listen to people like “Joe” because of the shame placed on his culture. (Some tales are too salacious to write on this blog.)

Although they don’t believe in suing, they do want the record set straight. And that’s my mission as an author about these fine people. Many real Ex-Amish folks can give a truthful, fair account of their lives growing up Amish, but it’s not degrading enough to create a media mania.