A friend asked me this week if I had any pictures of Amish that her friend could use for a missions project she was working on. Her request prompted me to go back through my photos to see what I could find for her. It occurred to me that the pictures I found for her might be of interest to some of you, as well.
A little background information might be helpful for those of you who may not be familiar with the Amish (pronounced Ah-mish). Most Amish live on farms, although many work in a trade, such as carpentry. Some even own successful businesses such as furniture or cabinet making. One family near us owns a shoe store, specializing in work boots for factory workers, as well as traditional Amish footwear. Another family has a machine shop, making and selling products to customers all over the world.
The Amish shun the use of most modern conveniences. As a rule, they do not own automobiles or farm tractors but use horses for travel and farming. They don't have in-home telephones, although most in our community now have cell phones. They don't use electricity in their homes, although some, like those that need electricity to operate their businesses or for powering milking machines for dairy farms, do generate their own electricity for those purposes with generators. Many are installing wind turbines, too.
This is a typical Amish farm.
Here is a little closer look at the laundry hung neatly on the clothesline to dry.
The rules for Amish are dictated by each congregation's Bishop and can vary from community to community. Those in our county do not use enclosed buggies. They ride in open buggies in every kind of weather. However, in recent years, they've been permitted to install enclosed boxes on the backs of the buggies where small children can ride in inclement weather. Often, during heavy rain or snow, the adults will carry large black umbrellas, with a small patch of clear plastic through which the driver can see where he's going.
The next three pictures were snapped as people gathered for a parade in our small town. The state highway, down which the parade would travel, had not yet been closed to traffic, so cars and buggies were continuing to travel it until the start of the parade.
A beard on an Amish man is an indication that he is married.
An Amish family joining those waiting for the start of the parade.
I don't know what this is, but it was unusual enough to make me run for my camera.
These are hay wagons, on their way to a hayfield somewhere to pick up some freshly baled hay. Notice the women, extra chairs, and large drink dispenser on the first wagon. It looks as if the work day was going to include a little fun.
This woman was transporting a couple of large barrels in the back of her buggy. (The photo was taken from the cemetery where I was walking when she passed by. Those are tombstones in the foreground.)