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Tuesday, October 10, 2017

More From Our Back Roads Amish Tour

After our visit to the Amish school on September 26, our next stop was at an Amish home, where Lena, the woman of the house, talked with us about a typical day in the life of an Amish wife.

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Above is a picture of Lena's home. She actually met with us in a separate building, though, one she said they had built for family gatherings.

PicMonkey Collage

Our bus driver, Jan, who is also an associate pastor at our church, didn't think I was taking enough pictures. So he grabbed my camera and began taking some shots, surreptitiously, because Amish don't like to have their pictures taken. The photo on the left above shows Lena, her two-year-old son, and our guide, Allen, from the Blue Gate. The photo on the right above shows part of our group and the room in which we met.

Jan easily relates to children, and the little boy was quickly drawn to him. When Jan teasingly asked him if he'd like to go home with him, Lena told Jan that her son probably had no idea what Jan was saying. She said Amish children are not normally taught English until they go to school, although she and her husband usually started them at about age five. Until then, they speak exclusively in German.

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Wash Day

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Our group with our church bus

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Cat in the flower bed, photo taken by Jan
Our final stop on this tour was at the home of an Amish bishop. As much as I enjoyed the previous two stops, this was my favorite by far. The bishop, Glen, and his wife, Carolyn, invited us into their home for the visit. The two of them sat at the kitchen table, while we sat on an assortment of chairs that had been provided for us in the same room.

Glen is 72 years old. His wife of fifty years had died a few years earlier, and he had married Carolyn, who is 20 years his junior, just over two years ago. Carolyn had never been married before and had worked among English most of her life. So English came easily to her. Not so with Glen, who rarely spoke anything but German. As a result, he occasionally had to look to Carolyn for help in finding the right words as he talked with us about his life as a bishop and the process by which an Amish bishop is chosen. 

Glen has been serving as the bishop of his church district for 30 years. Amish bishops receive no pay for holding that position and must earn their living by other means. Glen is a farmer and also raises deer, one of which is pictured below.

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As we left Glen and Carolyn's home, Carolyn gave each of us a freshly baked cinnamon roll that was absolutely melt-in-your-mouth delicious!

Of course, that delicious cinnamon roll didn't keep us from stopping at a local restaurant for lunch afterward.

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Our Group at the 5 & 20 Restaurant
Lastly, we found time for a little shopping before heading for home. The following two photos were taken from the parking lot of the shopping complex.

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IMG_10710_Amish_on_Bycicles_in_Shipshewana

This is the second year that our church has taken this tour. Doug and I couldn't go last year. But I hope we'll be able to do it again next year.


14 comments:

  1. You taught me that Amish children don't speak English until school age, i did not know that. It was also interesting about Glen's way of earning a living, raising deer and other activities...I love that deer picture. So glad you enjoyed the outing...

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    1. Hi, Happytrails; and welcome. I don't know if the practice of waiting until school to teach English to children is practiced universally among Amish, but that's apparently the way it is with this particular settlement. Thanks for stopping by and leaving such a nice comment. (I was pretty pleased with that deer picture myself.) :)

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  2. It looks like a wonderful time, Linda! The deer is delightful, too!

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    1. It was fun and informative, Linda. That deer really struck a pose for me, didn't he?

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  3. What a marvelous experience. I’m glad you were able to go this year and share with us. I would like to know how you got the deer to pose so nicely for you!

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    1. George, there were several deer in that front pasture when we arrived; but they all took off as we exited the bus. Just before we went inside to listen to Lena, though, that buck appeared and struck that majestic pose. He must have been curious about us. And his curiosity worked in my favor.

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  4. Enjoyed this post, Linda. Your photo of the buck is excellent. How interesting that the bishop raises deer. Sadly, since the start of a subdivision going in behind our property we rarely see deer in the neighborhood unless they are struck by an automobile.

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    1. Thanks, Toni. That's sad about the deer in your area. At least you can still run over to Cades Cove to see them. :)

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  5. That all sounds and looks very interesting.It would look like their places are immaculate.

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    1. Ruth, the Amish do tend to keep their homes and property, as you said, "immaculate." I'd hate for them to see my house. :)

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  6. I am so glad you get to tour with your church! The Amish are so interesting.....

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    1. Kim, those day trips with the group from church are fun. And, I agree, the Amish are most interesting.

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  7. A bishop who raises deer, who would have thought? And it's strange that they preserve German as their "native" language, after so many years of living in the United States. What I like is how orderly and maintained everything looks in their homes… They live simple but effective lives, I'd say. I love the photo of the deer, so neat and majestic, and those two photos at the end complement the story wonderfully.

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    1. Hi, Petra. I believe the language thing is one of the ways that enables the Amish to remain separate from the English (the rest of us). It may be viewed as a way to strengthen their sense of community. I'm just guessing here. I agree with you regarding the orderliness of their homes and property. It's rare to see anything looking neglected at their places.

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