Amish Sunshine on a Cloudy Day

Posted at Jan 17, 2017 10:39 am


Recently I got back from walking our Chazzer in the chilly, pouring rain. She didn’t mind the cold or raindrops at all, of course, and just kept puttering along, taking her time sniffing this bush and that tree trunk all along our way.  Yet as I juggled dog leash, dog bag, and umbrella, and while rain pelted the legs of my jeans and leaked into my boots, I have to admit I wasn’t liking our outing very much.

Which got me to feeling kind of wimpy. Especially when thoughts of Lydia — my Amish fiction character — crossed my mind, reminding me of how grateful and strong she was in every situation. And she was a great teacher too!  

I thought I knew all I needed to know about the simplicity of the Amish way of life, but things came up when writing and luckily Lydia was there to teach me.  Such as…

Did you know (and pardon me if you already do):

 – Besides buggies, many of the Amish ride bikes to town for shopping or to jobs in every kind of inclement whether — brrr!!! As one who complains about drenching dog walks, I’d need to get much braver and more weather-proofed do to that!

 – In order to make a phone call, most Amish have to use a phone shanty (pictured above, kind of like our old-fashioned phone booths which I have to admit I miss).  The shanties are at the end of a lane or by the side of the road and shared by several families.  Actually, a friend told me recently that when her brother was getting kitchen cabinets made by an Amish carpenter, that the son of the carpenter would literally sit in the shanty for hours and wait for her brother’s call so they could sync up meeting times.

– Amish church isn’t held in a building, but rather in homes and barns. Many Amish church districts own a bench wagon full of backless benches, which are transported from house to house for the three-hour services.

– Unlike my other English characters, Lydia couldn’t communicate with her mom in Pennsylvania with a text or email.  She wrote letters – which I love to think about.  Didn’t it always feel great back in the day to get a letter — a real, honest-to-goodness letter in the mail?  Ahhh!

– And the proverbs!  Amish proverbs are addicting. You read one and you want to read one more…and then just one more.  They are so clever, many tongue in cheek and hit home in at way that most sayings don’t. 

In fact, the next time I’m out walking Chaz in the rain, I should remember any one of these golden nuggets!

            **It takes both sunny and rainy days to make a life complete.**



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