Monday, September 01, 2014

Amish Glossary - words you won't read elsewhere

Many times readers, friends, and neighbors ask me, "Has your son-in-law or others taught you Amish words?"

"Yep, I know a few."

Like the time our family hosted a French exchange teen, we sat around the table laughing and teaching phrases and words. I now know some Deutch. Some not so proper. You know, the slang. Thanks Harvey. Or the, uh, curse words. Thanks Monroe! And I know some typical household ones, too. Bahaef dich.

I think Amish - or Deutch or German - is a pretty language. I'm not a linguist but I've heard it referred to as Deutch or German, and a combination thereof. Did you know . . .

Monday, August 18, 2014

Time Warp

They did NOT want their son, Harvey, to marry our daughter!
Amish Laundry Day

They sent reprimanding letters - as did his siblings - warning him against marrying the English girl. They didn't reply to the wedding invitation. No family member attended nor sent a gift.

Yet, my husband and I have initiated three visits to their farm. Why? To build a bridge of friendship. To reach across the cultural fence. To show Harvey we embrace him and his Amish heritage.

I love pictures. "A picture is worth a thousand words" is accurate but, most Amish resist appearing on camera, so I cannot post pix of Harvey's parents. No way!

Friday, August 08, 2014

Want to Be Amish?

You know Amish wannabes? I do. No problem. No put down.

It's therapeutic to unwind. To desire living without stringent schedules. Technology-free. Have fewer demanding decisions to address. Wear the same clothes. Isn't that why we go on vacation?

I do think wannabes are embracing a contrived image rather than reality, and I'd encourage them to read ex-Old Order Ira Wagler's blog post, "Wannabe" Amish from June 20.

You may have heard of Ira or read his book Growing Up Amish. We email occasionally. He's the only former Amish I know who pursued a law degree, and wrote a NY Times bestseller. Impressive feats. He's articulate and active running a business.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Why Do Amish People Leave their Life?


Months ago an assistant professor of sociology, Dr. Caroline Faulkner, emailed. She was studying the curiosity, "Why do Amish people leave?" and asked me to help with names of ex-Amish from Old Order to interview.

We exchanged a stimulating email dialog. I explained that most of my relationships and personal experiences are with Swartentruber Amish (stricter and more mysterious than Old Order) but, I was able to provide her with names.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

How Do Swartzentruber Amish bathe?

A benefit of writing this blog is answering the many questions received in the Comments section below or via email. If you've not read my previous 66 posts you're missing tremendous info, in the post and in the Comments!

One inquiring mind emailed, "without indoor plumbing, how do Swartzentruber Amish bathe? I presume by obviously filling up a tub with water, but how often would they take baths? Would they do so in the kitchen? I'm just curious as to how it worked, and if they'd get any privacy since the families are typically so large."

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Ex-Amish Mosie's English Wedding!

Happy July! 


2011, celebrating Mosie's birthday
He's our first "adopted" son from the Swartzentruber Amish. Lived with us for a year. Went with us on family vaca. After he moved out, he still spent holidays, birthdays, and Sunday dinners in our home. We believed then - still do - that our relationship was divine direction.

Then he moved from Ohio to North Carolina. We were a bit nervous for him to move and I knew I'd miss seeing him every week. But God had great things awaiting Mosie - a job, his childhood pal Joe, and - best of all - Crystal.

We were honored when Mosie and Crystal sent us their delightfully hand designed June wedding invitation. Mosie wanted his Amish parents to meet Crystal's parents but they were not "interested" and made no plans to attend the wedding.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Simple Life and Freedom to Choose?

I have “minimalists” friends. They live and decorate their home sparingly. Don’t subscribe to the newspaper – read it at our public library. 

I respect those who try to live simply or resist over-scheduling, over-technology, and over-abundance. Those who live off the land are my favorite. My grandpa retired from a factory to try his hand at farming. I've been a preschool teacher, hospital chaplain, parent educator, magazine columnist, and now an author, blogger, and speaker. We have the freedom to live by our convictions, right?

Not so the Amish - especially those of the Swartzentruber Order.

Friday, June 13, 2014

My Amish Dental Lab Visit

"Want to go with me to the lady's house?" Sarah asked me.

"What lady?" I replied.

"The one who makes teeth."

Finally . . . a first-hand view of an Amish dental lab. I've often heard about these services within the self-sufficient Amish communities. In my post Amish Best Kept Secret I wrote about their own (unlicensed) dentists but now I actually get to see where the partials and dentures are crafted. What a cultural experience!

Sarah drove for about an hour, winding through curvy two-lane country roads into the small Amish-saturated tourist town of Berlin, Ohio. It's green rolling hills scattered with Holstein and Jersey cows are alluring eye candy to this city gal. Sarah turned from its main road down onto a narrow, unnamed, single-lane path. On the left stood a small ranch-style house. Sarah pulled into the driveway and turned off the engine.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Amish Blog Readers Come from Where?! Why?

One of my author pals, Stephanie Reed, who writes Amish fiction (yes, fiction and non-fiction authors can be friends) was amazed and fascinated with the diverse readership here. Stephanie suggested I write a post about the many readers from various countries.

It appears not just Americans are eager to learn about the Amish. 

Since my blog launch in December 2012,
United States composes the highest number readership at 79,916
Canada gives me 3,544 readers followed by the
UK with 3,180 readers and
Australia brings in 1,435 learners.

I'm appreciative and amazed. Thanks for your hunger, to learn real facts, about the Amish and feeding it at my blog!