The Public Library of Knox County and Mount Vernon booked me to speak about my experiences helping ex-Amish adjust to "outside" life and what I've learned of the Amish. "I got a suitcase of Harvey's Amish clothes," I offered when we talked about the September 26th, noon, Brown Bag Chat program. "I can bring and show his clothing."
After a few years out of the Amish life, Harvey's mom gave him a suitcase of his handmade childhood clothes. My daughter, Lynsey, and I pulled out each tiny item with "oohs" and "awws." We gently examined the hand stitching and each patch, which told a story. Did you know Swartzentruber Amish dress both male and female babies in a dress until their second birthday? (Tweet That)
We lovingly eyed the little dress that baby Harvey wore his first two years of life.
With the exploding interest in the Amish - some factual like PBS's The Amish; some fictional like Breaking Amish: LA and Amish Mafia - I'm often asked to share about this insular American sub-culture.
I'll arrive with my suitcase of Amish clothes at your school, church, book discussion club, library, business, or cultural meeting and reveal customs and beliefs unknown to curious outsiders. You won't find what I know from TV "reality" shows or Amish fiction books.
We're blessed to have Harvey, our valued son-in-law who grew up/left Amish in our lives, plus our home has been a haven for several who've also left. My experiences are with Swartzentruber and Old Order Amish, so that's what I'll highlight in my presentation. Instead of Ripley's Believe It or Not, you'll get Brenda's Believe It or Not such as Amish dating (it's not like ours), the Ordnung (church rules), how a Bishop is chosen, Buggy costs and rules, plus other fascinating facts.
Email me speaker2parents @ juno.com for your choice date and time, and my affordable speaking rate. I'm ready and eager anytime to show and tell . . . and answer questions about the Amish.
Come back next week for more true Amish stories.