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Love. Early American Style.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

My latest trip to Lancaster

As you all know, I love going to Lancaster county, PA. It's not only the primitives "Mecca" for this part of the country, but it has one of my favorite things....the Amish.

I always make sure that after I complete my shopping for the retail and online shoppes, I take a little time to drive through the farmland and just see what the farmers are up to. I live in Susquehanna County, PA, and am surrounded by farmland, many of my family and friends are farmers, so I can certainly appreciate their lifestyle when it comes to agriculture.

But something this time caught my eye. I actually came across a special moment between a father and a son. The little boy had to be about my oldest son's age, about five years old. I was driving through the town of Leola and took a little shortcut on a back road through an industrial part of town that bordered some farmland. I slowed down when I saw this Amish father crouched down beside his son and obviously explaining something to him.....they had strolled over from the farm to take a look at this large piece of equipment that was on the train tracks backing into the factory. It had a huge tank on it, and I have no clue what it was, but this father was very serious while explaining his thoughts to his son....and the son just looked up at him with such admiration. It was something special to see, and I see my very own husband explain things to my two boys the exact same way, maybe that is why it touched me so.

I can't help wondering what they were discussing...was the father explaining why they can't use the modern machinery as us "English" do? Maybe he was explaining their belief of remaining simple and honoring their ancestors and following the Ordnung (their church rules) as each generation copes with newer, bigger, faster and more competetive technologies? Or were they simply being the typical boys and enjoying something as manly as heavy equipment? I'll never know.

I also was driving along another road on my way home and found a lone Amish gentlemen, about my father's age, returning home from his neighbors and was walking through a field carrying his overcoat and lunch pail. Again, I wonder what he was doing....thinking about the day's work? He obviously left early that morning because it was cold earlier, and the day turned wonderfully warm and sunny, so his coat was no longer needed. Maybe he was wondering about what his wife had for dinner that evening.

It was such a warm day that the school houses had their doors opened, and with one, I could see the children inside, sitting at their desks. I love to travel through as they get out of school for the day.....some are on scooters, others just walking, but all are laughing and having so much fun with each other. Many eagerly wave as you drive by, and of course, they are all just simply beautiful children.

This is why I love visiting Lancaster County. It really is a beautiful place, and is the home to such beautiful and hard working people.

Mary Jo

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