Drama, Romance, Intrigue...

Love. Early American Style.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

My latest trip to Lancaster....

The weather finally gave me a break and I was able to get one day without snow on a day that my husband was also at home from work to watch the boys....talk about all the stars and the moon and the entire universe having to line up just right to make it happen! LOL!

Anyway, I had a hard time getting out of my toasty warm bed to face the biting cold January morning air, but I was on the road at 5:45 a.m. and watched the sun come up. What a beautiful day it turned out to be!

It was much warmer in Lancaster County than up here in Susquehanna County, so much so that I was regretting wearing all those extra layers of clothing by 10:00 a.m. But trust me, I was NOT going to complain! There was tiny traces of chunks of snow here and there at the edges of driveways from what was apparently the last snow storm that required plowing, but other than that, there were no other traces of snow on the ground and after a few inquiries, I found out that it has been pretty much snow free this Winter in Lancaster, except for just a few days of course.

Not much was happening on the Amish farms, but I had timed it right and was able to see many children riding their scooters and bikes to school. My favorite sight of the day was three children, obviously siblings. The two boys were sharing one scooter, one was pushing with is right foot, the other with the left and big sister was behind them on her bicycle. What a joy it is to see such happiness in going to school!

The farms were stark, but obviously, it is well after the harvest and too soon to begin to till the fields to prepare the soil for planting. Thinking about it now, I can't pick my favorite time to visit Lancaster. In the Spring you have the Amish preparing the fields as I just said, and the planting begins much earlier than our farms here....it's wonderful to see the teams of horses working in complete harmony of the person behind the reigns, either male or female. Don't forget, many young wives assist their husbands in the fields before the children come along and many times daughters help out if they don't have brothers to do it instead.

In the Summer, you have the glorious crops growing and some early fruits and vegetables to enjoy at the roadside stands. The children are out of school and it is fun to watch them play as you drive by. They are always friendly, which would surprise most people, and do not shy away as you drive by...many wave at you well before you can even raise your hand to greet them!

Fall of course is the harvest season, and many fruits and veggies are still waiting for you at the stands, along with gourds and pumpkins and squash! Have you ever had a home grown cantalope? It's the best you have EVER tasted, and at only $.50 for a melon, that's even better!

Late Fall is also a wonderful time to watch them harvest the tobacco crop. I think I've mentioned it before in this blog, but I was amazed at how quickly the Amish can harvest the large leaves and pile them into a cone shape. I think that this truly is my most favorite time of year to visit because they open the slats of the big barns to dry the hanging tobacco leaves, and it is the most beautiful sight on a farm that I have ever seen....and someday, I will paint a lovely picture of it to always cherish!

And of course Winter.....It's so lovely with fresh snow and to see the women donning their heavy wool shawls and black bonnets that are distinctively Pennsylvania Dutch. These bonnets have the narrow brim, are pleated at the top and have a black satin tie and bow around the back. They have separate ties that are knotted under their chins, and come to think of it, I think that satin bow in the back just may be the only "ornamentation" that I can think of that they wear....something purely just to look at and without function. I also love watching the horse and buggies in the wintertime with the steam rising from the horses nostrils, and to see the families bundled under their woolen blankets and the children cuddling close.....each glimpse inside the buggies is just an intimate look into their lives, how close families always remain both physically and emotionally.

I filled my van at the suppliers and tried to grab a bite to eat at my favorite restaurant, Dienner's, but sadly, they were closed for their winter break that they always take from mid January through to the day after Valentine's Day. *sigh* I sure do miss their chicken, chow-chow and egg custard for desert! I guess I better come up with an excuse to go back at the end of February to visit again! :-)

I will be listing new products on my website over the next week. I'm a bit behind because my oldest boy, Seth, has an awful cough and cold, so some things may just have to wait. Did I mention that we named Seth and Sam (Samuel) after traditional Amish boys names? Yes, we love their culture that much!

Be sure to stop in to www.finecountrylivingprimitives.com over the next few days to see what's new, and don't forget, we will be open this weekend at the shoppe and have new items for you local customers as well! We are even spilling out onto our front porch, so be sure to stop on in!

Peace and blessings to you all!

Mary Jo

1 comment:

Holly Tree Primitives said...

I am so glad you had a good time in Lancaster, MJ, You Amish groupie! LOL You deserve a break, you have been working so hard.

Oh....and you have been TAGGED!

hee hee