Not So SAHM

ROADSCHOOLING somewhere between Here and There

I want to be Amish

Several times in the past I have tried to convince Du to become Amish. Yes, I have. The request would probably come at those stressful times in life where you don’t want to quite throw in the towel, but you might just want a do over where it would be necessary to implement the “less is more” principle. There is an appeal to the simple life I think we all feel and it’s only becoming more appealing. What with our 24/7, always on, consumeristic culture there’s bound to be some personal backlash where you just think, something’s got to give. And it needs to be the busyness. There’s a difference though between the simple lines of modern furniture or getting rid of all your personal belongings down to 100 items (and that dude totally copped out) and living a truly simple life. We visited the second largest Amish community in the world, Lancaster, PA, today and I think that although the Amish live a simpler life than the rest of the world, I don’t think they live a “simple” life.

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And I’m almost cured of my desire to become one.

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However, they would be the cutest little Amish girls Pennsylvania has ever seen.

The Amish are called “simple people”, but that does them such a disservice. They don’t have electricity, they don’t drive vehicles, they don’t ride bikes, they don’t put rubber on their tractor tires, they don’t use zippers and most ladies actually use stick pins to pin their aprons on. They work their fields with horses, manual equipment and their backs. The only room in the house that is heated is the kitchen. They’ve been forced to have indoor plumbing (that right there would have sealed the deal for me. No indoor toilet? Vicki will not be Amish, thankyouverymuch). A lot of the “simple” in their lifestyle adds a lot of work.

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Tobacco is a cash crop for the Amish. And it’s all cut by hand.

Their shunning of modern conveniences isn’t at 100%, I found out. Many Bishops allow a man to own a cell phone if he owns a business. To give them credit, if the family owns a home phone (usually for business purposes as well) the phone is located in the old, converted outhouse, in the yard. How do they hear that thing ringing? They are beginning to use the huge yard-size propane tanks to heat and provide electricity (I think) or some other convenience. They are also getting into solar power.

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Outhouse turned telephone booth

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If you look closely (not at the alpacas) you’ll notice the solar panel on that shed-type building.

Some of that I could totally dig. Other aspects, ehh… There are days when I’m all for separating myself from the rest of society and just getting back to the basics. But those basics would not include an electric washing machine. And those basics would not include makeup. And those basics would include granny panties…hanging out on the clothes line every Monday for God and man and every nosy tourist to see and photograph. On the other hand, if I didn’t have all this busyness then I would have more time for all the back-breaking housework that I don’t have the time for now. The big question: would I enjoy it? The grass is always greener.

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We were those stupid tourists and I was intent on getting a great laundry shot.
Reagan took this one.
That very first picture up top has some great laundry goodness in it too.

I was completely enthralled with everything we saw and learned today. The Amish live on some of the most beautiful farmland that I’ve seen. And their houses aren’t shanties either. And somehow they’re rocking the landscaped lawns too. And their schooling is, in essence, homeschooling (although it’s only to eighth grade).

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One of many one-room school houses. Kids are at recess.

My biggest misgiving was the fact that they are so intent on remaining separate from the rest of society that they have not focused on the Greatest Commandment given by Jesus: to go and make disciples of nations… They are completely religious and live their lives in the strictest accordance with the Bible…except for that command. Sure, their lives and very existence are a testimony to their faith, but that doesn’t speak anything to the majority of society out there who doesn’t live around them. It’s one thing to be religious and follow religious laws because you’ve been taught them. It’s another thing to be spiritual and live like Jesus (and how He wants you to) and spread His love to others. Btw, I think the same thing about nuns and monks who live secluded from civilization.

I think a great compromise would be to find a way to be allowed to be Amish for say, the autumn, or something like that. Let me dabble and get my fix for a couple of months. Then let me get back to my iPhone, my makeup, and my Christian rock!!! I would never be invited back though y’all. After just one season I’d have every single granny panty in a wad and I’d be shunned for life, for either speaking my mind or sewing my dresses with zippers or something.

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Oh, and Reagan was very excited about becoming Amish. Really getting into it! I thought I may have a chance with Du if we were to tag team him. Then she let it slip, she just wants to be an Amish girl to wear the “cute dresses”. Honey, I can home sew one or two of those for you and make sure the boys don’t come around for a couple more years. Where’s my sewing machine?

8 comments on “I want to be Amish

  1. Nicole
    Monday, September 14, 2009

    Yeah, every once in a while the mother says how great it would be to be Amish. Then, we have a power outage, I remind her how GREAT it is to be Amish.

    No lights. No cable. No cold drinks. Dark streets. Yeah. Simply fabulous. She grumbles at me for being a wise a**.

  2. Danyelle
    Thursday, September 17, 2009

    Uhhh, maybe you should look up Amish “bundling.” I don’t think Du would approve of bundling Reagan and Ashlyn.

  3. notsosahm
    Thursday, September 17, 2009

    I’ve heard of that, and that they used to do it in colonial days! (or sometime a long time ago). In fact, we’re considering courting for Reagan instead the current dating process. That’s something that we’ll have to get more serious about and make a decision soon.

  4. Stephanie
    Friday, September 18, 2009

    W0w- what an experience. I have only seen clips from Amish life on tv and of course the music videos where an “Amish rapper” plays mr. cool.

    While a part of me would love to have a simple life, I don’t think I could do it…however I think it depends on how we grow up. If you’re born into it its the only thing you know and not difficult to abide by…but for most of us we are in this cluttered world of “stuff” and quite frankly, we love it!! Don’t you??

  5. bettyl
    Saturday, September 19, 2009

    I totally understand your enthrallment with the Amish. And there are too many factors on both sides of the argument!

  6. starsimplified
    Sunday, September 20, 2009

    Great post! Loved the photos. I agree with you, though. In theory, the simple life has its attractions. In reality, not so much. Imagine hanging those clothes out to dry in the winter! Yikes!

  7. Irene
    Monday, April 19, 2010

    right! well i would like to be Amish! i have been to stay with an Amish-Mennonite family, not old order, i know! i want to live as close to God as possible, being like the Amish really helps! i wear plain dress and often wear a veil for church, we have changed the way in which we live, sure we can’t live among them unless we move to the states, but any one can live the simple uncomplicated life. what a blessing! God is turning my life around, all because of the wonderful Amish.

  8. cannotpossiblybe
    Thursday, July 7, 2011

    Simple. Reality. You are raised, eat, sleep, and breathe that way of life. I’d embrace it either now ..or if I’d only known it and no other way. We keep comparing our high tech fast lane to their slow lane. Really, they aren’t much different except we put on ”airs” to pretend we are something that we are not. I love that way of life and have all my life. Only I wonder if they get to play any instruments. Instruments just as they are… straight up. I played piano, and always thought why is everything so competitive. Let’s look back to simple. Slow down. If I can do it, anyone can. But it’s not for show, it’s for God; and for our savior, right? So now…it’s not so much about the only way to be simple, it’s about keeping a certain basic standard. We’ve got so much to appreciate.

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This entry was posted on Monday, September 14, 2009 by in Blog, Faith, Travel and tagged , .

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