Watching all the Girls go by
This was taken in downtown Lancaster City on a beautiful Saturday afternoon near the Central Market. Most likely this Amish gentleman had been working at one of the market stands and was waiting for his ride to pick him up on West King Street.
Perhaps he called up and is waiting on an UBER driver to get him.
I respect their wishes of not having their faces shown in photos and waited for him to look away from my camera. Just another day in Lancaster.
Catching the Amtrak
This is my first time seeing Amish using Amtrak to get somewhere. This was in Lancaster as I was getting off the westbound Keystone train from Philly heading towards Harrisburg.
It is my understanding that Amish don’t fly on airplanes. Obviously they use trains.
Do Selfies Count?
This was taken in the Lancaster Central Market – while it was closed today (notice that this market stand was covered). I was in setting up a credit card machine for a new customer and tweaking another for an existing customer.
The Amish community generally does not like photos to be taken of their faces – in reference to the Ten Commandments from Exodus 20:4-5 – Commandment number two about ‘Graven Images’.
I understand that photos of children and youth are permissible because they have not yet joined the Church.
Lancaster County’s Most Famous Funny Name
Historically the Village of Intercourse was formerly known as Cross Keys. The phrase “sexual intercourse” originates in the 1940’s or 50’s. Intercourse prior to that referred to “social intercourse” – visiting the local pub or general store and sitting around the cracker barrel.
Next on the List
Blue Ball is an actual place – seen here is the old Fire Company building – now the Town Hall Restaurant.
Mixing the Old with the New
So you’re thinking – “I thought they distanced themselves from ‘technology’ and did their work manually – why are they pulling powered farm implements behind a team of horses/mules? What is the difference with using animals or a tractor – the equipment is still powered!?”
Answer – the traditions and rules of their church.
Buggies are a very strong and visible example of tradition in the Amish culture. Much like my Olde Order English culture, the horse & buggy takes on the same life as cars. In the Amish youth, the H&B is a symbol – I’m sure some horses lend to more of a muscle buggy than others.
The photo above is a unique sight – I call it the Crossover since it has two opposing seats behind the typical buggy enclosure. Watch for photos of buggy variations I have seen in the Lancaster over the years.
Keep Your Hands to Yourself
The Courtship Buggy adds some accountability to a young couple as they cruise down the road. I came upon this young Amish couple on my way home from church on a cold December. I assumed they were not brother and sister. With temps in the 30’s they had a heavy blanket over them since this buggy is completely open. The young man sits on the right and drives the buggy while the lady gets very close to him to stay warm.
Dating to them is what many of us would refer to as Courting. Traditionally this young man would have discussed his intentions with his own parents before going to the young lady’s father to ask permission to spend time with his daughter. The Amish and Mennonite communities take any level of dating rather seriously.
The Amish Youth Buggy
Amish buggies often show the character of the driver much like our cars do. The typical Amish Youth Buggy often has a bit more flair and character to it than typical one owned by the married Amish adult. This buggy had blue lights along the bottom of the mud flap. I suspect the owner was in the “Youth” category and still sowing his wild oats a bit.
This was cruising through the residential area where I used to live.
Buggy Drag Races
The buggy in the rear is drafting the other while getting ready to pull a NASCAR move to pass.
Their ownership of buggies is much like what we had or have. Think muscle cars.
These folks were harvesting their corn.
We Have Always Done It This Way
I heard an excellent story from a Mennonite friend who grew up Amish that explains many of the things they do because of their culture – being so grounded in tradition.
A young girl was in the kitchen with her mom one Sunday after church while dinner was being prepared. The mom took the ham out of the fridge, cut off a few inches from one end, placed it in the roasting pan, and put it in the hot oven to cook.
The young girl asked “Mom – why did you cut the end of the ham off”, and the mom replied “I’m not sure, dear – that’s what Gramma always did and I learned from her”. Gramma was over that quiet Sunday afternoon so they went into the living room and inquired about the practice.
Gramma’s reply was simple – “because my pan was short”. The Mom cut the ham because that was what they always did, even though her pan could accommodate a larger ham!
Many of the things that the Amish and Mennonites do are thought to be for “religious” or biblical reasons when in fact they are merely tradition. Simply put – they do what they do because “that’s what we’ve always done”. Simple – traditions – and very strong ones at that!
Five Gallons of Whole Milk, Please
Halfway between Intercourse and New Holland is a family-owned farm with a drive-thru dairy that has great milk and ice cream!
This place is a rare gem and is a very busy tourist destination – mostly for the ice cream – and a favorite to locals for both the milk and frozen delight.
This farm produces the milk on site without using growth hormones and has Jersey cows which makes both the milk and ice cream rich and delicious.
Go To Sunday Meeting
The Amish meet for church within their communities every other week. Their Sunday best is mostly black for the married folks while the single young ladies often wear colors. Interesting. This woman wore a cape and a black head covering while the man wore a felt black hat and a suit and white shirt without a tie. This attire is very different from what they wear day to day.
Their Church Districts are very local. While many of us travel 10-20 miles or more to church on Sundays, their Districts are basically their neighborhoods as travel by buggy is not fast. (I have passed a buggy on my bicycle going 12 mph.) Their neighborhood is their church and their church is their neighborhood. Each District meets every two weeks and families take turns hosting in their homes. Their churches are not public like the churches most of us are familiar with and there is no sign inviting strangers to worship with them each week.
Not Everyone Takes Their Buggy
Sunday is their day of rest. And that they do. The other six days are spent working hard while they relax on the seventh day.
The women are responsible for feeding the masses and the men and women usually segregate into different rooms after the meal while the youth will head out to the yard or barn to play games.
With Summer over harvest time arrives in Lancaster County. Our Amish neighbors grow corn, tobacco and soybeans in their fields. This photo shows them baling hay and using a mix of gas (diesel)-powered equipment and real horsepower and manpower.
Women and girls will often be added as the young ladies drive the team of horses.
Fall time brings many changes to the landscape in this area. Many of the crops turn brown and once harvested the bare fields are visible where tall corn or leafy tobacco recently stood.
The contrasting colors with the red brick house and horse & buggy caught my eye here.