In truth the house and farm were last occupied by Amish in the 1940’s or 50’s, but it reflected the current state of the Amish culture. There was a main room, where doors opened up to make it into a larger room for prayer meetings – men to one side, women on the other, akin to the Shakers. Then there was the kitchen – natural gas is now permitted for cooking, illumination and refrigeration. From there, upstairs to the children’s rooms, and the parent’s rooms, where the other aspects of Amish life were told to us.
Once the tour was over, and we found the guide was a 5th grade teacher at a Mennonite school who shared her experiences with Mum, who taught third grade at home.
We explored the grounds, viewing tools the Amish still used, a blacksmith shop, a tobacco barn, a local wood carver (we had bought one of his books for Erik when we got Erik his first jack knife) a quilt shop, goats and even a mock up of a typical Amish school. All very interesting in a compact area – but spoiled by the overdevelopment of malls in the area.
After that, we drove away from the highway and into the countryside – vast plains of crops greeted us as we drove down the smaller roads, exploring and hunting down the Amish in their wagons. Mum was so fanatical about getting a photo of them in their wagons that Pop began to refer to it as a drive by shooting, much to my Boy’s amusement.