Amish Contradictions (Yes, we’re confusing!)
Written by Michelle ~ A Normal Amish Girl
I’m often asked if I’m Amish or Mennonite and the question often ends in “…or what are you?” I guess I’m kind of confusing because I don’t walk around like the maidens in Beverly Lewis Land saying “Ach, vell.” and fixing my “white prayer kappa” while my emotions are torn between my “Amish beau or the verboten Englischer”. (Okay, so maybe I’m not a fan of certain books…)
I thought I would share a few things about myself that you may see as contradictions. I want to clarify that I am Christian first and secondly, I’m Amish. I like old-fashioned. I like new fangled and I like a lot in between. I think that most of the population would be a little bit that way…maybe????
- Case in point: On Monday I went from a 2017 Maserati to a team of horses. 🙂 It was a good day
- I’ve had more than one customer come to our shop and ask us how we run our store. We have light with a fan, a register, heater,
and scale. That’s about it but we run it with good old electricity. GASP! GASP! Electricity is definitely handy to have and I try not to take it for granted because not so many years ago we used kerosene and gas lights, gas motors to pump water and a generator. I still like kerosene lights because they throw a cozy, warm glow especially on a dark, cold winter night. Gas lights or Coleman lanterns are still nice to have around too in case of a power outage.
- I have a smart phone which is great for my shop because it allows me to swipe credit cards. I also have a really nifty rotary phone on my desk.
- I have internet. What a great asset that has ben for our business! But most times I prefer a solid reference book in my hand if I have to do some research for a customer. I’m always requesting hard copies of catalogs from our suppliers.
- I wash dishes by hand.
- We have a washer and dryer. The dryer comes in so handy in the winter and on rainy days. In the summer though, we usually use our wringer washer and hang the clothes in the fresh air. They always smell so good when we get them in! See our post on Laundry Day.
- My main mode of transportation is my bicycle. This is quicker and easier than harnessing a horse when we have just a short errand to run but I’ve been in planes, trains, ships and boats and all forms of automobiles.
Vehicles are definitely a fast and logical way around most times but I also highly enjoy a buggy ride. Not much beats a buggy ride with friends on a summer evening or even a ride on a snowy night in the dead of winter.
- Unlike any other time, using horses to farm gives you a sense of their power, beauty and smarts. I was responsible for driving our team of Belgians up to the barn with a load of hay a few times. I almost had chills every time we got to a certain spot where they kind of had to dig in to pull the load up a slight incline. The harness jingles and they lean into the load and it’s something incredible to watch! There are times when we are in a hurry for one reason or another and Dad fires up his Allis Chalmers tractor. Boy, does that release some tension for me! With a tractor, you don’t have to stop as much to let it rest and it just goes faster. You also don’t have to worry that it’s going to run away!
- My parents got me a treadle sewing machine and cabinet for my 21st birthday. Now, I’m not one to sew a lot but it’s nice to have for when I do want to make a dress or something. The nice thing about this one is that if the power would happen to go out and we can’t do much else I suppose we could sew! My sister has an electric machine too, which is handy if you want to have a sewing day with friends. You can just take it with you and set it up wherever.If this makes for more questions than answers, just comment below and I will try to respond. My previous post, Amish Questions and Answers (7 BIG misconceptions about The Amish, may also shed some light on questions you have about the Amish. Thanks for reading my posts!
Today‘s guest author is Michelle Schwartz, the owner of “The Spice Shack” which is a small, home-based business that specializes in bulk spices, medicinal herbs, and loose leaf teas. Check out her online store at www.thespiceshack.org. Michelle enjoys her family, farm life, anything outdoors, and running her shop. She also raises Miniature Hereford cattle as a hobby. We are honored for the opportunity to work with Michelle! Thank you Michelle!