Even though my family is from the Midwest, my sister lives near Los Angeles now, and has for many years. She married a wonderful California native named Frank, and I gained four nieces and nephews in the bargain. One of them is Lorin, and a couple of summers ago, she accompanied my sister, Frank, and I to Amish Indiana. (One of these days I should tell the story of Frank helping to milk the cows.)
Anyway—Lorin, in her late teens at the time, is a California girl through and through, but she loves animals, so we thought we might be able to entertain her there for a couple of days. We stayed at one of my favorite B&Bs (Hidden Creek), visited some local shops, and had a homemade pretzel at JoJo’s—a local specialty. We decided that the best place to find animals was at an Amish farm, so off we went one afternoon to hang out with my Amish friends.
I have brought all manner of friends and family around to meet my Amish friends, and they invariably greet my newest arrivals with hospitality (and some measure of amusement, I think). After touring the farm and meeting farm animals of every size and description, we piled into the buggy for a ride. I took this first photo while the buggy horse was being brought from the barn. (The Amish don’t pose for photos, but they don’t mind if I photograph their buggies, animals, or farm.)
An Amish buggy is a great way to see the countryside. Lorin sat in front with my Amish friend, and the rest of us squeezed in the back, and off we went. It wasn’t long before Lorin was driving the buggy. From my seat in the back I was able to take photos unseen, and I got this second one during our ride. (I even got a video!) Lorin took to it like a native.
Today I emailed Lorin and asked her what she remembered most about the trip. She mentioned the pretzels, and the fact that the young Amish kids she met didn’t speak English. (They speak only “Dutch” until they start school at age six or seven, but that’s a story for another day.) And of course she remembered the various animals, and watching the cows be milked, and the little pony cart she rode around in at another Amish farm we visited.
Lorin took to the entire experience as few other California teenagers could have done, and it was a fine visit to Amish Indiana. She’s a fan of my blog now, and a fan of Amish Indiana, too—and I’m glad.
Thanks for this and the many other interesting blog entries you've made.ReplyDelete
I don't see a link to the video mentioned in this blog entry.
It's strange to think that the Amish have been here for 150 or 250 years, yet English remains a second language acquired late.
Actually, the Amish are an inspiration for an idea: Maybe new (non-Amish) immigrants to the USA should be encouraged to keep speaking their first languages to their own kids, so the kids would grow up bilingual.