Monday, July 29, 2013

Out Among da Amish

On a recent trip back to Indiana to "dig up" dead relatives (genealogy research) and visiting living relatives, The Colonel, Darling-Sister-In-Law and I crossed paths with some of Indiana's Amish population.

Indiana has the world's third greatest population of Amish. It also has the most Amish settlements, over ten church districts in size.

The Swiss Amish came to Indiana in 1850 and settled mostly in the east-central counties of Adams and Jay (some of our genealogy research was conducted there). The German Amish mostly settled in Northern Indiana.

The Swiss Amish differ from the German Amish in many ways. They are more conservative, maintain a farming tradition, are plainer dressed and have different practices.

Some of the differing practices are: travel by open buggy, yodeling, larger families, stricter shunning and atypical burial customs such as unmarked graves or simple wooden stakes with only the initials on them to mark the graves.

The Swiss Amish dialect is different too and some German Amish prefer to speak English with them in order to understand and be understood.

The Colonel, Darling-Sister-In-Law and I saw an Amish woman and her children making a trip to Wal-Mart.

Where does an Amish family visiting Wal-Mart park their buggy and horse? Right here of course.

We later saw the same family at Arby's. I wanted to snap a picture of them but thought it might be frowned upon in such close quarters (plus I did not want to be strangled by the woman's bra...who remembers Harrison Ford's line from the movie Witness?). Here is their horse and buggy parked near Arby's.

Driving around the back roads we saw many well-kept farms.

We stopped at one farm to purchase some homemade noodles. A man and two boys were unloading wood into the barn and waved for us to enter the little shop next to the barn. The shop was full of shelves and the shelves were full of boxed boots of various sizes. We did not see one noodle.

The friendly woman of the house finally came into the shop. She had noodles in the house. We exited the shop and waited outside for her return. The Colonel tried to get a couple of kittens to play with him as we waited.

I loved seeing the family's laundry on the clothesline and asked upon her return if I could take a picture of it. She said she would have to ask her husband if it was okay. He agreed (I'm sure our purchase of three bags of noodles and two loaves of bread helped).

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