The night was quiet. In the distance I could hear the frogs croaking around the little pond outside our woods several hundred yards away. All the chores were done, the cows were turned out to pasture for the night so they could munch on the fresh grass over night. I could hear the occasional soft moo from a satisfied cow who had its udder relieved a few hours before from us milking it, and now it was getting its belly full. Way off in the distance I could hear a Coyote yapping. several seconds passed until I heard another answering it from a neighboring woods. On such a clear night out in the country, miles away from any major City or Highway, the sounds of the night carried for miles.
I was 9 years old. Still fresh and innocent about life. I was in that stage where Babies came down from heaven and into the bedroom on a cloud. Where if you fell down in the dirt, God would appear, literally, pick you up, brush you off, kiss your hurt spot, and then vanish into the thin air again. A time when mom and dad were my heroes, elders within the church were always right, and I fully trusted every adult I met and what they had to say, because that is what you do at that age. Aww but if only we could all hang onto the innocence of childhood for just a little longer!
Usually when supper was over, after crawling into my bed with my little brother, I would fall asleep right away. Maybe it was from the long days in the fields, or maybe falling asleep quickly is just something a 9-year-old boy does.
However, for some reason this evening I was laying in bed completely aware of my surroundings, the quiet, sultry summer night, and all the sounds in it.
And than I heard it. The distant, faint, clip clop of a horse’s hooves falling on the asphalt a mile away. A buggy traveling at midnight in the middle of the week??? I sat alertly upright in bed. Something didn’t feel right here. As the sound of the clip clops got closer, I glided silently from my bed to the second story window of our farmhouse. A farmhouse Built about a quarter of a mile back from the asphalt road that ran past our 255 acre farm nestled out in the middle of nowhere Wisconsin. As I peeped out of the window, I watched the buggy come to a halt in the field across the road from our place next to the Amish farm half a mile away. In the shadows of the tall trees, I watched as 3 men climbed off of the buggy with pitch forks. I slowly froze with fear as that night I watched my very first act of the something few people from the outside world know anything about. Something that lies deep within the heart of the Amish communities. Something that is only muttered in undertones for fear of getting visited by “The Amish Mafia” Read more »
In last week’s Blog I gave the top 10 reasons why you may not be cut out for the Amish life. I must admit here, I hold my breath after each blog I post, until the first few responders give their feedback. I often seem to walk on a fine line of where to not go with a subject. In other words, although I have been out for almost 11 years, I am not quite always in touch with what is politically correct.
Take for example, the first response I received after my last blog, by a woman who had a husband that was held in the war for many years, even after he wished to retire. This woman was upset, and rightfully so, about the fact that I made a comparison to the Amish life being tougher then going through boot camps. In my exact words, “if you think the military, boot camp, the grueling workouts in the rain, etc, as tough as that might be, you can still take comfort that you can always throw in the towel and drop out at any moment”.
If you read the Part I, and thought I was rather hard on the Amish life in some areas, I probably was. However, take note that I only did it to DE-romanticize, or educate some of the many people who wish to join. I can also assure you that I left areas out that I could have talked about at length, and probably will sometime in the future. Areas that need to be addressed. Now is not the time and place.
I personally felt unsettled all week knowing I left a story half told, and knowing that without fairly telling the top 10 good reasons why you just might make it among the Amish, I was doing the entire Amish community a huge disfavor.
Indeed, when I keep hinting around the edges about feeling Read more »
Hello Mose. I have always been fascinated by the Amish way of life. They seem to lead such a simple, peaceful life. I am sick of my life, and I am ready to start over. I have always felt connected to them, and I feel like I am supposed to be Amish, and that most of my troubles would be over if I joined the community. You’re the only Amish person I know. Could you please help me become Amish?
First let me say that this is actually an excellent question. I can easily grasp why someone looking in from the outside would get this impression, and view the Amish life as a worry free dream life. I suppose the best way for me to “get you” on this topic is by putting myself in your shoes.
My dream is to move to Switzerland. When I was young, I read the book “Heidi”. A book written by Johanna Spyri. It is about a girl who was adopted, ended up living with her gruff grandpa up in the Swiss Alps, through a sequence of events, befriends a crippled girl, Clara, who is 12, and eventually gets Clara to move up into the mountains with her and Grandpa. Between the fresh mountain air, goat’s milk, and out from under the strict household confines of Fraulein Rottenmeier, a miracle is born. Clara actually gets healthy, and for the first time in her life begins walking.
If you haven’t read the book, I strongly encourage you to do so. I have read it numerous times, and I find a deep inspiration between it’s covers each and every time I do so. Obviously the Swiss Alps were romanticized a little bit. The power of goat milk was probably exaggerated some. But to a child, it all made sense. When I had Read more »