We were always worried that a large housing development might go up on our road or in our community and that would have devastated us. Especially if a housing division went up across the road from where we live. That land went up for sale a few years after we moved here and it sold, but luckily for us it was never developed. We moved her for the specific reasons of a little more land and woods for our children to play and grow up in.
|The road we live on.|
|One of the first Amish homes in our area.|
|Amish School about 5 miles up the road from us.|
|Sign designating Amish School ahead.|
|Sign on left advertising snow shoveling roofs and decks; buggy in center |
of photo on road; and children walking home from school on right.
The advertising for their businesses usually consists of a sign either in front of their house or at the end of a road/crossroad.
|Amish farm on left and on right Amish school children playing outside of school for recess.|
It's not unusual to pass a buggy on the road around here. Sometimes from my perspective it's very dangerous for the Amish. Especially after dark in the winter. It gets dark so early here in the winter (on the shortest day in December that would be about 4:30 p.m.) that you often see them on the road in the early evening. They do have a light on their buggy on the drivers side. It's a lantern that is clear on the front of it and red on the back of it. It is basically a candlelight.
Sometimes if they don't have reflector tape on the buggy you can come up on them pretty fast after dark. And our country roads do not have a specific speed limit so therefore, quite a few people drive 55 mph. Another contributing factor to the hazards of their type of transportation is that with our snowbanks around here they cannot get off the side of the road at times to let people pass them in cars. It's not like our roads are really busy around here, but sometimes I think people drive too fast for the country roads.
The Amish have beautiful vegetable gardens. Usually the children, depending on their age, help with the gardening. Several of our local Amish farms sell their wares either at a stand in front of their house or at one of the local businesses. You can find baskets, quilts, vegetables, fruits, baked goods, fire wood and other various items at their little stands.
|Milk tanks in the back of a wagon.|
Talk about an ironic image - - -We have seen buggies pull into gas stations. They go to gas stations to fill their tanks with kerosene which is used for lamps and heat (I'm guessing). Some of them also use gasoline for diesel engines for their lumber mills, generators to keep the milk cold, and also for some of their other cottage businesses. This order of Amish do not appear to use coolers for their milk, but rather provide the milk in metal containers. The sale of their milk would most likely be used in cheese production because it would be a lower quality than that needed to produce milk.
They also will work for some of the other farmers that might need help. A few years back during one of our winters where we got record snowfalls, one of our local farmers that had a big dairy farm and barn needed his barn roof shoveled because of all the snow on it. There were over 6 foot drifts on his barn. The Amish neighbors came over as a group and helped them shovel it off.
|Amish buggy in parking lot of Aldi's.|
They are allowed to ride in cars, but usually only in the event of emergencies. If they are travelling to visit other family members in another community they usually travel by bus. The Amish pay sales taxes, county taxes and property taxes, etc.
|Children leaving school. Some walk home and some ride in buggies.|
|Amish children walking home from school|
I never thought that when we moved here in 1974 that 40 years later one of my closest neighbors would be an Amish family.
Here is a link to some additional facts about the Amish traditions: Amish Life/Amish Facts
Link to Frequently Asked Questions on the Amish: http://amishreligiousfreedom.org/amishfaq.htm#how
Other related articles: Amish America - New York
Inexpensive land lures Amish-Mennonites to Region
Sharing the Road with Amish Buggies
Amish Men Jailed for Refusing to Attach Orange Triangles to their Buggies
Upstate New York Amish Struggle for Survival
A Local Amish Barn Raising
ADDENDUM: After I published this post I am very happy to report that a very popular author that writes fiction and non-fiction books on the Amish, Suzanne Woods Fisher, viewed my blog and commented below on it. Suzanne writes beautiful books on the Amish lifestyle and communities. Here is a link to Suzanne's website: Suzanne Woods Fisher. Thanks Suzanne!
Hope you enjoyed your visit with our Amish neighbors!
Feel free to leave a comment. . .