“How Not to Break Up if You are Amish”

One of my favorite stories is one that happened to my friend Geraldine's mother.   Ann was Amish and lived with her mom and dad and sisters and brothers in Leola, a little town in Lancaster County. She was dating a young guy named John, who lived about three and...

The Amish General Store

Every once in awhile, I come across a place on the back roads of Lancaster County and think, “Wow, I wish the tourists could see this!” One such place is “The Amish General Store.” I had to make up the name because it doesn’t have one. I drove in the long lane, past...

High Shoes

When Mom got married, she borrowed her great-aunt Susie’s high-top shoes. “Hochi schuh” (high shoes) they are called. As soon as the wedding ceremony was finished, Mom went to her bedroom and changed into something more comfortable and not as old-fashioned for the...

“Hummi Vendyu”

When I was a little girl, I was sometimes allowed to go with Dad to the “Hummi Vendyu” (Cow Auction). The energy and vibrancy of the place captivated me. We would sit on the bleachers and watch the cows barge into the ring, mooing and shoving. I was glad to be up high...

Sidekicks, Buddy Bunches, and Gangs

Most Amish young people look forward to one of the most important days in their lives, the day they turn sixteen. They might have a "sidekick," a very close friend of the same gender who turns sixteen close to the same time. This "sidekick" will support them as they...

Amish Hat I.Q. Test

What is your Amish hat I.Q.? Answer the following questions to find out.   1.        An Amish man wears a black hat a.       to thrash wheat b.      to work in the field in the summer c.       for church in the winter or in the field in the winter   2.     ...

Tradition in a “Leppli”

Dab-smack in the center of the back of an Amish woman’s dress, at the waist, is a tiny, half-moon shaped piece of material. A “leppli,” it is called. When Mom was about eight, my grandma started adding a “leppli” onto her dresses. Mom was peeved because grandma...

Speaking Amish Hot off the Press

The Speaking Amish books are hot off the press! My Dad and I just picked them up at Masthof Printing this morning. If you have been wanting to learn Pennsylvania German, this book is the perfect place to start. It has easy-to-read charts and clear instructions to help...

Amish Titles

I had a professor once who insisted we call him by his last name. “Don’t ever call me by my first name,” he said menacingly. He even used our last names for roll call (he had a hard time with Stoltzfus, by the way). I amused myself by imagining how that would work in...

Fisher’s Soap Shop

Like I mentioned before, I often see shops beside Lancaster County’s country roads and think, “Tourists would enjoy this place.” Fishers Soap Shop is one of those places, one of the many cottage industries that are scattered throughout Lancaster County.   The...