Today is supposed to be really hot in the Northeast. I know that my own family is suffering from the heat since my air conditioning unit went kaput yesterday…just in time for a 100 degree day! When my daughter complained about how hot it was last night, I quipped “Well, imagine if you were Amish? You’d never have air conditioning!” I don’t think she appreciated my pointing that out to her.
However, after I shut the light and retired to my own room, I started thinking about the Amish and how they survive such hot weather. It isn’t as though the men can slip on a pair of shorts or the ladies into a tank top or sleeveless dress. Frankly, the material that they use for their clothing is not the coolest, either.
So what do they do?
The children will most likely find a stream or pond and go swimming. They’ll splash around and play after they have finished all of their chores. Mayhaps they will be lucky and their mamm will make homemade ice cream in the evening for a special treat. Some will probably play in sprinklers, if they don’t have a pond or stream nearby.
If they live in a two story home, anyone who sleeps on the second floor will probably move downstairs. Heat rises and those second floor rooms can be really stifling hot. I know from having stayed at the Lapp farmhouse one time in the summer. Even with windows open, it’s just plain sticky!
Katie S., the Amish woman whose house I rent a room, retreats to the basement. It’s cooler down there and she has a single bed set up so that she can sleep where it is cooler. Some of the more modern houses may have air conditioning units already attached. The Amish cannot use them unless they have an elderly parent living with them. Katie S. has a neighbor who has one of these units. When their 90 year old mother visits, they have permission from the church to run the air conditioning unit. I’m not certain if it is solar powered or powered by electricity (they have a Mennonite woman who lives in an apartment on their property and she has electricity).
When I asked Lizzie if she ever thinks about cheating and running that AC even when her mamm isn’t there, she laughed and said, “Yes! But someone would notice my windows were shut and tell the bishop for certain!” I thought that was funny. Even Amish have to watch their backs! 😉
Many of the Amish will put out tubs of water by the end of their driveway and under the shade of a tree. Passing buggies can stop to let their horses cool off and get a refreshing drink. I think it’s endearing that so many Amish farms are doing this. I love how well they treat their horses.
So, while I’m waiting for the repair man to (hopefully) come to fix my AC unit in the house, I’ll be thinking about my friends in Leola, PA today and hoping that they are all staying cool.