Tomorrow I will head to Lancaster County. My husband needs some harness supplies for the driving horses and I need to meet with my new friend, Katie Stolzfus. I’ll be staying at her house during the year so this is a really nice visit, although it’s going to be a tough day with a lot of driving. But the weather should be nice and I’m looking forward to going alone. I’ll be able to stop at roadside stands, visit the stores, and hopefully stop in to visit with the Lapp family, if time permits.
I’m truly looking forward to spending more time among my friends. It’s very peaceful and makes me reflect on my family history, thinking back to what life was like when they crossed the ocean in 1705 for settling in Pennsylvania. One of my ancestors was an American Indian who married into the family. I can hardly imagine the circumstances that surrounded that union. But I’m glad to know that my family welcomed diversity even 300 years ago!
One day, I want to write a story about that part of the family. We read so much about present day Amish and Mennonites. We are all so curious about their lives, mostly because they stand out from the rest of society. 300 years ago, they were more apt to blend in. Yes, they were more austere than other pioneers, I’m sure. But their way of life was similar…no electricity, no cars, no fancy clothing. I find it fascinating how the Amish are able to continue with their austerity in the 21st century. But I also believe that learning about their history and how they evolved would be quite interesting.
I’m actually reading a book called Fire in the Zurich Hills by Joseph Stoll (1973) which is about the birth of the Anabaptist movement in Switzerland. It’s really eye-opening how dedicated these people were, risking their lives for something that they believed in so dearly. What are we willing to risk our lives for? What do we believe in so dearly? I like to think about these things but I’m often disappointed in my own answers.
Yes, there is a lot to be learned from getting to know these Amish brethren of ours!