Traditional Colors: My Adventures in Amish Culture
This is our story of living alongside the Amish and their rich culture for over 12 years in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Learn about the Amish through our experiences and about the pride they take in handcrafting authentic Amish goods.
Published on 08/03/16
Sometimes things are not always as they appear-- or as they're named! Read on to learn about a refreshing summer treat.
Published on 06/01/16
Read how the Amish influence the popular culture, why so many people are curious about them, and why they flock to Amish communities for vacations. Also, learn more about the Amish in general in this blog post!
Published on 04/27/16
In this addition of The Almost Amish Tattler, famous canines Maggie and Harper from Doggie Calendars were spotted at the beach cruising in a beach wagon. Read about how you can give your dog the same royal treatment in this blog post.
Published on 03/23/16
Part 1 of a series over the history of the Amish and their core beliefs, who the Amish are and why you should care.
Published on 03/03/16
Looking for a unique wedding guest book idea? Our handmade Amish picket bench makes for solid and fine piece of handcrafted furniture that can double as a a creative guestbook for any special event!
Published on 02/18/16
For those unfamiliar with the term, “Mud Sale” let me clarify it. Mud Sales are benefit auctions held each Spring, almost always by local fire companies. The word “mud” came into common use because the sale area always extends beyond the firehouse and into a neighboring farm’s field. Because the great winter thaw starts around that time, the fields can get unbelievably muddy. Folks from far and wide don their boots, which while not necessarily fashionable, is practical.
Teenie-bopper Amish boys who live close by will all borrow the family wagon, and serve as valets for the Englishers, working for tips. Below is a photo of some of them anxiously driving towards the opening of the largest sale, the Gordonville Mud Sale.
Most of these Mud Sales will bring hundreds, even thousands of folks to bid, buy, eat, and just people watch. Quilts are almost always auctioned. But fire companies who hold two sales a year, in the spring and fall, will usually restrict quilt auctions to just one of those sales.
Published on 01/22/16
A few short years ago, I was a retailer going into the Christmas season with a sinus infection. I invariably suffer from sinus problems, so this wasn’t unusual. I had no energy, but coming home one evening from the doctor with my husband, I told him I needed to go across the road to see my Amish friend Barbie. I just needed to share a quick message with her.
It was early December, and darkness falls so early at this time of year. Blackness enveloped our truck as we passed onto the road.
Published on 01/05/16
In a word, yes, but so are many other people. I am also Pennsylvania Dutch, but you wouldn’t be able to distinguish me from any other typical American.
The term Pennsylvania Dutch is not exactly accurate. The word Dutch is a corrupted form of the actual German word for German, which is, in fact, Deutsch. Scholars have argued whether the usage of the word Deutsch to describe these people meant the language or the people who spoke the language. I don’t think it matters--- what’s important is that the name Pennsylvania Dutch has come to refer to a group of German-speaking immigrants from the Palatinate region and some other areas of Germany, many of whom were caught in the snare of the Protestant Reformation. Some of these
Published on 12/01/15
Even though the Amish don't celebrate Christmas with all the decorations and trimmings that we do, it is still one of their most important holidays. An Amish Christmas is a little more restrained than ours but is nonetheless beautiful.
Folks exchange cards far and wide. Family and friends give each other gifts. Often presents among neighbors will be homemade food items like candy, loaves of bread, cakes, Shoo-fly and other pies, and fruit baskets. We’ve even received savory meat pies. The year we first moved to Lancaster, we were overwhelmed with gifts and were ill-equipped to reciprocate! That didn't matter- the Amish still give for the thrill and pleasure of giving.
Sometime during Christmas week, most schools host a Christmas program. Both parents, as well as other invited family and friends, attend it. Each student, whether in Grade 1 or Grade 8, will recite a poem or act in a skit. All students will sing hymns, sometimes in high German, Pennsylvania Dutch, or English. Often the guests are invited to join in. Those who have attended a Christmas program know they have experienced something very special, something that touches
Published on 11/12/15
In my last blog entry, Growing Up Pennsylvania Dutch, I recounted how I briefly had met the Amish through buying consumer goods. In my mid-twenties, I became aware of the Amish Country’s incredible beauty contrasted with my nine-to-five work environment in Center City Philadelphia. So I decided to take a vacation to Amish Country. That decision, and what lay ahead of me, changed my life.
After flying over Lancaster County many times just to get home to Philadelphia, I saw such a beautiful quilt-like patchwork of fields, and I knew that I wanted a close-up experience. Balloon rides are a standard offering in the tourist trade here, and I booked one. As I met the balloonist and his staff that evening, he told