Sunday, February 28, 2016

Sunday Drive / Amish Farmlands

         I remember, when I was a boy in the early 1960s, Sunday afternoons were so quiet and peaceful. Almost everyone in our little town of Midland, Michigan were church going people.

         Nowadays, we have shaken ourselves free of "rules" about not working on Sundays, but I feel the pendulum swung a little too far.
         Our Amish neighbors teach us something about what we used to have... and were SO happy to leave behind. Life was "going to be" so much better when we didn't have to hang laundry out on a clothesline day after day. When we got bigger tractors, faster vehicles, electric kitchen devices, (ie: can openers, toasters, coffee makers, and finally microwave ovens) and a whole plethora of modern conveniences.
          Okay, I'll admit we have a cushy lifestyle in 2016. However, have we taken the freedom to do a load of laundry (in our set of electric machines) and let it become a burden of seven equally non-restful days.
          I've never stopped in at any of my Amish neighbors and found them too busy to talk. In fact, I'm the one that has only a few minutes. I even hesitate to stop my Amish friends homes for fear that I won't be able to "get away" soon enough. Whole families gather around and listen to what their dad and an older neighbor man are talking about.
          TV, movies, video games, music devices, cell-phones, computers, and what all else has crept in and crowded out our lives from simple pleasure and natural beauty. I wonder how many "English" homes I could stop in and have the entire family gather around to listen to me and their dad talk... all with smiles on their faces. Good luck getting the earbuds out of their ears.

         My wife and I stopped in the "Mall" last Sunday. Almost every person seemed glued to their hand-held communication device. Storefronts advertise with huge photos of scantily dressed women. The place was filled with the hustle/bustle of buying and selling.

         Then, we took an evening drive though Amish country and reveled in the tranquility. I stopped at a stop sign behind these middle-school-aged Amish children. I know they didn't hear my truck. He was feeding his sister a piece of apple or something while she drove the horse. They turned around in surprise when they realized someone was behind them.

I invite you to take a drive though Amish farmlands on a Sunday afternoon,
and see for yourself what we left behind.

My novels are all about these contrasts, and lessons learned by observing Amish neighbors.

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