Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Going Amish

We all have that happy place we go to. Most of the time for me, it's in a book. I love to get away from it all while in the comfort of my reading nook. Sometimes really do need to physically get away. Just for a break. Lately, it seems I need to do that STAT. My special escape is not too far of a drive away from my house, I can get to it in an hour and a half. It's quiet, relaxing, has some good eats, and great friendly people. Yup, we like to escape to Lancaster, PA, or Amish country.

I know, I know. You're saying right now: "You go Amish?" Yes, we really do. We've been going to Amish country for years now and when we want to disconnect from the world, that's the best place to do it. It's like a little slice of peace pie when you go there. Life runs at the speed of a buggy, the day starts very early, and winds down at dinner time. Perfect! And this is coming from a night owl, ok?

While we are still Englischers (non Amish) to the friends we've made there, we try to respect their rules, so we don't offend anyone. We put cell phones away, take no pictures of any kind, and try to dress in colors and styles that are close to what they would wear. The Amish ladies always laugh that they can't tell our girls apart from theirs, as they are barefoot in dresses and bonnets, running around with the rest of the children. I always find that to be a nice compliment...I mean, there are worse things to be than dirty right? A little Tide and a good scrubbing takes care of that.

Truth is, we hold a special place in our hearts for Amish country and our Amish friends. When Banshee was 5 or 6 months old, she couldn't keep any commercial baby food down, even though we'd gotten the go ahead from the pediatrician. We decided to get away from life back home and ended up in the old schoolhouse, with a baby that was vomiting everything and would go catatonic almost after. Some Amish lady friends saw Banshee's problem and made her some homemade baby food. It was the first meal that Banshee kept down, along with breast milk, and she got fat during that trip very fast. It was a godsend. So, after that, we religiously went up every weekend to the farms to get our groceries. It has been a routine/tradition ever since the girls have known, and a fun one for the Sailor, who had never been exposed to that culture before.

While we are there, we visit the farms and see what's new with life: at the Esh farm, there's a new calf and a new quilt finished, at the Lapp place the ice cream is ready to eat, the Fishers have a cookbook out now and the best pretzels ever, Mr. Stolzfus has some yummy bacon burgers out in the freezer, pop by Zook's fabrics and talk cloth diapers with some of the Amish mamas there(yup, I got them on the cloth train again. They'd gone the disposable route), and at Bluegate farm, the shoofly pie is ready to eat. Of course, a visit wouldn't be complete without stopping by a local playground, where we can play with the Amish children, I can read my book, Sailor can eat a whoopie pie, and we can watch everyone cruise by in their buggies for an end-of-day treat. It's a different kind of fun, you know?

I always feel refreshed after a trip there. Almost like the simplicity of things, helps my brain to run on actual time and not hyper speed.  I'm sure Banshee feels the same way! Some of our Amish friends always tell her its ok to not like being around people(how they interpret autism), because they don't much like being around lots of people either. I think she likes that she can go at her own speed there and not struggle to catch up, while Pixy just fits right in. She asks questions, makes friends, and bounces along as she always does. Sailor likes to turn off his "music brain" and talk about landscaping and the outdoors with folks there, something he loves to do. So, it is always nice to reboot that way.

This doesn't mean I haven't made an ass of myself while there. I've had a breeze come by and blow my skirt up over my head one time while walking. I fell off the porch of a farm with an armload of whoopie pies that ended up in my face. I lost my shoes (I've been doing this since childhood, don't ask why), in a field and ended up needing to get new ones before we left. Oh!! My personal favorite, I got stuck on top of a mule because my dress got tangled. Yup....sigh!! At least, I know how to laugh at myself and laugh along with others, even though its at my own expense. My little family just shakes their head and says: Mama's always doing crazy things like that. Thing is, they're right. I think Amish country, though different, reminds me a lot of life in Puerto Rico. I want my girls to know that feeling and way of life. I think it's great. Now, let me go warm up the truck for the trip up.

                               Do you have a getaway spot to reboot? Tell us all about it! :)