By Kevin Williams
Wow, this is a compelling crop of articles in Amish in the News this week! So let's dive right in:
Amish Landlords: Sheesh, can you imagine calling your landlord at 2 a.m. about a clogged toilet or a broken waterline and having a horse-drawn buggy pull up and out jumps a bearded, suspended-clad man with a toolbox? Well, that is exactly what is happening more and more in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Apparently more and more Amish are jumping into the real estate market. This, in some ways, is a good fit for the average Amish. Any job that doesn't require sitting in a cubicle from 9 to 5 is a good fit. Most Amish men like to work at home or at least have the flexibility to be with family and real estate has elements of that. Click here to read about this latest trend.
Amish Atheist? This is an interesting piece. I've been to this Amish settlement and it is one of the more "forward-thinking/progressive" settlements out there, so if you are an outsider wanting to join the Amish, Unity, Maine is as good a place as any to start. While I have read about spiritual conversions where someone from the outside wants to join the Amish and does, this story is about a "boomeranger", the man when on a spiritual sojourn and joined the Amish but then decided with faith wasn't for him and left and he now has atheist leanings, but he still maintains much of the day-to-day Amish trappings of his life. Quite interesting. Click here to read.
Amish Buggy Loans: No high pressure sales pitch about buying a car today same as cash, etc. But one Ohio credit union does have a product designed just for their Amish customers: buggy loans. A typical brand new buggy often comes with a $6000 - $7000 price-tag and while many Amish pay for those in cash sometimes a young person needs a boost from a bank and that is where a credit union in Geauga County comes in. Click here to read.
Hutterite Losses: The avian flu has hit some Hutterite colonies hard, knocking out their economic underpinnings and causing a lot of emotional distress. Click here to read more.
Simply Amish: Check in with Arlene Schmidt, an Amish writer and homemaker in rural Indiana who writes a twice-monthly column for the New Castle, Indiana paper. Arlene and her husband Crist raise produce. Arelene is one of a growing number of Plain writers out there who are really good. As competition increases among Plain writers what will ultimately carry the day isn't the stories told but the writing itself and I do like Arlene's work. Click here to read.