Good Monday to one and all, time to peruse some of the news related to the Amish. And, wow, this first story may be one of the more interesting ones I've run across in my 20-plus years of covering Amish culture.
VOLUNTARY AMISH: We've discussed converts to Amish culture on this site. Those are the rare souls who are non-Amish but decide to join a church and make a go of it within the structure of the Amish. I also do often run into people on the periphery of the church who espouse different elements of Plain theology and life but don't jump fully into Amish life. But an Oregon couple, who only have the most tangential of connections to the Amish (via the husband), are "living Amish." I have to say I find what they are doing admirable. I think everyone needs to find their own path in life and do what works for them and provided no harm comes to others, then more power to the person who charts their own course no matter how different. Click here to read about this unique couple who are adding a splash of Amish to Oregon. The photos are fascinating, they seem to portray a blend of Old Testament meets Amish.
SCOOTING AROUND: I've been to some Amish settlements where bicycles are not permitted, but foot-powered scooters are. I guess the thinking is that a bicycle can be used for speedier travel and can undermine the close-knit community that the Amish strive for. Whereas you can only go so far and fast on a scooter. The scooters are in wide-use in Lancaster County, Indiana and "daughter settlements" lie Wayne County, Indiana and other places where pedal power is frowned-upon. But who makes these scooters? Click here to find out.
ROAD DAMAGE FROM THE AMISH? These disputes flare up from time to time and I'm always mystified. If buggy traffic on roadways or horse poop on asphalt ever makes my list of top 10 worries, or even top 50, then I'll know my life is good. I'm not trying to downplay the importance of road quality but, really? I just always find it difficult to believe that buggies do THAT much damage to roadways,certainly no more than road salt, cement trucks, semis, or snowplows. Click here to read about tensions over roads in south-central Michigan.
RECIPE FOR A HAPPY LIFE: There are a lot of Amish good writers out there: dozens upon dozens of Amish writers who pen beautiful prose and trying to pick one to read is always a challenge. Illinois Amish writer Millie Otto ladles out her recipe for a happy life, click here to read.