Sunday, September 16, 2012

visiting indiana - part 2

Erin and I visited my dad and his wife this past weekend.  I don’t visit my dad often...actually haven’t driven up to see him in (I think it’s been) four years.  I don’t know him well because we’ve always lived far apart (he kind of left when I was two years old).  His parents raised me and my brothers.  We stayed in touch over the least until I became a teenager.  I dumped all the adults in my life then...pretty much. 
Anyway, this weekend was great fun.  We visited Shipshewana, a town in northern Indiana.  Dad had said a few times that he thought I’d like to visit Amish country.  I’ve driven through places where Amish live and I didn’t see why visiting Amish country would be of any interest.  Well Shipshewana is a mecca of Amish people.  There were almost as many Amish as English (what the Amish call people who are not Amish people).  Shipshewana is a shopping free-for-all – all sorts of hand-crafted beautiful, very well made furniture, pottery, quilts, baskets, candles, and anything hand-crafted you can imagine.  The bakeries and restaurants smelled wonderful.  The prices are very fair, and there are many streets of lovely shops.  My dad drove us there in his car.  If I had driven my minivan up there, I might have bought a table and some chairs and a beautifully carved wooden trellis.

Anyway, the Amish don’t live like most of us do.  They don’t drive cars, but instead have horses and buggies.  My dad’s wife stated she has seen them pull their buggies into automated car washes and they wash the mud off them while the horses stand patiently.  we saw lots of closed buggies.  Before we got to town, while driving through the country, we saw men mowing hay with teams of four to six horses - it's neat to see!  I also saw a man mowing grass with a horse pulling an old-fashioned lawn mower. 

We stopped into an Amish grocery store and bought their apples, honey, nuts, and  jam.  I thought it was neat to see the buggies lined up.

parking lot - horses stand mainly in the shade

The whole downtown was just lovely.  Flowers blooming everywhere – every street corner had planters and baskets of flowers hanging from every lamppost.  Even fountains with coy and goldfish running beside the sidewalks were delightful, and fences lined with flowers.  We only stayed a few hours but a person could spend a whole day and not see it all.

Shipshewana street corner planter
baskets hanging from every lamp post
Dad and Erin entering boardwalk

little stream with goldfish

I had a lot of fun this weekend and it was nice to visit my dad and his wife.  I hope we will do it again, perhaps next summer.  Maybe we'll stay a bit longer.  Part of one day was just not enough.  My dad is actually a nice man and fun to be with.  I should get to know him better. 


linda said...

The Amish community has always been an interesting one to me. It is so alien to anything here. Apart from that aspect, it looks like a beautiful way of life. Nice when some things don't change. Everything else does as such a great rate.

KYLady said...

It seems like a peaceful existence for them, but I can’t begin to imagine raising my children in an Amish lifestyle in today’s world. In my mind, it’s conflicting to prohibit use of modern conveniences in personal and work life while conducting commerce with state-of-art technology. Perhaps the Amish couldn’t survive without an electronic interface with the rest of the world.