Farewell to Amish Country
Our time in Amish Country was very relaxing. During the last few days of our stay, we reflected on on our time there and on how much we love the rural atmosphere. One of our favorite things to do when we're out running errands is to take the long way and drive the back roads so we can see the well-kept farms. Since the Amish aren't allowed much in the way of man-made decoration, most of them plant flower gardens near the house to help brighten their lives.
The Amish are very hard-working. We see them in their fields as we drive the back roads. They are especially busy during spring planting and also during fall harvest, which was beginning as we prepared to leave Berlin.
All that hard work means plenty of laundry. Most Amish homes have a pulley system rigged from the house to the barn or to a tall tree so they can maximize the amount of drying space.
Although the Amish are hard-working, they also know how to have fun. When school is in session, we frequently see boys and girls outside their one-room school playing baseball during recess. We have also seen evening picnics with Amish from all over gathered to play games, socialize and share a meal.
One day when we were driving the back roads, we passed a wagon train. The wagon drivers appeared to be non-Amish, but the wagons all contained Amish families. We don't know where they were going, but they seemed to be having a having a good time. We can't imagine they were just out for a ride since they drive buggies every day. It looked like they were coming from or going to some sort of retreat that may have included camping.
Speaking of Amish buggies, another common conveyance, especially for kids, is the pony cart. Amish children are given big responsibilities at a fairly young age, including driving pony carts on the roads right along with automobile traffic. Designed to carry one or two adults, the carts frequently haul more kids than that - like the 5 young girls crammed into the one shown below. We snapped a picture as they pulled off the road to allow us to pass.
Auctions are very popular in rural areas. Signs advertising upcoming auctions are all along the roads around Berlin. One day as we were out running errands, we passed an auction that was underway, so we stopped for a photo.
The Amish turn out for auctions in large numbers because not only are auctions a chance to get a bargain, they are also a good opportunities to socialize. Special parking is usually set aside for buggies.
Buggies, carts and covered wagons weren't the only vehicles that attracted our attention. One weekend we saw several antique cars traveling around the area. We're not sure if it was part of an antique car club or if it was some sort of special tour.
One of the nice things about our relaxing summer was that we were able to take our time to really enjoy the good food and the scenery around Amish Country. We were also able to enjoy numerous beautiful sunsets and sunrises right from our site at the top of the hill at Scenic Hills RV Park. The sunrise below was on one of our last couple of days in Berlin.
From Berlin, we headed to the Pittsburgh area for our annual doctor visits. We'll be pretty busy, but we'll obviously make plenty of time for Lydia. Since we'll be so busy, our blog posts may be a little scarce; but we'll have an update eventually, so stay tuned.