|Beautiful peaceful countryside.|
Notably there was a refrigerator in the kitchen as well. I thought maybe it ran on natural gas like the stove but when we visited the Lehman Hardware store in Kidron the next day, we saw a similar refrigerator that ran on kerosene. Esther explained that the family shared an "ice house" with four other families. It is a small storage structure that houses freezers and is run by electricity from one of the lines that runs along the roadside. Except for looking above our heads to see gas lights, the home wasn't notably that different from any other. The people were.
Our hostess' day starts early. Her husband is up at five and gets a ride to work in a van with a hired driver that picks him up. He is a woodworker and makes changing tables and dressers. She sews (again, sewing machine runs on electricity supplied by a gas generator). The children walk to their Amish school. The oldest was in the fifth grade and will only be in school until she completes the eighth grade. She and her brother sang to us from their school songbook full of songs that told Bible stories. Their youngest brother had been excused to enjoy the pony cart the neighbor kids were driving up and down the long lane between the houses.
|The alternative to horse and buggy.|
Our other notable stop this time in Amish country was at the Amish & Mennonite Heritage Center in Berlin. While it's been in operation for 28 years, it has only been in its present location since 2002. The Center is home to a mural painted by Heinz Gaugel. The mural is 10 feet high by 265 feet long and fills the walls of a round room. It starts on one end with a portrait of Jesus and from there moves through history depicting the origin of the Anabaptists and how the Mennonites, the Amish, and the Hutterites came to be. The guided tour is $8 ($7.50 for AAA discount) but is well worth the price. The mural is amazing. Our Amish guide was well versed and we learned so much more about how these unusual sects came to be.
|Horse powered vehicles of all sorts share a parking lot.|