AUTHOR: Beth TITLE: Amish Country DATE: 3/29/2005 02:11:00 PM ----- BODY:
Sheila's post today about the Amish reminded me of an experience I had once while driving through Western Pennsylvania / Eastern Ohio where some Amish live. One of the modern conveniences I saw in otherwise archaic neighborhoods was a trampoline. Maybe the owners of the trampoline weren't actually Amish, but Mennonite or another sect where the women and little girls wear prayer coverings on their heads and long dresses of homespun cloth. Because that's what the little girl I remember was wearing as she jumped on her trampoline when we drove by in the minivan. Black button-up boots, stockings, apron, petticoat, bonnet on her head. Bouncing--flying--off that trampoline, a blissful smile on her face. The smile of a saint. Enigma. Mystery. Purity. Breathtaking. Other than that, my only other experience with the Amish, direct or indirect, comes through my sister, who rode with a large-animal vet in Ohio to get some experience over the years, and once went with him to an Amish farm to treat some animals, where a small Amish boy silently stared at her the entire time...finally walking up to her and tentatively giving her an exploratory poke with a stick. As if she was an alien creature, a girl in pants doing men's work. I would have thought that most Amish were aware of "English" people and their lifestyle, but maybe a little kid like that wouldn't have.