Last week, I blogged about why some people would like to join the Amish. This week, I will admit that I might be one of those people!
Years ago, I worked as a sponsor for our church’s high school youth group. Upon discovering that I knew how to milk goats, build a fence, use an oil lamp and other homesteading skills, the kids took to calling me “Amish-like.”
I was proud of that nickname. I figured it meant that I was fitting in. After all, I had my own street name just like they did.
Years later, my own children brought me back to earth by explaining to me that I was actually being made fun of. To this day, however, I take “Amish-like” as a title of honor.
Last week, I said that people became Amish because of faith or because of culture. There is possibly another reason. Someone recently told me that some people are Amish “just because they love their horses.”
Metaphorically speaking, if I became Amish, it would be “because I love my horses.” What that means to me is that I love the lifestyle.
I love the sense of accomplishment that comes from building something that looks good, like a long smooth fence line following along the curve of a hill. I love the sharp crunch of my boots on the early morning snow when I go to the barn for chores. I relish the joy of watching things grow, whether they be animal (like my steers, who have doubled in size since I got them this spring) or plant (like the trees I planted as mere sticks that now tower over my head). There’s some tangible advantages about cutting wood with a handsaw and breaking a sweat vs cutting wood with an electric saw and getting wood chips in my eyes.
Years ago, I was cutting grass with a scythe while (at the same time) my Amish neighbor, who is a progressive sort, cut his with a string trimmer. Afterwords, he told me, “You are more Amish than I am.”
That was the moment that secured being “Amish-like” as a title of honor in my mind.
I know this for sure. I had a lot more fun scything than he did weed eating. Best of all, I came back smelling like grass and sweat. He came back smelling like motor oil and sweat.
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