Very often when people think of Amish, they think of their mode of transportation — the horse and buggy. I'd like to offer a view of what it’s like to look out from inside a buggy.
Sometimes those buggy rides were as romantic as they seem, especially on a summer day, when we drove past the woods and fields bordering quiet country roads. I remember the summer breezes picking up and waving the flaps on my bonnet, and the ride was slow enough that we could identify birds and flowers along the way. It was an unhurried atmosphere for conversation along the way.
There were many other times when a buggy ride wasn’t so much fun. I’ll name a few of these:
When it was so cold in the winter that no amount of bundling up and covering ourselves with layers of blankets, would be warm enough.
When the horse was dropping its manure on the road and filling the buggy with that organic smell or when he was blowing his nose into a wind, spraying the faces of the passengers in the buggy.
When car and truck drivers endangered us by passing too closely, or with something coming from the other direction.
When our horse got spooked and bolted, putting us in harm’s way.
In the same way that it looks different from the inside of a buggy looking out, than it does looking from the outside looking in, there are many aspects of Amish culture that are quite different in this respect.
I am finding that my favorite parts of my book talks are the questions and answers. I would like to have a Q&A here on my blog. I will be answering your questions in my upcoming blog posts. To get started, I have a few for all of you: What aspects of the Amish lifestyle do you wonder about? Given the choice, would you have wanted to be born Amish? Why or why not?
In my next posts, I will answer the questions in the order in which I receive them. I look forward to hearing your questions.