Happy New Decade!

I hope you have all had a good start for our new year and decade. David and I enjoyed our holidays, and I hope you did too. Our sons, Paul and Tim came to visit us, along with Tim’s girlfriend, Niina.We found the visit to be short, but meaningful. Our holidays are officially over after we put away our decorations and took down the tree last night that we enjoyed for several weeks. I realized this morning I forgot to take photos of our decorations, which I normally do.

The weather here in Virginia has changed overnight to a dramatic effect. Yesterday was sunny, balmy, and autumn-like, so I hung out several sets of sheets that dried nicely in the afternoon sun. We awoke to a blanket of snow. It kept snowing for several hours. It seems to be done now, leaving our landscape covered with a fresh, white blanket.

Photo by Saloma Furlong

I never thought I would say this, but I love snow. In Massachusetts I felt the opposite. Given its a novelty here, and knowing it’s not going to stick around all winter, it is nice to look out and see how it brightens up our landscape.

This new beginning has me thinking about this blog. Given I have been blogging for a whole decade, I find I am sometimes at a loss for topics to write about. I realized when Pamela Lakits asked several questions in this blog post that I have not been asking my readers what you would like to know about the Amish. So in my next blog post, I will answer several of Pamela’s questions: “…why there are no more Amish in Europe? Could it have been possible that they all found their way to America? Did those left behind give up their faith and their way of living or were they imprisoned or put to death? In other words totally wiped out?”

These are great questions, Pamela. I look forward to answering them. If any other readers would like to pose questions about my perspective on Amish life, please ask.

I look forward to the decade ahead of us. I know that is optimistic in the face of the dangers in our world but I still believe in the good of humanity, and I hope and trust it will win out. I cannot allow myself to succumb to the fears of imminent threats as I look across the street and see a father out shoveling snow in the slanted light of late afternoon, surrounded by his three young children playing in the snow.


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11 thoughts on “Happy New Decade!”

  1. What is the reason the Amish don’t want health insurance? Our Amish friends often avoid going to the doctor because they can’t afford it. Instead they wait until something is really wrong, then end up in the hospital with a huge bill that neither they nor their church can afford to pay.

  2. Happy New Year Saloma!!!!! So glad you got to spend time with your sons. Your photo is absolutely beautiful. How blessed you are to have such a view outside your window. It has seemed more like fall or spring here in Pittsburgh. We have had a few sudden heavy bursts of snow today but the ground is too warm and it melts as quickly as it came.
    After having many family and friend celebrations here in our home over the holidays I finally finished taking down decorations today though our tree; which is a fresh one, is still standing. It always makes me a bit sad to take it down and so I procrastinate about it.
    I am looking forward to hearing the answers to mine and other questions that we have for you pertaining to the Amish and their way of life. I often wonder why I have such an interest in the Amish and why I feel most comfortable around them. I think its because I like the old way of doing things, I always have. I even prefer (as you know) long skirts to pants. Maybe I don’t feel like such a misfit around them!!!! I often get teased (though not in a mean way) about washing my own dishes, hanging clothes out to dry, canning, etc. I’m so glad I found your blog Saloma, I have learned so much and continue to learn the good and the not so good about the Amish way of life. I feel at home here.

    1. Yes, Pamela, we are indeed blessed with the views around us. We love the one out the back of our house, where that photo was taken.

      You and I share the feeling about the clothes we choose to wear. I like living in an area where there are plain-dressing women. I don’t feel as weird that I don’t keep up with the latest fashions in the way I dress.

      I’m so glad you feel at home here and among the Amish. You and I are kindred spirits.

  3. I so relate to your comment about now loving snow. I did like snow in Vermont also as long as I could stay inside which was almost never. Also after a snow storm in Vermont there always seemed to be sub freezing weather and I do not like the cold. Of course I did really like to be out in the snow when I was younger. By the time spring was coming I was looking forward to seeing the lawns again. The roads were always clear. We had huge icicles on the front of the house and deep snow. Spring was welcome but it seemed to take forever for the snow to melt. Here in PA the snow melts in a couple of days and we do not usually get snow storms close together. And the temperature is always warmer. Zero in Vermont could feel warm when it is compared to 20 to 25 below which could last several days. It doesn’t get that cold here.

    I look forward to reading your blogs about the Amish. I have always been fascinated with the Amish life style and I am sure I have glamorized what it was like to grow up surrounded by so many of like mind. As I get older I wish for more of our family to be closer. I think that is one reasons I liked your books so much and the American Experience films. I learned a lot from them and they made me wanting to know more more. So I welcome the blogs you are about to write.

    1. Oh, Michele, you describe Vermont winters so well that I am reminded of why I’m glad I live in Virginia and not Vermont, at least during the winter.

      It sounds like you and Pamela (see above) have a lot in common. The Amish culture is fascinating. They seem to bring the past into the present, along with all the nostalgia that comes with that.

      Glad you enjoyed the films and books. So glad to have you here.

  4. Thanks again, Saloma. I always enjoy your writings! Haven’t seen one in a long time, it seems? Don’t you regularly write one each month?
    I too, love a nice snow day or two. So beautiful, IF I can just stay inside! lol
    We MAY get a little next week…that would be delightful, IF it really happens!
    We are also out in the country, in the middle of a 100 acre farm, with a nice view. Snow doesn’t visit us often in our area of the NW, and usually melts soon after.
    I just called a man in PA. and ordered a nice calendar, with large monthly photos of Amish. We had purchased one from him, while visiting Lancaster in the fall of 2018, at the “Market” downtown. Do you know of any stores that offer such calendars, without absorbent shipping fees?
    Blessings to you in the New Year ~

  5. Denise Ann Shea

    Happy and Blessed New Year, Saloma! We have been fortunate here in Eastern MA. December had more snow than usual, now we get hit with a dusting, then the next day is in the 50’s! The snow does look so nice when it is fresh and clean, doesn’t it? I have enjoyed your blog, and look forward reading it.

  6. I love your photo of the snow. We usually have mild winters in the Netherlands and the days are very short and the skies are overcast. I would go to Michigan either in January or Feb. There was usually lots of snow and the sun would shine making the days seem so much brighter. I would feel so much better and when I would come back home to the Netherlands, the days would be again longer and the sun would shine. Last winter I didn’t get there in the winter and this year I won’t go again but I really do miss the sun and snow. It is getting harder for me to get around and I definately don’t want to fall on my head in the snow so it looks like my treat of sun and snow is now only a memory.

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