Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Post cards from our area

I have posted several photos of Old Order Mennonites in our region. There are many sects in the area; those who drive black cars, those who drive buggies with rubber tires, those who drive buggies with steel rims, those who do not use electricity or telephone, those who have electricity only in their barns, those who enroll in our publicly funded health care system and those who do not. Of all the groups, it can be said that they are hard working, peace loving, self sufficient people with a strong sense of community.
In my job as a visiting physiotherapist, I have travelled to several Old Order farms to assist the ill and injured. Some genetic illnesses, such as cystic fibrosis, are found frequently in close knit clans. I have seen their disabled children in school settings and tried to figure out ways to increase their mobility without a lot of fancy, modern equipment.
Laura, of Somewhere in NJ has been featuring “post cards” of her area, and in keeping with her idea, I will do a little post card feature of this group of people in our region.

For starters, here is an aerial photo of the Mennonite farm region taken from the 4 seater Cessna airplane my brother was piloting.

My mother and I select a pumpkin from a roadside stand.

A farmer readies his team for fall plowing.

A buggy travels along the shoulder of the road.

And finally, here I am, stuck in deep snow in the soft shoulder of the country road, awaiting a tow truck. I had been out to visit a country school and slid on the icy road. The horse drawn buggy passed me with no difficulty at all.


  1. It looks so peaceful where you are. I'm glad you shared some postcards of your neighbors.

    Too bad about slipping on the ice - hope you didn't have to wait too long for a tow.

  2. Our area is growing too quickly, but still retains the charm and peace of a rural community. We visited Lancaster County PA, a couple of years ago and found that region far more crowded, with the Amish community more of a commercial commodity. A kindly police officer who I knew personally "happened" to stop by my vehicle and got me a tow very quickly. It was minus 20F that day.

  3. Do they have to drive on the shoulder of the road?

    Brrrr that last one makes me chilly! All them are lovely shots though, I love the pumpkin one best though.

  4. The buggies drive use the shoulder on the busier highways, but if there is little traffic, they use the pavement. Yes, the pumpkins are lovely. I always cook and freeze the puree a couple each year.

  5. Ruth,
    I found you through a comment on Laura's blog.
    I liked your post about the Mennonites.
    I have had the pleasure of meeting some Amish through my brother-in-law, who syndicates "The Amish Cook" in a few hundred newspapers around the country. Ever heard of it?
    Anyway, with the shooting in PA last week, I feel so scared for these small, tigh-knit communities when we crazy "English" as they call us, barge into their lives and bring our insanity and inhumanity with us.
    Now I am off to read more of your blog.

  6. Hi Susan...thanks for visiting. I have never heard of The Amish Cook column, but I "googled" it and found there is a book by the same name that has been published. I put it on my wishlist, as it looks very interesting, not just recipes, but stories about the Amish themselves. Edna Staebler is a local celebrity who died very recently at the age of 100. She wrote "Food that Really Schmecks" and other books about the local Mennonite foods here.

  7. That cookbook you found on Google...that's my brother-in-law.
    And he's in the works to put out another one, written with Elizabeth Coblentz's daughter, Lovina.
    We are very proud of him. The Amish and Mennonite community is so interesting. And their food rocks!

  8. Susan, yes, the food does rock!, but you need to be a farmer to work it off!
    I will definitely order your brother-in-law's book...thanks for confirming it is the right one.


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