For a number of years, my daughter Lisa and I have attended the annual auction and sale held by a nearby Amish community. We have both long been fascinated by the Amish and love the opportunity to see their handiwork up close, as well as purchase a few items. It’s held in September every year and the proceeds go to fund their school. We went recently and it made me think of things we can learn from the Amish way of life.
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1. Home Cooking Tastes Best
One of the things Lisa and I look forward to at the Amish auction are the homemade cinnamon rolls. They are SO good! And so are the pies, bread, rolls, noodles, jams and jellies, and all the other tasty homemade treats. I cook most things from scratch but have gotten out of the habit of baking homemade bread and making my own yogurt. If life slows down a bit as summer draws to a close, I intend to get back to doing both of these things.
You may recall that the word I chose for my 2018 focus was “simplicity”. I can’t honestly say I’ve implemented as much simplicity in my life as I had hoped but it remains an important goal for me. The ways of the Amish may not be easy, but in many ways they exude simplicity. Everything from the clothes they wear to the way they decorate their homes demonstrates this quality. While my grandmother was not Amish, she did live her life in a very simple way and there is much about this which appeals to me.
3. Fashion Freedom
No one would call the Amish stylish but I suspect there’s a great deal of freedom associated with the way they dress. Imagine how easy it would be to get dressed each morning if your wardrobe only consisted of four dresses: one for wash, one for wear, one for dress, and one for spare. I have no plans to limit my wardrobe to four dresses but many are embracing the concept of a capsule wardrobe and that seems doable to me.
My favorite part of the Amish auction is admiring the gorgeous handmade quilts. They sell for around $1000 each so all I do is look. Each tiny stitch is nearly perfect and the patterns are truly works of art. Likewise, the handmade furniture is beautiful in its simple perfection. It’s certainly easier to buy bed coverings and home furnishings but that will never replace the satisfaction of a home filled with items made by one’s own hands. I’m not taking up quilt-making anytime soon and furniture building isn’t in my future at all. However, I’d love to learn how to crochet and perhaps embroider such things as tea towels and pillow cases.
When we look at those gorgeous quilts and huge quantities of homemade goods for sale each year, Lisa and I always joke about how much more we might accomplish if we didn’t have computers or social media. Obviously, without access to a computer I wouldn’t be writing this blog. And social media is a great way to connect with friends, family and blog readers. But they can also be huge time wasters if we aren’t careful. I am experimenting with ways to cut down on the time I spend online in order to free up time for other pursuits. Expect a blog post on this topic sometime in the near future.
If you share my interest in the Amish and their way of life, here are some resources you might be interested in:
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