Local traffic

On my walk this morning, six Amish buggies passed me, plus one pick up truck. Kind of cool to live in a place where horse-drawn traffic can outnumber gas-fueled vehicles.

The north country of NYS is home to a substantial Amish community, largely members of the Swartzentruber branch–the most traditional Amish people, a far-cry from the folks featured on sensationalist “Amish” cabel tv programs, and much more conservative than the better-known “Pennsylvania Dutch or Amish.”

My Amish neighbors are deeply connected to the land–operating family dairy or vegetable farms, and often supplementing their income with small sawmills or wood-working shops.

Lizzie, one of my closest Amish friends, makes quilts in the winter which she sells to a buyer somewhere downstate. Basket-makers are also busy in the cold months. I get this. I’m pretty bound by the land and the seasons myself. I crochet blankets in the winter–while I hardly pick up a crochet hook during the spring and summer months when I’m busy outside–and my hands are always dirty.

Swarzentruber Amish avoid having pictures taken of themselves–I even ask if it’s okay to take a picture of their horses or homes.

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