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Things I Know About Living in Amish Country

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Michelle Kemper Brownlow: You may have your stereotypes about living close to Amish people. But try these on for size ...

Top 5 Things You Didn't Know about Living in Amish Country


It's not out of the ordinary to have to go four miles per hour because of the horse and buggy ahead of you and the No Passing Zone. The horse is usually pooping. But the wee ones with their heads out the back window waving takes your mind off the boss that will be pointing at his watch when you finally get to work!


There are a few times a year when walking out of the house into the fresh Autumn/Winter/Spring/Summer air you will get a slap-in-the-face-lungful of a grade of manure so fresh you expect to see the cows driving a truck and spreading it. But what you will see is a small child with reins in his hands guiding a team of Clydesdales like they were kittens.


Sometimes Amish women wear all black -- dress, stockings, shoes, cape, head covering. Sometimes your 4-year-old BELIEVES that hunched over elderly Amish woman coming toward you in the grocery store is, and I quote, "THE WICKED WITCH OF THE WEST! (insert screams of panic here)" Sometimes you have to hide.


There will most likely be a time you will find yourself passing a horse and buggy only to witness loud rock music escaping the big silver "boom box" and a load of texting teens. Seriously. It's called Rumspringa and is the parent-endorsed teen rebellion!


But the number one thing "I bet you didn't know" is also the number one thing about living in Amish Country. The Amish are the most friendly, accepting, loving and forgiving community on the face of the planet. They are quick to smile and wave or hold a conversation. The peace you can see in their eyes is palpable. It's an amazing place to live. I will never leave.

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4 comments so far | Post a comment now
Jillian February 21, 2010, 7:36 AM

Not quite sure where this woman lives. But I grew up in Amish country and I never saw a child afraid. Those women in the picture with the rollerblades are mennonite not amish. Amish only use scooters not bikes or rollerblades. They are the best people to live around she did get that right

Cyndi in PA February 22, 2010, 1:09 PM

I too live around amish,and they are awesome people—she’s right about that. The funniest thing I ever saw was a horse and buggy pull up to a store along the road, an amish girl jump out, walk up to a coke machine, buy a coke, hop back into her buggy, and continue on her way—I always thought that would be a great coke commercial! The only detrimental thing I can say about the amish, and I know many of them personally, is that they don’t believe in bathing reguarly and don’t use deodorant. They also generally have very poor dentition—I’m not sure why, but most of them have extremely rotting teeth.

Anonymous February 22, 2010, 10:36 PM

I have a quite a few family members that are Amish, and they don’t speak with any one in the family except for the other Amish family members. Thanks for this post, I have been trying to learn more about Amish country.

Wendy September 26, 2010, 8:37 AM

Michelle, you are lucky to live in an Amish community. I have been fascinated with them for years, and even more since I discoved by doing our family genealogy that some early ancestors were the first Mennonites in America! Recently went w/a friend to Amish coummunity in Ohio and never wanted to leave.

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