Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Amish Geo-Birthday

We spent last weekend in Clare - it was my birthday request. I wanted to tour the Amish settlements and maybe find an Amish bakery! Geocaching was part of our adventure, too. Dick logged in some simple ones that didn't involve a lot of hiking so we could both enjoy everything.

It was a very successful weekend. The only downside was that it was very nippy and windy, so it wasn't exactly sweatshirt weather. We found all of the Amish things that we were looking for except for a bakery (darn), and we found 15 geocaches over the weekend. It was a very pleasant birthday!

On the country roads around Clare it's fairly easy to tell which farms are Amish.

This woman had gone into town to shop at the big grocery store. Her husband was waiting in the buggy, and he let her load the groceries.

We were lucky enough to be at the Yoder Amish Auction on Saturday when it was open. There were buggies parked everywhere on the auction grounds.

The men are checking out the horses, while the woman were grilling hamburgers.

All weekend we were sharing the road with buggies. It's fun on the dirt roads because they leave better tracks and you can tell where they came from and where they're going. You can see the clippety clop tracks in the dirt.

I was especially interested in the Amish school houses - you can tell from the pictures that they don't waste a lot of money on the buildings or the plumbing. The schools were listed as having 17 students in grades K-8, which is as high as they go. Evidently you don't need a lot of book learning to run an Amish farm.

We saw several signs like this one.

At the Colonville store you are waited on by Amish ladies. You can buy kerosene lanterns and lamp chimneys of all sorts - a whole aisle of them. They have an entire wall displaying black stockings - even black stockings for infants in pink packaging. There were many, many books - mostly religious, but not all. Many were Amish romance novels, which all seemed to have a moral at the end. There were piles and piles of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Little House on the Prairie books. Dick was fascinated with the tools, hardware, and the huge cauldrons. There's an entire aisle of straw hats for men and boys. It was a step back into the 1800s.