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Amish Country
by April Henry

The Featherweight Shop - entering Pennsylvania

Did you see that?  We were welcomed to Pennsylvania.  Carmon said, "take a picture!  We're entering Pennsylvania!"  Well... by the time I grabbed the camera and it zoomed in, that's about all I caught.

Driving on the country roads in Amish country of Pennsylvania had some unexpected surprises.  First, we didn't really expect them to be driving motorized vehicles.  Second, we did not realize that the area was a mixture of both Amish and Quaker descent with lifestyles that, by our first glance, appeared similar.  Our hotel clerk directed us to Kitchen Kettle Village, which is a very busy touristy spot for those seeking a taste of Amish country and to pick up a souvenir or two.  We ended up with a few food goodies and postcards and it was quite a bit of fun to go from shop to shop, taste testing everything.  Below is a picture of the Village Quilt Store - a place where you can purchase quilts made by the local Amish ladies.  Our family enjoyed looking at them up close and personal and recognized many familiar fabrics from our fabric shops back home.

Ruthie's favorite place in the Village was the last stop - the Ice Cream Shop.  She didn't really want ice cream -- she just wanted to converse with the little Amish girl.  (We refrained from photographing her because we were too shy to ask and generally speaking the Amish shy away from photos.)  Behind the counter, however, there were two primitively dressed girls, but their bonnets were different.  When I asked the one serving us what the bonnet differences were, that's when we learned a quick visual Amish/Quaker difference.  The Amish girls have organdy-like fabric bonnets that are heart-shaped at the back, whereas the Quaker girls' bonnets (also organdy-like fabric) are more contoured for the head.  Both were quite feminine and pretty, but they were quite different in style.

The Amish drive motorized tractors?  Who knew!

Here are a few photo snapshots from our drive through Lancaster County area. 


Hard to see in the photo above, but there was an Amish lady tending to her garden.


Lower left of the garden, do you see the lady working in her garden?
Properties are extremely neat and tidy.

We especially enjoyed the clotheslines and the clothesline pulleys.  Out west we have only ever seen clotheslines strung between two posts or on a turning pole.  The pulley system seemed so perfect and ingenious!  When discussing this at the table with the ladies in Pearl River, I was informed that you put the heavier, more densely wet clothes out first because they take longest to dry.  If we ever have a clothesline, we will be figuring out a way to make one on a pulley-system!