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Letters To The Editor

More Off-Grid Lessons From The Amish 

My husband collects wood working tools and has quite a collection. He had some that we couldn’t figure out what they were or how to use them. We went to our local flea market near one of the Amish communities in our area, and the men there knew exactly what they were and showed my husband how to use them and use them safely. My husband uses the tools he collects in projects around the house. He also makes furniture in his spare time. We have found that the Amish are always willing to share their knowledge with “the English.”



We had an Amish crew put our new roof on in June and they were more than happy to answer my question on many topics. I live in SW PA near Punxsy and Smicksburg where many Amish farms are located.
I buy most of my vegetables from a Mennonite farm stand that comes to my area every Saturday from June-September.
Make it a point to know these communities. We purchased our wood stove that is Amish-made from West Bend, Indiana. It was less expensive and very easy to use and maintain.
I lived in a Mennonite community for 4 1/2 years and learned many skills from their community. This has made me more self-sufficient and frugal in this day and age.



I was actually born in northern Indiana. Both of my parents were Amish as children, and yes, I have a lot of Amish relatives. My family moved to Missouri when I was 13 years old, so I didn’t learn as much about the Amish ways of doing things as I would have liked to.
I do remember staying for a week or so with one on my Old Order Amish aunts back when I was about 11 or 12 years old in the mid 70’s. My aunt used a gasoline-powered washer with a wringer to wash clothes, then she hung them out on clotheslines to dry. There was a delivery truck that would stop by every so often to deliver a large block of ice to her icebox refrigerator.
There was another delivery truck that would come to collect the milk that was in large cream cans.
I split wood with an ax, gathered chicken eggs, helped to make ice cream and butter by turning cranks, and I even drove a buggy for a ways with her beside me. I also learned how to ride a pony bare back, which almost caused me to get hurt badly. A horsefly or something stung the pony, so he kicked and took off galloping full speed and would not heed my rein-pulling efforts to slow him down. I was getting very off-center on his bouncing back when I figured out how to become centered again; only to get off-centered on the other side. He finally did slow down and I had managed to stay on his back. Whew!


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