While on a business trip to beautiful Philadelphia, my husband and I traveled to Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, where friends of ours just moved back to their hometown of Morgantown, (all the “cities” end with the word town on the end). Lancaster County is home of America’s oldest Amish settlement. It is a step back in time where a simple lifestyle takes on a different meaning there than it does for us here in the valley. Crazy to see that this all still exists today.
The Amish community dates back to the 16th-century Reformation in Europe and the separation of church and state. This movement spurred on the creation of the “plain” communities of the Amish as well as the similar Mennonites and Brethren. The Amish are the most conservative with a dedicated belief in humbleness and modesty, family, and community values. The hallmark of the Amish belief is humility, and members are encouraged to keep worship, work and play exclusively among each other in the Amish community. They are similar to our Hutterite colonies here in Montana, who are much more sophisticated in comparison to the Amish.
Unlike our Hutterites, who have adapted to our modern lifestyle of using motorized vehicles to get their work done, the horse and buggy is the Amish people’s primary mode of transportation. It was crazy to be driving along the country-side roadways and to see several horse and buggies riding along on the side of the road. Always a man was driving, and if women needed to venture out on their own, they either rode their bicycle or chose the scooter route. As the Amish are very self-supporting in most ways of life, how-ever, they do still go shopping. Many establishments had buggy stalls and places to tie up their horses; this certainly takes you back in time.
The Amish modest style of dress is very similar to that of the 19th-century Europeans. The men wear straight collars, with black suits and broad brimmed hats. To fasten clothing, hooks and eyes are used instead of “flashy” but-tons and suspenders are used in place of belts. All married men wear a beard and their hair covers their ears. The women wear dresses of a dark solid color, typically black, gray, blue, green or lavender, and the hem is modestly well below the knees. Amish women are forbidden to cut their hair, so they either wear it in braids or in a tight bun at the back of their neck. They also cover their heads with a white prayer cap, but use a large black bonnet when going to church or traveling. No piercings or jewelry — the Amish mindset is simplicity with a clutter-free life. They have no interest in the latest gadgets, electronic entertainment, the Internet or fancy cars. Their plain clothing style is a deliberate symbol of their desire to be “plain.”
As we drove along the country roads in Lancaster, we en-countered fields of corn, rolling pastures dotted with grazing cows, hundreds of silos and windmills. Their farms were immaculate, but the word modest, much to their dismay, would not be a word that would come to mind to describe their homes, possibly because they are such great craftsmen.
Electricity is taboo even though throughout the region electrical towers and wires are visible, some going through some of their farms. Wood-burning stoves are used to heat their homes and fuel their ovens. Homes are lit with pressurized gas lanterns and many use air or hydraulic powered motors to power their tools and, for some, battery operated generators.
On the surface it would appear that Central Heating, Cooling, Plumbing & Electrical would not have much in common with the Amish, but their work ethic, craftsmanship, efficiency and their commitment to quality is what Central behind the scenes is 100 percent committed to when hiring, training and working with our Team. We are in the business to create Raving Fans and Lifelong Relationships.
As always, your comfort is our Central concern. Call us at 756-6656, for all your heating, cooling, plumbing, electrical and drain-cleaning needs!
Amish Apple Crisp
5-6 apples, peeled and sliced
1/3 cup of sugar 1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup of flour
½ cup of sugar
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp of salt
1 unbeaten egg
½ tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup butter, melted
Place apple mixture in a deep-dish pie pan, sprinkle sugar and cinnamon. Mix topping ingre-dients, EXCEPT the cinnamon and butter, with a
Debbi Waldenberg, president
fork until blended. Sprinkle topping over apples. Drizzle melted butter over topping and sprinkle with cinnamon. Bake at 375 degrees F for 40 minutes.