Monday, September 28, 2009

You'll Know It's for Real When I Get Invited to the Next Barn Raising

Many years ago, I had two fascinations: the Mafia and the Amish. Since then, I have matured tremendously.  I am now only fascinated with the Amish.  In fact, I love them.  I have loved them longer than there've been fishes in the ocean.  Higher than any bird ever flew.  Longer than that Dan Folgelberg song will be stuck in your head now.

And as luck and job offers would have it, I live ridiculously close to the Amish now.  Which means that God has finally answered my daydreams.  Which also means that I have spent quite a bit of time over the past year stalking befriending them.

Things didn't really start progressing in our friendship until we stopped at an Amish roadside stand in June on our way to Hershey Park.  I purchased a powdered, filled donut for 50 cents, took a bite and had a religious experience.  I'm not kidding.

Over the summer, we headed out to visit them and partake of their divine baked goods and fresh produce every available Saturday morning.  We'd get a couple of twenties out of the ATM and drive out to their luscious landscape and return home with a trunkful of treasures: cakes, pies, breads, jams, oats, watermelon, corn, tomatoes, potatoes, pretzels, smoked chicken, onions, cookies, donuts, squash, zucchini, and handmade soaps.  We'd drive along the roads and marvel at the horse-drawn buggies and the little Amish kids riding old-fashioned scooters.

"I want one of those scooters!" I exclaim almost every time we see one.  There's a store that has them for sale out front.

"What would you do with one?" Ryan asks.

"I don't know, but I really want one." I say.

We stop at the same places every time, individual farms with simple wooden stands stocked with their extremely inexpensive offerings.  The stands are only open on Saturdays and are manned by the family's children.  The children are bashful, polite, and sweet as they answer my questions about this or that.  Many times I bite my tongue before I blurt out, "And how much for one of you little Amish kids?  Just for a week?"  Somehow I feel it's inappropriate, even though I know that we would have a great time together eating bean burritos and watching YouTube videos and turning light switches on and off.

Saturday afternoon we headed out again with my sister-in-law and niece who are visiting.  We took them to our regular stops and filled our arms with freshly baked cookies, pies, and soft white bread that is made out of butter, flour, and God's pure love.  As I handed over my few dollars, I realized for the first time that the girl recognized me.  Did you get that?  The Amish KNOW ME!  She didn't say anything, but she looked at me with familiar eyes; eyes that said, "I know this lady and I like her, even though I think she secretly wants to rent me for a week."

My heart went pitter-pat.

At the next stop, we purchased homemade root beer, potato chips, and a dozen fresh brown eggs.  Oh, and one more thing--hot sauce.  I bought Amish hot sauce.  Wrap your mind around those three words together: Amish hot sauce.  Is that even allowed?!  I mean, it seems a little scandalous.


Discuss.

Next, we pulled into the drive of one of our favorite farms and got out to select from their crops.  The older brother was there and a little sister too.  We looked at the crook-neck pumpkins together and I tried to decide if I could actually attempt cooking one.  An older girl came skipping out of the house, barefoot.  She's helped us a few times before (once she offered me an extra bag for my corn on the cob) and she seemed excited to join us.  We exchanged hellos.  The older boy asked me where we're from and I told him, but I know he's never heard of it before.  I wondered to myself how far his imagination can take him outside of this world.  And if he's ever had a bean burrito.  I got in the car after purchasing two little watermelons and squealed with delight, "They know me!  They remember me!  WE'RE FRIENDS!"

Ryan is used to this.  "I know," he said.

We headed toward home, driving away from the simple life, eating homemade cookies, potato chips and cold, bottled Amish root beer.  My sister-in-law and niece were caught up in the sugary/buttery/homemade Amish high too.  But I was a little more high than they were, because I was high on Amish friendship.

"I'm friends with the Amish," I told them seventeen times.

"I know," they said.

"And I know where I would ride my Amish scooter," I said after a while.

"Where?" asked Ryan.

"Right here in Amish country with all my Amish friends.  We're friends, you know."

"I know," he said.

We are.  We're tight.

29 comments:

cutie crowley said...

i'm so glad i was with you when you first met the amish! i really need one of those donuts!! how about you send one back with sydney! i hope they are having a fabulous time!!!

Kristina P. said...

I have been to Amish country once, and it was awesome.

Have you seen the documentary "The Devil's Playground?" It is about rumspringa. Very cool.

Soul-Fusion said...

I was going to call/text/email you last week about something Amish I stumbled across and forgot/was embarrased/decided against it, not sure which. And now I don't remember what it was. But you should know, I associate you with the Amish so it is good you are friends.

Leslie said...

Oh, so jealous! Maybe next time I come, I won't be recovering from surgery, and we could stalk, oh I mean visit, the Amish together!

jennie w. said...

You're not friends til you've worn a bonnet.

Krista said...

okay when I read this I wanted to be friends with you. Like real friends. You crack me up all the time. Maybe we could ride scooters in the amish countryside and continue stalking errr or making friends.

DeAnn said...

On my mission there was a small Amish community -- not touristy at all and they pretty much lived in peace. My one real souvenir from my mission is the Amish Rocking Chair I bought and had shipped home. We'd see them in town every so often. Buying Fruit Loops at Big Lots.

Emily said...

You can't quit the Amish, you know. (Get it?)

Jodi said...

I went to my first greek wedding yesterday. I felt like I was part of the mafia for 5 straight hours.

I get your dreams.

Kami said...

Did you come home and watch Witness when you got home?

Becky said...

I am so happy for you! I know you have dreamed of this moment for a long time! :) The Amish are lucky to have YOU as a friend too!

Suzie said...

Oh Tiff. I can see you now with a bonnet & holding your little doggie hanging quilts out to dry.

Then hopping on your scooter drinking from a hot sauce bottle.

Annie said...

I hear the mafia makes a killer hot sauce, too. (Literally.)

Jesse C said...

I've got a connection to the Amish Mafia, if you're interested.

Anneliese said...

i had to become a follower...even though this blog puts me in danger of blurting out a snort of laughter while i'm at work. ooops. i don't think anyone heard me...

you nonstop talk about the amish.
i nonstop talk about my 'friends' in blogland. & how funny they are.

Angie said...

That's awesome.

Christy said...

This was a really fun post. I could totally picture it in my mind as I read along. I have warm feelings towards the Amish because of you.

The closest I'll ever get to them is making that Amish Friendship bread that always comes my way in a mysterious zip lock bag. It used to creep me out not knowing exactly who's kitchen it had been in. I feel better about it now.

michele said...

so i understand how you can be kindof friends with the amish, but can you truly be friends with them if they don't have facebook?

i want a donut now.

courtney said...

i have an amish bonnet. you can have it, if you'd like. it'd probably look less stupid on you than on me.

would you be more friends with me if i told you i was wearing it right now?

MiaKatia said...

You make me smile!

shannon p. said...

You are not alone! When I said I wanted to be Jewish last week, I almost said - I want to be Amish, but with the Jewish holidays, but back then it seemed strange to be talking about the Amish at all...so now you know the real truth. No worries though, they don't allow converts, (and I really hate bologna sandwiches - which according to our tour guide when we were in Amish country, they eat bologna sandwiches every Sunday for lunch with their whole congregation).

If you get a scooter and get to ride around Amish country, all I'm asking for is an invitation to join you occasionally.

Kellybee said...

Thanks for the good laugh!

Shua said...

I was definitely on the initial meeting between you and your new-found companions. So I'm kind of a big deal I guess you could say.

Annie said...

dreams really do come true i guess!

Lindy-Lou said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
tiburon said...

I want to be Amish - just for the Rumspringa.

For real.

Omgirl said...

I have to admit, I have a secret crush on the Amish too.

I watched a show on Ruhmspringe the other day, though. That was crazy. I like the regular Amish better. The non-heroin addicted kind.

Mindi said...

HELLO?! i loved the amish from my first viewing of "witness". harrison ford was bad A.

and the barn dancing scene: awwwwwhhhh.

summer said...

no way. how cool are you? this is my dream too! the amish hold a special secret deep place in my heart. you lucky dog.

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