Monday, April 25, 2011

Saturday in PA

I have envisioned and been fascinated by the Amish lifestyle ever since reading an Amish novel, years ago.  I have read many since.  So it was with great anticipation and excitement that we approached Amish country mid-morning on Saturday. It was rainy and cold, but worth every goose bump to see such a quaint and unique lifestyle.

Steve treated the three children (Megan, Luke and Cousin Emily) and me to a buggy ride. It was absolutely charming and thrilling to be driven by an Amish man, as he gave a commentary on the surrounding farms, homes and landmarks, including personal details of his family. I found myself imagining him and his family being one of the characters my favorite novel series. We were able to meet his little grand-daughter and his son. Oh what a thrill! I wish the weather had been slightly warmer, and I wish we had had more opportunity to wander and see roadside stands, but all in all it was one of the definite highlights of my trip. Kind of nice to realize we aren't the only 'peculiar people' in the world...
(Out of respect for the Amish and their beliefs, I took few photos, and none of the people.)
As we walked out of the last shop, the Amish farms and fields in the background were stunning.  Except the picture didn't quite tell the real story... there are cars in the background and we all have our tacky 'buggy ticket sticker' still on.  Oh well.  The best pictures are in the mind!

My sister-in-law, Kristin loves Gettysburg. (She has visited many times before.)  She has mentioned more than once she would like to live there.  My mother-in-law shares similar sentiments.  Their anticipation and enjoyment of Gettysburg was a direct contrast to mine.  Suffice it to say, my children didn't have a very good time there either.  They had both been told the pretty steep payment they owed me for their behavior on the ride there.  To pour salt on the wound, I was feeling pretty car sick--due mainly from my constant turning around to the two bickering children in the far backseat.
(Luke's face accurately portrays all three of our moods--Megan is TOTALLY faking it!)

Just as every other landscape here that I've seen, the Gettysburg scenery was every bit as beautiful.  What rich history.  I can truly say I have learned more about US History in the last few days than in the thirty six  (and a HALF--my half birthday was Friday--and how thrilling to have received a text Friday morning from my friend Terri, bringing it to my attention!!) years of my life.

As I keep saying, there is so much beauty and rich history here.  I am continually touched by the poignant reminders of sacrifice and extreme efforts to fight for the freedoms we so easily take for granted.
And as my mother-in-law keeps saying, "Visit places always thinking you will come back."

I will come back!  Either when my kids are beyond the arguing stage, or better yet, I'll leave all the kids at home.

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