My daughter and I packed our bags and headed to Delaware and Pennsylvania to see family, including (and especially!) my brand new baby nephew Michael Julio.
We arrived on Saturday and on Sunday was the baptism service. My mom baptized the baby at the Delaware Methodist Church and Verity had him dressed so adorably. She got a long christening gown which topped off with a little cap. The outfit made him look like a very tiny French chef, lol. I have to get a picture of that for all of you. (I preached so I wasn’t really able to hang around with the camera.)
We had a wonderful time. I got to see my sister and my nephew (here posed with my daughter) who is now all grown up. I hate it that time has passed so quickly. I remember my nephew as a little charmer with curly hair and then a teen with a wicked tackle on the football field.
I tell you, just spending precious time together was amazing. Gathered over bagels or pizza or meeting new people over a baptismal party buffet. And all the while we had the fun of watching my mom’s pugs rush around the house, around and around and around. This one is Caleb, Sirus was cameral shy:
We also got to go to Lancaster and visit Amish country. At the edges of Amish country, today mixes with yesterday. In one shopping parking lot was a horse and buggy parked in a space alongside the cars, lol! I wish I’d gotten a photograph of that.
The most fun was the buggy ride through the Amish farm lanes. My daughter has the best pictures, but I got these on my cell phone. Here is my daughter with the buggy horses:
And here is an Amish school house:
Complete with boys’ and girls’ outhouses:
You know, as an historian, as we drove up along the first Amish farms I realized just how much of American history we were looking at. It was the horses that did it, each farm had a few of them for buggies and farm work, and it hit me that I was looking at Fishers Landing, and every other affluent American farming community from the 1890s. Fishers Landing was not dissimilar. It, too, had large prosperous farms where horses were raised for work, for speed, or to be trained as carriage horses. It too had families of many children.
Of course, many of the the Amish farms were larger and their homes were larger than those of yesterday’s Fishers Landing. They have had more time to build and rebuild with the existing infrastructure in place. But still, it caught my breath to be confronted with the visuals, so ideallic, of our American heritage.
It must be strange to be Amish and have us come traipsing through their territory goggle-eyed at them. It is polite to ask before taking a picture, and the Amish Messenger on horseback who came up behind our buggy said he’d rather not have his picture taken. Too bad because he looked wonderful in his beard and hat! And the children were so adorable in their hats and bonnets. Still, not sure how amused I would feel if our situations were reversed, and an Amish person with a camera were suddenly passing my driveway staring curiously at me…
(Note: did you know the Amish use solar panels?)
Finally, I would like to thank all the Amish for putting up with a tourist from Washington State. And especially, I would like to thank the farmers and their Amish Jersey cows for the creamiest, most delicious Rootbeer float I have ever had in my entire life.