We haven’t done a “5 Points” list in quite awhile, so I thought it might be a good day for one.
Below are five modern conveniences that you’ll find in some or even many Amish settlements. The usual caveats apply – not all Amish use all of these.
Ever encountered anything on this list in your dealings with the Amish?
1. Solar Panels – Ever drive through an Amish community and find yourself surprised to see a solar panel on the roof of the home or other building? I remember when this sight seemed unusual, now it seems commonplace.
Solar panels are how many Amish tap God’s natural power bank to recharge batteries, for instance. Some of these can even be mounted on the roof of the buggy, as seen in the photo above.
2. Cigarette Lighters (In the Buggy) – For those Amish who smoke, this must be nice to have on those long late-night buggy journeys home after a date or a singing.
3. Bovine Artificial Insemination – Some Amish rely on artificial insemination techniques to increase their herds. Donald Kraybill describes this in the Lancaster County as one of the practices which “may be tolerated–put on probation–for several years to assess their long-term impact” (The Riddle of Amish Culture, p. 299). Lancaster County is more technologically-progressive than many other settlements.
4. Chiropractors – Chiropractic care is quite common and popular in many Amish communities. Amish people in general are quite health-oriented (with both conventional and unconventional approaches common).
It makes sense why chiropractor care would be so popular when many Amish occupations are manual. Some will even travel 1000+ miles to visit a special clinic.
5. Voicemail – Getting hold of an Amish person can be an exercise in patience which we are less attuned to in our increasingly speedy and connected world. But odds are if you are calling an Amish number, you’ll be leaving some voicemails, whether it is a business or private phone.
Amish phones are often located in an outbuilding (such as a barn or shed) or off the property in the case of phone shanties shared between multiple residences. Lines are often shared so you’ll have a menu of choices. Be patient and you should get a call back. But it might not be til tomorrow.
What others could you put on this list?