What activities take place in a typical week in an Amish community? Amish church member Rebecca Miller returns today with a recent week’s worth of diary entries from her life in the Holmes County community.
Rebecca works as an Amish school teacher, and at the Amish and Mennonite Heritage Center in Berlin, Ohio. She has previously written on preparing for baptism, a firsthand account of an Amish funeral, and 7 days of Amish recipes.
Dear readers, here’s a week’s diary in the life an Amish girl. I have again changed all names to protect my family’s privacy. Thanks for your understanding!
What a beautiful morning we had, to walk the 3/4 mile to church at Joel Millers. We had 15 visiting families, mostly young couples. Inspiring messages were brought by the three visiting ministers. Our scripture text was Luke 14 and 16. We have three youth taking instruction classes in preparation for baptism which will be in four weeks. Wishing them the best!
In the afternoon cousin Eli and his girlfriend Susan were here for awhile. The rest of the afternoon was spent reading and napping.
Shortly before 5 o’clock it was time to get ready for the youth singing. We had a delicious supper of grilled chicken, potatoes, baked beans, salad, fruit, cake, and ice-cream.
With 70-some youth, the basement fairly rang with praises. It was a warm, humid evening so water pitchers were passed frequently. By 8:30 the singing was over and after a bit of chatting we were headed home after an inspiring evening of singing and lots of friendly visiting.
Twas’ a bright, clear morning – perfect for getting laundry on the line. The birds were singing cheerfully and inspired me to sing right along. I also swept the basement and steps while waiting on loads. Then it was off to work. I don’t start till 10 o’clock on Monday. I had a slow day so I did some school work and wrote some letters to friends.
After work we got the laundry put away and washed a huge load of dishes, then spent the rest of the evening organizing and getting things packed in boxes to transport to school. We finished the day around the campfire relaxing and enjoying S’mores with the family.
Today was another bright, sunny day, though more humid than before. After a hearty breakfast of biscuits, eggs, and gravy I worked outside most of the forenoon. Then I did a load of dishes and prepared lunch.
In the afternoon I worked in the sewing room until 2 o’clock, then two of my cousins and one of my sisters were off to Wal-Mart to do some school shopping. We were home by suppertime so I spent the evening getting my thing put away and getting mail ready. We also laminated charts for two other teachers. It was just an evening of a bit of this and a bit of that.
I got up too late to get anything accomplished, so it was off to work. We had an interesting day. The weather was very warm and muggy.
Tonight Dad’s family gathered at his brother Wayne’s place for our annual hot dog roast. Besides hotdogs, we also enjoyed stew, salad, melons, and various desserts and snacks. Some of us younger folks enjoyed a few games of volleyball, the school aged children were playing Andy-over, the little ones were here, there and everywhere – playing, running around, and keeping us entertained with their antics.
The older men got in a game of cornhole, then they were too warm and tired. I believe old age is catching up with them. We also got in a lot of visiting, but all too soon the evening was over and it was time to head home. It was a warm, muggy evening so a hot bike ride home, especially since we tried to beat the rainstorm which never did amount to much after all. We had a good evening!
I woke up to birds singing and bright sunshine. I spent a fairly long day at the Heritage Center. I did some outside work: cleaning flowerbeds, watering, sweeping porches and walks, cleaning sign placards, picnic table, and gazebo railings. In the PM I worked inside. We had a busload at 3 o’clock, so we were kept pretty busy.
We enjoyed a delicious, summery supper of the first sweet corn, fresh applesauce, sausages, and peach pie. Then I mowed the yard, while Sara got started peeling and chopping peaches for the freezer. I helped after I was done. It took longer than we expected, so we were at it quite late. Then while Leah went with Sara to the freezer barn I finished up and washed dishes.
What a satisfying feeling after a full day to lie inside my window and let the cool breeze waft over me, while listening to the night sound of cicadas, owls, and other night birds calling, and the horses munching grass outside my window.
This morning I got a head start on the cleaning and also watered hanging baskets, while Sara did our laundry. Then it was off to work. We enjoyed another nice summer day, though warm – it was breezier, so therefore more pleasant.
In the evening we finished cleaning. Sarah helped Dads with paperwork for the family business. I also started watering the lawn, but then I had a phone call/meeting set up with a friend, so I didn’t get done. How good it feels to have a nice clean house again!
It was a beautiful morning to walk to work. I left early to get some watering and spraying done before opening time. We had a fairly slow day. I did three outside tours, the guys did nine mural tours and one of them also did a few outside.
At 5 o’clock I got picked up to go to the calling hours of Matt Miller (former boss). What a shock it was to hear earlier this week that he had been killed in a motorcycle/buggy wreck. His wife (who’d been wearing a helmet) also sustained some injuries, but nothing major. So sad for the family. He has three grown sons and a grandchild on the way. Also feel so sorry for the young man who was the cause of the accident.
Because of circumstances it feels like a higher hand brought it all about. It seems so unbelievable, he was always so lively and active. As a friend mentioned he seemed invincible. He will be missed by many – his family, friends, former and present employees, his hunting and camping buddies. It’s especially hard on his Dad as he lost his wife only four months ago. Please keep the family in your thoughts and prayers. It’s another reminder of how fragile is our hold on life and who really is in control.
We then had a birthday supper/cookout for my youngest sister. Uncle Marks and daughter Anna came to help us celebrate. It was a beautiful evening to sit around the campfire (almost full moon). We played games then til way late.
So that is a week in my life. Of course, not every week is the same, but that gives you an idea.
Sometimes I think that what many people see as our simple, slow-paced life is in some ways busier and more complicated than you might expect. This is especially true for a family with several young adults and teens in the house.
Have a good week everyone!
Photo credit: campfire- adrimcm/flickr