Reader Michele purchased an Amish home and converted it to “English”, a process which took about half a year to begin. She had this to say about “living Amish” in the meantime:
I don’t know why they are called “simple”…we lived just like Amish for 6 months before our contractor could start our construction. There isn’t one thing “simple” about being Amish. It’s a lot of hard work!
You don’t just turn on a spigot for hot water…you have to cut, stack, bring in the wood for the fire…Start the fire. Turn on the generator to run the air-compressor to fill the air tank to fill the water tank of the hot water heater. Wait for the water to heat via the fire (and while you’re doing that you can clean horse stalls, feed the chickens, gather eggs, sweep the porch and get 4 kids dressed for school)…THEN you can take a shower (I’m not kidding…that’s what it’s like!).
Cook breakfast for 16 people, do dishes, start cleaning. Imagine doing laundry for 16 people with our modern washer and dryers…NOW imagine doing it with an old wringer washer (don’t forget to add more wood to the water heater fire and air back up the air tank)!
I would think this is a mixed bag. For instance:
- I can think of examples where Amish life definitely seems simpler (clothing?).
- In other areas there are a lot of hoops to jump through, or at least it appears that way to an English person like myself (some technology).
- And some aspects of Amish life seem like they can be both more simple and more complicated (transportation, for one).
What do you think?