I always feel a little guilty being away for the blog for so long, but I have a combination of excuses this time–new home purchase and subsequent move, Christmas, of course, and a total lack of internet in the new abode, all coming at once.

I was just looking through the year’s posts and reminiscing a bit, as people are wont to do on this day…and I am realizing that as I sit here, writing this post, I have lots to be grateful for…

Makingtracks_amish_winter_sled

photo:  Randall Persing

…the ability to see and move my hands and arms, for starters, plus the education that has allowed me to put full sentences together (though they may not always be the prettiest), the fact that I was born in a wealthy society and that I am even able to access the internet…the list could go on for miles.  But good to remind oneself from time to time.

I’m also grateful for the time I was able to spend in Amish America this year–an intense four months.

Amish_school_blue_door_bill_coleman

photo:  Bill Coleman

Highlights of my year among the Amish include attending church services in Ohio and PA, a great summer selling books in Pennsylvania, visiting the New Wilmington, PA settlement, revisiting a lot of old friends in Ohio, and the umpteen very friendly and welcoming families I met while in Lancaster County this year.

I’ll be back in Lancaster in February and am looking forward to it.  Also, full speed ahead on the book.  Looks like I have a publisher and if all goes well it should be out late next year.

I should also say that I am grateful to photographers-of-the-Amish Randall Persing and Bill Coleman for allowing me to use their photos on this site…they definitely add a lot of life to it.

And as a fan of ‘top’ lists I have included links to seven of my favorite posts from this year (recycling again, I know, but aren’t we supposed to be going green these days anyway):

1. Makin’ hay

2. The Amish church directory

3. No moustache, please

4. The California Amish Experiment

5. Aden’s wisdom

6. Amish or Amana?

7. Wise guys

Happy New Year to all, and easy on the blackberry wine.

Upside_down_amish_kids

photo:  Randall Persing

Tags: , , ,