The English are coming! The English are coming!

Last Friday, Emma, Ginger (my mother in law) and I all went with Emma’s 1st grade class to see the Amish in Tennessee.  Along the way, Emma confidently informed us that she thought we were half Amish, because we used to live in Tennessee. 

We arrived in Ethridge and, along with the rest of Emma’s class, piled onto a giant covered wagon pulled by horses that would take us on a tour of the Amish farms.  We were all crammed onto the wagon like sardines, but the nip in the wind kept us from complaining and instead we huddled together for warmth.  Funny, we were just sweating on Tuesday. 

Emma, excited to see the Amish.

Emma, excited to see the Amish.


At first, there wasn’t much to look at.  So I looked around the wagon.  This is what I found on the floor.

Hmm.  I wonder what REALLY goes on with these tours.

Hmm. I wonder what REALLY goes on during these tours.


We finally happened upon the Amish.  Different farms sold different things.  We would roll up in our wagon/limousine, old and young would filter off and we would crowd around the different wares like vultures on roadkill.  Sometimes we’d buy, sometimes we wouldn’t.  One Amish lady had fried apple pies, God love her.  At one house, they were making molasses.  Emma and I picked our way across the muddy yard to stand in the spicy, sweet cloud rolling off the boiling sugar cane.  There at the helm of the operation was an Amish girl, maybe in late teens.  We walked over to peer at the green ooze that she was lifting off the surface.  My momma always taught me to be polite so I smiled very sweetly and said, “That’s a big job.”  She looked over at me, her gaze dragging all the way down to my blue jeans and New Balance shoes and back up to my face.  I could practically read her Amish mind.  Hussy.

Our tour guide was knowledged in the Amish ways, despite his heavy Southern accent and his hoodie jacket.  He cracked jokes like, “Sorry for the bumpy roads, folks, if you’ve got hemorrhoids, your throat’ll be hurtin.”  He alerted us when we passed an Amish schoolhouse.  Here’s a picture for the curious:

Ok, so it's really hard to take a picture from a rolling wagon.

Ok, so it's hard to take a picture from a rolling wagon.

But I did find these hay stacks interesting…and very hard to photograph.
Lots of hay.

Lots of hay.

Eventually, the tour ended and our field trip was over.  Ginger and I wanted to do a little more shopping so we drove around and visited some Amish shops.  I found one sign particularly funny.  It read “AMISH MERCANTILE.  WE DON’T DO JUNK.”  While in one of these shops, an older Amish man drove up in his horse and buggy.  He got out, entered the store and walked up to the cashier.  (I was doing a hide-behind-the-shelf-spy-maneuver)  He said in his German accented lilt, “I believe I’ll have a Mello Yello” and plunked down some coins.  I had to bite my tongue lest I laugh out loud.  I’m not sure why this is funny to me.
I dressed Emma up in some of their wares.
Holly Hobby's sister, Emma.

Holly Hobby's sister, Emma.

You’re not supposed to take pictures of the Amish, they find it offensive.  So I very sneakily took these:
Drive by shooting (with a camera)

Drive by shooting (with a camera)

Committing an Amish crime, taking a photo.

Committing an Amish crime, taking a photo.

Ginger was an obliging accomplice to this crime and drove as slow as she could.  Then we passed the horse and buggy and acted like nothing had happened.  We’re so awesome.
The last shot of the day.  So long, Amish, back to our technology ruled world.

The last shot of the day. So long, Amish, back to our technology ruled world.


5 responses to this post.

  1. Hey, I just saw the link you posted on Etsy for your blog. I see that you just joined Etsy….me too. Nice blog.

    I live in Amish~land Pennsylvania. Hussy, that was funny. And so was mello yello. They are so brave driving around in those buggies on the side of road with cars zooming past them. I’d be shaking in my bare feet. 🙂



  2. Posted by soundsliketomatoes on October 23, 2008 at 8:35 pm

    Thanks so much for your comments! I am not in bare feet, as much as I would like to be. I am in black dress shoes because I am a slave to The Job and The Job requires proper footwear. I am told that the Amish in Pennsylvania are much more liberal and wear prints. What a controversy!


  3. i saw your post in etsy, too! but then again, i pushed you to post.

    dude. you committed an amish crime. you are soooo lucky they didn’t cold water horseshoe you.

    and yes. i just made that punishment up. nevertheless, it doesn’t sound so good, does it.


  4. Posted by soundsliketomatoes on October 23, 2008 at 9:55 pm

    So long as they plied me with fried apple pies, I don’t care what they do to me.


  5. Posted by Aunt Shanon on October 25, 2008 at 2:22 am

    Did the Amish horse & buggies up there have turn direction signals on them? They do in Pennsylvania. The shot gun shell was probably from one of those Amish drive-by shootings. You know the ones. Clop-clop, clop-clop, bang bang,
    clop-clop, clop-clop.


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