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