I have not posted anything in the last few days because it is our Spring Break. We went to Huntsville for a few days, and we took a day trip up to the local Amish Country in Ethridge, Tennessee. We used to go often when I was a child because we lived so close. Ethridge, Tennessee is a few miles from Lawrenceburg, Tennessee. I will post the directions and map in a little bit. It is very easy to get to with a very pretty hour long country side drive passing many beautiful farms and historic places. We would always buy molasses and peanut brittle. I remember how I used to fantasize how simple and calm it must be to live like Laura Ingalls Wilder in the Little House books. No electricity, simple handmade clothes, cooking all your own food, reading and working by candlelight, farming, riding in carriages. Going back as a 25 year old, things looked quite different, still enjoyable, but quite different. Now I see how unhappy the children look, no smiles, dirty clothes, red faces. The houses looked picturesque dotted across idyllic country farm landscape, but up close they lacked any sign of flowers or decorative landscape, and of course there was farm animal smell of the animals being kept too close to the houses. Regardless of my disillusionment, the wares they sell tasted the same as my childhood and were delicious. I did not take any pictures as we were driving around because the Amish do not like to be photographed. We downloaded a map off the internet with a listing of 30 or so farms and what each farm specializes in selling and visited 4 or 5. They sell eggs, butter, cheese, fresh baked breads, ginger cookies, molasses, peanut brittle, cedar chests, lots of different furniture, chidlren's wooden playsets, wooden toys, jams, jellies, chow-chow, candles, soap, puppies, and various other things for very reasonable prices. I ended up buying some lye soap (good for camping), some peanut brittle, some no bake cookies (we call them preacher's cookies or cow patties - oatmeal, peanut butter, cocoa powder, sugar and butter), and some caramel pecan sourdough bread that my stepdad turned into the best french toast ever.
n 1944, the AMISH people migrated to Lawrence County, Tennessee and established their community. There are One of the official websites states, " Now approximately 200 Amish Families in the city of Ethridge after a small group migrated to the area in 1944. The Amish are simple living people which have made them a source of interest to tourist from all over the world. They are skilled craftsmen and farmers and have many of their handcrafted items as well as fresh produce available for sale! Visit the Amish Community and see up close and personal how the Amish community lives and works, but please remember that Amish consider posing for photographs to be an unacceptable act of pride and do not allow pictures of themselves for this reason. The Amish will usually allow you to photograph their homes, farms, and buggies if you ask respectfully, but even this can be intrusive and is better avoided. Please be sure to be respectful of their beliefs while visiting."
I have discovered a very interesting blog from a girl that grew up Amish but has recently left the faith with her husband and children. She shares wonderful stories about growing up, almost in the picturesque Laura Ingalls Wilder form, and says that she will eventually discuss why they became disillusioned with the faith. It is a very educational and nice read. http://ajoyfulchaos.blogspot.com/ There are several Amish blogs out there of former Amish, or people who are very interested in Amish lifestyles.