In 2000, my friend Leslie and I traveled to the Handweavers Guild of America conference in Cincinnati. We purposely scheduled a few extra days to explore Amish country afterward. Leaving the big city behind, off to Millersburg we went. It was a magical couple of days, full of eye openers and a study in contrasts.
We were specifically looking for weavers and spinners, but found none. We took a tour of an old Amish farm, and while there was an old spinning wheel on display in the living room, no one I quizzed seemed to recall anyone in their local memory who had been spinning. I came home determined to make this a study project, but never did. If you know of any history of spinning in the Amish communities, I would love to know.
We found meals at local Amish owned restaurants to be delicious and simply priced. I remember asking someone one morning, after consuming a large breakfast for only a few dollars, how they managed. The response: we only charge what we need. Now there's a concept. Imagine if more people felt that way. I see this as an inspiration for a grass roots movement...similar in spirit to groups like the Slow Money Alliance.
One day, in a gift shop full of little things made by local Amish, I found this little sign, which has since become a national offering in many country type catalogs (or the same sentiment in a different design). I brought it home and hung it in a prominent spot in my big farm kitchen. I try to hold this sentiment near my heart, but some days, I just get too busy to remember...so guess what that says about my life.
Like everyone else, I'm a work in progress.