Today we traveled all over the Lancaster area. We started by visiting
a quilt store on the west side of town. I left the papers in the car
so right now I don't remember the name of it. The store is run by
Mennonites and their quilts were beautiful. One difference between
the Amish and the Mennonites is that the Mennonites will use electricity.
The quilts we saw today were pieced by machine, but quilted by hand.
We bought some fabric at a great price, and we bought some trinkets
for gifts. If you're on our Christmas gift list, look forward to some
fun stuff this year!
We took a 25-minute ride with
Amish Barn Buggy Rides,
located in the town of Bird In Hand, east of Lancaster on Highway 340.
Our driver had grown up Amish but had left when he was about 20 years
old. He joined up with the Mennonites, who allowed him to drive his
Mustang and take a job in aviation. (The Amish do not allow the use
of automobiles or electricity, and they don't allow one to work outside
the community.) We had fun swapping stories with him, because he was
familiar with Chuck Smith and John Wimber, and he apparently came to a
real personal faith through the Vineyard ministry.
The buggy ride took us onto a real working farm where we could see the
cows, alfalfa fields, corn fields, house, barn, and diesel equipment.
(The Amish use diesel engines to provide hydraulic and pneumatic power
for their tools, but they don't use the engines to generate electricity.)
He told us about the typical farm (a dairy farm with 64 acres and about
50 cows) and its trials. He also told us what different kinds of
workers are and are not allowed to do. For example, construction workers
working on a barn might be allowed to use electric tools while on a job,
but they are not allowed to let the clients use the electricity to
power radios or other appliances. Also, an Amish landlord might have
electricity in their house if they are renting a room to someone who
is not Amish, but only the
renter can use the electricity; the landlord cannot.
Finally, we went to the
Lancaster County History Museum.
We hoped to learn more about the Amish and the Mennonites, but we
didn't really learn anything new, except that the central Pennsylvania
area became a destination for several persecuted religious sects,
including also Quakers and Huguenots. It showed that one president
was from Pennsylvania and lived nearby. Daniel Boone was from this
area. Davy Crockett campaigned here. Abraham Lincoln passed by here
twice, once on the way from Illinois to his inauguration, and the
other on the way home to his burial. Overall, we thought the museum
was very well done, but geared more toward children, and overpriced.
We are now in Gettysburg. We hope to visit the National Park and the
cemetery tomorrow. There's a lot here to get through. But the hotel
here is expensive and we're determined to move on quickly. We hope
to be in the Washington DC area by late tomorrow night. That's less
than two hours away from here.