Monday, January 27, 2014


Thought I would answer some of the questions that you have asked me.  The first question is: Are the Amish more strict than the Old Order Mennonite?  First let me explain that people are different.  What I would allow my child to do, my neighbor might not.  Likewise he might allow his children to do something that I would not allow my children to do. There are some people that let their children get away with anything and others that are overly strict.  We Amish, are all different like the Old Order Mennonites and Englishers.   Both Amish and Old Order Mennonite raise our children by the ways in the Bible.  That all being said, I will not say that Anna and I are stricter than Jean and David.  Not will I say Jean and David are stricter than we are. 

Which leads to the next question: How do the Amish deal with the young wanting to drive cars? Not all Amish young folks want to drive cars or do drive cars.  We strongly discourage it.  But I did have one son, who drove a car for a short time.  I remember telling my parents about him while I was sitting at their kitchen table.  My Father went on about what he would do if it was his son.  I noticed my Mother had a smirk on her face.  When my Father stopped for a sip of coffee, I asked my Mother what was on her mind.  She smiled and said: " Now you know what we went through with you, your brothers and sisters."  When my grown children come to my house to tell me about their children-I say the same thing my Mother said to me.  If a young person drives a car, they can not keep it on our property.  In New York State you have to have a drivers license before you can get license plates for a car.  If anyone of our children were under 18 and wanted a drivers license, we would not sign for it.  The Bishop would also come and talk to the young person and explain that cars are against our belief and why.  Everyone I know that drove a car, gave it up, when they got serious with a young lady.

My last question today is: How do Amish deal with careers?  I don't know if you mean someone going into a questionable career or picking a career.  I will take it you mean picking a career. There are two careers most Amish know - farming and building.  We also feel that we are to use the gifts that the Lord gives us.  Some make furniture, some own a general store, some do bookkeeping and taxes, and other careers.  Businesses like furniture, or general store may be passed down as the father retires and the children take it over as are many farms.  Some start a different career, in some areas, because faming land is hard to find and expensive. Some start a business because they live or move in an area that they see needs it.   All Amish try to do as much in our homes as we can, but there are some things that we have to go to others for.  For example, I can do many repairs on my buggy, so can David, so can Kevin and others.  But should something major happens, we have to have them loaded on a flat bed truck and hauled to Penn Yan or Clyde which are a long way away to get them repaired.  It would be nice if we had someone that could build and repair buggies here.   Maybe someone will move into the area or some young person take it as their career or trade.  I know Bishop Joseph has mentioned this  to Jean and David's son, Michael, as a possible career. 

When I grew up, ladies work was in the home.  Oh, a young lady might work outside the home before she married - doing house cleaning, waitress, taking care of children and alike.  A wife could set up a vegetable stand or pastry stand or make foods to sell at a bake sale.  If a lady made quilts, handkerchief, etc.  they took them to a store to sell it for them.  Things have changed.  Now many Amish ladies have green houses where they grow and sell plants.  Also, they have what we call cottages which are small buildings built on our property where the ladies sell quilts, jams and jellies they canned, baked goods and more.  There are some women owned cottages that sell baked goods.  Some cottages are wife and husband businesses.  The ladies sell quilts, baked goods, foods they canned while the men sell Amish furniture, wood items, etc.  Some of the cottages are groups of men and ladies run together.  Each person brings their own items to sell and they take turns working there so no one person is running it all the time. 

Sometimes things just happen that give you the idea of a new career.  Anna and I are thinking of going into a business in our home, that I will tell you about in another post.  We have this big house.  Our son will probably be marrying soon.  We talked of selling it, but then came up with another idea we are checking into. 

I hope I have answered some of your questions. 

Another thing that might interest you is that Anna, our son John and myself are going to take a trip to  Pinecraft in Sarasota, Florida.  Marilyn would like us to do a post on that either while we are there or when we get back.  We plan on staying for the month of February, so we will be leaving New York State on January 29th by bus. It will be nice getting away from the cold, snow and ice for a little while anyway.

Trust God's Wisdom,



New York State Of Mind said...

Good Morning Everyone,

Hope you enjoy Elmer's letter this morning. Jean says her house is slowly recovering so I hope to have her back next Monday. If not, we will have Martha, which I appreciate.

It's terrible windy here. Had to bring Pierre in from his potty walk, it is just too windy.


Vickie said...

Very interesting Elmer, thank you. Enjoy the nice, warm getaway.
It is bitterly cold here. Our two teenagers have school cancelled today and tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

Hi Marilyn, Please let Elmer+Anna know I pray for traveling mercies for them and everyone who'll be going to Pinecraft. I'm sure they will enjoy the respite. I assume that someone will be watching over their home while they're away.
Also glad to hear David+Jean's family is finally getting better. Blessings to all, Carol

Countryside Reflections said...

Thank you for answering our questions Elmer. I can't wait to hear about the new idea for your home. Have a safe and happy trip to Florida.


Chasity said...

I'm excited to hear about the visit to Florida and what kind of business Elmer and his wife may open!

New York State Of Mind said...

Hello Everyone,
I will pass your messages on to Elmer. Some of his neighbors will be taking care of his farm. He and his son took care of their farm for part of Nov and Dec while they went to Pinecraft.

Neither Meals on Wheels or Nutrition where I work closed today, but they may close tomorrow. It's suppose to get real cold tomorrow, but we will see.


Anonymous said...

Good post from Elmer -hope they enjoy their time away and have safe travels
I am wondering if they are thinking of running a Guest House or fostering children perhaps.
Will just have to wait and see

New York State Of Mind said...

Hi Anonymous,

I know what Elmer is thinking of doing to their home and one of your guesses is what Elmer is thinking of. I will let Elmer tell what it is in one of his posts.

I will tell Elmer you hope they enjoy their trip and have safe travels.



April said...

I believe I have spotted Elmers photo on the blog of Katie Throyer in Pinecraft--she spoke of his visit.

New York State Of Mind said...

Hi April,
I am sorry, but it can't be Elmer as he just left for there on the bus yesterday Feb 3. They should be getting there sometime this morning.


New York State Of Mind said...

Hi April,
I found the picture. It's not our Elmer. It's another Elmer. Our Elmer would be shorter and has his wife and son with him.