Monday, June 6, 2016


We never expected the response we got to our idea of having a tour and Amish dinner.  Many of you are really interested.  I really didn't think anyone would come - but I was wrong.  As yet, we are still discussing it.  Most of us looked on the bright side, but there is always someone who brings us down to earth and lets us see the problems that could come up.  So, we are discussing them, too.

Which leads to answering a couple of questions you asked.  Do we have a lot of tourists in our area?  Really, not many.  Oh, if we have a road stand, people stop.  Sometimes they look at us a little funny when they see how we are dressed.

As for picture taking people, they are few and far between in our area.  Marilyn, is the one that takes the most.  But, she never takes pictures of our face.  Sometimes we see people driving in the area, but few take pictures.

We run into more tourists if we go into town or Canandaigua.  People sometimes stare at us and I am sure some people take pictures of us, but so far not so we notice it very often.  It is rare that someone comes up to me with a camera to take a picture.  Most understand when we ask them not, too.

I wonder though, as time passes, if more people will realize that we are here.  I wonderful if we will become more of a tourist attraction.  That is a concern in the tour and dinner.  We believe that you people will respect our ways.  But, we don't want the press to know and send camera people out, newspaper people out, etc.  We don't want to end up on the front sheet of the papers or on television.

We have seen what has happen in areas of Pennsylvania, Ohio and more.  In some cases the Amish and Mennonites have learned to live with it.  Some have even made profit from it.  I am not complaining.  It's just that we don't want it.

To be honest, some of our Amish and Old Order Mennonites, would rather we didn't have it.  They believe that if we have this, others will want to do it and make profit.  They feel if we do this, that we will be turning the area into a tourist area.  We explained that it would be a one time thing.  But they say if we have one, then someone will take from the idea and "go with it."  The worse part is, they may be right.

As Bishop Eli says, we must consider our friends and neighbors, too.  We are not saying, it's not going to be, or that it is going to be.  It's just that we found that we have a lot questions and problems we have to consider.  Most of them are things we never considered.

Oh, Anna reminded me, then there is another questions.  Some of our friends wanted to know if we thought of having a place where they could sell their crafts, canned goods, etc. to you people.  They are Amish and Mennonite.  We never thought of that.  Would that be commercial selling?  Like kind of forcing people to buy something?  They say people can buy if they want or not buy, but give people the chance to see their items.  I don't want people to feel they are forced to buy anything, but we are not turning down the idea.

Good thing Anna was secretary at the meeting, she has the important things written down.  Another being, entertainment.  We hadn't thought of that.  It was discussed of having some us, myself not included because I can not carry a tune in basket, sing some of our religious songs - both Amish and Old Order Mennonite.  Many of our religious songs are the same.

So what started out as a simple idea has risen.  That's is why we said it would be next year.  This will give us time to see what we can work out and decide if we will do it or not.  We know there are enough people interested, if we do it.  When we decide, we will let you know, in advance, so you have time to plan.  Right now it is discussion and prayer.

Trust God's Wisdom,


Tom said...

Few things in life are simple!

Anonymous said...

I, too, have seen the changes in Lancaster County, PA, due to tourism, with so many Amish having to move to other states, because the price of land became too high for Amish children to buy to start their own farms. Or if they didn't move, they had to work in other fields, such as construction, to make a living, since there was no land available to purchase for farming. Some of the best farmland in the world now grows subdivisions, and heavy traffic. The phrase, "The more things change, the more they stay the same" does not apply to Lancaster County.

New York State Of Mind said...

Good Morning Tom,

Isn't that the truth?


Vanssmomc said...

Good Morning Marilyn and Elmer, have also seen the changes that have occurred in Ohio and I can definitely understand the feelings of other members of your community. You will all make the best decision for your friends and neighbors and I am sure all that read this blog will respect your decision. As Tom said, few things in life are simple. Cathy in Webster

New York State Of Mind said...

Good Morning Anonymous,
I haven't been to Lancaster in a while, but I have friends that live down there. They are Englishers. Want to sell their house and move because they say it has become too much tourism down there. They say they are moving and Amish are moving. It's a beautiful area, but the traffic is terrible.


New York State Of Mind said...

Good Morning Cathy,
I will give Elmer your message. Tom is right, few things in life are simple. I think they will make the best decision for their people and us.


Anonymous said...

All good points to think about. I will fully understand if it is decided NOT to go ahead with the plans. Your area does NOT need to become another Lancaster County or Ohio. it sounds as though where you live is a rural and peaceful place. By all means, keep it AND your lives that way!

Perhaps everyone can just keep telling us a little about their "every day" lives (both church and home). I am so appreciative of all the posts and Marilyn's incredible photos.

New York State Of Mind said...

Good Morning Anonymous,
Elmer and Eli also had the thought if there was some public place we could meet - like maybe the Haiti Auction or some place like that. Just a thought.

Will see that they also your message. Thank you for the compliment.


Anonymous said...

As much as I would love to visit and fellowship, Elmer brought up good reasons why it may be a not-so-good idea. My conscience won't let me exploit others and turn their religion and lifestyle into a media frenzy/circus. Marilyn: Please tell my feelings to Elmer and all. Carol in SC

Merilyn said...

I think some of the above comments have a lot of merit. You have your way of life because it is relatively untouched by the outside world, that is part of it's charm and fascination, for us at least. I live in small rural village, the road through it doesn't go anywhere in particular, just up to the forest and catchment dam, unlike a lot of small surrounding villages here, where main through-roads bring lots of tourists, traffic, rubbish etc,.... your lifestyle deserves to be protected and respected, your environment kept uncluttered, that's why people choose to live rural.....I think the idea of a meeting place for interaction and craft trade is a good one, where an invitation for a visit could maybe occur for special occasions only....I know you will make the right decisions for your Community, I wish you well.....

dynnamae n said...

A very good post and I sure agree with other comments. While it would be lovely to visit and meet each other, I can't imagine anyone would want an adverse reaction, to what seemed like a fine idea. Can't imagine anyone wants to become a tourist attraction. I know those concerned will receive the wisdom they need. God is good. Hugs to you and Pierre. ☺

Anonymous said...

With prayer, honest thought+discussion, evaluating the pros+cons of the idea as well as the potential impact upon the community, I'm sure you will all come to a mutual decision as you discern the Lords will and follow His lead.
Great post, Elmer. Quite thought provoking re: this issue. Good comments, too.
Thanks Marilyn for the work you do on the site. I'm so glad you have such wonderful friends in David+Jean, Elmer+Anna and all the rest of their respective communities.
God bless, Carol

New York State Of Mind said...

Hi Everyone,
I will see that Elmer gets your messages. Know that he appreciates them and so do I.