Experience is a Doorway, Not a Final Destination- Oswald Chambers

Wednesday, February 10

School of the Grabill Amish

I have often wondered what it was like to grow up Amish. My father-in-law and my husband's siblings lived a portion of their lives as an Amish family.

For those of you who do not know, Grabill, Indiana is home to a large Amish community. In fact, after I was married my husband and I lived on a road where our family was the only "English" family.

I learned a lot from those years living near the non-English folk.

Not only can I name an inordinate amount of Amish and Mennonite last names like Yoder, Graber, Miller, Stolzfus, Schwartz, Eicher, Schwartzentruber, Brenneman, Stauffer, Zehr, Schmucker, Beachy, Bontrager, Byler, Coblentz, Helmuth and more, but if you have one of the aforementioned last names, I have learned how to play the name game.

Among the Amish and Mennonite community it is important to have connections. When you meet someone, you can usually play the name game until you find an acquaintance that you both have in common. It is comparable to Six Degrees of Separation but it seems to end at one degree because of the Mennonite and Amish love for community.

Below are more lessons that I have learned from my years of living in Grabill.

1. Although I will always miss the time that I lived with my family, I learned the importance of growing up and embracing life as an adult.

2. Horse crap splatters when you drive over it with your tires.

3. Being a wife can be the most frustrating and rewarding endeavor.

4. If you don't have a cell phone and need to make a call, ask the nearest Amish man. He is sure to have a phone.

4. It is still possible to live in and participate in a community despite the ever-growing independent nature of our society.

5. Amish teenagers love Metallica, bass and bright flashing techno lights so I should never be frightened of the purple-lighted object in the road while I am driving. It is not a UFO.

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