April 9th, 2019

Cross stitch

Wednesday 20th March: Amish Country

"We need to get going in 45 minutes," Lori said, knocking on my door at a quarter to eight. "I have a latte and a hot scone for you, and I'll even keep the dog out."

Lori wanted a bridle for Rudy the pony, so he could earn his keep pulling a carriage, and we were going to buy it from the Amish-run Yonie's Harness Shop. As my only reference point for the Amish was The X-Files, I was very intrigued and looking forward to the trip.

45 minutes later we were off like a herd of turtles, as Lori put it, driving over to her friend Mary's farm to arrive simultaneously with her other friend Franny. We all transferred to Mary's car and set off for Pennsylvania.

We crossed the Mason-Dixon line:

"Franny, explain the Mason-Dixon line to Alice."

"Good idea, Mary. Off you go, Lori."

We passed through little towns where everything was 'cute', and took photos of signs for the town of Intercourse. I saw a wild turkey in a field, and the Most American Sign Ever:

THIS HOUSE IS PROTECTED BY THE GOOD LORD A DOBERMAN AND A GUN
COME HERE TO STEAL OR DO HARM AND YOU MIGHT MEET ALL THREE

Soon we began to see Amish in straw hats or bonnets, riding square little black buggies and ploughing fields with teams of horses or mules three, four, five and even six abreast.

The harness shop was gaslit, and all the staff bar one were related. We were served by Aaron, a gentle young man with an impressive beard who said 'ee-quine' and 'vee-hickle'.

While he prepared the harness, we were sent to the nearby September Cheese Farm for lunch: "It's a deli, nothing fancy."

'Nothing fancy' turned out to be a huge farm shop and café selling local and handmade produce. I had a ham and Swiss melt on a pretzel roll, followed by coffee and an apple cider donut.

While the harness was checked and loaded into the car, I wandered up the road to photograph some goats I'd spotted in a nearby field. From the way they stared, ran away, then crept back to stare again, they didn't get many visitors.

buggy

mules

goats

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