Friday, July 24, 2009

First Glimpse of Somerset

There were rumblings of trouble throughout the Dundee community, I was too young to really know what was going on, but knew that not all was right.

Daddy and Mom would sit up late at night and talk, and we went to Grandpa Masts a lot more often in the evenings after supper. They would send us children and Vernie into a room to play while they visited. If we came out for some reason they always quit talking and waited until we went back to our toys to resume.

One day Mom got out the suitcase and started packing. We wanted to help so she let us select our favorite Sunday handkerchief's and tuck them into a side pocket. When we asked who we were going to visit, they said they didn't know who, but we are going to go to Somerset County Pennsylvania.

Early the next morning we started off. Grandpa Masts and Uncle Eli's and John Henry's went along too. Once we finally got there we stopped at a gas station and asked where the Amish live. They gave us directions to a farm. We arrived and they welcomed us in after introducing themselves as Noah Summy's. They had a little girl named Nancy that was my age and she came and gave me her doll to play with. I could hardly believe my eyes, it was a real baby doll like you saw in catalogs with a cute little hands and feet and a real face that had beautiful blue eyes and the sweetest little mouth. It was so different from my own rag doll Sally that I played with everyday at home.

We had supper with them and went to bed. the next morning when we got up I was in for another surprise. Out in front of the house was the biggest buggy I had ever seen, with a team of horses hitched to it. The buggy had three sliding doors and four windows on each side and another small window at the back. I really wanted a ride in that buggy, but one of Noahs children rode with us in the van to show us where the church was.

Once we got to church I was very glad to be with Mom. Everything was so different. The clothes looked different and the girls all wore shiny black satin coverings instead of organdy like I was used to, and the strings to tie the coverings fascinated me. They were almost an inch wide and tied in perfect little fluffy bows right under their chins.

I was glad once it was time to sit down, the singing was soon over and when the first preacher got up to preach I got my handkerchief out to play with, but it wasn't long before I sensed I was being watched. I looked up and sure enough several little girls were watching me with big solemn eyes. Mom must have realized too because she bent down and whispered that I should put it away, that the children here don't play in church. I quickly put my handkerchief back in my pocket and sat there looking around and trying to listen to the preacher.

It seemed like a long time when finally the second sermon was over and the preacher started having men give *"zeignis" It was comforting to hear Grandpa Mast's voice and finally church was almost over.

After church they didn't have a church lunch like we were used to, instead everyone went home. Enos Lee's graciously invited us to their house for lunch. Grandpa's and the uncles were invited elsewhere and left with the driver and the van, and we got to ride in the Lee's buggy which to my delight was one of those big ones.
*After the main sermon the preacher will choose several men to give a short review of the sermon he just preached, they will say they agreed with everything and talk about a few points that they especially liked or add some of their own thoughts.


  1. This may seem like a silly question but did anyone ever say they disagreed with what the pastor preached during zeignis

  2. Re @ CandlebyNight:

    I can remember of only one time, and that created quite a stir, and he had to apologize for it the next time in church.

  3. i always love your walks down memory lane. thanks for taking me along!

  4. This is an interesting time, when you first glimpsed that others' way of life was different.

  5. I'm so enjoying this insight into your life, your past. You are generous to share. (hugs)

  6. So was that an Amish limo?? :) I like how you say things like Grandpa Masts and Uncle Eli's went along, too - as in the plural form means that their whole family went along, right?? That's very Amish I think. Adorable, of course! You little troublemaker with your hanky - shame on you! HA HA I love your memories. Have a good weekend ~

  7. I was wondering the same thing that CandlebyNight asked. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Thank you for sharing your experiences with us!! It is all so interesting!

  9. Did you ever find out later in life what had happened that your family packed up and went to another church? The Amish hospitality just amazes me. I can't imagine having complete strangers come to my house after church to eat lunch/dinner at our house. There really is a lot that I could say on that subject but I'll spare you! lol But, I think you may know what I'm trying to say???


  10. Thank you for coming by to visit my blog and for your sweet comments. I have been enjoying reading your blog!


  11. I love all your stories and appreciate you sharing them...always enjoy my visits to your blog....

  12. Thanks for sharing your memories!! The pic.reminded me of all my Amish decor and the little Amish babies that I have as well.

  13. Hello:
    I am Heidi's Mother, she told me that you visited her blog and that I should visit yours.
    I have only read this entry and I loved it. What a wonderful memory for you, I bet you have many.
    I live a very short distance from Ohio Amish and I wondered if you meant Dundee Ohio.
    I have my bedroom all done in Amish decor, including dolls and cross stitched pictures done by Heidi and George, my husband.
    I am going to go back to see what else you have posted, and I hope you will visit me also.

  14. You will laugh, but my cousins all had "real" baby dolls and when I was a girl, I thought those faceless rag dolls were just crafts they made to sell. Yes, eventually I found out that they were real in some communities!

  15. In our Old-Order Mennonite community we played with "real" dolls. But when I got older and learned to sew, I used to sew little faceless Amish dolls to sell in my Aunt's craft store. :-) Talk about consumerism! Heehee. But I knew there was a demand, and I supplied it. Shamelessly. In fact, I even made little Amish outfits to sell, you know, little dresses with black aprons and matching bonnets. They were a hit with the public, and I made a little regular pocket money from it. Heehee. Then my dad asked an Amish man how he felt about it and he said it was like "casting their pearls before swine," so I had to stop sewing the clothes to sell. I think I still made dolls though, but I made rabbit dolls with faces after that. Because our denomination had no problem with dolls that had faces.

  16. Back in the eighties, when Amish Culture first became popular, I would loved to have located one of those little faceless dolls!

    I love reading your blog...I sent you an email also! ☺

  17. Hi Joyful, I enjoyed reading your post. May you have a blessed Sunday tomorrow. :)

  18. Thanks so much for sharing your story....We live on the west coast and I don't believe we have ANY Amish here, so it's something I've never encountered. What an interesting story.

    Thanks so much for coming to visit as well! I so appreciate it. Good luck....on the blog giveaway too.


  19. Your description of the church buggy, the "stretch buggy," reminds me of the hilarious Photoshopped creation called "Amish Airlines," which I first saw in an Amish shop in Sugar Valley PA.


Thank you so much for taking time to comment. I love hearing your thoughts.