Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Of Amish, Robots, and Dry Clothes

I am extremely sad to hear about the Amish girls that were killed yesterday. I have always admired the Amish and their devotion to their beliefs. Living in an area where there are some Amish and Mennonite families, I have come into contact with them on occasion. We make trips to an Amish store where we get wonderful baked goods and non-perishable cooking supplies. We have purchased building supplies for our home at a quality and price that far beats the home improvement superstores.

Of course, the Amish don’t have a website where you can get the latest information about them. But other people have done it for them: http://www.oacountry.com/Amish-Etiquette.htm

My son has been obsessed by robots. He spends much of his free time designing and drawing robots that do various things. A pastime that I heartily encourage.

My son had his notebook of robot drawings with him at the Laundromat when an Amish family came in to dry some clothes. First I was shocked that they would be there, but I figured that even though they don’t like electricity and modern conveniences at home, they probably utilize them elsewhere. Besides, it was raining really hard, and I’m sure they couldn’t get clothes dry by hanging them outside!. There were several boys about my son’s age, and a couple of young girls. I’m never quite sure how to approach the Amish, so I just smile and stay to myself. But my son, who is never shy, was glad to have some potential playmates. I didn’t stop him when he approached the Amish boys and asked if they wanted to see his robot drawings.

I watched in amusement as my son started explaining the different robots to these boys, who had no idea what a robot was. After a few minutes, he had gone thorough his drawings and was trying to get the boys to give him new ideas for robots. They just laughed. “You know, like in ‘Star Wars!’” he said, obviously becoming frustrated. I didn’t stop him. I just smiled and kept folding clothes. The other boys didn’t say a thing except to introduce themselves.

My 19-month-old daughter went right to a young Amish girl, who immediately picked her up. They were both content for a long time, so I was happy. I know that if there is the best babysitter in the world, it would have to be a young Amish woman. How wonderful and peaceful they are.

In the car ride home, I had to explain to my son why the other boys didn’t help him with his robot designs. That they don’t know a lot about electricity, they especially don’t know much about computers, and that the idea of a robot is completely new to them. That they are peaceful people that prefer to live away from the hustle and bustle of modern life.

I can’t believe that there is a soul in the world that would have a grudge against the Amish. But I guess no one is immune to the horrors that plague the world.

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