Amish Adventures in 2019

I love to tell readers about my (and Stacey’s) Amish adventures. Especially our trips from this past year. Did you know we visited seven different Amish communities? What fun we had!

But here it is, already June, and I’ve been through Chouteau (again), but nothing else. I could laugh and say things like ‘Time flies’ and ‘Where does it all go?’ and it would be an honest account. But the rest of the truth is that things change. I have-had a senior this year and if you’ve been through that experience, there is a lot of money and time involved. And then most of you know that Stacey’s mother had a stroke and is still in recovery. Needless to say life has sort of put the kibosh on most (if not all) of this year’s travel plans.

But that’s not why I invited myself into your computer today. I have a story to tell. See, it’s something of a joke in my family that wherever I go I manage to find the Amish. Like the little boy in the movie the Sixth Sense, except, “I see Amish people.” The joke goes a bit further in that I still haven’t managed to find the Amish KC Chiefs fans, but I’m hopeful for next season. (This is not a joke. There really are ex-Amish season ticket holders! And since we have tickets ourselves…It’s inevitable, right?)

Seriously though, I go to the mall, I find Amish people. The flea market, Amish people. McDonalds, Amish. And it has happened again.

My mother came into town for my son’s graduation. Her route to Oklahoma was interesting though not straight forward. She drove from Alabama to her friend’s house in Memphis. This friend was driving out to Bentonville, Arkansas, to her own granddaughter’s high school graduation. Since my mom caught a ride with her, all I had to do was drive to Arkansas to pick Mom up.

It was a fun drive over for me, little road trip consisting of me, my Beetle, Google maps, and Apple music. Then I hit a light in small town Arkansas and looked over at the gas station across the way. You know, just checking things out. I saw a tractor.

Now I’m always looking for interesting things to take pictures of to share with you, and it crossed my mind for a moment to take a picture of the tractor and its as-of-yet-unseen driver. But “Nah,” I thought. “It’s not like it’s Amish people.”

The light turns green and I go, just in time to pull up behind the tractor which is now on the roadway.

Wait…what? Are those Amish girls on board? Not just one, but two!

I quickly snapped a picture to remember the moment and did a speedy voice note in my phone so I would record where I was: Gentry, Arkansas. I knew there were a couple of Amish communities in Arkansas but had no idea one was so close. So far I haven’t been able to find out much about them online. I guess Stacey and I will have to put this on our list of places to visit. I do know one thing…they drive tractors. But you’ll be the first to know when we find out more!

Summer 2018, part 1

I know everyone always says this, but how did it get to be October? I feel like the summer went by so fast. Maybe because Stacey and I had such adventures! We visited seven different Amish communities this year! And 2018 is not over yet! (I’m just playing. We will not be taking any more trips this year. I have books to write, but it was fun to say.)

Seven different communities? Yes! Lancaster County, Kish Valley, Richfield PA, Charlotte County VA, Choteau OK, Clarita OK, and Yoder KS. Seven different Amish communities means a lot of pictures! I’m currently getting them all ready to go up here so you can see them, but these things take time and of course there are still books to write.

So I’m breaking this up into sections (I’m thinking 5). First up are the three communities that we visited in Pennsylvania. Of course we went to Lancaster to visit our friends, and we went to Kish Valley (the setting for the Kappy King Mystery Series.) And then there’s Richfield. So we didn’t see a lot of Amish there and we only took a couple of pictures, but I wanted to get this community on the books here with the rest of my Amish adventures. Next year, we’re going to dig a little deeper and see what we can learn about the Amish in Richfield.

Here are the links to the pictures so you can find them easily. I’m going to be talking more about the trip and some of the great things we learned, saw, and did. One interesting thing was the continual spotting of the church wagon. I’d never seen one before and this trip to PA I saw three! (I saw four total this summer as there was also one visible in Yoder, KS. But that’s a tale for another day.)

Be sure to keep your eyes out for the pictures of the church wagons. And be sure to scroll down on the page with the pictures of Kish Valley. I took a bunch of pictures at the cemetery. I find all the graves very interesting. Some are so old. I love reading the names and what they say about their loved ones. Hope you enjoy it too.

Hope you enjoy this first look into our trips this summer. Here’s my favorite pic of the bunch.

 

Which one is your favorite?

Thanks for reading!

Amy

An Amish Year of Holidays

winner-chosen

When people find out that I write books about the Amish, it seems everyone has a question ready to ask. Especially around the holidays. Do the Amish celebrate birthdays? Do they give Christmas cards? Do they stay up late on New Year’s Eve?

As with the English, the Amish traditions vary from settlement to settlement, but for the most part, the Amish celebrate the same holidays we do.

After all, holidays are important to the Englishers. It only stands to reason that they are important to the Amish as well.

amish-holidays-memeI’ve asked my Amish friends about New Year’s Eve and most stay up and watch the clock tick over to a new year. They like to eat pork and sauerkraut (recipe below) on New Year’s Day and enjoy time with family and friends. However, for a great deal of the Amish especially for those working in rural settings, work continues as normal. Livestock isn’t concerned with human holidays and must be milked and fed regardless. (Just a note here–most of my Amish friends work for English companies and no longer farm for a living.)

Everyone loves Valentine’s Day. Couples make special plans, youth groups organize fun activities, and Amish school children make Valentines to give each other. There are special lunches to celebrate and cards are exchanged. And though we would like to believe that the commercialism of store-bought valentine cards, candies, and roses have not taken hold in the Amish culture, this isn’t the case for every district. A lot of this is determined by how integrated the Amish are into the English community around them.

Naturally, Easter is a big holiday for the Amish. And since the Amish hold their church services every other Sunday, it is possible for Easter to fall on an ‘off’ Sunday. Amish families can either attend a service in another district or observe Easter at home. Amish children color Easter eggs and even have egg hunts.

Surrounding Easter is Ascension Day, the thirty-ninth day after Easter Sunday. The day celebrates Christ’s ascension into heaven. The Amish also celebrate Good Friday and Easter Monday. Both days are usually filled with quiet reflection.

In addition, the Amish celebrate Pentecost. It’s the fiftieth day after Easter and is the celebrated day when the Holy Spirit appeared to the apostles. Some consider this the birthday of the church. Easter can also be a big time for school programs if they aren’t held at Christmas.

The Fourth of July is not normally observed by the Amish. They have nothing against it per se and some even set off fireworks. Though it seems more for fun than true celebration as the English do.

St. Michael’s Day is observed on October 11th. If you live near an Amish community, you may be surprised to find less traffic on the roads and a great many (if not all) of the Amish businesses closed for the day. The Amish observe this day with rest and fasting and preparing for the upcoming communion service.

This holiday was a new one for me. Most probably because it’s a Catholic holiday, though it is not celebrated on the same day for all who observe it. So why do the Amish celebrate a Catholic holiday? Most likely tradition. In the old days, a great many Amish were tenant farmers. They paid a certain percentage of their profits to the land owners on specific days. October 11 just happened to be one of the ‘quarter days’ (or payment days) and somehow managed to work its way into Amish tradition.

Halloween is not celebrated by the Amish for obvious reasons. However, many Amish decorate with pumpkins, though they do not carve them.

The Amish celebrate Thanksgiving much the same way English do with a big meal and visiting family. However, Thanksgiving falls in the middle of the Amish wedding season and can sometimes take a backseat to a wedding celebration. Traditionally the Amish get married on a Tuesday or Thursday. It’s not uncommon to have a wedding or even more than one to attend on Thanksgiving Day.

Christmas traditions between the Amish and the English are as kin as they are different. The Amish do not put up a Christmas tree, though they decorate in other ways—like with Nativity scenes and candles. They exchange gifts, though my Amish friend’s family draws names to keep things as simple as possible.

The Amish school children host a Christmas program. They participate in skits, Bible readings, and even sing a few Christmas carols.

For the most part, Christmas is quiet and reflective. The day after Christmas, or Second Christmas, is filled with visiting friends and neighbors. Second Christmas came about as an extension of Christmas Day itself. The Amish have such large families that it’s impossible to visit everyone they would like on one day.

The tradition of Old Christmas is still followed in many districts. This day (at one time the actual day Christmas was celebrated) is another day of reflection and visitation by families. Old Christmas falls on January 6th. Note: none of my Amish friends in Pennsylvania celebrate Old Christmas.

So as you can see, the traditions of the Amish are rooted in the past as well as looking toward the future. But as a devout society, the traditions of the Amish are bound in faith and caring.

What are your favorite holiday traditions and how do they compare to the Amish?

I hope you’ll leave me a comment and let me know you visited! Everyone who comments will be put in a drawing to win a signed copy of Titus Returns. My latest Wells Landing book!

And as always, thanks for reading!

amy-sig-1

 

 

 

 

blog-winner-green

flourish-for-amish-page

Amish Pork and Sauerkraut (serves 8-10)

1 pork shoulder (10-15 pounds)

4 pounds of sauerkraut

Salt and pepper

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Rinse pork and place in a large roasting pan.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Cover with 1/3 of the sauerkraut.

Cover pan and place in oven for 90 minutes.

Remove and add another 1/3 of the sauerkraut.

Cover and place back in the oven for another 60 minutes.

Remove and add remaining sauerkraut.

Cover and place back in oven for another 60 minutes.

Remove and enjoy!

Be sure to serve with mashed potatoes and apple sauce.

Amish Quilts

winner-chosen

Most of us would agree that Amish quilts are something of a cultural icon. They’re beautiful as well as functional and serve as a form of entertainment and togetherness for the Amish women who make them.

quilt-pattern
Quilt block from a quilt my Amish friend made for one of her daughters.

We have heard of or seen pictures of Amish women gathered around a large quilt frame, stitching and talking. Family members get together to make a quilt for a daughter who’s getting married. Friends and fellow church members may gather to make a quilt to send to a country in need, like Haiti. Or members of a district may work together to make a quilt to donate to an auction to help a community member facing hard times.

More Than a Marriage, the last novella in my Amish Quilting Circle Series releases at the end of February and features a group of Wells Landing Amish women who get together once a week to sew quilts for the Clarita School Auction. Most of you know that Wells Landing is inspired by the Amish settlement in Chouteau, Oklahoma. But the Clarita School Auction is one hundred percent factual and takes place every September. Click HERE for more info about the Clarita School Auction.

As much as we love Amish quilts, my Amish friend in Lancaster recently told me that the Amish girls of today are shying away from quilts and leaning more toward modern English comforter sets. This type of mindset could eventually lead to the discontinuation of the traditions surrounding these beautiful works of art. I don’t know about you, but just the thought makes me want to cry.

I love quilts and can’t imagine anyone picking a comforter over a hand sewn (or even machine sewn) work of love.

quilt-1-2-mkdWhich brings me to the good news part of this post. Amy’s Amish Quilt Giveaway (3rd Annual) is still underway! What does this mean for you? The chance to win a one of a kind Amish-made quilt. If you haven’t heard about the giveaway you can find all the specifics HERE. In a nutshell, I’m collecting fabric from my readers. In turn, you get a chance at winning the quilt!

And the best part is you don’t have to able to sew or quilt to enter!

So head over and check out all the specifics of the giveaway and send in your fabric! (Must be 18 to enter. Void where prohibited.)

And you can also join my Facebook page dedicated to the quilt HERE.

quilt-2-4-mkdI am so excited to be able to use this quilt to bring my readers together and for a little while keep this beautiful tradition alive.

If you have any questions, you can leave a comment below or email me at amylillard918@gmail.com.

Do you currently have any Amish made fabric goods in your home? Quilt? Doll? Potholder? Tell me all about it! Everyone who comments on this post will be entered into the weekly drawing. Up for grabs this week? A signed copy of Titus Returns, my latest Wells Landing Amish romance.

And as always, thanks for reading!

amy-sig-1

 

blog-winner-green

 

 

 

Wow! You Must Do a Lot of Research

winner-chosen

This is the second thing most people ask me when I tell them I write about the Amish. The first is usually “Are you Amish?”

Well, no.

The first time I can remember hearing about the Amish I thought the person telling me about them was lying. Most probably it was my brother who liked to tease me beyond belief. I couldn’t be sure anything he said was actually the truth.

write-quote-ms

The next time I was watching Witness. I don’t know how old I was (at least seventeen, though). But I remember in the movie, the bad guys are looking for the Lapps. They call the local law enforcement in Lancaster who says, “Do you know how many Lapps are in Lancaster County?”

At the time I had no idea.

After that I didn’t think about the Amish much. I went to college, got married, and moved to the Caribbean. In fact, I probably didn’t think about the Amish again until my agent suggested I write a book about them.

Wait…what?

“Yes,” she said. “Write an Amish romance.” I really thought she was joking and when she didn’t call me back and tell me that she was pulling my leg, I went to Mardells and started my research.

For those of you who don’t live in the area, Mardells is a Christian bookstore owned by Hobby Lobby. I went to get fiction books about the Amish to read to get an idea what they were like. I mean, I knew all the elements of a secular romance. How different was an Amish one?

Turns out, they are incredibly different and not so different all at the same time.

amish-listBut reading fiction books with Amish characters is a lot different than non-fiction books, and I found myself reading and watching everything I could. From Donald Kraybill to Amish Mafia. Yes, I meant it when I said everything.

These days it’s still the same. I absorb whatever I can about the Amish, but my favorite way to do research is to visit the communities themselves. Even ones that I don’t plan to write about.

Why? Because the Amish are fascinating people. I find it simply amazing how the communities differ and the ways that they are the same. When we were in Pontotoc, we were warned by the locals that they were stand-offish and didn’t readily talk to outsiders. We took that knowledge, shoved it in our back pockets, then headed toward the Amish houses. By the middle of the afternoon, we had met Elizabeth Hostetler. She and her husband had moved down from Ohio to be able to farm—land was getting scarce up north. She was canning chicken and couldn’t talk to us long, but managed to share a few nuggets of information including Thanksgiving traditions, when the Mississippi Amish leave school (yes, it is different from Lancaster), and the truth about their rumspringa. I was told on my first visit to Ethridge, Tennessee (the parent community to the one in Mississippi), that they didn’t have a rumspringa or run around time at all. What we learned from our new friend is that they have one, but it is very controlled and very conservative. Those wild and crazy stories they report about Amish teens running amuck are not coming from Mississippi.

So how does a person go from not knowing much to writing books about the Amish? Yes, it takes a lot of research and nothing beats going to a community and visiting with the people there.

I’ve been privileged enough to spend an entire week with my Old Order Amish friend in Pennsylvania. Nothing compares to living the life every day. After a while I forgot that I was among Amish and I was just among friends. I didn’t notice the differences until we (Stacey, Sadie, and I) ventured into town on a Saturday. And I knew I would never view the Amish the same again.

This year Stacey and I hope to return to Pontotoc, Big Valley, and of course, Lancaster County. But even more, we want to take a Missouri trip and check out all the interesting Amish settlements in the Show Me State.

You can bet, I’ll come back and show you everything I learned.

What about you? Where is the closest Amish community to your home and have you ever been?

I’m giving away a signed copy of Just Plain Sadie to one lucky winner this week. Just leave me a comment below.

And as always, thanks for reading!!

amy-sig-1

 

 

 

 

last-weeks-winners

blog-winner-amish-2

 

Not All Amish Communities Are Created Equal

winner-chosen

When I started thinking about this post, this was the title that popped into my head. Not all Amish communities are equal, not all are the same. They differ in their Ordnung, the written and unwritten rules that govern a settlement, but they differ in other ways too.

This week, I had a reader ask me about the use of tractors in my Wells Landing Series. I explained that it was an actual part of the Amish community that inspired Wells Landing. But it made me think about the different Amish communities, how they vary, and how we perceive them.

I just finished the first novel in what will be at least a three novel series set in the little talked about Amish settlement near Pontotoc, Mississippi. Yes, there are Amish in the South!

The Pontotoc Amish settled in Mississippi as a spin-off settlement of the Swartzentruber Amish community in Ethridge, Tennessee. Swartzentruber Amish are among the most conservative of the Old Order Amish, not even allowing indoor plumbing. But when I first saw the houses, I immediately wondered how these people scrape out a living.

lancaster-vs-pontotoc

Mississippi red clay dust coats everything. All the houses are covered in aluminum siding, mostly white, but there were a few red ones. Yes, red! There are no flowers planted out front, no cute swing sets for the children to play on. There are no phone shanties. But there are plenty of signs made out of the scraps of siding which bear the carefully lettered names of the items the family sells. The gardens are large and fields of cotton and peanuts are plentiful. Almost every house has a shed where they sell the products that they make—goat milk soaps, gel air fresheners, potholders, button necklaces, and all sorts of canned goods.

It’s a peaceful, though dusty, and has a beauty all its own. But it’s miles away from Lancaster County in both distance and attitude. But it’s next to impossible to visit the two areas and not compare them. And on the surface, Pontotoc can look at bit rundown. And my heart went out to the people who live there. But when we mentioned this to our Amish friends in Pennsylvania, their sixteen-year-old had an insightful theory.

It doesn’t have to be that they are poor, but that they have different priorities.

Wait…what?

Yes, even the Amish can have different priorities.

My Amish friends in PA plant flowers in their yards every year. Do you know how much water it would take to keep flowers alive in the MS heat? A lot. So they don’t plant them. Instead they grow muscadines, tomatoes, and corn. Something with more value, something worth the effort it takes to keep it alive. Just different priorities.

And just something to think about the next time you get to visit an Amish community.

Have you ever been to visit the Amish? Where did you go and what was something interesting you observed?

This week I’m giving away an audio copy of Caroline’s Secret. Just leave a comment below to be entered into the drawing.

And as always, thanks for reading!

amy-sig-1

blog-winner-text

blog-winner-amish

 

Amish Dolls

winner-chosen

The more time I spend visiting with, studying, and writing about the Amish the more I realize how much there still is to know. Like most of you, I find them fascinating. I love their faith, their sense of community, and their devotion to the needs of their fellow man. But the more time I spend with the Amish, the more I realize that some of the popular (English) beliefs about the Amish aren’t entirely true.

I’m certain that at one time every popular belief about the Amish was grounded in fact, but the Amish are incredibly resourceful. They are ever-changing, deciding what of the modern world to keep and what to leave behind. And it’s these choices that make for such different beliefs and customs among the Amish as buggy color, suspender style, and head coverings, just to name a few.

One of the other big differences I’ve seen is with Amish dolls. It’s a popular belief that all Amish girls play with faceless dolls. As quaint as this idea is, it’s far from true. I’m not even positive that we can say most Amish girls play with faceless dolls considering what I’ve witnessed in Lancaster County.

That’s not to say  that faceless Amish dolls aren’t out there, They are. But they may be different than you think.

three-amish-dolls

These are the dolls I’ve collected in my travels. The doll on the left came from Ethridge, TN. The doll on the right is from Lancaster County, and the one in the middle is from Big Valley.

Sadie is my doll from Ethridge.

ethridge-amish-doll

She was the first one in my collection, bought from a store there in Tennessee. The people who run the store are English, but have a good relationship with the Amish. The shop owners offer wagon rides through the Amish community and stop at certain houses that are tourist friendly. When we visited, I only wanted a doll,  but there were none for sale at the houses where we stopped. (Note: Most of the Amish houses in the area have ‘shops’ where tourists can stop and buy jelly, jams, pickles, and the like.) When we got back to the store, the ladies there told me that they only had one Amish-made doll left. I snatched it up quickly. As they rung me out, they told me where the woman who made it lived (we actually stopped at her house on the tour) and they explained that her bishop said that she couldn’t make any more dolls to sell in the store.

Ruth is my doll from Lancaster County.

lancaster-county-doll

Notice that she has a commercial store tag. That’s because she was bought in town and was made in a factory. Even though, I’ve never seen my friend’s little girls play with faceless dolls. They play with regular old plastic-molded dolls like we had when we were kids. In fact, there are a lot of Amish girls who play with American Girl dolls and even have large, organized tea parties for them! I’m not sure when this change came about and I cannot speak for all the Pennsylvania Amish girls. This is just what I have seen myself.

This doll came from the Big Valley in Pennsylvania.

big-valley-amish-doll

I bought her at the dry-goods store. It’s an Amish run store with no electricity. The shelves are just about head high and have a variety of goods, including books, cards, and homemade soap. And dolls of course. As you can see my dollie doesn’t have shoes. They were a separate purchase item. They also had kapps, bonnets, and other dresses for them. Sort of like Build-A-Bear, but not. <LOL>

Dolls are the one thing I always look for when I travel. Sometimes I can find them and sometimes not, but I’m always on the look-out.

Can you help me name my Big Valley doll? Submit a suggestion below and I’ll pick the top 4 or 5 and we’ll vote starting next week!

Also, by leaving a comment, you’ll be entered into this week’s drawing for the 3 sets of Amish Christmas Sleigh. (Remember, that’s one for you and one for a friend x three chances to win!)

And now for something completely different…

Reader Karen G, graciously shared this photo with me of the Amish buggies she saw recently in Whitehall, New York. It’s a wonderful picture! Notice the four different types of buggies represented. Thanks Karen!

karens-photo-ny-amish-mkd

 

She also emailed me a couple of links to some great articles about the Amish. Here they are if you have a mind to check them out!

http://poststar.com/news/local/broom-making-machine-will-provide-blind-amish-boy-an-opportunity/article_41b76595-511c-5c46-8cad-ddb813b933a5.html

http://poststar.com/news/local/whitehall-s-amish-have-impact-on-farmland-taxes-tourism/article_82fe2b71-e944-59f4-92d5-7a2497dd78ec.html

And a big thanks to you all for reading!

last-weeks-winners

blog-winners-xmas-wk-4

 

 

 

What’s with those yellow buggies?

winner-chosen

Lately I’ve introduced a lot of you to the Amish of Kish Valley (also known as Big Valley). The Valley is home to the second largest settlement in Pennsylvania and twelve distinct Amish and Mennonite groups. It’s also the setting for my new mystery series that begins in early 2018.

The most obvious distinction between the Amish groups is the use of different colored buggies.

Now most people are familiar with the gray-topped buggies of Lancaster County and the black-topped buggies of places like Holmes County, Ohio, and Jamesport, Missouri. But a trip through Big Valley is colorful in so many ways.

yellow-buggy-text

Before I get into that, let’s talk about the black-toppers.

kv-black-buggy-10

The black-topped buggies belong to the Renno or Peachey Amish. I love this name since almost all the mailboxes we stopped to read in the Valley bore the name Peachey.  The Renno Amish are considered to be the least conservative of the Amish groups in the Valley, which isn’t saying a lot. After all, they are more conservative than our Amish friends in Lancaster County.

While we were in the Valley, Stacey and I stopped at a quilt shop that belonged to a Renno Amish woman. Of course the quilts were amazingly beautiful, but I couldn’t help taking note of a few things in the house. The windows were covered with a plain green shade. (You know the kind they use in cartoons that once you pull it down it winds back up with hilarious results.) The floors were wooden and bare. There was running water in the house, but all in all it made me think of my grandmother’s–just a small, country farmhouse filled with love.

The white-topped buggies belong to the Nebraska Amish.

kv-white-buggy-4

This is something of a misnomer since most of the Nebraska Amish live in Pennsylvania. The Nebraska Amish are hands-down the most conservative of the three main groups in the Big Valley. They also dress a bit differently. We only saw a couple of Nebraska Amish so I wasn’t able to test my research, but I am told that the Nebraska Amish men wear brown trousers and no suspenders. Their pants reportedly lace up the back and they wear their hair to their shoulders. Nebraska Amish women aren’t allowed to wear bonnets and supposedly wear a tie-on flat straw hat for working outside. On my next trip to the Valley, I am definitely going to be looking closer!

The yellow-topped buggies are certainly eye-catching.

kv-yellow-buggy-10

They belong to the Byler Amish. They are the middle of the road when it comes to being conservative in the Valley. The men wear one diagonal suspender and it is said that the women wear brown bonnets. I can testify that the men indeed wear only one suspender, but I wasn’t able to catch a glimpse at a Byler Amish woman wearing a bonnet. Stacey and I stopped in a bait/hunting shop run by a Byler Amish man who also sold honey. We talked to him a while mostly about hunting and bait, but he was very friendly and seemed to enjoy chatting with us.

Now, these aren’t all the differences in the three sub-groups of Amish in Big Valley. But it’s a start! What’s the most surprising difference that you’ve read in this post?

Leave a comment below and be entered into the Week  #4 drawing for two copies of The Amish Christmas Sleigh! (In order to be eligible for this giveaway you must leave a comment on this blog. Giveaway ends Sunday, December 11, 2016 at 12am EST.)

Thanks for reading!

signature-for-amish-site

 

 

last-weeks-winners

blog-winners-xmas-wk-3

 

10 Things I’ve Learned About Kishacoquillas Valley

winner-chosen

This summer I got to travel to Kishacoquillas V alley and fell in love with the place! So much so that I decided to set a series there. That meant research. Here are 10 unique facts I learned about the Valley.

1)      It sits between 2 mountains–Jacks Mountain and Stone Mountain

2)      The buggies in the Valley are yellow, black, and brown and white.

3)      Men wear mostly blue shirts

4)      Men wear one diagonal suspender

5)      The women dress like the Lancaster Amish with the one piece apron that ties in the back

6)      The difference in buggy colors also signifies the three different Amish groups in the Valley– Nebraska Amish (white and brown buggies), Renno Amish, also called Peachey Amish (black buggies), and Byler Amish (yellow buggies)

al-photo-3

7)      Other names for Kishacoquillas Valley are Kish Valley and Big Valley

8)      The most common Amish last name in the Valley is Peachey

9)      They serve white church pickles (made with white cucumbers of course!)

kv-valley-pickles-2016

10) The Amish and Mennonites in the Valley share a cemetery. It has gravestones ranging from very plain to very elaborate.

I have pictures of all this and more here on Amy’s Amish Adventures. Simply click All Things Amish<Amish Photos<The Amish of PA Kish Valley< Kish Valley part 1 to see the slideshow.

My Kappy King Amish Mystery Series starts January 2018. (Yes, I know that’s a long ways off!). Aside from being set in Big Valley, this series has another unusual aspect: My protagonist is Amish! I’m very excited about this series and just as excited to share with you the pictures and interesting facts I learned while in Big Valley.

And the best part? This post is part of my Christmas Giveaway. How do you enter? Leave a comment below. That’s it! By leaving a comment you’ll be automatically entered into a drawing for one of three sets of The Amish Christmas Sleigh. That means three names will be drawn and three readers will receive 2 autographed copies of The Amish Christmas Sleigh which includes my Amish Christmas novella-A Mamm for Christmas. That’s one copy for you and one copy for a friend! Or two copies to give as Christmas gifts. Or, heck, I guess you could keep them both for yourself! Whatever makes you happy!

Have you ever read an Amish mystery? Did you like it? Do you want to read more? What was your favorite part?

Thanks for reading!

signature-for-amish-site

 

 

last-weeks-winners

blog-winners-xmas-wk-1