Category Archives: myth busters

Amish Myth Busters

Myth Busters

Today marks the conclusion to our Amish Myth Busters series. In 10 weeks we’ve covered —

Myth Buster 10-What is with every Amish area having a different style and color buggy. (10-22-11)

Myth Buster 9- Why garden quilting and where did it come from (10-15-11)

Myth Buster 8-Weddings (10-08-11)

Myth Buster 7–Bikes and scooters. (10-01-11)

Myth Buster 6–Boy’s hats. (9-24-11)

Myth Buster 5–Are all Amish folk somber, serious, lacking in humor, and a bit unfriendly. (9-17-11)

Myth Buster 4– Knitting. (9-10-11)

Myth Buster 3– Mirrors. (9-03-11)

Myth Buster 2– Amish homes. (8-27-11)

Myth Buster 1– Clunky black shoes. (8-20-11)

That’s a lot of myths, and I think we busted every one. I know I enjoyed your comments tremendously and I learned a lot from what you had to share. I started Myth Busters because of the questions I receive when I’m at book signings and author talks. We all have preconceived notions, but in fact Amish folk are Christian, honest, hard-working folk … same as you and me. They have chosen to live in a different way, and that’s what makes Amish books fascinating.

I hope you’ve enjoyed Myth Busters. If you’ve missed any of the above, you can access them by scanning down the right column, finding CATEGORIES, and clicking on Myth Busters. All the entries will pop up.

DISCLAIMER: We BUSTED MYTHS to celebrate the launch of my series set in Shipshewana, Indiana. Remember though, my experience may be different from yours or from other books you have read.

V~

p.s. See CONTEST #4 posted on Tuesday. If you have not signed up yet, you have until 6 pm Sunday to comment under that post below. : ) This is a special give-away … it includes books by myself, Amy Clipston, and Shelley Shepherd Gray. Check it out!

Amish Buggies

Myth Buster #10: Amish Buggies

What is with every Amish area having a different style and color buggy?

This first picture of a buggy is one I took in Shipshewana, the setting of Falling to Pieces. Note the white outline around the back and the placement of the triangle. Note that the back is solid construction though there is a small window.

Now look at this second picture, which is of a buggy in Wisconsin, where my Harvest House series is set. (Book one is titled A Promise for Miriam.) What do you see that is different?

So there are some consistencies and some differences. Here’s what I found on the Amish FAQ site for an answer, and it jives with the other things I’ve read.

Throughout the United States and in Canada not all buggies are black. The similarity of Amish carriages in any given area allows little for status, but speaks of all being equal. Therefore, members of a particular group can be identified by the buggies they drive. In Mifflin County, Pennsylvania, for example, there are five distinct groups of Old Order Amish living in the Kishacoquillas Valley. The two most conservative groups drive white-topped buggies, another has yellow tops, and two others use black buggies. In Lancaster County, PA, the Old Order Amish drive gray buggies and the Old Order Mennonites drive black buggies.

I hope you have a chance to ride in an Amish buggy. It’s a fun and peaceful experience. So … myth busted?

DISCLAIMER: We’re BUSTING MYTHS to celebrate the launch of my series set in Shipshewana, Indiana. Remember though, my experience may be different from yours or from other books you have read.

V~

p.s. See CONTEST #3 posted on Tuesday. If you have not signed up yet, you have until 6 pm Sunday to comment under that post below. : ) This is a special give-away … it includes books by myself, Amy Clipston, and Shelley Shepherd Gray. Check it out!

Quilt Gardens

Myth Buster #9: Quilt Gardens

Why garden quilting and where did it come from?

If you’ve been to Shipshewana or through the Northern Indiana communities of Bristol, Elkhart, Goshen or Middlebury … you might have spied the lovely quilt gardens. They are a sight to behold. Designs are chosen from Amish quilting patterns, and then the bulbs are planted. Here’s what the brochure says:

100,000+ glorious blooms • 18 gigantic gardens • 18 super-sized murals at 12 locations • 36 quilt designs • 7 welcoming communities

This blog gives excellent up-to-date information on the gardens and some fabulous pictures. If you go to this page of the blog, you can see what quilt patterns they chose for 2011. (I see at least 1 that isn’t Amish, but most seem to be.)

When I was visiting Shipshe, it seemed to me that these gardens provided a bridge of sorts between the Amish communities and the towns/parks. Not every Amish family wants tourists traipsing up and down their rows of corn. And not every Amish woman quilts and offers her quilts for sale. But theirs is an artistry that we appreciate and that we go to see. By providing these gardens, the communities in northern Indiana are giving us a window into the Amish world . . . one that is beautiful and touching and SIMPLE.

I hope you have a chance to see them some time. Quilt gardens–Myth busted!

DISCLAIMER: We’re BUSTING MYTHS to celebrate the launch of my series set in Shipshewana, Indiana. Remember though, my experience may be different from yours or from other books you have read.

V~

p.s. See CONTEST #2 posted on Monday. If you have not signed up yet, you have until 6 pm Sunday to comment on the post below. : ) Also, I’m signing books in the Dallas area this weekend. Click on the JOIN ME button at the top for locations and times.

Amish Weddings

Myth Buster #8: Amish Weddings

I have read the Amish get married on Thursdays and only certain months. Why?

What an excellent question! This is one I thought I knew the answer to, and then I found out it’s a changing custom, AND it’s different for different areas.

This is the answer I found when I was researching, and mostly holds true.

November is the month for weddings – spring, summer, and fall months there is too much work to be done and in the winter there’s the risk of unfavorable weather. Also, Tuesdays and Thursdays are the days for weddings – these are the least busy days of the week.

However, when I was in Shipshe, and again in Wisconsin, I found that there are so many weddings now … because communities are growing, that the wedding season has been extended. These pictures were taken in June, which is not a traditional wedding month. These young ladies were gathering before a wedding.

Also, when I was writing A Perfect Square (no, I’m NOT telling you who is getting married in book 2), some of my friends in Shipshe told me that younger girls now put flowers on the tables which is NEW, but all dresses are still home made. A few traditions have changed; however, I’m sure it would still appear very old fashioned to us.

Myth busted!

DISCLAIMER: We’re BUSTING MYTHS to celebrate the launch of my series set in Shipshewana, Indiana. Remember though, my experience may be different from yours or from other books you have read.

V~

p.s. See CONTEST information below. If you have not signed up yet, you have until  6 pm Sunday to comment. : )

Bikes!

Myth Buster #7: Bikes

This MIGHT not be much of a  myth buster, but I thought it was something we should talk about. I was certainly a little surprised the first time I walked into an Amish barn and saw more than 40 bicycles. I thought the older Amish gentleman was running a bicycle shop! He smiled and said, “Ah, no. They’re for the grandkids. Someone always needs a bike.”

I’ll say! Well, grandpas … they don’t want to leave anyone out. The more I paid attention while I was in Shipshewana, the more I noticed Amish folk on bikes. Not just young people either. Once we saw 3 young children driving a pony cart alone, followed closely by an older sister on a bike, followed by mom and dad on bikes. It was a family outing!

Bicycles are good forms of transportation. I’ve heard that in some Amish communities families use scooters, but I haven’t seen this myself yet. Of course, the buggy is the standby … it’s the Amish station wagon. Those bikes, though. They made me want to come home, put on my helmet, and go for a ride.

Myth busted?

DISCLAIMER: We’re BUSTING MYTHS to celebrate the launch of my series set in Shipshewana, Indiana. Remember though, my experience may be different from yours or from other books you have read.

V~

p.s. I’ll be sending out another newsletter in early October … a special edition to celebrate the release of Falling to Pieces. If you haven’t signed up, you can sign up on my webpage or on my Facebook page by clicking on the button to the right.

Myth Buster #6

Myth Buster #6: Boys’ Hats

It’s Saturday and time for another Amish Myth Buster. I think we might continue these through October, if you’d like me to … so if you have a question, leave it under COMMENTS.

Today’s myth buster is fun. One reason I’m discussing BOYS’ HATS is because the ebook version of Falling to Pieces is now available, and the print version will begin releasing from Amazon and popping up in stores on the 27th. Yeah! One thing you’ll notice in my story, is that the Amish boys in Shipshewana do not wear the traditional Amish hat … at least not every day.

You know the hat I’m talking about. I think it first became famous with that adorable boy in the movie WITNESS. Anyone remember Harrison Ford’s movie from 1985?

When I arrived in Shipshewana, THAT was what I expected to see. But I didn’t. I saw boys in wool caps. When I asked why, they said it was because that’s what their father’s wore–even in the summer time! They went on to explain that on Sunday they wear the more traditional hat.

How’s that for a myth buster?

DISCLAIMER: We’re BUSTING MYTHS to celebrate the launch of my series set in Shipshewana, Indiana (9-27-11). Remember though, my experience may be different from yours or from other books you have read.

V~

p.s. I’ll be sending out another newsletter in the next 2 weeks … a special edition to celebrate the release of Falling to Pieces. If you haven’t signed up, you can sign up on my webpage or on my Facebook page by clicking on the button to the right.

Myth Buster #5

Amish Myth Buster #5

THIS one is a bit closer to my heart. It’s the myth that all Amish folk are somber, serious, lacking in humor, and a bit unfriendly. I can tell you from my first hand experiences, nothing could be further from the truth.

I suppose the reason we have some of these stereotypes is because Amish people do treasure their privacy. It’s also true that they don’t want their pictures made. But the rest is FALSE. The Amish people I’ve met in both Indiana and Wisconsin were quite friendly. They invited us into their homes. They were more than willing to answer our questions. They had a GREAT sense of humor.

Overall they reminded me of country-folk. So I’m happy to de-bunk this myth about the serious, somber Amish person. No doubt that person does exist–in every culture.

Happy Saturday, everyone. If you happen to be anywhere near The Colony Public Library in The Colony, Texas I’ll be there signing copies of Falling to Pieces from 1-4 this Saturday. That’s right, BEFORE they’re available in stores. It’s hardly fair; is it? Ha ha ha. Everyone have a great weekend.

V

ps – there’s still a few days to sign up for the free GoodReads copies of Falling to Pieces. I’ll also be having more contests on FaceBook. Hope to see you there.