Thursday, September 07, 2006

Logbook: Dillsburg

Dillsburg1My decision to bolt from Bedford, PA last Saturday turned out to be inspired. One look at the weather report on Friday night made it clear that the hurricane (I don’t recall it’s name) was bringing a ton of rain my way and would make sightseeing impossible anyway. So, after a quick review of my car rental contract -- which showed that if I returned the car before 8:30 am I could save myself an entire day’s rental charge -- I got up and out about 5:30 am on Saturday and drove through terrible rain. It was no real problem, though, and I made the trip in fine form. My folks picked me up at the car return and we headed back to the farm. The rest of Saturday and Sunday were pretty low key except, of course, for the many fun and rewarding interludes playing with my mom’s new dog Sasha -- a fabulous, bright and energetic little girl! Monday’s highlight was a ride in Marty’s (a close friend of the family) new Mustang Cobra followed by dinner at the local VFW. Tuesday and yesterday just evaporated as days on the farm tend to do, but today I rode with Marty as he made a circuit through Amish country for his job with the state game commission.

Although I have made a few previous trips to the “tourist” areas, I have never gone so “deep” into the area or the Amish culture. I confess a certain admiration for their dedication to simplicity and heritage, but I also must confess a high degree of confusion about exactly what the “rules” of the culture are. For example, I saw many Amish farmers using horse drawn wagons in the corn fields, then using tractor power to put the corn into their silos. I learned that they do not use electricity, but they use diesel generators to charge the batteries that power their electric fences. I also noticed that they do not have phones in their homes, but often have a “phone booth” outside in the yard. As you might imagine, I spent much of the day trying to figure it all out... to no avail. I suspect the culture is struggling to balance sticking to the “old ways” with adopting “new ways” that make modern life possible. In the morning, I am heading to New York to visit with my dear old “aunt” Evie for a few days. Always fun!

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