Martha and her family are old order Mennonite and live on a farm in upstate New York. She travels the country side using horse and buggy and like the Amish lives a very conservative lifestyle. Martha shares her story only on Amish Stories.
Richard asked me some questions about my change from car to buggy when I became Old Order Mennonite. I have more faith in the buggy than I did when I first became Old Order Mennonite, but I do feel a car is safer than the buggy. Of course the cars are constructed with steel which not all of the buggy is. After driving a buggy for many years, I have gotten more confidence, but still if the time ever came when the Old Order Mennonite church gave us a choice of a car or buggy-I would take the car. Most of the Old Order Mennonite prefer a buggy over a car because that is what they have grown up with.
I spoke with some of my Amish friends that live in our area and they feel the same-the buggy is our way-to keep from the ways of the world. If there was an accident I do feel that the car would come out of it better than the buggy would and people who have less of a chance to be injured in a car.
We do have the slow moving signs on the back of our buggies, but sometimes cars don’t pay attention to them. In our area most of the roads are back roads but there is a four lane highway and two lane highway that has a lot of commercial vehicles. Cars don’t always pay attention to us. They come right up in back of us and whip around, or honk several times, and some even use bad language as they pass. Some of us have had cans, eggs or tomatoes thrown at us by young folk. We try to get over to the side of the highway so people can pass, but we can only go so far. Most of the people are nice and as they get close honk once, slow down and pass us, but these other things have happened.
We have had a couple of bad accidents. One car driver said the sun was in her eyes when they hit the buggy. In another accident the driver had been drinking when he hit the buggy. Several people in the buggies were injured and the car drivers came out uninjured. Both of these accidents were during the day-not at night. We do not wish anyone injured car people or people in the buggies. Some of us have putting lights on our buggies at night. One of the things that upset us in this area are there no slow buggy signs.
We have petitioned the county and state-we still don’t have them. These signs make people more aware of us with these signs. People drive cars fast on these roads not thinking about coming upon a horse and buggy-I didn’t when I drove a car-until I met my now husband, and became Old Order Mennonite. I can’t blame all accidents on car drivers. We have some young Old Order Mennonite folks who sometimes, race the buggies, or drive not thinking like they should. They aren’t careful.
Sometimes we do hire a driver, but it is rare if anyone would hire a driver all the time. Although I do know an Old Order Mennonite lady who hired a driver when she had to go some place for a couple of months. She had broken her leg and it was easier to get to the doctors, physical therapy, etc. in a car. Once she had the cast off and could walk with her cane, she used the buggy. She was not a usual case. Many times when we go into the City of Canandaigua we get a driver, or some place further from our area than we could get with a buggy in reasonable time. Sometimes if there is a group of using going to a wedding, funeral, barn raising, etc. we rent a van and all go together.
Old Order Mennonite do not drive cars, but people in our other Mennonite divisions do, so we hire them. As I joined the Old Order Mennonite my parents did not and still drive a car so we call on them many times. After discussing with our local Amish friends, they drive as many times in a buggy as we do and also get more drivers then we do. Of course they are Old Order Amish-like Mennonites there several different divisions or groups with the Amish. I know some orders do not have the slow moving signs on their buggies. We don’t have any in our area-we all have the slow moving signs.
Be With the Lord,
Browned Stew with Dumplings
This is an old Amish/Mennonite recipe.
2 pounds cubed beef
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons fat (or vegetable oil)
1 small onion, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
4 cups boiling water
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Cut meat into small cubes.
Melt fat in a hot skillet or Dutch oven. Brown meat and onion in fat, keep it sizzling hot until nicely browned.
Sprinkle flour, salt and pepper over meat. Add the boiling water and lemon juice. Cover the pan and lower the heat so that meat simmers for 3 to 3 1/2 hours.
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 to 3 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon solid shortening
Stir quickly together and drop from a spoon onto simmering stew. Cover and allow to cook 12 to 25 minutes. Recipe from http://www.Recipegoldmine.
The Traditional Family & The Amish series continues next Friday with part 4: Education at Home & In School.
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