A Pieceful Life

A Pieceful Life

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I'm so glad that you stopped by, and hope that you enjoy your visit. Here you will find pieces of my life - quilting, cross-stitch, family, travel, friends.
My name is Peg - I am a 60ish wife, mother, daughter, sister, aunt, cousin, friend - and if we're not already related or friends, hope to become your friend too.
We live in the eastern end of the beautiful Fraser Valley, about 1.5 hours east of Vancouver, BC. Empty nesters, we have one son living just a few minutes away, our other son and daughter live in Alberta.
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Monday, August 27, 2012

Mennonite Country

While in St. Jacobs village, I had the chance to walk through the Mennonite Story.  I thought I had a fair idea of the history of the Mennonites, but still there are always new things to learn.

In 1525, during the Reformation movement of Martin Luther and others, Menno Simon was one of several who believed that baptism into the Christian faith should be an informed choice by an adult.  And so began the Anabaptists, and specifically the Mennonites.   They also believed in pacifism and community as a way of life.   The definition of ‘community’ did not necessarily include communal or colony living, although some did choose that style of living – possibly as much to retain their faith as to have some protection from the ‘outside’ world.  Rather, ‘community’ is defined as helping their fellow man.

From those original Mennonites have come many different groups, among them the Amish (who tend to live close to each other, but individually) and the Hutterites (who do live in colonies).  Today’s Mennonites range from the ultra-conservative Old Order Amish in their dark old-style clothing and driving their horse-and-buggy to those who live modern life-styles and would be indistinguishable from anybody else walking or driving down the street.

As we drove around the countryside west of Waterloo Ontario, we saw many signs of the way of life of the conservative Mennonites and Amish.

From the horse-and-buggy transportations:0704.Horse-and-buggy06

(And they always made sure they could be seen when coming up behind them):

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To the farmers working in their field with horse and wagon:22

Their one-room schools

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And meeting houses (they don’t call them ‘church’)

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All demonstrate a simplicity in life-style, and a humility in attitude within the world.  Even their cemeteries and grave markers are ‘plain’:

13.Cemetery1618

Note the hitching posts nearby in each situation.

We visited a cheese outlet, where a nice young man in simple
Amish-style clothing served us.  The Old Order Mennonites don’t like to have their picture taken as it’s seen as a ‘graven image’, so I respected that in situations where we were face-to-face.  From what we read, though, it’s acceptable to have a photo taken from a passing vehicle, and some of the drivers smiled and waved at us as we passed with camera clicking.

We also stopped at a general store – where I discovered where the Amish men and women get their head-coverings:23.General store25    24

This store didn’t just cater to Mennonite styles in their goods, there was much there that would satisfy some of the most modern of us, just not electronics.  Oh, and they did have a freezer of ice cream!

It was a lovely relaxing day, just driving around seeing the country side and enjoying the sights.

Off to the U.S. of A. in the morning.  Semi- headed homeward.  I’m sure we’ll see some new country and experience more new things to share with you all!                   Blessings, Peg

2 comments:

  1. I loved the Wallenstein store - bought Rick a hat there and several bonnets for Julia (just a baby then) Did you see the room off to the side with all the boots, shoes and suspenders? We smiled, watching a Mennonite family - Mom and grandma checking out the dry goods, the young girls in bonnets and bare feet checking out the toys and the little boys in their hats drooling over the candy counter.

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  2. Sometimes I think it would be so wonderful to live that simply. Then I think about how much hard work it would be and how not having the Internet would be not a lot of fun (how could I read your blogs?) the notion passes. Very interesting, though.

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