We crossed back into the US at Sarnia ON/Port Huron MI. The view from the bridge was gorgeous and we felt almost like we were on the ocean again:
The rest of our drive through Michigan was unremarkable – we had no idea what might be there to be seen, and got no hints when we stopped at an information center. Notably our first day driving was on an interstate, and typically there’s little to be seen from those fast highways. Our second day driving we purposefully chose to get off the interstate, and drove through some nice little towns, but nothing caught our attention – and the next thing we knew we were in Indiana.
Stopping at an information center here, we found a brochure for a quilt designer in Goshen. We’d been through Goshen on our east-ward trip, and wondered how we could possibly have missed that. Looking at a map, we discovered Goshen was almost directly west of us, and as we kind of want to head that way decided it was worth the trip back. Besides that, we’d tried to stop at a Diners, Drive-ins and Dives eatery the first time through and found it closed, maybe we could get there this time. So off we went!
After we were set up at a campground, we headed for Goshen, and easily found the quilt designer’s shop. I looked forward to maybe being able to purchase a pattern, but that wasn’t meant to be. Quilt Designs is the shop for designers Shirley and Kim Shenk – where they showcase the quilts they’ve designed and made (hand-quilted by local Amish women), and sell quilts or commission custom orders for quilts. They just don’t sell their patterns. And, of course, no photos allowed. So the best I can do is show you the 1837 log cabin that they use for their studio and shop:
I must say I enjoyed seeing their work – a mix of traditional with their own unique innovations.
We then headed for the diner – South Side Soda Shoppe – it was closed! We’d forgotten it was Monday. Oh, well, just not meant to be either.
On our drive between campground and Goshen, we were apparently in the heart of the 2nd largest population of Amish people,our second experience of Amish/Mennonite culture. Here, though, the people and their lifestyle were much more in evidence, probably because their population is much larger than that of the population (of Old Order Amish in particular) in Ontario.
They seemed to be all around us, walking, biking, driving horse-and-buggy:
We noted some differences, such as the caps on the women. In Ontario the caps were cotton and a variety of colors. Here in Indiana we only saw white pleated caps. Also, the women here often were seen in lighter colored dresses. We didn’t see any bike-riders in Ontario. Also, we saw a few mowing their lawns with gas-powered mowers – kind of wondered about that.
We didn’t see any meeting houses in Indiana, and the literature we read said they meet in their homes. This was what I had previously read, which leads me to the conclusion that styles of meetings are determined by the individual group.
In Indiana, we didn’t speak to any Amish, but again the literature stated they speak mostly a low-German dialect at home, high German in their services, and learn English in school (parochial school to Grade 8, the same as in Ontario). In Ontario, the Mennonites/Amish we conversed with spoke flawless English with no discernable accent.
As you can tell, I find the Amish life fascinating – hope I’m not boring you too much.
This building did catch our eye, and we wondered what it had originally been:
Maybe a school or a church – it just looked so lonely and abandoned.
We’ll continue our west-ward push – and I’ll keep on posting as and when I have internet. Actually this posting is right up to date.
Hope you’ve all enjoyed your summer as much as we have ours. Blessings, Peg