At the Amish Auction, there are many, well, Amish people. Dressed in Amish clothes, believe it or not. As a modest dress fashionista – is that possible? I am fascinated with examining the Amish costume. I admire the talent these women possess, to sew clothes for their entire families.
Many are color coordinated, obviously sewn from an entire bolt of the same cloth. The colors are muted, but beautiful. The styling is loose and flowing, full coverage and yet pleasing to the eye. The prayer kapps are pure white or black and stiffly starched. Straw hats for nearly all the men, though one or two winter black hats are in evidence. I marvel at the women and children who can walk and run around on these sticker and gravel strewn fields bare footed. I remember as a child walking around on hot asphalt and cement, barefoot, all summer. We even had contests to see who could tolerate the hot black asphalt on their bare feet the longest. I guess we must have had some pretty tough soles back then. I have tried going barefoot at the Homestead – much the same landscape with stickers and gravel and rocks – but do not seem to have the stamina, or desire to toughen up my feet these days. Some of the women and children are wearing shoes and hose, but most are barefoot. This goes a long way toward conserving the shoes and stockings for the colder months.
Another Amish event here, which is open to the community, are their benefit dinners. The Amish do not participate in government programs such as social security or medicare and now, mandatory insurance. But they do pay their taxes and they help their own with medical bills. Several times a summer, the Amish community will hold benefit dinners, with homemade Amish food, to help raise funds to pay medical bills for one of their members who may be having a hard time. There is no suggested donation, so it is left to each one’s heart to help out as they can. I don’t think anyone is refused a meal, yet there always seem to be a good amount of funds raised. These dinners are followed by a quilt auction. Frequently including the other same small items as the community auction – hand woven rugs, kitchen sets and handmade baskets. There are also usually baked goods for sale.