I mentioned in my first post that during the twenty three years that I lived in Chester County, Pa, I lived in two houses built by The Amish.
This is the interior of one of them. For those who have enjoyed the film ‘Witness’ you will remember the ‘barn raising’ scene. This house was raised in that fashion. It is a post and beam structure made from solid oak. The fireplace is built from field stone.
I used the upstairs area with the sky lights for my studio.
During the winter the stone chimney heated the whole house.
The house is a one and half hour drive from the farm where I am staying. with Jarrod and Kendle.
The large oil painting hanging over the fire place is one of a series of work I completed in the late eighties/early nineties. It shows the interior of my favourite studio on Prescott Alley in West Chester with Amish quilts and apples. Everything in the painting is symbolic of my life at that time. In the breezeway which connected two areas of the house, I painted a colourful mural and installed ‘sugar feeders ‘(which hummingbirds love) and a small fountain all of which served to attract hummingbirds. A beautiful place to sit and ponder. The Brandywine River flowed below the house…
When I was visiting the farm two years ago I walked across to the Amish neighbours to purchase some flowers. Behind the house I found a group of children playing and although I know its not really the thing to do, I managed to take a couple of pictures. The Amish children. don’t speak any English until they go to Amish School at around six years old. Their natural language is Pennsylvania Dutch which is similar to German, however the universe language of smiles works very well.
They are beautiful children and as Jarrod and Kendle were saying, mature beyond their years.
Amish children are used to being part of a large family that does everything together – and the family is part of a larger community. I would imagine that they feel very secure.
There is always washing on the line and bread baking in the oven….
The Amish believe that happiness is a byproduct of their Godly life not a goal in itself.
Assigned responsibilities by the time they are five years old…Amish children become proficient at wood working, cooking, quilt making and farm work all done within the community structure.
In warm weather the children go bare foot…
Amish girls going about their daily chores. – pen and wash.
One of the pastures on the farm. More new life….a dear little rabbit….Jarrod fence building with two of the Amish neighbours. The Amish help a great deal with the farm and as Jarrod and Kendle said they are some of the best neighbours you could ever wish for.
Fresh baked bread a gift from The Amish neighbours.
On that note, it’s time for coffee and something sweet…
And an opportunity to watch Kendle ride.
Dressage is Kendle’s speciality.
After a full day of working on the farm – tending the crops and feeding all the animals it is now time to relax and get ready for the evening’s festivities.
Kendle as I remember her as a little girl….always on a pony…..
And so for this evening, we have pulled pork tacos with wine (Maryland Merlot:) and Quarantinis….
For anyone following on this trip concerned that Amish Country was a DRY area…Kendle sent this picture of the local booze shop
Something else Kendle does in her spare time….I really like this.
Along with playing the guitar, singing and writing music, this is one of things that Jarrod does in his spare time.
Meanwhile, I spied Sheila and one of the twins going for a late afternoon walk….
Tomorrow I will be visiting lots of friends in West Chester, and so my next post will be on Friday.
It will be a summary with cocktail recipes and more sketches.