Saturday, December 14, 2013


 The cold winter days can make one reflect on times in the past when you were in "paradise".  In my case, the reflections in my mind, go back to my visit to Paradise, Pennsylvania!  Living all my life in Arkansas, I had never even heard of Paradise, Pennsylvania, until a young Mennonite woman who was assisting with the care of my elderly mother, told me she was originally from Paradise, Pennsylvania.  The name had such an allure to it, I determined I would like to go there some time in the future.
 Paradise is located in an area called "Pennsylvania Dutch Country" or "Amish Country",  by many tourism publications.  For this reason, the visitor needs to be aware that just because something has the word "Amish" in it, it may---or may not---be associated with an authentic Amish lifestyle.
 The photos shown here were taken on a Sunday afternoon drive through "Amish Country", and are simply posted to show what you might see when you drive through the area on any given day.  I cannot verify the authenticity of places that use the word "Amish" in their name.
 I am very thankful to the folks at the Country Living Inn ( ) for making this scenic drive possible!  Their expertise with the local area, is something I can highly recommend!
 I was a passenger in the owner's private vehicle, and took lots of "windshield tour" images, such as this one, of local teens enjoying a game of volleyball.
 There were numerous horse-drawn buggies out on the highways, so I was able to see a variety of different styles!
 The graphic art work demonstrated in this photo amused me, as I could imagine the farmer thinking he would help out all the "city folk" driving through, by spelling out the name of what they were looking at---a field!
 When you are out on many of the back roads in Pennsylvania Dutch country, you will see they are narrow, have no shoulders, and have a yellow line down the middle, prohibiting passing.  This may mean that you have to be behind a slow, horse-drawn vehicle for quite a distance before you can pass.  Therefore, it is best that you not be in a hurry when you take such a drive!
 My guide told me this building was an old-fashioned "one room schoolhouse", still in use for local families that choose to educate their kids in such a place.  
 When I saw this lush, green field, I sort of wished there had been a "sign" like in the previous image, telling me what was growing there, because I had no idea what this particular crop would turn out to be!
 The highways roll up and down the countryside, with no passing lanes or "cuts" made through  them to accommodate those with speed as their priority.  Like I said, it's best if you are not in a hurry!
 You never know when you may top a hill and be smack dab behind an Amish boy in roller blades (carrying his regular shoes!).  I had to wonder if he was off on a quest to go "court" a young lady further on down the road!
 Because of the opportunity to see the deciduous trees in all their magnificent colors, autumn is a popular time for tourists in this part of the country.  This business, located in Intercourse, Pennsylvania, is a popular tourist destination.
 Some shops use the more familiar Conestoga-type wagon in the displays.  
 This scene showing several small fields, growing a variety of different crops, is vastly different from a scene one might see flying over the western United States;  in that area you are more likely to see how gigantic circular irrigation units, provide water to miles of fields, of a single type of crop.
 Private vehicles, vans, buggies, and roller blades are not the only modes of transportation---you will also encounter plenty of motorcycles!  One reason for this, is the large Harley-Davidson Motorcycle factory located in Pennsylvania.  
 Since some of the residents in this area do not rely on electricity, you will probably get to see some of the familiar-looking windmills, from days gone by.
 One needs to be very cautious at intersections in this part of the world, because most horses cannot read "stop" signs,.  If the driver of the buggy happened to have dozed off because of the familiarity of the route, the horse will not be reigned back to stop!  Rather, it is headed for the barn!
 I enjoyed following this family for quite some distance.  The ones in the back of the buggy seemed to be thoroughly enjoying their "al fresco" ride through the countryside; likewise, the pig-tailed young girl seemed to be enjoying following them on her bicycle!
 The main thing that triggered my memory of my visit to Amish country was a Bible verse I am trying to memorize for the next session of First Place 4 Health ( ) at my local church ( ).  1 Peter 2:9 says, "But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light."  I want to always remember that some of God's "chosen people" have "chosen" to dress  differently than the rest of the world .  Yet we are ALL called to declare God's praises!  I not only want to declare God's praises, but also the praises of those people who have chosen a different way of life in rural Pennsylvania.  Getting to visit there gave me "Miles of smiles"!!  Tricia
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