A couple of women in our neighborhood have organized a potluck in a nearby park for next week. Each year, our city sets aside a specific date for communities to gather. Actually, the whole country holds a National Night Out to promote fellowship .

Gardening groups meet monthly and put on annual flower sales. Fun!

Gardening groups meet monthly and put on annual flower sales. Fun!

I’m a very social person. An extrovert, to be sure. Yet, I feel myself resisting. I figure I already know most of our neighbors. But maybe not well enough. In a time of crisis, we may have to depend on each other.

Studies demonstrate that those who stay socially active benefit from better health and memory. Much as I enjoy chatting on the phone, communicating by emails, and on FB, real live face-to-face interaction is important!

Fellow bird-watchers gather often where I walk.

Fellow bird-watchers gather often where I walk.

One of the many reasons I admire the Amish is their commitment to community. They support each other in every way possible, such as barn raisings, quilting groups, and work frolics. By their plain dress and their buggies’ colors they recognize fellow members of their community.

Amish volunteers raise a new barn in Lancaster County, PA. (photo used with permission)

Amish volunteers raise a new barn in Lancaster County, PA. (photo used with permission)

I admit that if I were invited to a potluck block party of Amish people I would dive at the opportunity. Wouldn’t you? Such an occurrence is near impossible for me, living in the Puget Sound area. However, we do spend time with Amish friends and family whenever we’re in Lancaster County! And I visit them often in my mind when I’m writing my books.

The Amish know many hands make work light. I love their quilts! (photo used with permission)

The Amish know many hands make work light. I love their quilts! (photo used with permission)

I think of my character Eva Lapp in my recent novel Starting from Scratch, and all the ways her community affected her. Quite a diverse group for a single Amish woman to negotiate. I had fun meeting those unique characters as they presented themselves! I still can’t decide which is my favorite.

Charming clothes pin bag, and Lovely Amish-made oven mitts from Lancaster County.

Charming clothes pin bag, and lovely Amish-made oven mitts from Lancaster County, PA.

Enter my Giveaway for a chance to win this charming Amish-made laundry bag for clothespins, these two Amish-made oven mitts, plus a signed copy of one of my Amish books: Starting from ScratchA Letter from Lancaster County, or one of three books from The Legacy of Lancaster County Trilogy—either Leaving Lancaster, its sequel, Pennsylvania Patchwork, or Forever Amish. Winner has 3 days to respond. US and Canada only.

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PS: To gain an extra entry, please request Starting from Scratch from your Public Library.  And for another entry, please write a short review of Starting from Scratch on Amazon, B & N, Goodreads or any online vendor, or on your own FB Wall or an FB Group.