WagonThe Amish’s work ethic is one of their traits I admire the most. Very rarely are Amish hands idle, especially those living and working on farms or running small businesses. Not that I believe a person’s day must be inundated with activity. In fact, it seems some English (non-Amish) children have too many undertakings, what with their back-to-back sports teams and mountains of homework. No time to do their chores or spend time with family.

I read a super book when rearing our sons called Raising Self-reliant Children in a Self-indulgent World. Author, Jane Nelson, stressed the importance of being a productive member of a family or society. For instance, if a child on a farm forgets to feed the chickens or milk a cow, the child’s action or lack of it is of major consequence. According to the author, not much depends on today’s English children. So how do they develop a sense of self-worth?

LawnmowerWhat got me thinking about this topic? Mowing with our push-mower, which needs its blades sharpened. I’ve been asked why I continue to mow our small patch of grass, and tell people that I prefer it over working out in a gym. I’m breathing in fresh air and saving money. But the bottom line is I enjoy physical labor—every now and then. Could I keep up with the Amish? I doubt it.

This is hearsay, but it’s been reported most Amish women are stuck using old-fashioned push mowers and don’t appreciate the extra work. Some of them have voiced their opinion, that if men were doing the mowing and weeding they’d be allowed to use fuel driven mowers and weed-whackers. Not fair? Food for thought.

Any of you remember Maynard G. Krebs’ famous one-word line from the oldie 60s sitcom the “Many Loves of Dobie Gillis?” Whenever Dobie’s sidekick/buddy Maynard heard the word work, Maynard had a knee-jerk reaction and yelped, “Work!” Why? Because he wanted no part of it. Proving an abhorrence to work is not a new phenomenon for many English (non-Amish) teenagers. Adults too.

How about you? Are there chores that seem like drudgery, yet must be done? Or perhaps you have a favorite. Leave me a comment and enter to win this cute Amish-made tea towel from Lancaster County! USA & Canada. Winner has one week to respond.

Amish-towelCongratulations to Valerie, last week’s winner of a signed copy of Leaving Lancaster or Pennsylvania Patchwork!

LeavingLancasterPatch

To be Released June 1, 2014

To be Released June 1, 2014