Saturday, January 29, 2011

Amish Letters

Many of you know how intrigued I am with the Amish and their culture. So much so, that a friend nicknamed me "Shamish" (Shannon+Amish=Shamish). Although I had read tons of books and internet articles on the Amish, I hadn't experienced anything Amish (except for a van full of Amish at a gas station back in the early 2000's). So back in 2007, I met a friend and co-worker who works at another one of our hospitals which is right smack dab in the middle of a huge Amish community. She immediately said we had to fix my dilemma and she invited Michael, Grace and I to spend the day with her and her son. She said she'd drive and I could take pictures and she'd show me "Amish". I was BEYOND excited!!!! Seriously, the first time I saw a buggy, I was like a kid in a candy store! I was so giddy that my very first picture of a buggy turned out very crappy(and this is even after I re-edited it in photoshop elements)! :) But none-the-less, I love it.Throughout the day, I got to see many more buggies, Amish homes and Amish folks. It was amazing day and I'll be ever so grateful to my friend who took me on this trip of a lifetime!

One of the other photos I got was of this house. Little did I know that I would come to know this house so very well! We stopped at this home because we had heard how amazing the baked goods were that are for sale at the little bakery here (named M's Bakery after the mom). There I would meet a girl named "V" (I will use initials in place of names) who would become a great friend. As we were paying for our baked goods, I asked the girl who was helping us if she was M, and she said no, that she was M's daughter V. She was the SWEETEST! I loved talking to her and her accent was fabulous! I took one of the business cards and we were on our way.On the way home, I got an idea. After reading some of Beverly Lewis' books about the Amish and in particular one series about an Amish girl and an English girl who were pen pals, I got the idea to write to V. I fully expected to not hear back from her because I knew that the Amish really weren't allowed to correspond with the English. But I thought I'd take the chance and try anyways! It took me about a month after that trip before I actually wrote a letter. I didn't get a letter back so I kinda just forgot about it. Then about three or four weeks later, I got a letter... from V! I was SO excited I could hardly open the envelope! This was the start of an amazing friendship! I absolutely adore V. Today, 4 1/2 years later, V and I are still friends. She calls me on her neighbors phone to chat, we still write letters and I go visit her every couple of months! I am truly blessed to know such a sweet woman!

The reason I share all this background information with you is because I got an idea while I was laying in bed trying to fall asleep the other night. I decided to start blogging bits and pieces of my letter's from V! I won't share any intimate details or details that would reveal her identity, but I thought it would be fun to share some of the lighthearted, sweet things. I think you'll enjoy their accent that is apparent in the letters and see just how sweet V is. I hope you enjoy the journey!
My first letter from V:

July 23, 2007

Dear Friends,

Greetings of Love and Cheer! This finds it Monday morning. I just got done doing Laundry. Is such a beautiful day and a special day! :) Today 18 years ago my parents were blessed with a baby girl named "V". She weighed 9 lbs. 2 oz.

So how is health treating you and your family? Hope very well. Sorry, I haven't wrote to you sooner. I felt bad as you did so well of sending me such a joyful letter. I feel so special and hope to be forever. But if you stop by again sometime, make sure and ask for me if I'm not in the store as I probably won't recognize you as we get so many customers. Enough it's hard to keep track of em all but yes lets keep writing. How wonderful it is to have friends like you!! :) Well I'm supposed to be making cashew crunch candy and lots more work and here I sit. But I figured if I don't sit down and write to you it'll go another week. Didn't want that to happen. Well I hope to write more next time. Keep writing and also hope to see ya soon.

With sincere best wishes,
A Friend Forever,