Stepping into the Past

I missed posting earlier this week due to some family issues that came up, I had to go out of town for an appointment and by the time we got back home I was wiped out and forgot that I had not scheduled my post ahead of time. So, I’m going to post it now. This past week we were asked “Have you ever visited a part of the country where things were done as an older time, or were far more modern than you are accustomed?”

I don’t think that I have really been to a place that was more modern. Growing up in Iowa pretty close to the Amana Colonies (though the Amana Colonies are not Amish they still have many of the old fashioned stores and buggies) and to Kalona, I have often been to those two places which are like stepping into the past. I used to love taking day trips to either of these places. Walking through the villages with my parents. My dad would stop and get us ice cream cones and we’d continue on our way. My parents liked to stop to see the handcrafted furniture but my favorite place to visit was always the General Store. I loved walking through that store. Every year my dad would buy me a bonnet and several pieces of stick candy. I remember one year he bought me a rabbit skin, it was so soft. At the time I had been reading Little House on the Prairie series and one of the girls had just been giving a little cloak made a rabbit skin. My brothers teased me mercilessly because after every trip to the colonies I would run around the farm pretending to be a pioneer girl. I remember taking a school trip to Kalona where we got to tour a a farm to see how they operated it without electricity then we ended that tour at the one room school house where we sat for a class and did a few lessons before going outside for a picnic lunch. It was my favorite field trip that I have ever been on.

Last spring I took Wyatt to Kalona and we toured the old historical village. He absolutely loved it! He couldn’t believe how small the houses used to be. He enjoyed seeing the one room school house and the train depot. He was a little nervous about going up the stairs to the apartment above the depot because they were so steep but once he made it up there he was so surprised to see that all they had was a open room with their table, chairs, and stove, then two small bedrooms. I didn’t get to take him to the General Store because by the time we finished touring the historical village museum and browsing the gift shop for old fashioned dolls and toys, they were closed. He did get to buy some stick candy and his older sister got a bonnet. They loved seeing the buggies being pulled by horses. They even saw a wagon filled with children heading home from school being pulled by four horses. Wyatt told me he wants to live there. We have gone back once since then, when we were on our way home from a college visit for my middle child but the General Store was closed then as well, it closes at 3:00. I told Wyatt we would make a special trip to Kalona in the fall so he can go to the store and we plan to go to the Amana colonies as well. He’s only seen that when driving by.

Have you ever visited an Amish commnity?

About Angela Schroeder

Angela Schroeder is a single mother of three. She was born and raised in Iowa in a river town known for its pearl buttons. Having four siblings, she never lacked for someone to play with. As she grew older, she found herself pulled into books and writing more and more. Her parents are her heroes, her siblings her confidants and tormentors, and her children are a wonderful blessing. Church is important to her children and her. They enjoy the friendships they’ve made with the people there. Writing has always been a passion. Her first experience was in fifth grade when she went to a one-day writing conference. After that she knew it was something she wanted to pursue.
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6 Responses to Stepping into the Past

  1. Jeff Salter says:

    Your visits — years ago and recently with your kids — sound wonderful.
    Yes, I’ve been amazed at the scale of the dwellings (and other places) from generations past. The “modern” approach has been to build GRAND open spaces which attract the eye, but have no functionality. Whereas our forebears had in mind utility and expense… so no space was wasted.
    Speaking of space and waste — can you imagine anyone (of the generation who grew up during the Depression) needing or using a rental storage space?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t think many of that generation would have needed to use such a space. I don’t like storage units, I’m of a mind that if it can’t fit in my home then I don’t need it. Though I had some relatives who have storage units and when one cleaned his out it was filled with family antiques which I took to save from the dump. So I’m glad that some people use storage space or those items would have been long gone.
      I keep telling my kids that I don’t want a large house. I want a small cozy cottage.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jeff Salter says:

        It’s nice to have a space you can store something that you truly want / need… but simply don’t have room for, at present. That’s provided you ever actually DO finally retrieve said item and do with it whatever you’d intended when you moved it to storage.
        I’m saying “you” meaning “me”.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Patricia Kiyono says:

    Shipshewana, Indiana is a day trip from here, and lots of Michiganders love to go and visit the Amish quilt shops and the flea market. I agree, old-fashioned general stores are fascinating.

    Liked by 2 people

    • That sounds like a nice little day trip! I like to look at the quilts. When I took Wyatt up to Kalona the first time we didn’t know that there was a man there presenting all the old quilts that his ancestors had made and had been passed down through the generations. We loved looking at all the old quilts. Some of them you could still see the flour sack prints on them with the name of the company it had come from.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Elaine Cantrell says:

    I’d love to make a visit there myself. It sounds like so much fun.

    Like

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