Sunday, October 13, 2013

Day Trip To Amish Country

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Current finances wouldn’t let us make it an over-nighter to Ohio’s Amish country, like we’d first planned, but one day away is better than none. Even then, it cost twice what it did only a few short years ago. Every time we go, we notice the changes. Being a porch-sitter, I noticed that several businesses had done away with their porch benches and were using their porches for display of items for sale. I guess that’s good for the bottom line, but it certainly makes for a less gracious-feeling shopping experience. Since it was too hot for me and the dog to stay in the truck those porch benches were sorely missed. Businesses don’t understand that if papa ain’t got a place to sit, he’s less likely to haul momma there in the first place. One of our local stores has done the same thing, so I now encourage my wife to go elsewhere, and I’m sure I’m not the only cranky old geezer to do so.

Our haul was very light this trip; my wife spent $10 on something she wanted and I spent absolutely nothing, despite antique tools being my main weakness. I didn’t even get any of the cookies that I dearly love; they only come by the dozen, and I just couldn’t see that I needed that many. The wife saw a Chinese-made tree that she liked selling for $69.95 and realized that she could buy the same thing at Wally World for $19.95. I saw a few tools that I could literally have used, but they were priced at about triple what I felt they were worth. The few things that were priced fairly low were things that I didn’t need. The most tempting item was a nearly unused broad-axe (without a handle) of the Kent style. It was only $35, but my budget for this trip was only $20, and I’ve got a perfectly good American-style broad-axe in the basement.


The place keeps getting higher-priced and more commercial, the quality of goods and food alike keep declining, and the wife and I just can’t spend the hours on our feet that we once did (and the benches are disappearing). As much as we used to enjoy it, I’m not sure just how many more times we’ll feel the trip is worth the effort. Still, though we were glad to get home, we had a good day. © 2013
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11 comments:

Sunnybrook Farm said...

You are lucky the government has kept inflation under control, things would be bad had they not done such a great job on that!

Gorges Smythe said...

Excellent point, SF! :-)

Pumice said...

You would also need to take into consideration the cost of a new handle for the Axe. It seems cheaper to buy a complete new tool from China than just a replacement handle. Go figure.

Grace and peace.

Kathy Felsted Usher said...

It's too bad that things are getting so expensive but regardless, it's good to get out for awhile. Sometimes we go places like the antique mall, which is huge, and never buy a thing. We just like to walk around if the weather is bad.

Gorges Smythe said...

Well, Pumice, I could actually make a new handle, though I don't know if I would. Besides it being heresy for an "old tool afficiando" to buy a Chinese edge tool, the quality of the old tools is amazing.

We do more of that these days, too, Kathy.

Chickenmom said...

Even just to get away for a couple of hours is refreshing. We stop at interesting places along the way but we rarely buy anything. And if I do see something that I really, really like, I just think about how much beef it will buy. Works every time.

Gorges Smythe said...

Valid point, Cm!

Lady Locust said...

It's always fun to go and always nice to get home. It does seem that just places in general don't want you to linger - as in sit on a bench. Maybe nowadays you're supposed to speed shop and be in a hurry like in the rest of the world (even though it's Amish country.) I know of a quilt shop with a 'lobby' that has a couch and chair etc. and hunting, fishing, and mechanics magazines so that there is no rush. Mr. LB thought that was great.

Mamahen said...

My daughter and I, during my single parent years, use to play "picky shopper". We would go into a shop window shopping with no money to buy anything. When we saw something we wanted we would go into long drawn out tales as to why we didn't like it. The more we wanted it the longer we talked. I always knew what to buy for gifts .

Penny said...

Uh-Oh. Have I missed my chance of visiting the Amish country of my childhood imagination? Somehow I thought it would always be there and always be the same. To keep myself somewhat contented with not having had the chance to visit that part of the country yet, when I see country (mostly grain and feed) stores selling Amish goods (cheese, butter, jams, etc,) I think I have happened upon a treasure. But I know I haven't really because I make better apple butter than I've ever bought at these places. HOWEVER...I would be very interested to know what those cookies are that you like that you didn't buy. (Sometimes I read old cookbooks for recreation rather than education!)

Gorges Smythe said...

That's an angle retailers don't think about, LL.

Guess that WOULD be good practice, Mh!

Penny, I think you might still find some authentic stuff if you get off the main drag. However, the more obvious places are already ruined.