As brave and bold as our ancestors leaving a country behind, the Amish have been moving into the Central New York region from Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Indiana for the past 50 years. They have embarked independently to start a new life, most times leaving family and community in their homeland; some have trades, some do not, but most share the same knowledge to be self sustaining.
As for most English, the closest we get to the Amish is passing them on the road, often gazing, sometimes cursing that they are moving too slow, but unbeknown to us, they are moving just as fast only in different ways. For one thing the Amish work very hard; for every one footstep that an English makes, they out pace us by 10. They don't need a workout gym to stay in shape.
Amish have farms with animals and care for them in practical, time tested ways. Most utilize their farms into a business, but not necessarily so. Those that have farms as businesses, struggle to make ends meet just like everyone else. Most think that since they don't have big equipment to buy, and low overhead that they have some sort of advantage; on the contrary, it takes more time and physical effort to make up for the convenience.
They have dreams and aspirations just like us. Dreams become reality, little by little, when it is backed up by taking a "safe" risk. Whatever endeavor, they seem to have real money before they go forward, and very few borrow money from the bank.
They are very inventive about their businesses; Produce Auctions, Bash and Dent stores (selling outdated or dented groceries) Bread and Pie Stands, Midwifery, Butcher Shops, Cabinet Making, Dry Good Stores, Green Houses, Quilt making, and selling cheese and milk.
Those that have businesses sometimes rely on English by driving them with a car or truck, I say, "Save a horse drive an Amish." he,he.
What I mostly like about the Amish, is that they have a great sense of comradeship. If someone in their community is going through a rough time; lost and grieving over baby, or parent, or experience tragedy, even taking care of a newborn, they make sure that they have someone there to help. Someone from the community volunteers to stay or visits until they get back their normalcy. They support and care for each other kindheartedly. Everyone is a family.
You will never hear an Amish preach about religion, not a word. It has many English puzzled and confused; the reason is that they live by example. English seem to think the louder we profess, and cover ourselves with jewelry and ornaments, the more likely we deserve Heaven. Regardless in how we practice our faith, we know that "living it" and not talking about it makes it right. I have great respect for their faith.
Lastly, I must add that they love to tell stories and joke around. Happiness is very important to a good life. As humans, it is the common denominator for all of us to laugh and joke. Life has its struggles, but laughter makes it so much sweeter.