Don’t Step in the Horse Exhaust

We spent a few days in the Ohio Amish country the beginning of the week and made a few observations that I’ll share with you.

When we left the Luray area gas was $2.15. We topped off the tank at Toms Brook, VA for $2.05 and was glad we did. We put on gas again in Ohio for $2.33 after seeing it go for as high as $2.65 in Pennsylvania. We added some gas in Ohio for $2.24 after getting my Menard’s fix. We used our 30 cents off at a Kroger’s grocery store  in Morgantown, WV on the way home and ended up paying $2.09. When we pulled back into Luray, gas had gone up to $2.19. So, I guess you’d say the price of fuel is all over the board.

We stopped at Mt. Hope, Ohio on Wednesday morning on our way back to Virginia. Wednesday, in Mt. Hope, is sale day. Besides all the various types of livestock that goes through the sales barn, there is also a large hay and straw auction going on. Farmers were bringing in flat beds, livestock trailers, pickups and straight trucks of hay and straw for the auction. Sale day is not only a big day for the farmer, it’s a social day for the whole family. Anyone for miles around who had anything for sale was there set up in rows with their wares on display. There were boxes of bananas, potatoes chips, cookies and diabetic socks to name a few items. If you wanted to buy any type of firearm or other piece of sporting goods, it was there for sale. Farm items, garden tools, fox and skunk pelts along with kitchen items were on tables for sale. The Watkins dealer had his trailer full of spices, cleaners and what nots. I could have spent many enjoyable hours there with ‘the cousins’. Anywhere there was an opening around the sales grounds, was a horse hitched to some sort of buggy, market wagon or pony cart. There were definitely more Amish ‘vehicles’ than there were ‘English’ trucks, pickups and cars.

We were also in Mt. Hope on Tuesday noon for the dinner buffet at Mrs. Yoders. There was an Easter lamb and goat sale that day across the street at the sale barn that brought many families into town. We were afraid that we would have a hard time getting a table for lunch but lucked out. When it was our turn to be seated, we were asked if we minded sitting in the ‘locals’ section. We always get a kick out being included as a ‘local’ whenever we stop there. I sure wish that I could understand the Pennsylvania Dutch language. I should have had my Grandma Lehman teach me some of the more common words, phrases, etc.

One thing that you had to be careful of ‘tho when you were walking around town was the horse exhaust. The Amish don’t have to be concerned with the price of gas, just what oats and hay is going for. In Berlin, a few miles south, they put the parking lot cleanup out on what I would call reverse bids. Instead of what the city would pay you to clean up the exhaust, it’s what you would pay the city for the right to scoop the poop. There’s got to be a better way to make a living!

If you have never spent any time in Amish country, I highly recommend that you do so. Bulk food stores, meat markets, hardware stores, lumber yards, quilt shops, harness and buggy shops, antique stores and gas engine shops are but a few of the places to spend some time. You share the roads with horse and buggies, bicycles, scooters and people walking. And the best thing about that is, I have yet to be cut off or flipped off by an Amish person. Just remember, don’t step in the horse exhaust.

Keep your fork


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