One morning when I was waiting for my oil to be changed in my car, I walked around the store attached to the service station. Being the reader that I am, I naturally wandered over to the book section. It seems at this national chain, only Amish romance novels and vampire books were sold. I joked to myself, it seems, to cash in on this trend, a person could write stories about vampires in the Amish community.
The first Amish story I read was by a W. Middlesex woman that was a mystery. Her daughter and my sister were and still are good friends. I was in elementary school and to tell you the truth, I really recall very little about it, like even the name right now. Sorry, Mrs. Salvoldi. I think I remember her other book about the Civil War better. Talk about another hot topic today. I was younger when I read her first novel, which did use the local Amish around us. I named a beagle I had briefly from the second story- Beauregard or Beau, because they were both from the south. I was in sixth grade.
I have since enjoyed the Beverly Lewis books, mostly about the Lancaster County Amish and Mennonite people. Her mother's family was Amish.
I was interested in what an Amish family from Ohio thought of these romances for awhile, but after my trip to the book isle in the national store, I mustered up the courage to ask them. Now they have graciously let me into their house for over a year and even nominated me for an honor with work, wrote wonderful things about me. I treasure the handmade Christmas card they gave me. They are self pay to the company I work for and could go the doctor's office to get this blood test, but instead choose to have me come to their home.
The woman of the home, pooh-poohed the stories, "They're made up." Her adult daughter likes to read them, though, she said. I replied, "I heard Linda Byler's were accurate, because she is Amish."
"Oh, yes, she's coming to a stamp shop near by and I'd like to get a group of us together to meet her."
"Now, Mother, she puts her shoes on one after another just like the rest of us," the man of the home cautioned.
"Oh, I know, Pop, but still it would be fun to meet her." she bantered back.
What she remarked about how the other authors have made up stories that really aren't about their life, made me think how the romance stories about modern times, as well as, "olden" times have very little to do with our lives. They chewed on the idea that the Amish romances are popular because Englishers are craving for a simpler life. They have never known anything else, yet even they feel the encroachment of the hurried up life and the influence of the world on the children.
We agreed that we really can't escape the world, even monks of old couldn't really do it. A person lives with himself, no matter what, and it is the teachings of God and Jesus in us that helps us to live the way He wants His people to live.
I didn't tell them that because my daughter dresses modestly, we don't have cable and we are Christian, she has been called Amish at school. That comes from the same thought the authors have that we may know enough about a culture to write stories. Underneath, we are striving to serve a God we love, enjoying fellowship with other believers, standing on a faith to help us in this life.
They nixed the idea of combining the Amish and vampires. I really didn't think it was too flattering, either.