Wednesday, May 03, 2006

We will stand beside you

I write this with a heavy heart. Today we will be attending the funeral of a classmate of our children.

As I follow the lives of our children and our friends, read of other’s lives and live my own, I realize in any given day, all of us deal with the ebb and flow of living. Maybe it comes with being a little more mature, but somehow it all seems easier for me to handle than it used to.

Then, there is the death of this young man. His mother and I worked together years ago, and it was at that time they lost another son tragically. I cannot stop thinking about the family, and especially the mother. It’s been said we are never given more than we can handle, but for this young man’s family, today, they need all of our help.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Little known facts about Kansas


We have alien fruit trees



We have fence posts with invisible parts.


We have waterfalls
Picture by Linda

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Inspirationalists vs Old Order

Our walk after the too late and too good meal at the Colony Restaurant took us through a residential area. We had an opportunity to visit with a friendly local resident. What a joy as she had the identical accent as my Dad. As it turns out, her family migrated from Switzerland as had my Dad’s and they both spoke Swiss or Low German in their homes as children.

As we visited, we soon found out that she had lived in Amana for many years, but was not native to the Colonies. She and her husband moved to Amana to be closer to their jobs in the refrigeration plant. Most of the people around her who were native Amana residents migrated from Germany and spoke High German. This conversation led us to talk about the difference between the Amana Colonists and Amish.

The Amana website has an excellent article and I will list a few of their interesting facts:

Although the two sects settled within 60 miles of each other, there is no relation in any historical or contemporary sense.

The Inspirationalist emerged in the early 1700's as part of the Pietist and Spiritualist movement within the Lutheran Church in Germany; whereas, the Old Order Amish of Kalona represent a very different cultural-religious community with roots in the Anabaptist movement of the early 16th century and were of Swiss ethnic stock.

Finally, to quote:
But most importantly, the Old Order Amish maintain their theology and lifestyle intact, almost the way it was believed and put into practice 300 years ago. The Amish have experienced no "Great Change" in the 20th century. The Inspirationists in the Amana Colonies also continue to worship God in the same manner that they did 100 years ago. Theological changes are minimal. But whereas residents of the Amana Colonies dress in the latest fashions, outside of the Sunday morning services, the Old Order Amish maintain strict dress requirements and insist that no member use electricity or automobiles. There are no telephones in their homes.

We never asked the question as to why two entirely different groups of people settled so close together in Iowa. I believe that possibly both sects were very good farmers, hard workers, and saw the potential in the rich black soil of the region.

Check here for more information.