Monday I was actually feeling pretty good when I got up. I had a great nights’ sleep thanks to the wonderful pink pill called Darvocet and awoke ready to do something besides sitting in bed all day again. After fixing the kids a breakfast of eggs and biscuits & gravy we took off for the Shipshewana Flea Market.
As we approached town we started seeing Amish homes scattered along Indiana SR 5 and buggies going down the road. My children (ages 15 and 13) were aware of the Amish but had never been to Amish country. I started a little Q&A session as we drove and started out with the question, "what is it about all the Amish houses that’s the same?" and they correctly pointed out that most all of them were white.
Monday must be laundry day as every Amish home had laundry flapping in the breeze. So next I asked my kids, "what’s missing from the laundry?", pointing out that the same item(s) were missing from each laundry line. It took a while but my son finally got it; no underwear. So I told them that rumor has it the Amish don’t wear underwear. Click here for the answer.
After about a 45 minute wait we finally got into the parking lot of the flea market. It is really an amazing sight – over 1000 vendors selling everything from discount bulk socks, antiques, fishing tackle, Emu oil, roasted nuts – you name it, it’s most likely sold there. As we entered the market my son tried to talk me into renting one of those motorized scooters that fat people use at Meijer, but I passed. I’d rather just sit down and rest every once in a while than be seen on one of those contraptions.
We had a great time and we even split-up for a while which allowed me time to sit on the bench with the other old men while they bought bobbles and trinkets. I felt like one of the old men sitting at the entrance at Walmart. Finally at 3:15 we meet at a pre-appointed location which happened to have a Good Humor wagon nearby attended by an Amish woman I’d put at say, 55 years-old. We approached and each selected an ice cream bar and I decided to strike up a conversation with her.
I asked her if she would mind if I asked a question about the Amish and she said "sure, I’ll tell you whatever you’d like to know". At this point both of my kids were slowly taking steps backwards fearing the worse. Ack! Dad’s going to ask her about underwear. I then told her that the kids and I were very curious about something and that it might seem a bit personal, but she restated she was more than glad to answer any question I might have. At this point the kids are really backing away, and I noticed their faces were getting a bit red too. So I fired away with my question, "how come all of the Amish houses are white?". Hehehe.
Oh, the answer? "It’s a pure and simple color which most of us prefer, but some Amish use a light gray as well".
While the trip was more than I should have put myself through we had a great time even though the Amish underwear theory remains a mystery to my kids.