You probably already heard if you follow me on Instagram, but a couple weekends ago Bjorn and I spent the day at an Amish auction in southern Minnesota! We had been wanting to go to this Memorial Day auction for two years but our schedules didn’t allow it…so it was an absolute blast that it actually worked out this year. That and I’m semi-obsessed with the Amish – their history, their language, their culture, and their simple lifestyle. 🙂
The auction was essentially what you might guess: Amish people auctioning off items they have crafted or grown or made. We spent hours wandering around, people-watching (of course!), testing out Amish-made outdoor furniture, enjoying a meal served by some of the younger women, and watching the men auction off stunning quilts and vibrant pots of flowers.
This auction was especially fun because of the way it differed from our time with the Amish in Pennsylvania. Last summer while living at Fort Lee in Virginia, Bjorn and I had the opportunity to drive up and spend time with (and stay with!) the Amish in Lancaster County! While that was an incredible experience, it was obvious that most of the Amish we interacted with in Pennsylvania were accustomed to tourists and were used to being extra-social and sharing about their lives.
A peek at our time staying with the Amish in Pennsylvania:
Anyway, at this Minnesota auction, the Amish who attended weren’t there to “entertain” curious outsiders; they were there to sell their crafts and have a busy, fun day out with their own families! Bjorn struck up a conversation with a young Amish man in his early 30s who was watching the auction next to us. The two of them chatted about farming and family and then more farming… and we walked away smiling – we had made our first Amish friend! 🙂 Later on, we sat and watched the flower auction for a while (I still can’t totally understand what price the auctioneer is saying!). A large group of young Amish women was sitting behind us, chatting in Pennsylvania Dietsch, a couple of them bouncing babies on their laps. The little Amish kids running around were absolutely precious! We bought root beer floats (we watched some of the Amish men make the ice cream right in front of us!) and checked out some of the horses and buggies. When we eventually had to leave, we definitely left with arms full of baked goods and homemade Amish candy! 🙂
The fun thing is, there are multiple smaller Amish auctions in that area throughout this summer! It’ll be so fun to head back that way and spend time interacting with this fascinating lifestyle, as we look forward to the Labor Day auction coming up!
Do you have experience interacting with the Amish? Are there Amish near you? I’d love to hear about it! 🙂