Blogger's Note: Since this blog is somewhat Amishcentric, I get questions from time to time from readers about Amish life and culture, which I refer to my Aunt Tillie, an opinionated, but humble Amish woman. I noticed recently I got google hits on "What do Amish women use to clean," and "Are Amish considered Christians." I asked Aunt Tillie if she could answer those questions. Here is her response.
First of all, you want to know what Amish women use to clean. I'm afraid you'll have to be more specific. To clean what? To clean a chicken, I use scalding hot water and my hands. To clean clothes, I use a gasoline engine powered washing machine. I will confess there have been a few times when Monday flew by and I still didn't have my wash on the line, that I grabbed a roll of quarters, had one of the boys hitch up old Dobbin, and took the wash in to town and did it in a laundromat. I'm telling you now that was luxury. I could put all 25 loads of wash in the machines, then sit back and look through a women's magazine while everything got done at once. In an hour, I was home with the washing done and had 15 New Ideas On How To Keep Your Husband Coming Back For More! (As if that was ever a problem. I was hoping for an article on 15 New Ideas To Get Your Husband To Just Go To Sleep!) But I'm rambling. Abner says I do that a lot lately. To clean the floors, I use a dry mop on the hardwood and get down on my hands and knees and scrub the linoleum in the kitchen. I use store-bought toothpaste to clean my teeth, although when I was a girl, we used salt to brush our teeth six days a week, only getting to use toothpaste on Sunday mornings. To clean myself? Well, there are some things you just don't need to know. If you can't figure it out for yourself, maybe you can go to a laundromat and find an article about it in a women's magazine.
Then one of you wanted to know whether Amish are considered Christians. Again, I'm afraid you'll have to be more specific. Considered by whom? I've been told, back when we got started, 500 years ago in Europe, we certainly weren't considered Christians. Both the Catholics and the Protestants considered us heretics and did everything they could to kill us off. They confiscated our property, drowned some of us, boiled us in oil, burned us at the stake, and did everything they could think of to make us more Christian, like them. But we are a stubborn lot, and we kept breeding faster than they could kill us off. But they did run us out of Europe; I think I remember someone saying the last Amishman died in Europe around the time of World War I. But here I am rambling again. Do we consider ourselves Christian? Well, we try to follow Jesus, as best we can, and if that's your definition of Christian, then I guess we're Christian. But I hear the Pope claims to be the vicar of Christ and he claims what he says goes as far as who is Christian and who isn't, and there's sure a lot more Catholics than there are Amish, so I guess we better not take a vote. The important thing is whether God thinks we're Christians or not, and if he thinks we are, I sure hope he doesn't hold it against us. After all the modern conveniences we do without in this world, I would hate to think I'm going to have to suffer without air conditioning in the next world because we refuse to fight for our country like the Pope and Jerry Falwell says all Christians should do. And then I hear George Bush likes to go around bragging about what a fine Christian he has become since he gave up drinking and doing drugs. Well, don't get me started about him, but I think we'd all be better off if he went back to drinking and doing drugs. Now, I'm afraid I've said too much, but since Amish don't read blogs I shouldn't get into more trouble with the deacon than I already am.