Sunday, May 04, 2008


Click on any photo to get a better view!

Only a trip to the Shipshewana Festival in Northern Indiana could get me up after six hours of sleep Saturday morning! We had planned this trip to visit our friends who live near Ft. Wayne a few months ago.

They actually live on eighty acres (originally one hundred) just a couple of miles from Gene Stratton-Porter's home (not the Geneva home where the Limberlost museum is located). As we walked through their property and then drove around the Stratton-Porter acreage, I could envision how she came to write her books.

I can't begin to tell you how lovely it is in that area of the country. The Amish farmhouses, the "English" ranches and farms, beautiful Victorian homes in small towns... like looking at a continuously changing still life.

We lived near this area many years ago so we were looking forward to dining at one of our all time favorite restaurants... Das Dutchman Essenhaus... Saturday evening (our friends were treating us to a meal there). My husband and I hadn't been there since I was expecting Christopher and it did not disappoint. Yum... There were hundreds of people there but this place is used to large crowds. We were seated immediately and had salads, homemade bread, and coffee in front of us within minutes.

The meal came after a day in Shipshewana. I had planned to take many more pictures but somehow got distracted. We laughed on the way home, realizing I had taken a lot of pictures of horses rumps and none of our friends!

I find it fascinating that many of the Amish ladies in that area wear dresses made of very bright pastel colors. The Amish women in our area continue to wear darker dresses. I wish I had taken pictures of the young people and kids (adults do not want their pictures taken).

My hubby and Dan took in all the "guy" exhibits while we ladies visited every fabric store in walking distance (and being an Amish and Mennonite community, there were a plethora). I also was drawn to anything "tea time".

We awoke this morning to a breakfast table set with china and real linen napkins, sourdough pancakes, homemade grape juice (made with Splenda!), and coffee.
By the time we left for home (very early this morning), I could tell I had worked five days of long hours combined with a long (if short in duration) road trip. Believe me, it was good to arrive home to see my boy and Sasha... and to prop my feet up!

Included are the few pictures I took. The apron "curtains" were in the windows of a diner where we ate lunch... in some small town on the way to Shipshewana. I asked permission to take a picture since it was so unique. The scene from the mural was from a very small section of it but one I thought interesting. It was in the same small town.

The horse and buggies... well, I just couldn't resist taking those pictures. They are from two different parking lots in Shipshewana.
My feet are complaining that I have abused them in the past seven days. They will get it over it, about the time I lose weight from eating all weekend!


Susan-Violetsue on Ravelry said...

charming apron curtains!

Honest to Ya~Ya said...

I've always been facinated with the Amish/Mennonite people.

I live near Amish country here, maybe we'll make a trip up that way sometime soon.

The apron topper idea is just too cute!

We have a restaurant here called Der is a Amish buffet and really good!

DebD said...

Oh nice, Amish Country! The food must have been wonderful.

Cheryl (Copper's Wife) said...

I've never been anywhere near Amish country. The pictures are lovely.

freetobeme said...

So glad you had such a wonderful time and glad you're back safely. Your pictures are so good!

Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

It looks all so homespun and welcoming. I am glad that you had a good time reconnecting with old friends and a beautiful corner of the country that you love. Sleep well tonight!

Karen said...

Oh how I miss Shipshewana! It's been almost 11 years since I moved from Ft. Wayne to Illinois, to Virginia, back to Illinois, and now Iowa. Nothing compares to the flea market and the pleasures of Shipshewana. Thank you for the sweet remembrance.

Martie said...

I LOVE the curtains - how sweet. Looks like a wonderful - good place to visit. :0

Thanks for sharing it.


MotherHen said...

Love your pics - I'm Pennsylvania Dutch and my grandparents lived near Lancaster, PA which is an Amish town, we use to visit every time we were back home. I just love Amish country!!! I don't live near an Amish community now but so enjoy seeing your pics - it brings back very fond memories. Thank you. Your feet will thank you later, lol!!!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful Pictures Brenda! Loved the peek into Amish countryside! We live in Mennonite 'country' and see many of the same images (horse and buggy) and still find it so interesting!
Loved your recent posts and glad you had a wee break!

Susan P. said...

Brenda, I've been trying to get in touch with you. You are the second place winner in the Name the Grandmother contest! The first person chose the book, A Life That Says Welcome, so you get your choice of the other two. Please email me at: Congratulations!

margaretha said...

Oh, I've always wanted to visit Northern Indiana to see the habitat Gene Stratton-Porter wrote about. We hardly have any plants or birds in common so it's rather exotic to me.

speculator said...

Wonderful blog!
I've been to Shipshewana, stopping by and visiting all the way from my home on the coast of Maine!
(Maine is Shaker country, among other things). So nice also to see a fellow fan of "My Utmost for His Highest!"

Here's my blog address:

Heather said...

I used to love a day trip to Shipshewana when we lived in MI! I have not been there is sooooooo long! I think I'll put that on my wish list for a Saturday soon - we need a break ! Maybe everyone will be feeling well all at the same time, we'll have no responsibilities, and a little extra cash .... it could happen!

Heather said...

I typed ' thanks for sharing your beautiful pictures' first and for some reason Blogger made them disappear ... ! Odd! We love Amish country - be it Holmes County, OH, Lancaster, PA, Kitchener-Waterloo, ON, or Shipshewana, IN!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing this Brenda! I have fond memories of going to Shipshewana. It has been at least 20 years since I was there..this was a trip down memory lane.

I so glad you up to going.
Blessings, Patty

smilnsigh said...

Apron curtains1 How precious!


Diane said...

I've been to Shipshawana. My inlaws live in Sturgis, MI, which is very close to there. The last time we were there was in November, 2003 and it was freezing cold. It's a beautiful place.

Firefly Nights said...

It sounds like you had a great trip. I very much admire the Amish and Mennonites who stay so true to their beliefs despite all the modern conveniences. They remain one of our few living examples of the old ways of doing things. I wish more people respected them for than instead of considering them tourist attractions.