Guest Post

My Fascination With The Amish By Sarah Price


Growing up in the 70s (gee! that sounds soooo long ago!), television was limited to a handful of channels and there weren’t that many programs for children. The Internet hadn’t been invented yet and cell phones were decades away from infiltrating our lives. So what did children do in their spare time?

Play and read.

For me, growing up on a small cul de sac with no children in the neighborhood, reading was my refuge. And my favorite books? The Little House on the Prairie series, of course.

In 1978, my grandparents took me on a great adventure. Seated in-between my grandfather and grandmother on the front seat of Pop-Pop’s Cadillac, we drove from Harleysville, Pennsylvania to Lancaster County.

That day changed my life.

You see, forty years ago, the general public did not know much about the Amish. The movie The Witness would not hit theaters for another seven years and the Amish romance genre wouldn’t be discovered for almost twenty years. The fascination with the Amish was limited to surrounding communities and cultural enthusiasts.

For me, a young nine-year-old girl, I immediately fell into the latter category.

There is something magical about a community that is willing to forego the conveniences and trappings of society in order to be closer to God, family, and community. The Amish people live according to their interpretation of the Bible, an interpretation that stresses living plain and simple lives with a heavy focus on honoring God.

My nine-year-old eyes saw horses and buggies, bright colored dresses, one room schoolhouses, and fields full of waving corn crops. I felt as if I had been tossed back in time to the days of Little House on the Prairie.

For years after, I obsessed over the Amish. I ordered every book that I could find from the small, local bookstore. I remember waiting weeks for that phone call that my book had arrived. I’d have to wait, impatiently, for my parents to arrive home and take me over to the tiny mall in Cedar Knolls, NJ so that I could buy my treasure.

My admiration and love of the Amish culture and religion never waned. In 1987, I spent a summer living on an Amish farm in Leola, PA. It wasn’t easy to find a farm that would rent me the dawdihaus. Remember…no cell phones, no Internet. But I managed to find a family that was willing to take me in.

For three years, I spent every free weekend and college break living on that farm. I can still shut my eyes and smell the pungent odor of the sixty dairy cows which, to me, wasn’t offensive but the welcome scent of being at home. I remember attending birthday parties, swim parties, canning bees, family gatherings, and even worship services.

Thirty years later, I’m still friends with that family in Lancaster. Their granddaughter calls me for advice about horses (and tries to finagle her way to come spend the summer with me!!!). And while I don’t visit as often as I’d like, it’s nice to know that I’m still considered family.

I’ve also made new Amish friends in different communities. It’s a humbling experience to be accepted into their circle…not everyone can experience such intimacy with these amazing people.

While I write my novels based on some of my experiences—and I always strive to present an accurate and authentic view of the Amish communities—I will be writing more blogs for Destination Amish in order to share my thirty ears of experience living among the Amish.

I look forward to hearing your questions, reading your comments, and getting to know all of you better.

Sarah Price

P.S. Follow me on Facebook at for my daily live stream videos and Instagram at to follow my day-to-day adventures.

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5 thoughts on “My Fascination With The Amish By Sarah Price

  1. I love reading about the Amish. I feel that special feeling of being back in time. Some day I will visit an Amish settlement.

  2. I loved your story, I have always been fascinated by the Amish an to spend a summer with an Amish family sounds heavenly to me.

  3. Sarah, I have a very similar story. My mother chased me out of the house when I was a child, so I ended up at the library in my home town of Santa Clara, California, which is still one of my favorite places on earth. I can still see the little, padded benches in front of the picture book section, where I would pick out many books, the ones I remembering being Aesop’s Fables. Later in my life I had the chance to visit Lancaster briefly. It wasn’t until I found Susan Bender’s book and Witness that I caught the “magic” and I wish I kept record of all the Amish subject books I have read. My house shows my love of them, quilts and bonnets and such, and the plain lifestyle is something I attempt to imitate and deeply admire. I have been to Lancaster a couple more times and also to Rexford, Montana. We hope to visit Holmes County next year. My husband is a pro photographer, so he has reason to go too. I remember when the Amish fiction genre just got started, and I waited from week to week for the latest book. Now I can’t keep up with the titles! No complaints here. May you be blessed with many more creative ideas so that we can eat them up! Thank you!

  4. Yes Sarah, it is indeed humbling to be accepted into their circle as a “friend.” I have been friends with an Amish family ( 2 generations) now for 20+ yrs. They have welcomed me in their home as I have done the same. Their work ethic, ingenuity and a simple lifestyle is a lesson we all can learn from!

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