Carlsbad, NM

Carlsbad, NM

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Day 3

Our travels today made us think. We spent six hours (a real long time for us to stay in one place) at the Gettysburg National Battlefield. It was interesting, sad at times, informative, riveting, and important. Then we went to the Pennsylvania Dutch area where many Amish and Mennonites live. The farm lands are beautiful and the people are as well.
The thinking part: Gettysburg was the site of a horrendous battle of a horrible war that came about due to one group of people oppressing another. Then all around the PA Dutch area we see tourists (unfortunately like us) who want to get a glimpse of Amish people just because they are different from their own culture. Then you can see local businesses who make money off of the Amish by putting up cardboard cutouts of them and extolling travellers to come into their store to buy Amish paraphernalia. After thinking about both places we visited today, I don't think God can be pleased about humans thinking their group is any better than any other group.
Speaking of the Amish, I think every "typical" American teenager and younger should spend a day up here watching Amish kids of their own age. Tonight at dusk, we saw 4 kids, probably 8 to 14 working and sweating with garden tools in a corn field. Then they go home to a no text / no Facebook night. Then more of the same the next day. And they're happy!
For good deeds, first off - someone did one for us. At the Gettysburg theater in the visitor center we watched a great movie narrated by Morgan Freeman. After that, the Cyclorama and the museum, then we got in the car and started to take off on the two hour auto tour all around the battlefields. But Pee Wee's phone was missing so we went back inside to the information booth. I asked a ranger if they had a cell phone turned in. He asked me to describe it and as soon as I said it was an old phone he held it up and asked, "you mean this one?" Pee Wee and I have two of the oldest cell phones still in circulation, and for once it was an advantage.
For our good deeds: at the Mennonite Information Center after just entering Lancaster, we were helped by a very nice gentleman by the name of Paul. It was near the end of the day - time to empty the trash. But this was one day he didn't have to empty any trash because we went around and emptied the cans and put in new trash bags for him.
Then tonight we're staying in a hotel we are 100% positive that neither of our wives would agree to stay in, but it's just fine for us. The 1970s decor and window air conditioner kind of add to the flavor of the day. The manager in the office was very bored - probably due to the lack of business and the fact that her boss makes her leave the office TV on the weather channel all the time. After we ate at a family style kind of restaurant, I thought I would brighten the end of her day, so I bought a piece of peach pie, put it in a to-go box, came home to our 1970 hotel, handed her the box and a card and then sat back and watched her face light up. A great way to end my day as well ...
By the way, the dessert I had was called Shoo Fly Pie - I understand it is big in this area and I can see why - maybe the best pie I ever ate. If anyone ever makes it up in this area - try an old hotel and some Shoo Fly Pie.


tony said...

mmmm, pie.

Jeff Harsh said...

Agreed, every teenager should spend a day or two like those Amish kids. What a work ethic. Sometimes I wish we lived in simpler times too.