Monday, November 18, 2019

An Amish Wedding

Coastal Comments

What?? It’s almost Christmas and the year only started two months ago? Or at least it FEELS like it started a couple months ago. The time has just been speeding by and filled with great things to come. It’s busier than I remember from summers gone by.

  • Soon I’ll be heading to Amish Country for a family wedding. They have the best food there! They always serve “Wedding Chicken” and whipped hot potatoes, plus vegetables and other things, plus a great wedding cake. The wedding service usually takes about 3 to 3½ hours, and it’s always said in Dutch. Well almost always. Many times there is a Bishop who knows I don’t speak much Dutch, so he’ll nod to me and switch to English for a paragraph or two here and there so I can figure out what he is preaching about. They are so kind, knowing I don’t speak their language, but want to know what is being said about devotion, love, family, friends, church, etc. After the service, people make their way to the shop that has been transformed into the wedding restaurant. The service is usually held in the barn which has been cleaned and set up with benches that have no backs, for a church service – men on one side, women on the other, and the children move their way around from one parent to another, but they never make a peep. No crying, no whining, no fussing, etc. Quite amazing, and the children are all so happy and friendly, and you never hear the parents yell at them, not at home, not in a restaurant, not on the street. The secret, I think, is that they always spend time with the children, no phones (even though many now have cell phones) but togetherness that is so important to the kids, and they go everywhere together. The kids are never lacking for family or love. Before everyone sits down to eat at the wedding, they all stand and together say a silent prayer. The wedding couple sits at the far left front corner side of the shop, and everyone else sits at long tables with benches with no backs. Everything is decorated beautifully, with flowers and silk and flowing fabric, and so much more, depending on the couple’s choice. A wedding usually has about 450 attendees. Everyone eats together, the youth serve the food. The attendants have clothing they make that match the color scheme for the event. No, the bride doesn’t wear a formal gown, or carry flowers, or wear a veil. She wears a black prayer kapp, and the minister, after he pronounces them “Husband and Wife,” assisted by her maid of honor, takes off the black kapp and replaces it with a white one. The groom wears his Sunday black and whites, with a black straw hat (but of course that hat is NOT worn in the church or the eating area). Afterward, people who have brought gifts sit around and watch the couple open their gifts. What do they receive? They ALWAYS receive a huge, sun operated clock for the outside front of the house. (Everyone has one.) Other things usually include garden hoses, garden tools, lawn mowers, wheelbarrows (shoopkays in Amish), shop tools, shovels, dishes, washing machines, sewing machines, (many still use the wringer type washing machines), pots and pans, camping equipment, and everything you can imagine for indoors and outdoors. I bought them a sheet set and two pillows. Everyone stays around to visit with friends and relatives and then towards the end of the afternoon, the older folks will hitch up their horses and buggies and head for home, while the young people stay to eat dinner together and enjoy some young people fun. I thought you might like to read about a different type of wedding and learn how the Amish celebrate their wedding, which lasts for a lifetime. They marry young and stay with that person “till death do them part.”

    Photos by Donna FialaScenes from a recent Amish wedding.


  • Next month I will be reassembling my Islands Advisory Committee and resuming the meetings. Shirlee Barcic is my committee chairman. We will meet regularly this year except for November and December because of the holidays, and Iberia Bank has always been so kind as to host us. This committee consists of members from Marco Island, Isles of Capri, Goodland, Port of the Islands, and also Fiddlers Creek (no it isn’t an island, but we couple them together anyway). We never get into Marco city business, only discuss the county side of things such as the museum, the library, Tigertail Beach and South Beach, plus TDC (Tourist Development Council) issues that affect the beaches on these different islands. The county is responsible for most of the beach issues in this area except for ones that the City of Marco might operate, plus we operate Caxambas Beach Park. I thought we wouldn’t have many things to do, but boy was I wrong! We have worked together to solve many problems, and I learned so much. I prefer not to have confrontational people on my committee, but people who can alert me to an impending problem. I usually tell them what the county is doing in their different parts of this area. Many times we all learn something that we didn’t know was pending.
  • The Caxambas Republican Club, renamed the South Collier Republican Club, had a marvelous event recently, held at the beautiful home of Don and Kim Mitchell, to meet and celebrate the new City Manager Mike McNees and his wife, and the new city Police Chief Tracy Frazzano, who I’m sure many have heard about over and over, but it was very special to meet them in person. I think the city is in for a bright future with these two. It always feels good to have a fresh start. Thank you also to Litha Berger for all her involvement. A wonderful time was had by all. Just a note: I knew Mike McNees years ago and he’s a terrific guy. It’s nice to have him back. Welcome to these new servants to our city!

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