Who would have ever suspected that a guy from the city of brotherly love (Philadelphia), who spent 25 plus years with a vicious drug and alcohol addiction, who went in and out of prisons, would find himself on an Amish farm in Loysville, PA with his wife and his friends? Let me paint the picture: We pulled up to this 15 plus acre farm with it's beautiful well-kept green grass rolling hills and it's huge barn filled with animals ranging from miniature ponies, a horse, a pony and 9 multi-colored baby Labs. Off to the far right of the barn was a gorgeous house. A well-built home with a combination vinyl siding and stone work. There was a neatly arranged garden with an array of plants and flowers that added to the majestic landscape. At the edge of the property sat a gigantic factory called Shermans Valley Recycling on an additional 5 acres. Which just so happened to be the livelihood of it’s Amish owner.
I thought to myself that it must take an army to run the business, farm and home. Well to my surprise, after a tour of the barn, a first class Amish buggy ride where l got to drive (Yes! That’s right you read it correctly. A bald headed black man, flying down the highway of life with his Amish friend holding onto his straw hat and his wife in the back holding on for dear life) and a well prepared meal fit for a king, I learned just how it all happens. With the exception of some factory help, I found out that Sam and his extremely pleasant wife Catherine and their 4 lovely children run the whole deal. This was amazing. How could this be? How could this small family manage all of this?
It simply comes down to choices. Where most of us choose to fill our 24 hours with needless things that entertain us or things that occupy countless hours of our time, this Amish family focuses their time on other things. I found out very quickly that a simple life doesn't mean there's not work involved and that it involves a lot of teamwork and respect for one another.