When I think of Amish craftspeople, I think of quilters and blacksmiths. I would never think of a leather worker who creates belts and purses from alligator or ostrich. But that is what one Amish craftsman does in a shop we visited during the Blue Gate Amish Tours Up Close and Personal Tour in Shipshewana, Indiana. As part of that tour, we also visited a Mennonite family that creates a special kind of basket, and an Amish bishop’s home.
I have visited Amish communities several times over the years. Although I’ve chatted with the folks in shops and restaurants, I’ve never had an opportunity to really get to know them. However, on our recent trip to Elkhart County, Indiana, my husband and I were invited to have dinner with an Amish family. This wasn’t one of the commercial, large group events that you see advertised in Amish areas. This was just my husband, me, and another man who was a guest of the Murphy Guest House where we were staying.