The first Saturday in June marks the day for the annual Amish Mud Days in Northwestern Pennsylvania.

With a bluebird sky, mild temperatures, and the sing-song chants of a handful of auctioneers, Amish and Englishers alike enjoyed the long-awaited outing.

Young boys followed their father’s footsteps as they trailed behind from auction to auction.

Farm equipment, horses, small livestock, saddles, bridles, and farm implements made their way to the auction block. Teenage boys marveled at the tractors and the row of used buggies. From wooden wheels wrapped in steel to the freshly painted springs and polished brown topped canvas, their eyes came alive with dreams of their first buggy.   

Homemade donuts, fry pies, moon pies, and fresh bread lined tables for those wanting to indulge in the Amish-made goodies. Young ladies huddled in groups catching up with friends from neighboring communities. And all eyes were on the quilt sale. A rainbow of colors and styles made for many hands bidding on the same quilts.

For those women who anticipated beautiful flowers or a new piece of furniture, the possibilities were endless. The day was perfect for setting up a house for young couples just starting out.  

After a day of visiting each auction station, one could indulge in homemade ice cream with fresh strawberries or BBQ chicken hot off the open pit. Pizza sauce-streaked faces and sticky cotton candy hands made way to dusty bare feet and tired cries for the little ones.

For this Amish fiction author, a dozen or more story ideas rolled around in my head as I took in the day’s events. I even got to meet up with my Amish friends, and we spent time in the hot sun catching up on our busy lives. While I didn’t have room to take anything home in my small car, I kept my purchases to those that would satisfy my sweet tooth.

The memories I made will last an entire year until another Amish Benefit Auction makes its way around for me again.