Among the marshlands filled with cranberries in central Wisconsin live over two hundred Amish families who call Monroe County home.
A few weeks ago, we had the pleasure of taking a ride through the backroads of this Wisconsin Amish community. The blacktop roads and rolling green hills were littered with dairy farms, lumber mills, and the distinctive green metal roofs that made the perfect backdrop for our country drive.
As we allowed the buggy etched blacktop roads and road-apples guide our way, we witnessed many Amish men hard at work plowing and cutting hay. More than once we saw the dust their draft horses stirred up long before we saw their straw hats and blue shirts skillfully guiding their team through the fields.
It was a bright sunny day, and besides the Queen Anne’s Lace filling every ditch along our way there were flutters of green, maroon, black and blue whipping in the wind at every corner. Just like every other Amish community we visit, the laundry lines bursting with color is a beautiful sight for me.
Thank goodness my hubby supports my love for the simple side of things, and he is always a good sport about letting me stop at just one more Amish roadside store.
We started our day out by visiting the Old Country Cheese Store for some fresh curd and cheddar cheese. It was nice to see their bookshelves filled was some of my favorite Amish fiction authors as well as inspirational, devotional, and children’s books.
We didn’t have an agenda and just let the road signs determine our next stop. With no need for nightcrawlers or maple syrup, we chose to treat ourselves instead with a fried pie and freshly picked strawberries at the Countryside Bakery on Norwegian Valley Road. My mother-in-law makes some of the best-fried pies in Northwestern Pennsylvania, but the flaky crust and apple-filled pies we bought at this Amish bakery came in a close second.
Next on our stop was the Shady Lawn Quilt shop on Highway F. I couldn’t resist ordering a quilt. The young, timid Amish girl who helped me was very patient as I made the painstaking task of picking the perfect fabric color combination for my quilt.
For allowing me to take so long in the quilt shop, I convinced hubby to stop and buy some homemade Cashew Crunch and Peanut Clusters at the Countryside Candy Shoppe. While he took his time filling his sweet tooth, I took time chatting with the barefoot girl in her pinned maroon dress, black apron, and a black headscarf. The way she came running across the yard when we pulled in, I’m sure we interrupted her workday, but she seemed overly excited to help us.
With views as pretty as a picture-postcard, you can tell the Amish life revolves around hard work, family and community.
The sense of peace and serenity greets you at every turn.
It was our first visit to Monoire County, but I can guarantee it won’t be our last.