Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Driving in Circles (Zigs and Zags, Actually)

Eighteen Amish families have migrated to rural southeast Kansas from Pennsylvania within the last three years. They've built homes, cleared land for farming, started gardens and opened stores. Southeast Kansans are excited to have new people and activity in the area and, during this trip, we heard all about the growing community. So on Saturday afternoon, we decided to go see things for ourselves. We knew only that the settlement is located near Bartlett, which is about ten miles from Oswego.

We headed toward Bartlett with my aunt Janet as navigator. She has lived in this area all her life and knows it well. In that sense, we were in good hands. However, Janet has a well-deserved reputation as, let's just say, a fine giver of vague directions. For example: "Go that way and in a while there will be a funny looking tree after a curve and then you turn when you see a barn."

So, we were hopeful we'd find the Amish community but not confident. Janet directed us out of town via a gravel road and we zigzagged from one rural crossroad to another looking for the specific road Janet knew would get us there. "I think I'll remember the name of it when I see the sign," said Janet. The fact that some roads weren't marked - certainly not Janet's fault - became a compounding factor in our lengthening adventure.

At long last, we spotted a house with a horse and buggy out front and no motorized vehicle in sight. Bingo! We'd found an edge of the Amish Community. Soon, we discovered a plant nursery and general store where we enjoyed visiting with some of the new Kansans.

As we left for home, Janet said, "Hmmmm. I think we should go that way," and pointed across a field. Fortunately, at the next crossroad, Karyn (who was driving) saw the sign for Altamont Road, which told her everything she needed to know to get us home. It was a great afternoon.

No comments:

Post a Comment