The Sugarcreek, Ohio, Budget has been published since 1890 and serves the Amish and Mennonite communities around the world. The National Edition consists primarily of letters from mostly Amish and Mennonite “scribes” who write in on a weekly basis (more or less) to report on local happenings: births, deaths, weddings, visitors, the weather, the state of crops, and so on.
I consider The Budget to be a treasure trove. I read it regularly to grasp a sense of the Amish life all over North America better, to understand seasonal changes for farming communities, and to capture all that the Amish value. The letters usually start with a recap of the local weather (farming is in their blood, remember), and then they drift off to family life. They’re a peek into an Amish farmhouse— permission granted!
These are some stories about the Amish taken from scribes’ letters in The Budget . . . in their own words. Enjoy!
“My husband discovered a clothes washer makes an excellent mouse trap. Leave the lid open. Once a mouse is inside, put it on spin cycle for only a short time. Upon opening the lid, the mouse will be so dizzy it won’t even think of biting you when you pull it out!”
“My wife is celebrating her fiftieth birthday today by canning sweet corn. So tonight will be a new experience for me, to sleep with a fifty-year-old woman!”
“On the east edge of town is a very large cemetery and a casket business next to the road. In front of the store is a large tombstone facing oncoming traffic, which reads, ‘Drive with care, we can wait.’”
“A baby boy was born to William and Roseanne Miller on June 24th, weight 9 lbs. 4 oz., length 23-1/2”, named Daniel. This makes boy number eight with no girls. They were thankful for a healthy boy, but a little disappointed it wasn’t a girl. The same week the baby was born, the Millers hatched fifty-four guineas in their incubator. William said they are probably all roosters.”
“I recently found out that a young father, while his wife was in bed with a baby, intended to put a casserole in the oven so it would be ready at noon. When he came in, she asked if he turned the oven on. Oh no, he forgot. So he turned it on and waited for the casserole to be ready. Well, it must be ready now, so he opened the oven door and no casserole was to be found! Then the little girl found it in the refrigerator instead of the oven!”
“Recently Luke came in the house, flopped himself on the loveseat and said, ‘Mom, I want a whiskey.’ ‘A what?!’ I asked. ‘A whiskey,’ he repeated. Keeping a straight face I said, ‘Are you sure you know what you are asking for?’ ‘Yes,’ he said. ‘It’s one of those things that you throw,’ giving his arm a fling, ‘and it sails through the air.’ ‘Oh,’ I said with relief and much laughter. ‘Maybe you mean a Frisbee.’ ‘Yes, that’s it,’ he said.”
Source: The Budget, PO Box 249, Sugarcreek, Ohio 44681