The Beeville Bees

Last week I had the pleasure of visiting the Amish colony near Beeville, TX.  In the context of modern life, it’s easy to return with a feeling of sorrow and pity for these poor people.  Poor people?  Would an Amish family be rich?  In our standards, they live very meager existences.  They are all “blue collar” workers.  Their dress is very plane.  Their homes simple with little embellishment.  Most modern gadgets are rejected, or more correctly the desire for them.  I had to empty my mind of this world to comprehend and enjoy the lives they have created in South Texas.  They choose every day to empty their lives of complications to make plenty of room for friends, family and most importantly faith.  They make do with what they have and make the most of their surroundings.  If you have ever been to the coastal plains of Texas you know how barren and wind swept that land is.  Harsh is putting it lightly.  They take advantage of the winds and use windmills to pump water for drinking and irrigating their gardens in the dry summers.  So while they may empty their lives of complications, they certainly don’t empty their lives of hard work and challenge.  They do it.  They work hard to raise their food and make a living and they won’t hesitate to stop and wave as you go by, or greet you with a smile.  Through this meditation, I now see the richness they have found.  Although they may not have all of our conveniences, they don’t need them.  They’ve got something more.

-Shaun

3 Comments On “The Beeville Bees”

  1. With water wells, heirloom seeds, fields of grass, etc… I wonder how much the Amish are affected by economic woes. Aside from occasionally purchasing supplies from outside of the community and selling items outside of the community, I’d venture… NOT MUCH. I’d be interested in reading some articles on the subject.

    This might be considered inappropriate, but I am reminded of a cute, lighthearted joke.

    An Amish boy and his father were visiting a mall. They were amazed by almost everything they saw, but especially by two shiny, silver walls that could move apart and back together again.
    The boy asked his father, “What is this, father?” The father (never having seen an elevator) responded, “Son, I have never seen anything like this in my life. I don’t know what it is.”
    While the boy and his father were watching wide-eyed, an old lady limping slightly with a cane slowly walked up to the moving walls and pressed a button. The walls opened and the lady walked between them and into a small room. The walls closed and the boy and his father watched small circles of light with numbers above the wall light up.
    They continued to watch the circles light up in the reverse direction.
    The walls opened up again and a beautiful 24-year-old woman stepped out.
    The father said to his son, “Go get your Mother.”

  2. I’m glad you brought that up. I’m also curious about how the economic climate is affecting them. I’d imagine very few communities are affected, even those as independent as the Amish. Even they really somewhat on goods from the outside, mortgages, outside jobs, and even people like me who come to purchase unique goods and services they offer. I bought some Americauna Hens that lay blue eggs from them, and our friends rely on them for their knowledge of horse training, shoeing and other horse services.

    But even as the economy slumps, smaller communities do tend to have a bit more cushion. For instance, my own business is actually picking up as local businesses still need websites and design services. They may be smaller projects, and not as fancy, but they pay the bills. Even though my “big-city” clients have cut back their ad budgets a bit I am still in business. Businesses like mine that serve the local community have a better chance of making it, where as some of the businesses here that serve larger markets are suffering.

    People always need stuff like clothes, food, shelter and entertainment. A community with strong local trade and inventive citizens will find a way to keep needs met and stay in business.

  3. A few weeks ago I visited the Amish in Beeville and I thought it was amazing how the whole Amish community operated. There is a girl about 15 that makes the most incredible saddles I have ever seen. Their work ethic is out of this world. You don’t find that many people that are hard working, nice, helpful people. The home-made pumpkin pie in the store was great. I can’t wait to go back and stock up on their baked goods.

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