The occasion was for a funeral that local Amish wanted to attend. A family was out picking berries in the woods, and a storm came up suddenly. They took shelter under some trees, the mother and daughters under one tree and the husband and sons under another. It was so sad because the entire family witnessed the lightning strike kill their mother just feet from them.
I had the occasion to visit about three woodworking shops, a shoe makers shop, a harness shop, several grocery stores, and a produce auction market. Miracle of miracles, at one of the wood shops they had a Hawker dowel making machine that was in disrepair and stored in a barn. It was pretty rough, but I've since learned that it would be worth about $8,000 fully restored, even though it was made in the early part of the last century. May have to go back if we can agree on a price! I've been struggling with how to make smooth and proper round dowels.
The entire farm was supported by one big diesel motor that ran a line shaft powering an air compressor, a vacuum pump , a low voltage generator for charging batteries, a refrigerant compressor, and probably some more stuff. Compressed air was stored in huge tanks (about 10,000 gal est), to run tools and the well pump. Vacuum was used for the milkers. Refrigerant was used for the bulk dairy tank and a "cooler" shed that had huge vats of water that froze around the edges when the contraption ran for the three hour chore time twice a day.
Yes, they work hard for what they have and they are frugal. They are rich both financially and spiritually, though you would never know by looking at their unpainted houses and "neglected" buildings. All transactions are cash and no one is in debt for anything. No mortgage, nothing. Family time has the highest priority next to God, and there are large families of very well behaved, respectful, very shy, very helpful, bright and happy children. I never witnessed a harsh word spoken to anyone, and if there was a problem with a member of the community, it was spoken about with a sad heart and kind words. I left grateful for the opportunity to experience their lifestyle and wishing that all the world could be like that!