Simple Pleasures

Sarasota, Florida.

2014-02-22 15.30.59Der Dutchman. Shuffleboard. Ice cream.

When life gets too hectic and negative stress presses on all sides of your life, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and shut down. Well, it’s easy for me to shut down. But this time, instead of disappearing into myself or hyperventilating or even crashing with a mega migraine, I took a different approach.

I decided to explore the simple pleasures of life.

I highly recommend it for everyone. Visit Sarasota. Eat at the buffet. Shop in the stores. Walk around the streets. Admire the bicycles, the beards, the beautiful furniture. Rock in chair. Smile at the sun. Laugh if it’s raining. Stand in line for the best pie of your life. Smell the delicious lotions and soaps. Watch a shuffleboard match, even if you don’t understand how the game is played.

It wasn’t easy. Giving up a whole day to do nothing but be. Be a passenger in a car. Be observant of another culture. Be guilt-free to spend time eating apple pie and ice cream. Real ice cream. Like the creamy, cold kind of ice cream I don’t think I’ve had since I was a child and my grandfather made it in this barrel-thing I barely remember.

But I did it. Even with deadlines and thousands of emails and laundry and a million other tasks pressing in the back of my mind. simple pleasures sarasota feb 2014

I hopped in a car with my mother and a friend, and we traveled north on I-75 until we hit Sarasota, where we ate at this amazing Amish restaurant and chatted about random bits of lovely topics.

No pressure. No stress. No worries. Because when we exited the car, it was as if we entered a completely different universe, and in a totally good way. I loved my visit to Sarasota and the Amish community there. I can’t wait to go back. I will need to return for a relaxing day wandering the streets but also for research. Because the longer we stayed, the more information I gathered.

2014-02-22 15.55.12Simple is good. Simple is refreshing.

Simple is… not that simple.

That is, if you’re like me and craft stories about everything. I suddenly had a complete Amish play in my head, and that was one more item to add to my “want to accomplish” list. Write an Amish play. One-act. Accurately portraying the simple pleasures of life.

But simple is complicated. Handmade takes time. Patience. Homemade takes time. Patience. Hand-crafted. Hand-sewn. Hand-everything takes a certain skill, and there is a beauty to that skill. To that calm acceptance of non-rushing.

So this was my first journey into the simple pleasures of life and learning about communities, clothing, orders, sub-orders, beard-cutting, colors, courting, Rumspringa, and Meidung. But I know it won’t be my last.

What about you? Have you visited Amish country? When, where, how long ago?

If you’re interested in Amish books, please check out my author-friend Amanda Flower! She writes delightful Amish mysteries.

As always, thanks for stopping by!




  1. Looks like a lovely day. We seemed to have moved smack dab into the middle of Amish territory, and it’s neat-a reminder to sit back and see another side to things. As for the Amish romances, that seems to be about the only books they carry in our little town. I ‘ve been keeping an eye out for Amanda’s books 😉

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